Book Reveal!

A powerful story of innocence, bravery, incredible strength, survival, and hope, against all odds.

Book Cover reveal! #RichieWhoCares

'Richie - Who Cares?' (Lost Childhood and a Boy's Journey for Justice)

Richie Barlow

with Becky Bond

Out 17th June 2022 to coincide with LGBTQ+ Pride Month

Richie Barlow is a published author, a child abuse survivor, a multi award-winning entrepreneur, and was named as an under 42 to watch by Yorkshire Insider magazine. He was born in Nottingham, lived in care and foster homes around the UK including Burnley and Durham, he started his business in Wetherby in Yorkshire and continues to grow it expanding across the UK, and lives in Teesside with his beloved husband Benjamin.

Richie's harrowing experience in the British care system, that he vowed to never let beat or break him, is documented in his memoirs 'Richie - Who Cares?' (Lost Childhood and a Boy's Journey for Justice) released in June 2022.

The emotional and powerful story is based on true events throughout Richie's life. The writing is hard hitting with graphic descriptions detailing what he endured as a boy who was left to fend for himself. He was outed as gay from a very young age, he was repeatedly abused and trafficked for sex as a child and let down by those who were supposed to protect and care for him.

Richie Barlow is to celebrate his 40th birthday in July, a landmark date he never thought he would reach. Many were the times – when struggling to survive a desperate childhood and adolescence – that he clinged to a dream of simply making it to the age of 22.

As a young innocent boy, Richie was abandoned by his abusive mother and stepfather and placed in an inadequate care system, he was sold into child prostitution and criminality while the state apparatus knowingly failed him. At the tender age of 9, he made a promise to himself to survive his ordeal and give himself the life he dreamt of and that he deserved like anyone else. Richie often turned to music and films as a way of escapism and without the love and hope shared by surrogate parents Pauline and Anna, Richie would have become just another tragic statistic.

Yet released back into the world with few coping strategies, he was determined to make his mark and have his mistreatment at the hands of the local authority recognised in order to bring about the change necessary so others would not have to experience the sort of tribulations, tragedy and sorrow he had.

Now in a loving relationship, married to Benjamin, a new family around him and an award- winning dog walking business he set up from the age of 22, Richie’s story is one of immense determination and inner strength against the longest odds. It is about hope, reclaiming the past and gaining justice. Harrowing yet uplifting, it is a must read.

Richie Barlow said: “There are some key people in my life without whose support and interventions I would not be here today. They were flickers of hope in my darkest and most desperate times and I cannot thank them enough for the kindness they showed me when others could not have cared less. My story shared in this book is dedicated to all who gave me hope and to those who, by the failures of adults and authorities, didn’t make it to tell their truths.”

Phil Caplan, co-director of Scratching Shed Publishing Ltd, said: “Understandably, when you read the incredible story of resilience that has been Richie’s life, there are very few pictures from his horrendous childhood. The one found, which shows a picture of innocent youth struggling to comprehend the goings on around him, and in the setting of a toy police car, could not be more apposite or resonant.”

Niall Paterson, Sky News said: “I am one of the lucky ones. My childhood was not without its ups and downs, of course. Skinned knees, bullies, broken hearts. But every time I fell, my mum and dad were there to pick me up. Our home was warm, literally and figuratively. Love was as abundant as food. My brother and I lacked neither, and we took for granted the attention and care that my parents lavished upon us. Mum and dad treated us this way because well – that’s just what parents do. The realisation that many parents don’t – that instead of care and attention, thousands of children are gifted little more than torture and anguish – came to me late. Most abuse happens not at the hands of the faceless predator with an unmarked van, but by people known to the victim, often their own family. Odds are you’ll have encountered an abuser. I am proud to know Richie, and even prouder to call him my friend. This is his story.”

Richie’s harrowing story of abusive and survival, ‘'Richie - Who Cares?' (Lost Childhood and a Boy's Journey for Justice) ghostwritten by Yorkshire based journalist and writer, Becky Bond, will be out and available to purchase from 17th June 2022 to coincide with LGBTQ+ Pride Month . To pre-order a copy head to Scratching Shed Publishing Ltd. It will also be available via Amazon. All pre-ordered copies will be personally signed.

More information about Richie Barlow can be found here.

For more information, images and media interviews, contact 0845 2590310


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