Welcome to the website of
Author, writer, poet, musician and beadmaker.
Ben Westwood (Staffordshire, UK) is a writer, author, musician, poet, and beadmaker.
Being a former child runaway and young person in care, his book Poems From a Runaway details his accounts of life as a child runaway living rough on the streets of London whilst missing from foster care and children's homes. (Scroll down for more info)
As well as also writing Welcome To Leatheton (The first of a fictional poetry series) Ben also designs and handcrafts his own beads using polymer clay which you can find by visiting the shop.
I've written a poem for a Quentin Blake drawing for his exhibition 'Gifted' at The Foundling Museum, London - 25th June to 26th September 2021. More info HERE.
Follow the real-life accounts of a runaway child living on the streets of London whilst going missing from care.
A non-fiction novel-in-poetry.
"A truly emotive read. Humour is used to bridge a gap to what is a difficult life to imagine without having been there yourself. There is no pretence, there is no ego and supplies a heartfelt account of life on the streets. Recommended."
Poems From a Runaway was written and self-published by Ben Westwood in 2017 and is available to buy on amazon or as a personalise signed copy from this website.
More than just a book of poems, it is in fact his childhood story of being a runaway from ten years old and living rough on the streets of London. It's sort of a novel, in poetry.
Written from the perspective of the then-young, naïve and upbeat runaway child, he explains as a young person from an unsettled background why he made many of the choices that he did. He also takes the reader on his journey through the care system, including foster care and children's homes.
From hitch-hiking across the midlands from ten years old, to living among both Central London's and it's East End's homeless. Fake accents, dangerous moments, beautiful souls and comedic times from a teenage runaway posing as an homeless adult.
In June 2018, he was invited to read some of his book and share his experiences at a conference on runaways at European Parliament in Brussels alongside the European Parliament Children's Rights Manifesto group and Missing Children Europe.
Not too long after he collaborated with 'To The Moon And Back Fostering' to present talks with social work students and lecturers as well as foster carers at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge - He then went on to share his childhood journey with social work and safeguarding providers around the country.
"Fantastic insight to what it's like for a child running away from care! Written with humour and a real good read!! Would thoroughly recommend it!! Brilliant book!" - Amazon review
"Reading this book was a life changing experience. ..really opened my eyes about the rough life of the people living on the streets" - Amazon review
Personalised signed copies of Poems From a Runaway are available from my online shop by clicking here
"Fantastic book. A true and moving account of a young boys start in life, as a past foster carer this brought tears to my eyes." - Amazon Review
About the author
Ben Westwood was born in 1985 in Cannock, Staffordshire before moving to the nearby small former-mining town of Rugeley.
From the age of ten years old he was running away from home and going missing from days to weeks at a time whilst sleeping rough and wandering around the county and surrounding areas.
He spent his teenage years from twelve years old bouncing between the streets of London and care placements across Staffordshire including children's homes and foster parents around the Rugeley, Cannock, Lichfield, Tamworth, Burntwood and Aldridge areas among other places.
In 2016 he wrote his childhood story 'Poems From a Runaway' and self-published it a year later which he now reads to social workers, at safeguarding events and with missing children's charities.
In 2021, he re-started his handcrafted beads venture which you can find out more on his online shop at https://www.benwestwooduk.com/available-items