I’m a supporter of two main charities:
1) Planned Parenthood and
2) MIND - the mental health charity
All sales of print copies of my book of poetry, “Love Poems for people who don’t like being in love” contribute $1 towards Planned Parenthood because I truly believe it is to society’s own gain to ensure that women have access to the reproductive health protection and support they need for free. Being able to look after our bodies is paramount. Being able to decide whether or not to have children is also pivotal to a healthy society. Having control over reproductive health is vital to the health of the world. That’s just my opinion but I stand by it wholeheartedly.
As for mental health, I believe it should be considered as important as physical health. These days you wouldn’t dream of coaching a successful tennis player without coaching them on their mindset. So why do we not help people in day to day life have a healthy way of thinking that improves their life and indeed their physical health as well? These things are intertwined and as an artist in what can sometimes feel like a hostile and silent world when it comes to maintaining good mental health, I think this is an important cause to support. No-one can succeed and be happy without it. And we all have a right to be happy.
In light of that, I set up a challenge for myself in January 2018 to make a video every day to combat the low feeling that January in the UK can inflict - speaking for myself primarily - but to focus on bringing creative work to the forefront of fighting back against feeling low or fearful, or anxious. I called it ‘Beat the January Blues’ and by posting a daily video on YouTube, I sought to raise awareness about mental health, the charity MIND and the importance of art in living a happier life.
I have also discussed these issues to a greater or lesser extent in some of the podcasts I’ve been on - a couple of which are linked on this page, along with a resource page for Mental Health support.
I’m also not a fan of injustice and double-standards so when I noticed that Vivienne Westwood was running a campaign called “Politicians R Criminals”, I couldn’t resist going and performing my song about the MPs expenses scandal (where members of parliament charged things like a duck pond for their second home or some “adult entertainment” viewing on TV in a hotel room to the taxpayer) by way of solidarity. Vivienne even took the time to write a letter to me in response (hence the quotation of hers on my homepage).