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.

 

Mary Mullen

A volunteer hairdresser for 15 years, Braeside House resident, Mary Mullen, still enjoys having her weekly cut and finish at the Braeside House salon.

Mary, aged 97, moved into Braeside House last year from her flat in Edinburgh’s South Side where she lived for nearly 30 years after retiring from her lifelong career as a nurse.

Now the great-grandmother of eight enjoys her weekly pampering session, visits from her family and friends, and taking part in Braeside’s daily activities.

“It’s wonderful to have a hairdressers salon just upstairs. It makes a big difference to me to be able to have my hair cut without having to leave Braeside. I was a volunteer hairdresser at my local community centre for many years, so I like to keep my hair looking its best,” said Mary.

As well as making use of the on-site facilities, Mary enjoys taking part in Braeside’s daily activities – especially armchair bowling and the quiz.

“I used to bowl in a mixed team for many years. We had tournaments indoors during the winter,” she said.

“The staff have adapted the bowling here so that I can do it from my chair. Of course we’ve all lost some or all of our sight so we aim for a big drum and use our hearing as a guide. I do quite well!

“I always enjoy the quiz, I go to bible study and they often have music concerts for us. There’s always something to do.”   

Born in Shotts, Mary moved to Edinburgh aged 17 to train as a nurse. At 64 she decided to retire to spend time with her family and see more of the world.

She travelled to Canada with a friend and spent a month exploring the country and celebrating her retirement.

 “I was sorry to leave my colleagues but I was excited too,” she said. “When I got home from Canada I bumped into another nurse, Maureen, outside Marks and Spencer on Princes Street. She said ‘Mullen, you lucky blighter!’ – not long after I left the hospital decided that nurses should retire at 60. I was lucky to have stayed on as long as I did.”

Colourful collages of Mary’s travels as well as photos of her family and friends and her bowling team, adorn on her bedroom wall.

 “My daughter made those for me when I moved in,” she said. “I lived in West Richmond Street for 29 and a half years, but my health and sight have started to deteriorate. I moved to Braeside house on 28 June 2016.

 “I’m very happy here. It’s the little things like being able to have your hair cut every week that make a big difference. The staff are just wonderful, they can’t do enough for you and I’ve plenty of friends. You go to the dining room and there’s always someone to talk to. But if you don’t want to socialise you can have privacy in your own room.

“The best thing is knowing there’s always someone nearby to help if you need it. It really feels like home to me.”

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