Monday, December 6, 2021
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Book review: Releasing the Compassion by Farsley’s Annie Dransfield

Book review by Paul Abraham

“We can be Heroes, just for one day,” sang David Bowie. However, carers are and have to be heroes every single day.

Being a carer has no set working hours, it is a 24/7 role which can be a stressful and lonely existence where you come across more challenges than you expect and from sources you least expected. Thankfully there has now been a book written by a carer for carers which highlights the complex difficulties a carer may face and gives common sense clear advice on how a carer can seek help.

Farsley resident Annie Dransfield has created something very special and unique with her book “Releasing the Compassion”. She brilliantly incorporates her own experiences with a work book, tool kit, and clear advice sections in one very highly readable and informative book.

This is THE book that gives carers the confidence and knowledge to ask questions when faced with the many issues un-responsive service providers throw at them, whether this is financial or administrative arising from a lack of understanding or confusing and conflicting procedures within the same organisation.

Although it is sad to read that there are still many financial and social injustices with regard to obtaining allowances and benefits advice, it is also a relief to acknowledge that society behaviour and attitudes have changed with the use of derogatory terms such as “Spastic” now, thankfully consigned to history and the correct termonology “Cerebal Palsy” being used.

Each chapter will have the carer/reader nodding their head and saying “yes that’s happened/happening to me, finally someone understands”, and realising that there is a way to have things changed and/or improved.

Certain chapters will be more beneficial and informative to different people but I would like to highlight chapter five (Carers’ Qualities and Skills) and chapter seven (Engaging with Agencies).

Chapter five includes the experiences of other carers which is illuminating and also lists the many and varied roles a carer has to take on. It gives you food for thought as the list demonstrates what a carer is, the knowledge required and person skills needed to cope on a daily basis, every day.

The issues and barriers faced by carers within chapter seven and how to deal and overcome these hurdles is worthy of a publication on it’s own.

The information and advice is explained clearly and is easy to understand and it makes you wonder why service providers are unable or unwilling to explain procedures in this way, instead of the reader having to check their dictionaries for word meanings or Latin terminology as I have to do on many occasions!

The section explaining the House of Commons motion, in regard to Annie going to the press regarding her frustrating and time-consuming dispute with her bank, due to having a dual username to help both her and her son manage his money easier is an insite to a world few of us will ever step in to, but if we have to, then we have a book which explains everything perfectly.

This is a MUST BUY publication for anyone who is a carer or may become a carer in the future, but also for anyone who wants to see exactly what a carers life and the person they care for has to experience on a sadly too regular a basis.

The book is avaiable from the wonderful independent book shop Truman Books on Farsley Town Street and can also be obtained from Amazon in paperback and also on Amazon KDP, Barnes & Noble, Booktopia and Smashwords while Waterstones will also be stocking it in the very near future.

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