COUNTY care charity ELCAP celebrated its 30th birthday with a party in Prestonpans.

The Lighthouse Hub hosted the event with a buffet, guest speakers and local musicians.

Even microphone problems and a broken slideshow couldn’t dampen the mood as the birthday bash opened with two pipers from Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band.

Bette Francis, member of the ELCAP board, hosted the event, introducing the speakers: chief executive Paul White, ward councillor Fiona O’Donnell, and lastly a moving testimony from fellow board member Kirstin Doherty.

Paul White, who was appointed chief executive five months ago, started the talks by outlining the importance that ELCAP played within communities, a point that was reiterated by guest speaker Councillor Fiona O’Donnell.

The final speaker, Kirstin Doherty, a member of the ELCAP board, has been supported by the charity since 2016. Her speech closed off the formal side of the event and she outlined how ELCAP had helped her move out of her parents’ house, go on holiday and gain more independence.

“They have helped me achieve more than I ever thought possible,” she concluded.

Kirstin, along with Ms O’Donnell and Bette Francis, then proceeded to cut the cake to a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ from the guests.

Attending the event was Linda Headland, the first chief executive of ELCAP in 1989, a position she held until 2014.

“It’s always good to know that you can leave something in good hands,” she said.

“When ELCAP started, we always believed that it was about giving people a life, not just an existence, and that still stands to this day.

“It’s all about finding new ways to bring people in to the community.”

The charity, which is based in Prestonpans, will be hosting two other events this year to celebrate its 30th birthday, including one in June at the Scottish Parliament.