A BRAVE schoolgirl who has undergone multiple surgeries will get Tranent in the festive spirit on Sunday.

Charlotte Haynes, who celebrates her fifth birthday on Saturday, will turn the lights on after being selected by the town’s community council.

Sam Haynes, Charlotte’s mum, was looking forward to what would be a busy weekend.

She told the Courier: “We just got a letter through the door that somebody had nominated us to switch on the Christmas lights.

“She got picked out of all the people that were nominated. We did not know anything about it and it came as a complete surprise.

“It is a complete honour to be nominated, never mind picked.

“Charlotte is excited but she does not really understand.

“The school are helping, they have got buttons connected to toys and are getting her to do countdowns and hitting the button.

“I’m really excited. We are completely honoured and shocked – it is just amazing.”

Entertainment will be provided by Ross High School Brass Band, Cluster of Churches, and Clark Community Choir.

The music starts at about 5pm, with the lights switched on scheduled for 5.30pm on the town’s Winton Place.

Charlotte is in P1 at Tranent’s Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School and attends The Hub at the school.

She was born with spina bifida – where an unborn baby’s spine and spinal cord do not develop properly – and hydrocephalus, when there is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the brain.

Sam told the Courier her daughter had delays in learning and used sign language until she was three years old because she could not speak.

Charlotte – who has two sisters, 15-year-old Hayley and six-year-old Alissa – has had four brain surgeries and two spinal surgeries.

Her mum described her as “really bubbly and determined” and was looking forward to the event.

The annual switch on is organised by Tranent and Elphinstone Community Council and everyone is welcome.

David Forrest, community council chairman, said each year the community council looked to find someone deserving to put the lights on.

He said: “All we can hope for is some half-decent, dry weather on the night.”