Braeside House

81 Liberton Brae
Edinburgh EH16 6LE
Tel: 0131 270 3020

enquiries.braeside@royalblind.org

 

 

Jenny's Well

196 Hawkhead Road
Paisley PA2 7BS

Tel: 0141 370 7950

enquiries.jennyswell@royalblind.org

 

 

Braeside House and Jenny's Well are part of the national charity Royal Blind, charity number SC017167.

 

Evelyn Stephen

After learning to play the piano as a student of the Royal Blind School, Evelyn Stephen still has a talent for tickling the ivories.

Evelyn laughs with support worker BarrieThe 74-year-old keeps residents and staff entertained as she plays songs completely from memory.

Evelyn joined Braeside House in December 2016 from social housing in Leith.

She said: “I was in hospital when I got the call to say that I would be able to move to Braeside House. I was so happy because I really wanted a place. I moved straight in and loved it straight away. The staff can’t do enough for you and I have plenty of friends and people to talk to here.

“I’m blind from birth so I appreciate having specially adapted facilities. I didn’t realise Braeside House was run by Royal Blind until I came to live here. I was very pleased to learn that.”  

Evelyn grew up in Granton, Edinburgh. A pupil of the Royal Blind School’s former Craigmillar campus, she had an action-packed extracurricular schedule, spending her free time in the Girl Guides, Scouts and horse-riding.

Whilst many of her close friends came from all over Scotland, Evelyn’s family home was close by, so she would take her friends home with her at the weekend.

“Whenever someone was homesick I would say, ‘why don’t you come home with me?’. My mother was always cooking dinner for one of my school friends.

“I enjoyed my time at the Royal Blind School. They set you up for life. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed a mainstream school quite as much.” 

After leaving the Royal Blind School, Evelyn became involved with her local chaplaincy for more than 40 years, playing the piano and helping out where she could.

An animal lover, she had six guide dogs in her lifetime, although she no longer needs their help to navigate.

Today, her favourite activities at Braeside House are bowling and the weekly quizzes.

She said: “There’s always something going on here or something to do. I’ve done a spot of bowling in the past so I enjoy the challenge of attempting it from my armchair. There’s also bible study, a newspaper reading session and they organise outings and entertainment for us.

“It’s lovely to play piano in the lounge. I’m a little rusty but the songs soon come back to you!”

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