As we enter 2024 we can take the opportunity to take stock of all that has happened in 2023, around the world, nationally, locally and personally.  

The year 2023 brought with it a lot of positivity and opportunity such as the expansion of AI and other technological advances and COP28 uniting leaders in calling for all countries to move away from using fossil fuels.

The year brought some change as well, Scotland now has a new First Minister and a new Scottish Government for the first time since 2014.  

But 2023 also brought with it some bad as well.

The war in Ukraine continues to cause incredible pain and suffering to ordinary civilians, whilst the conflict between Israel and Palestine has reignited in the worst way imaginable.

While many of us may have our own wishes for 2024, I am sure we are all united in hoping for peace across the globe.  

I also want to take the time to thank those who sacrifice their festive celebrations each year so that we are able to enjoy ours; from the servicemen fighting oversees, to our emergency service operators standing ready to help at a moment’s notice.

And the NHS staff in our hospitals to the police officers on our streets; the brave firefighters and the selfless care workers; and of course the retail staff who work tirelessly during this busy season keeping our shelves stocked and shops open.

Thank you for your incredible work this year and every other year.