Arlo Parks began working with UNICEF UK in 2021.
Writing for the 2021 State of the World’s Children report, Arlo expressed her passion for mental health, and UNICEF’s work on children’s mental health and psychosocial programmes all over the world. Much of Arlo’s songwriting and poetry draws on related themes.
Arlo performed at our inaugural Blue Moon Gala, at Outernet London on 8 December 2021, helping to raise over £700,000 for UNICEF on the night.
Just a few days after performing at Glastonbury Festival in June 2022, Arlo visited Chestnut Grove Academy in Balham, a school which had recently achieved Gold status in the UNICEF UK Rights Respecting Schools Award programme. Arlo spoke with groups of students about their rights and how they feel supported and listened to at school. The students were delighted to meet Arlo and showcase drama and music performances.
It was a privilege to visit the Rights Respecting School and see the work that UNICEF UK do. I saw a lot of empowered kids which was really beautiful to see…at the core of it was that they feel empowered, feel like they can be themselves, that their differences are celebrated, that they are listened to, and that they can be encouraged to pursue a life and a way of living and a way of expressing themselves that feels good to them.
Arlo Parks, 2022
I have lost friends to mental illness and watched them drown in an inky pit of darkness. I have also seen friends blossom and navigate their way towards the light with professional help and a loving, attentive support system. A mind filled with shame cannot grow and that is why I believe that deconstructing stigma, making mental health support accessible and building structures to support people, in particular vulnerable and marginalized groups, is essential. Queerness in particular should not mean guilt, it should not mean other. We must check up on each other, stand up for each other and banish shame from our vocabulary.
Arlo Parks is a BRIT Award and Mercury Award winning singer, songwriter and poet from London. In her world, words are as useful as photographs. Luscious, expressive vignettes pepper the poetic lyrics in her sweet, ruminative indie pop songs. She’s inspired by an eclectic mix of artists from Radiohead to Portishead, and Sufjan Stevens to Solange.
Help protect children from the crisis in East Africa
Escalated by the war in Ukraine, the relentless drought, and soaring food prices, crisis is building and children in East Africa are caught in the middle.
Millions of children are going hungry. Without access to nutritious food and safe water, more than 2 million children across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia need urgent treatment for severe acute malnutrition.