THE SKIRL of bagpipes and the sound of the drums are helping a community initiative to deliver hot meals to people in need.

Haddington Pipe Band has linked up with Our Community Kitchen, raising more than £1,000 to support the group, which is based in the town’s bowling club.

Alastair Bruce, who is on the band’s board of trustees, was delighted to help out in what were challenging circumstances for both organisations.

He said: “We were obviously going to miss all the events that usually go on at this time of the year.

“We came up with the idea of having performances in our gardens at the regular time of Saturday at noon and to keep playing and cheer folk up.

“We started doing that and got a couple of weeks into it and were aware of what Our Community Kitchen were doing.

“We wanted to support them and their fantastic work.”

The pipe band, which has been 25 and 30 members aged from nine to their 80s, would usually be performing at galas and civic celebrations throughout the county.

However, the coronavirus has led to the cancellation of a number of those scheduled events, with weddings also being shelved due to the global pandemic.

Mr Bruce said the pipe band decided to use their weekly performances as a fundraiser for Our Community Kitchen and set up an online fundraising page.

An initial target of £500 has been shattered, with the fundraising figure breaking through the £1,000 barrier.

Mr Bruce thanked everyone that had donated to the cause and said: “It is wonderful.

“We are really grateful to everybody that has helped with that.

“It has not just been band members who have contributed but other people, who are aware of what the band are doing.

“Our Community Kitchen are really pleased as well and it helps them with their work as well.”

Our Community Kitchen was formed 18 months ago, with the aim of tackling social isolation in the Haddington and Lammermuir ward by getting people round the dinner table.

However, the group was forced to change its method of addressing the problem when social gathering events were banned in March.

Instead, they have delivered more than 1,200 piping hot meals, ranging from sausage, mash, stuffing and onion gravy to tuna macaroni and cheese, to people in their homes throughout Haddington during the lockdown period.

Elaine Gale, founder of the group, who are delivering meals four times a week, was delighted with the pipe band’s efforts and thanked them.

She said: “Every Saturday, people play in their gardens or the street and where I live in Fairway, we have got two wonderful pipers and people donate.

“They have raised more than £1,000, which is unbelievable.

“We are absolutely thrilled that they are doing that for Our Community Kitchen and we are doing our very best for the local community.

“It is wonderful as well to hear them on a Saturday.

“I go out and listen to them and it just makes me feel really, really happy and quite tearful and emotional, to be honest.”

To support the pipe band and Our Community Kitchen, go to