Double Grammy Award nominee, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize winning musician/poet Arlo Parks has been made a UNICEF UK High Profile Supporter, elevating her support of the charity and commitment to protecting the rights of children around the world.
Arlo Parks has supported The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) since 2021, when she performed at UNICEF UK’s inaugural Blue Moon Gala at Outernet London in December which raised over £750,000 for children caught up in emergencies around the world. Arlo also wrote a short piece for UNICEF’s report State of the World’s Children 2021: On My Mind, focusing on children’s mental health.
In her first appearance as a UNICEF UK High Profile Supporter Arlo Park’s visited a secondary school in London, Balham, which has recently been awarded Gold in UNICEF UK’s nation-wide Rights Respecting Schools Award.
Students at the school were delighted to meet Arlo Parks, who visited fresh from performances at Glastonbury Festival last week. The musician/poet watched theatrical and musical performances, before reflecting with students and teachers on the importance of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Arlo Parks, UNICEF UK High Profile Supporter, said: "I feel so proud to be involved with UNICEF UK and continue my journey with them as a High Profile Supporter. 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, and it was really interesting to see how different rights meant different things to different students.
“But I think 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.”
The nearly 5,000 participating schools create safe and inspiring places for students to learn, which put children’s rights at the heart of education. Over 1.6 million children attend a Rights Respecting school in the UK, with the award this year celebrating 15 years of empowering students to put their rights into practice every day.
A student at the school said: “I think one of the key rights is the right to be yourself. I think it’s important to be yourself because it shows who you really are on the inside and outside, because if you’re not being yourself, you’re basically copying others.”
A student at the school said: “I also like the right to education. I think school gives you the opportunity to socialise, to learn and to express yourself. This school has so many clubs and subjects that we feel included. I feel like school is what has made me happy in general.”
Frankie Matthews, Teacher, said: “We’re so thrilled that Arlo Parks visited our students, and has inspired them even further to express their views and be themselves. We’re incredibly proud to be a Gold Rights Respecting School and can see the positive impact it has on our students. For us our sense of duty as teachers comes from understanding these rights and understanding how to help the children to feel empowered.”