Jenni Milne, a CCL member, published her first children's book, "Jim the Lonely Pangolin", after a personal journey of recovery and creativity.
CCL takes huge pride in its team. We’re not just talking incredible technical talent here or experts who are blazing a trail in forensic science, but some really amazing people too, outside not just inside the workplace: from charity fundraiser to military reservist, cider maker to football ref. And now we can count a bona fide children’s author among our ranks. Step forward, Jenni Milne.
Jenni’s first book – Jim the Lonely Pangolin – was published last month and we immediately wanted to speak to Jenni about it because it’s such a fantastic achievement and she’d kept it very quiet!
What unfolded was an equally remarkable, very personal story, and she told it so well that here it is, in her own words:
“I didn’t tell anyone it was something that I was doing at all in case it never happened. But since the publication (which was 29/12/2023) I have returned to work and told people my news. The level of support/congratulations/praise from everyone here has been really lovely.
It is something that I have always wanted to do and always said I would do. As a child I loved to read (still do when I get the chance) and was always writing stories and rhymes. I also love art and do a lot of sketching in my free time.
Unfortunately, just after I started working at CCL, I suffered a severe injury and was off work long-term, unable to do anything. My recovery has been extremely tough – but as well as the on-going support from CCL I also received a new A3 sketchpad as a gift, in the hope it would bring back some positivity.
That’s where the book began. I needed a focus and a project to get me through and the idea for Jim slowly emerged. I wrote the story and then decided to put it in my sketchpad, creating the drawings around it.
It took a lot of time and effort to complete, mostly due to the injury. But I was determined to do something whilst I couldn’t do anything. Overall, it’s probably taken me two years to complete.
It has also always been something that I have wanted my nan to see me achieve, so in August 2023 I decided to try and get it from the darkness of the cupboard and into actual book form, before she reaches her 92nd birthday.
Last week I was able to take it and read it with her and it was the best achievement ever. Now I just want to see it bring joy to children who love to read and know that it might be helping someone somewhere instead of being left unread in my cupboard!”
Wow. Not sure we can add much more to that other than to say how proud we are of Jenni, and, more selfishly, how pleased we are to have her back in the Mobile Device lab!
Jim the Lonely Pangolin is available on Amazon now.