Beverley Livingstone is the epitome of positivity and is often seen walking around the streets of Dunedin with eight dogs in her care – Pippin, Charlie, Tina, Tommy, Friendly, Simeon, Maizey and Zoe. Five dogs belong to her friend, Jude, and Beverley owns the other three.
Beverley is a survivor who has faced many challenges in her lifetime including domestic violence. Despite living with a brain injury from the violence, Beverley lives a full and active life and works to support others.
Her bubbly personality is infectious and her tenacity to always see the bright side of life is wonderful. Her love of dogs keeps her physically active and walking them in her community helps to expand the social connections she loves.
Her friendship with Jude goes back to when she was a caregiver for Jude’s mother, Esmae.
“Esmae and I used to go to the Caversham Presbyterian Church community lunch where we connected with Stepping Stones members who were also going to the lunch. We were then kindly invited to join in with the group when they were going on bus trips and other outings.”
Esmae has now passed away but Beverley maintains her involvement with the Stepping Stones group.
“I go along on a Sunday after Church and we have a natter and share some fun and laughter. It helps me to understand more about mental illness and the people are just so neat!”
What is Stepping Stones?
It’s a Family Works day programme working alongside clients who are facing mental health challenges. By coming to Stepping Stones they gain skills, learn how to make informed decisions, and are connected with their wider community.