03 / 06 / 20
Parliamentors alumni Austyn Close helped launch ‘Remember Me’, a digital memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. We interviewed him to explore more about its impact during the pandemic
Could you introduce yourself and tell us how you’ve previously been involved in The Faith & Belief Forum?
I’m Austyn Close, a Northern Irish professional working in London. I’ve lived in the capital since 2015 when I decided to move for my studies. I graduated in 2018 with a degree in International Relations and History from SOAS University of London. Since then, I’ve been working as a Communications Consultant at international agency, Newgate Communications.
I was a Faith & Belief Forum ParliaMentor finalist during the academic year of 2017/2018. It was a privilege to be selected and meet a wide range of people and professionals.
What’s Remember Me all about? How are you involved?
Remember Me is a very special and emotive campaign. Run by St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the initiative comes as a response to those families suffering as a result of COVID-19. It’s a digital book of remembrance which immortalises the memory of those who are unfortunately no longer with us due to the pandemic. My agency supported the launch, and it’s great that so many organisations and notable people support Remember Me’s efforts – including Sir Lloyd Dorfman and HRH The Prince of Wales.
Why do you think Remember Me is important?
It’s important to remember times like these. We all hope that we will never have to endure a situation with such monumental international repercussions again. But for now, what we can do is try and remember all those taken before their time. If enough donations are received, the long-term goal is to create a physical memorial at St. Paul’s Cathedral for people from across the country to pay pilgrimage to. If that becomes a reality, it will be a fantastic thing to have achieved. That’s a powerful message for everyone.
How can people of all faiths and beliefs get involved?
What’s wonderful about Remember Me is that regardless of faith or none at all, the digital remembrance book welcomes everyone. It’s truly a level playing field for all walks of life to unite and remember their loved ones collectively. Remember Me has already received thousands of registrations from all Christian denominations which is fantastic within its short infancy.
Tell us about your ParliaMentors experience – has it impacted your career or the way you approach your work?
I always had a strong work ethic but ParliaMentors helped me to expand my network of contacts and work collaboratively with others in an entirely different context. It was a vital step in understanding the world beyond the confines of university by working with local community organisations and Members of Parliament. The programme encouraged me to go beyond my traditional circles and manage projects more effectively.
Thankyou Austyn Close for your time!
You can discover more about the Remember Me digital campaign via the links below:
10 / 09 / 20
10 / 09 / 20