Shout Out UK’s (SOUK) mission since its inception in 2015, has been to amplify and protect democracy through the education of young people across all communities about political and media literacy. SOUK has done this with campaigns, projects and educational programmes.

Below are the highlights from SOUK’s 2021-2022 annual report, covering the period between September 2021 and December 2022.

Everyone on Board to Vote!

Some of the most influential campaigns SOUK were involved in during the year were the London Voter Registration Weeks (LVRWs) of 2021 and 2022, in collaboration with the Greater London Authority. The LVRW aims to tackle voter registration inequality in London through a coalition of 100 civil society organisations, educational institutions, and all London boroughs.

In September 2021, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, SOUK delivered the largest voter registration campaign in the democratic world. During the 2021 campaign, 39,302 Londoners registered to vote, including 8,568 young people aged 16-24. It is estimated that the LVRW 2021 campaign directly reached between 500,000 and 1.4 million people via social media, with the total online reach stretching to 4.7 million people.

The 2022 campaign also faced difficulties. Scheduled for the 19-25 September 2022, with this being communicated to partners months in advance, the passing of Queen Elizabeth II less than two weeks prior necessitated postponing the event until November. This required extensive communications to postpone social media content and planned events with educational institutions, including 14 schools where SOUK had planned to deliver in-person drives. The speed at which all of this had to be reorganised and rescheduled was a testament to the professionalism of SOUK.

souk wrap up picture

Despite the challenging circumstances, SOUK was able to use the power of the #NoVoteNoVoice campaign slogan to help deliver another hugely successful LVRW, with SOUK’s social media channels having an estimated total reach of 5.1 million people.

All Together Now!

SOUK also worked with the UK Government to establish the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Political Literacy and the Youth Policy Development Group (YPDG), the latter of which was commissioned by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The APPG is an all-party forum designed for MPs to discuss the provision of citizenship and political education, to ensure that all young people become politically literate by the time they finish secondary education. During the year, SOUK has held numerous successful meetings and collaborated on reports.

The YPDG is a project aimed at integrating the perspectives of young people in the national policymaking process. SOUK established the group by recruiting from a diverse pool of young people across England and giving them a platform to regularly debate, create and present policy briefs. SOUK also guided, upskilled, and empowered these young people via monthly training sessions. Over the year, SOUK hosted 11 official events with YPDG members and collaborated with four Government departments.

In September 2021, SOUK partnered with the US Mission to NATO to produce five podcasts with speakers from the defence and security sector together with four short animations about NATO, and an educational programme delivered online and in person to teach young people more about NATO’s role. Feedback from schools indicated that both staff and students found the course and final session to be highly informative and engaging. This was demonstrated by the fact that before the programme, only 15 per cent of students either ‘Strongly agreed’ or ‘Agreed’ with the statement: ‘I understand what NATO does, both in its political and military branches.’ After the programme’s delivery, this number rose to 87 per cent.

The course and surveys were made accessible to over 1,000 secondary schools and colleges, as well as 10 universities from the SOUK network.

Extreme Measures Against Extremism

Also in 2021, SOUK developed an original programme in response to NATO’s call for proposals to increase societal resilience to extremism and misinformation. The programme consisted of a series of hackathons with 18–35-year-olds from 10 UK universities to develop strategies for countering the spread of disinformation online. Tabby Hayward of the Orwell Foundation, praised the programme for how it ‘encouraged participants to think deeply, creatively and critically about ways to prevent online disinformation.’

dscf0250That year, SOUK worked hard in continuing to promote its mission of political and media literacy for all to safeguard democracy in an age when mis/disinformation is becoming more commonplace. Further still, SOUK collaborated with the US Embassy to the UK to continue the podcast, Media Minded, for its second season. The first season of the podcast was created in 2020 to discuss and explain key media literacy topics. The second season went on to cover much more, looking at different conspiracy theories and other recent phenomena such as the INCEL community, with special guests each week discussing their experiences. Across all of SOUK’s social media channels, the podcast’s second season made approximately 3.3 million impressions.


SOUK has also done grassroots work to educate more people on political and media literacy. Working with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime on two occasions over the year, they have delivered their Media Literacy and Extremism Programme to young people in the London boroughs of Hillingdon, Havering, Bexley, Barnet, Wandsworth and Haringey.

This programme was also delivered to teachers in partnership with the JRSST Charitable Trust, to provide them with the skills to deliver their own political and media literacy education for students.

From September 2021 to December 2022, SOUK worked incredibly hard on a plethora of different projects and campaigns which all contributed to the mission of the organisation: to protect and amplify democracy.

SOUK’s CEO, Matteo Bergamini, says:

‘We at SOUK are committed to empowering young people, teachers, youth practitioners and parents to become active and engaged citizens.’

After reviewing the year that SOUK had, it is fair to say that they are standing by this commitment.


DISCLAIMER: The articles on our website are not endorsed by, or the opinions of Shout Out UK (SOUK), but exclusively the views of the author.