From poverty to poetry

Annarita came to the Centre at a very low point in her life but has come a long way since then and is now is an author.

Annarita arrived at the Cardinal Hume Centre 15 years ago. She was 20 years old and had nowhere to turn.  She came to the UK from Spain where she had been brought up in an orphanage.  When she arrived she got a job as a chambermaid in a hotel in Bayswater where she was also provided with a room to stay. However, when she lost her job she lost her home and it was the Cardinal Hume Centre that provided the support she needed to pick up the threads of her life once more.

“I came to the drop in for young people which was like a youth club where you could have coffee and talk to other people of your age.  I didn’t know anyone or have any friends of my own at the time.  The Cardinal Hume Centre gave me people to support me when I didn’t have many friends and provided me with the stability and advice I needed,”  said Annarita.

Annarita's book“The staff were very kind and let me use the laundry and helped me to find a new job.  They had one computer then, not like now, but it was really great.  I could also use the phone which was really useful for looking for a job.”

The Centre now has a full computer room that we use (among other things) for a job club on Mondays and Wednesdays.

“I came to the Centre for about 5 years on and off and am really grateful that it was there for me.  I started writing poetry about 5 years ago and wanted to write a poem about the Centre as a way of thank you,” she added.

Annarita now lives in Stoke Newington has published 2 books of poetry, including Life is a Sword, Keep Fighting, under the name Starlite. She is also working on a novel based on her life experiences which she hopes to finish later this year. Her poem below is dedicated to the Centre.



Cardinal Hume Centre

“Not much help

When release from court

I went to this centre

And they gave me support


They offer accommodation

And provide loads of groups

They are god’s leaders

We are the troupes!


They belong to church

And they try very hard

To keep me out of trouble

Honesty is their ‘ace card’


They talked to me

They gave me advice

They try to help

Yes, they are very nice!”