“A SPECIAL place” at the heart of Prestonpans has been recognised in the Scottish Parliament.

Harlawhill Day Centre’s efforts during the coronavirus pandemic were highlighted by the county’s MSP, Iain Gray.

The facility had to close its doors on March 20 due to the global pandemic but Mr Gray felt it was important to recognise the efforts being made by staff and volunteers.

The centre, on the town’s East Loan, has continued to offer a range of support to members during the pandemic, including organising socially distanced street celebrations outside members’ homes to help mark VE Day and delivering special afternoon tea packages and other food and treats to help keep their spirits up during lockdown.

Mr Gray, who lodged a motion at Holyrood highlighting the facility, told the Courier: “Harlawhill Day Centre has always been a special place, very much at the heart of the community in Prestonpans.

“It was a very sad day when it had to close its doors to members back in March. However, the innovative ways they have found to stay connected to service users really exemplifies the strong sense of community that has been so evident across East Lothian during the pandemic.

“The staff and volunteers at Harlawhill have gone to great lengths to maintain the superb care and support they give to members and I am pleased to be able to mark their dedication, as well as that of other local day centres, at Holyrood and thank them for everything they have continued to do to help people over the past few weeks.”

The motion at Scottish Parliament included the lines: “That the Parliament commends everyone at the Harlawhill Day Centre in Prestonpans for their dedication in continuing to care for service users, despite having to close the facility during the COVID-19 lockdown...

“...And thanks the staff and volunteers at Harlawhill, and all of East Lothian’s other day centres, for the care and support that they are continuing to provide to older people during the Covid-19 pandemic.”