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.
This year I’m launching an international poetry competition for children in care.
2 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.
Huge thanks to anyone sharing this out or reviewing the book to help more people find out about it.
Author of Poems From a Runaway