TEAMS of volunteers are in place across East Lothian doing everything they can to help vulnerable members of their communities.

From collecting shopping and vital prescriptions to dog walking and simply being there for people, the volunteers are there for residents throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Here, we look at six of the groups who are giving up their own time to help out.

East Lothian Courier: Aberlady. Picture: Google MapsAberlady. Picture: Google Maps


ABOUT 75 volunteers are offering support to elderly and vulnerable members of the community in Aberlady and surrounding areas.

Since March 21, nearly 200 requests for help during the coronavirus lockdown have been fulfilled.

Assistance has included shopping for food and other essentials, collection of medical prescriptions and dog walking.

A spokesman for Aberlady Resilience told the Courier: “We are confident that our volunteers will continue to provide help for as long as the current crisis continues."

Contact details

Anyone needing help should contact either Ian Malcolm on 07557 236232 or Sam Robertson on 07920 779750.

Further information and advice is available online at:

East Lothian Courier: Gifford. Picture: Google MapsGifford. Picture: Google Maps


VOLUNTEERS in the Gifford community resilience team have benefited from a donation of 120 bottles of hand sanitiser from Glenkinchie Distillery.

It joins face coverings, volunteer ID cards and hi-vis vests which have all been offered to the team by the community council, along with support from local residents and businesses.

The community council said: “This is all part of our commitment to supporting our volunteers as much as we can in the vital work that they are carrying out.

“We also gave a bottle of hand sanitiser to each of our nearly 30 ‘Soup and a Smile’ households, along with a copy of the East Lothian Courier for those who do not already buy it.

“This is a great way for us to help residents, who may not be online, keep up to date with essential information about the county.”

The number of people using the service continues to grow and the community council said they are delighted with the positive response they are getting.

They said: “We now have a dedicated team who safely deliver the food each week and many residents enjoy this socially distanced contact as much as the delicious lunch.

“We are applying for funding to continue and expand this service, as well as looking at other ways we can build on this project.

“As reported last week, we have begun work to understand the impacts that a lift in lockdown and a return to some form of normality in terms of work or education might mean to our network.

“We have been delighted with the response from volunteers, who have committed to continuing to help in some form. This community spirit and dedication to supporting others is very much appreciated by all of us.”

Contact details

Anyone who needs support or wants to help can contact: Jo Allen, on 01620 811019 or; Adam White, on 01620 810298 or; Wendy Ferguson, on 01620 811069 or; or The Rev Aniko Schuetz Bradwell, on 01620 811193 or

East Lothian Courier: HaddingtonHaddington


E-MAILS are being sent out to ensure there are enough volunteers in Haddington to cover those going back to work.

Lockdown restrictions will be eased at the end of this week, with a number of volunteers returning to work.

Haddington’s community council has been at the centre of voluntary efforts to ensure vulnerable people are getting the assistance they need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chris McEwan, the group’s vice-chairman, was confident, even with volunteers stepping back, there would be enough people to continue offering the same level of help. He said: “I think at the moment there are more than enough people.

“I’m still working and I can still co-ordinate and do stuff.

“I have got a couple of people, who, although they are going back to work, are working from home.

“They can still do online, calls and mentoring folk.

“A couple of folk will continue to do shopping for people but will do it at night as opposed to during the day.”

The squad of volunteers has offered a range of services during the two months of lockdown restrictions.

As well as picking up shopping and prescriptions, volunteers have cut the grass at people’s homes, as well as tidying gardens.

Kindness calls have also been made to ensure people are coping with social isolation.

Any issue that comes to volunteers that they cannot deal with is then passed on to the relevant authority.

The community council has been working alongside organisations in the town, including the Rotary Club of Haddington and Our Community Kitchen, who are based in Haddington Bowling Club, to help anyone needing assistance.

In addition, the co-ordinators of community resilience groups across the county will be hosting meetings to compare what is happening in different towns and villages.

Chris said: “I have been speaking with the Single Points of Contact (SPoCs) around the county and we have decided we are going to have regular meetings so we can discuss where we are doing well, if any other areas need help and in what way.

“We are starting to really plan for Thursday, when restrictions are going to be lifted slowly.”

Meanwhile, Athelstaneford residents have given support in the way of shopping, doing little tasks and chatting with neighbours.

A list of those able to offer help was also compiled and delivered to each house in the village, which is covered by Haddington and District Community Council.

This has been used by those needing help, and regular deliveries have been organised for those isolating.

There has also been a real community spirit in sharing of plants, yeast, baking, elastic and many other commodities which people have needed.

Any requests for help are able to be met by the group of volunteers.

Contact details

Anyone needing assistance should visit or call 07952 003 386 between 10am and 4pm.

East Lothian Courier: Longniddry. Picture: Google MapsLongniddry. Picture: Google Maps


THE community in Longniddry continue to help each other during the coronavirus crisis but are reminded help is available should they need it.

The local effort is being led by the parish church and supported by Longniddry Community Council.

A spokesperson for the church said: “Thank you to everyone who has offered to help anyone in need in our local community.

“There were so many of you, which is lovely to see!

“Thankfully we have not been inundated with requests for help so please don’t think we have forgotten about you!

“If you do know of anyone that needs any help please let us know and we can contact them.”

Local business Needles and Pines Handmade Crafts is making washable and reusable face masks, with people who order one asked to make a donation to Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS).

Masks can be collected or posted for £1.

Those who are interested can contact Needles and Pines Handmade Crafts on Facebook.

Pauline from Longniddry Community Centre has also been helping the Port Seton Centre with its food delivery effort, and has been delivering craft packs to children in the area.

People can also get a delivery from the Port Seton Centre pantry, which has food and other items such as toilet roll and nappies.

Those interested are asked to call 01875 818181.

Contact details

Anyone who requires assistance can contact Sheila Jamieson on 07927 400437.

East Lothian Courier: Macmerry. Picture: Google MapsMacmerry. Picture: Google Maps

Macmerry and Gladsmuir

THE resilience team in Macmerry and Gladsmuir have been continuing to help people in both villages, with coordinator Stevie Sutherland describing it as “business as usual”.

The hot meal service is still ongoing and volunteers continue to help those who need assistance with tasks such as shopping, prescription uplifts and post office visits.

In the past few weeks, residents throughout the area have been making pom poms to decorate both villages.

As well as brightening up the area, the initiative is a way for people to thank key workers providing vital services during the pandemic.

A banner will also be put up outside the miners’ club in Macmerry to thank key workers.

Activity packs containing items such as puzzles, colouring books and craft items will soon be delivered to adults.

Funding for this came from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

As with other resilience groups, the Macmerry and Gladsmuir team are making plans for the future, and how the effort can continue once lockdown restrictions start to ease.

Stevie said that he is making sure resilience can continue after some volunteers go back to work.

He said: “Should we go into a second phase of this we need to make sure we can get the system to a point where we can pick it up and run it again.”

Contact details

Anyone who needs support can find out more information on

East Lothian Courier: Ormiston. Picture: Google MapsOrmiston. Picture: Google Maps


YOUNGSTERS taking their daily exercise around Ormiston have been delighted by one local resident’s window displays.

The displays, by Janette Hansen, have had a different theme each week and received praise from the community council for cheering everyone up.

Scott Gillies, community council chairperson, said: “We’d like to give a big ‘well done’ to Janette, who has been decorating her window every week with a different theme to amuse children on their daily exercise. From unicorns to sweeties, they really have been fantastic.”

Scott said the ongoing effort to support people in the community continues, with a few more referrals for food assistance coming in as lockdown goes on.

He said: “The Pennypit Community Trust are still providing a valuable service to residents in the village and the community council have been delighted to provide them with some financial support to allow this to continue.”

Community spirit remains strong, with Ormiston Blooms Together planning to put a couple of planters at the doctor’s surgery as a thank you to staff, and Callum Smith, from Callum Joinery, supplying the timber and making the planters free of charge.

And there was special praise for a member of the team at Tyneholm Stables Care Home for helping keep families in contact.

Scott said: “We must give a very special thank you to Ormiston ‘legend’ Lynn Brown. Lynn works at Tyneholm Stables Nursing Home in Pencaitland. She has been invaluable to residents of the village who have loved ones in the home. She helped them with video calls, passed on messages and supplies, has been a great support in general and her care has been very much appreciated by many.”

Contact details

If anyone in Ormiston requires help they can contact the resilience team on 07737 569480 between 8am and 7pm seven days a week or email