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  • Writer's pictureBen Westwood

The life of a street kid from care. A presentation for youth workers, foster parents and society.

The other day I did a sort of presentation on Youtube around the events of my life from my book Poems From a Runaway. For those that don't already know, in a nutshell I was a runaway from the midlands living on the streets of London from 12 years old and whilst missing nearly always from foster care and children's homes.

There's a lot of experiences within those stories that I'd like to share which I don't feel get voiced when it comes to hearing about life on the streets. For many it can be a different experience than many others perceive and presume. I decided to do one presentation and hadn't planned it well in advance enough, but I'll put a link to my next one at the very bottom of the page for people to click the 'notify me' tab on the Youtube video. (Blog continued below video)

With no sense of bitterness intended whatsoever, the whole journey of writing, self-publishing, promoting and selling my book has been a much more difficult task than I'd ever imagined from the start. Like I said, I'm seriously past the bitterness, but the whole story in itself has taught me how suppressed the voice really is of under-privileged children and young people in the UK.

I guess the message here is , we're all human beings and not having the clear-cut path to understanding the world and seeing things in a different way sometimes is not always a bad thing. Unfortunately though, many of those angles or insights from people such as myself are too often instantly disregarded and undervalued in a 'what would they know' mentality, which is a stigma I'd like to do my little bit to help break.

But for those working with children and young people, I also talk about some of the potential mental health effects of my runaway experiences as well as my time in care in a way that tries to say it as light, authentic and connective as possible.

I'm hoping that my videos speak up for more care leavers, young offenders and the homeless and helps give a difference perception of them than is often portrayed either by the media or by the more shocking stories we get to hear about which doesn't truly reflect the overall scope of things.

If you'd like to come along and join my next talk and Q&A on Youtube ( Wed 9th August 7pm) and listen, ask questions and contribute to the discussion, then you can get notified via Youtube by clicking the 'notify me' tab on the video below. Hopefully see some of you there! Thanks for reading. Peace :)

You can also get notified on Facebook at

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