After successfully self-publishing the first edition of Poems From a Runaway, obviously I was buzzin! So I set about learning how to market my book and always knew I had to get it out to social workers and missing children's charities - so I went on a mad one via email. I've sent out well over a thousand emails to numerous charities and social work agencies as well as homeless support hubs and youth workers and even local newspapers.
A big thanks to the Sunday Mercury (Birmingham Mail) for doing a piece on me. (I can't actually find it, sorry)
Whilst waiting in the Chinese for my chips, rice and curry sauce tray - I saw this -
Apart from those two local Staffordshire newspapers, one of the first people to respond back to me was a woman called Natasha from a site called 'Researching Reform', where I shared some of my story with her which you can view by clicking here.
I then entered the world of Twitter, and was somewhat welcomed it's world by my first two supporters - Steve and Caroline. I immediately learned about missing persons charities in the UK as well as campaign groups such as 'Damien's law'.
I then spoke to a lovely woman called Claire from a charity called 'Respect Yourself' whom recommended that I share my story through Twitter - and so I did - and I think it helped gain some valuable followers. I then did another blog piece with the charity 'Missing People' which you can read here, as well as sharing my story with the actor Jason Watkins for a Missing People fundraiser appeal he was presenting on Radio 4. You listen to the appeal by clicking here.
I'd also emailed 'Become Charity' which back when I was a kid was called 'Who Cares' Magazine.
I actually entered a poem I wrote when living in a children's home and won the under 13's competition.
Below is the interview I did for one their latest editions.
I think it was again through 'Missing People' that I was contacted to contribute towards the following show with presenter Sarah Brett on Radio 5 whom was also interviewing MP Ann Coffey about children in care being moved miles away from their home counties.
I was then around that time - contacted by 'Missing Children Europe' and invited to read my book and share with experiences with them at a conference on runaways at European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.
Poems From a Runaway is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poems-runaway-story-Ben-Westwood/dp/1981314350
Or colour and personally signed copies available from the 'My Book' page on this site.
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