Discovering soup kitchens at 12 years old.

Here's a photo of a place I knew back then as 'The Dellow Centre' which is now called Providence Row. It's a little different to how it used to be back then in the 90's.
My friend Joanne one day said "Come on we're going to a soup kitchen".... at 12 years old and coming from Staffordshire the words 'Soup Kitchen' were alien to me back then.


It has a very different feel in there these days, as time progresses.
I actually back in there one day about ten years ago whilst squatting area, and it was nothing like how I'd remembered it yet they still continue to help the east end's homeless get food, clothes and shelter.

As I explain in my book, back then in 90's there were rows of London's old age pensioners from back in the war and Whitechapels homeless population.

After my time being kidnapped and all that, I used to come here when I slept in the west end before I'd discovered the other day centers such as London Connections.
I could turn up at 2am, press the buzzer and they'd give me a blanket, socks, toiletries and a cup of tea.
A great service for homeless people actually as almost all the day centres and practical support services throughout the UK are usually only open for a handful of hours each day at the most.

I often have to mention this, but for anyone thinking "Why are they giving stuff to a runaway kid" then please understand I was a good blagger and could even fool police and get through radio checks by the time I was 12, often sporting a fake accent.


You can find read some of my book at https://benwestwood.wixsite.com/runaway/sample-poems

For more info about Providence Row visit https://www.providencerow.org.uk/

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