Scout Interviews Retired Police Officer, Now Local Writer / Artist
Local talents should be shown to one and all and this was the task for Stephen Avis undertook on behalf of Luton Scouts via Zoom.
Local writer and artist Annita Clarke, upon leaving the Bedfordshire Police, exercised her talents with both paintbrush and pen to realise a dream shared by many. Her first novel tells the story of a girl, and her difficulties growing up in a single-parent family, who as a teenager had to overcome prejudice and bullying.
How much of her life influenced the story line in the book, called “Abbie Carter, Collisions of Minds”, asked Stephen. Annita confirmed that she took a lot from her early life in Manchester with a mother whose relationship was extremely fraught, as she explained that they were extremely poor and she was deaf as a child.
Stephen asked Annita about her time in the Police, rising to the rank of Inspector with skills which included training female officers in Tajikistan, Crisis and Suicide Intervention Officer, Hostage Negotiator and Firearms Commander. Annita was also awarded the title ‘International Police Woman of the Year 2013’ beating officers globally.
“You worked closely with our own James Hinkins on the Police Badge, how did it feel to give back to Scouting?” questioned Stephen.
Annita explained that her son and daughter became very involved in Scouting. In fact, her daughter is now a Scout Leader. “I had an idea about the police and scouts working in partnership to provide a positive message to children and enable them to make informed decisions should they be approached by people wanting them to courier drugs or get involved in violence”.
Concluding, Annita explained that Scouting provides positive interests for young boys and girls. It provides useful Life Skills in a safe environment and those skills will remain with them for ever. Working in teams, communication, respect and the hierarchy of relationships are all essential for later life. Being a scout is like being part of a family.
Stephen took on the challenge of the interview following a Luton Scouts Young Spokes Person Training Course and later joining the Luton Scouts Media Team.
Media Manager Gerald Law explained “We give young people an opportunity to develop themselves and their confidence to face challenges that life presents, both in and out of Scouting. Taking on this task enabled Stephen to produce the questions which he put to Annita. This gave us a more personal response from her and an excellent interview which can be watched or read in full on the Luton Scouts Website: https://www.lutonscouts.org.uk/heritage/luton-scout-videos ”
Annita is rightly proud of her book which can be brought from Amazon: “Abbie Carter, Collisions Of Minds” by Annita Clarke.