A 24 year-old Edinburgh woman who is blind has recorded a beautifully poignant Christmas carol to raise money for the sight loss charity that has helped her to lead an independent life.

Amy Gilbert, originally from Kent but now resident in the capital, has put her version of the hymn ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ online and invited those who listen to make a donation to the Royal National Institute of Blind People Scotland.

Amy GilbertAmy, herself, has been blind since birth due to the eye condition retinopathy of prematurity.

“I’ve loved singing since I was two or three,” she said. “I’ve sung in school and church choirs since I was ten. Music is such a wonderful thing, it was my way of escaping when I was a child. Whenever I felt alone, music was always my comfort. I know there will be people who are alone this Christmas and I want to reach out to them with this song. Plus it’s a very traditional song and most people will know it.

“Christmas has always meant so much to me. I had quite a turbulent childhood, but no matter what was going on my mum always made Christmas special for us.

“I’ve been in a recording studio a few times in the last 11 years, and made my first CD of covers when I was 13. It was awful – but my nan still insists it’s brilliant! I record my own covers now on my computer and put them on Soundcloud. They’re not professionally mixed but I enjoy doing it and people seem to like them.”

Whatever people donate to RNIB Scotland after hearing her song, they will be helping people who have been born with sight problems or who are losing their sight now, emphasises Amy.

“RNIB has helped me by providing the Talking Books service and lots of products for independent living over the years. I’d like to give back a bit. To everyone, with music you are never alone!”

Link to Amy singing ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ on Soundcloud, the online audio-distribution platform –  https://soundcloud.com/amygilbert12/in-the-bleak-midwinter-cover