I was delighted to be asked to review ‘Letting IT go’ the life story of our great friend and supporter Dame Stephanie Shirley or Steve as she is known, not least because she has lived a great life and has a great story to tell. The book is fascinating from a number of different perspectives.

It provides interesting insights into her very obvious business expertise, it was really no mean feat building up a highly successful computer programming business from the kitchen table.

However this achievement is all the more commendable for two remarkable reasons: she came to England with her sister on the Kindertrain a few weeks before the outbreak of the second world war speaking no English and not knowing anyone over here; and she built her business up whilst caring for her severely autistic son Giles.

For me the battles that she had to fight to make a decent life Giles make depressing reading mainly because I still see these battles going on for families even now. Steve talks about ‘letting go’ as the connecting theme of her life but for me the theme is more about pushing forward in the face of great adversity to make a difference.

It is an uplifting and inspirational story which everyone will enjoy.

Dianne Asher – Chief Executive, Wirral Autistic Society