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Launch of new book plus competition time…


Hi my name is Ben Westwood and I’m a former child runaway and a care leaver.

I first ran away from home when I was nine years old and by ten I was going missing for days, sometimes weeks at a time whilst walking to surrounding towns and villages – sleeping rough in parks and public toilets. I then went into foster care and stopped running away, until one-day social services moved me away from my respite foster parents with just a few hours’ notice. I wasn’t very happy in my new foster home and started running away again. When I was twelve years old I got on a series of trains and travelled 140 miles into London and would sleep rough in doorways and explore the city. I spent most of my teenage years doing that.

I have many many memories from my years in London whilst going missing from the numerous foster placements and children’s homes that I’ve lived in. All of which I’ve documented in a book that I self-published in late 2017 called Poems From a Runaway.

Learning how to self-publish as well as the task itself led my book being serious under-promoted. Sure I let a few services know but in hindsight I see I haven’t let enough of you know about this book. Nevertheless, it was great to share my experience at European Parliament with Missing Children EU – which was actually my first and only ever time outside of the UK.

Since then I’ve also shared my story to social worker, social work students and foster parents at a number of venues across the country including social work conferences and universities. I could go on forever about explaining the book to you and why you should read it, and how surprisingly upbeat yet still shocking it is – but the best thing to do is go direct to my website to find out more and read some of it at https://benwestwood.wixsite.com/runaway

It’s actually already free to download if you’re signed up to Kindle Unlimited and it’s also available from Amazon in paperback. You can find the eBook and paperback on Amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1981314350

I also sell personally signed colour version for a little bit extra from my website – https://benwestwood.wixsite.com/runaway 


This year I’m launching an international poetry competition for children in care.

Two winners will receive a £50 Amazon voucher and up to ten runners up will receive a £10 Amazon voucher as well as getting their poetry published online for the world to see. This poetry is contest is open to anyone young person in the care system that can send their poem via a registered social worker.

For more information on the children in care poetry contest visit https://benwestwood.wixsite.com/runaway/blog/2019-international-poetry-competition-for-children-in-care

Massive thanks for reading this and I look forward to reading and reviewing some inspirational poems from young people in care across the world.

Ben Westwood

Author of Poems From a Runaway

You can contact me directly with any questions at benwestwooduk@gmail.com

And connect with me on Twitter @PoemsFaRunaway


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