COMMUNITY groups are supporting residents – and the county’s newspaper – by buying copies of the Courier and distributing them to people stuck at home.

Couriers are being delivered to 280 North Berwick residents who are unable to leave their homes due to coronavirus shielding thanks to a new support fund to help people in the town.

While in Haddington, the town’s Rotary Club this week purchased 150 copies to deliver to residents in lockdown in their town.

North Berwick Community Council chairman Judy Lockhart said the initiative was aimed, primarily, at residents who did not have access to the internet but wanted to find out what was happening in the area and to get vital information about how to get help and support.

Copies of the paper are delivered by North Berwick Community Emergency Resilience Group volunteers to housing for older people, care homes, the day centre and people who were not able to get out of their homes.

“We want to ensure that everyone knows what’s going on and how to get help and support at a very difficult time,” said Judy.

“The Courier is a lifeline. We know local newsagents deliver to many people, but this short-term scheme will ensure that people who don’t get a delivery or who can’t afford a Courier are kept in touch. It is also important to support the Courier during this period if we are to see it survive. Newspapers are essential for local democracy and the Courier regularly reports on issues we discuss at the council.”

One of the volunteers who deliver the newspaper is Susan Taylor – in her beloved Dolly 2CV which goes by the name of Myrtille.

Susan, whose day job is working for the Church of Scotland as an executive assistant, is one of the team of resilience group volunteers picking up prescriptions for residents.

“I volunteered because I really feel for those people in our community who are at risk and isolated due to the Covid-19 outbreak,” she said. “I have met some lovely people so far and am glad I am in a position to help.”

The project is paid for through the town’s Community Emergency Resilience Fund – which comprises public donations, funding from North Berwick Community Council and the North Berwick Trust.

Rotary Haddington was always looking for ways to support its community, said club president Malcolm Collins.

“Our idea to bulk-buy and distribute copies of the Courier to the elderly and vulnerable originated from one of our members who was quick to realise that a significant number of such people would soon begin to feel isolated and lose touch with what was happening locally if they were unable to get out and buy a copy,” he added.

“As well as providing local news, the initiative shown by the Courier by including pages of extra puzzles in the paper was also thought to be useful to help keep folk entertained during these difficult times.

“We have now taken this idea forward and arranged to bulk-buy copies of the Courier each week in advance, have them delivered to a central hub and then arranged for them to be distributed to other locations where they can be made available to those in need e.g. Our Community Kitchen, those in care homes and other locations as they become known to us.”

Rotary Haddington members would ensure that the papers were delivered where they were needed, he added.

Courier Editor Robbie Scott said: “We’re so grateful to these groups for supporting our communities during lockdown and the amazing work they do inspires us to produce the best papers that we can.

“For them to also directly support us at a difficult time for all businesses is incredible and we thank them immensely.”

 Anyone wishing to buy copies of the Courier for delivery to communities should email Thanks to Alasdair Northrop for help in compiling this report


Thank you for reading this story. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make.

In order for us to continue to provide trusted local news, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper if you have not already.

Trusted news has never been so important - and neither has your support.

The Courier is not immune to the severe pressures brought on businesses up and down the land by the Covid-19 lockdown.

So if you are able to buy a copy for yourself - and maybe even for a neighbour too who is not able to get to the shops - then we would be very grateful.

And if you do wish to support us, please check with your local newsagent to see if they can deliver the Courier to you.

There is also an E-Edition that can be read on your PC, phone or tablet - just click the ‘E-Edition’ tab under the Courier masthead on the homepage of this website for more details.

We want to be able to continue telling you all about our community heroes: our NHS staff, council staff, teachers, carers, shop owners and shop workers, posties and bus and train drivers and the army of volunteers in every town and village helping the vulnerable.

But we need your support to do so. If you can, please buy a paper. And keep safe and keep well.

Thank you.

Robbie Scott, Editor