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 four of the groups who are giving up their own time to help out.

East Lothian Courier: Cockenzie and Port Seton. Picture: Google MapsCockenzie and Port Seton. Picture: Google Maps

Cockenzie and Port Seton

THE resilience team in Cockenzie and Port Seton has started to plan for how its work can continue once schools return in August.

The effort is being led by Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council.

Bryan Hickman, group chairman, said: “We are working on what we will do when the schools go back. We will continue as best we can till then.

“We are making plans.

“When the schools do go back, at the moment the plan is that they won’t all go back at once so we might need to help families and kids while they are not at school.”

The resilience team is also discussing how its support efforts can continue during the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The group received a third consignment of children’s craft packs from Walk With Scott Foundation, which are now being delivered throughout the community.

The packs include items such as crayons, bee and butterfly colouring sheets and a butterfly feeding kit.

Bryan extended his thanks to those at the Walk With Scott Foundation for their generous donation.

Work on the sports hall extension at the Port Seton Centre has resumed after it was paused due to the coronavirus.

Bryan told the Courier that the contractor was back on site and had resumed work on the £1 million extension.

Work initially started in October last year, with the hope it would be completed next month.

Contact details

Those in isolation, who are housebound or require assistance can still contact the team on 07783 643105.

East Lothian Courier: Dirleton Castle. Copyright G Laird and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.Dirleton Castle. Copyright G Laird and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


VOLUNTEERS have vowed to continue offering support to people throughout Dirleton despite lockdown restrictions being eased.

The Dirleton Area Resilience Team (DART) is continuing its ongoing support for the local community.

With the easing of pandemic restrictions and the lockdown, it has continued to be at the forefront of planning for, and critical analysis of, the situation.

DART’s primary services remain the same, with shopping and prescription requests being completed, dog walking being carried out and volunteers on hand to provide support when needed.

David Tait, DART lead co-ordinator, said: “Although the village and wider area seem to be gradually returning to normal, we are in no way complacent in our approach to the support we give.

“We continue to monitor the situation on a day by day basis and we have contingency plans in place, ready for roll out in any eventuality – such as a possible second spike of the virus or to provide support to families who may be at risk when the furlough scheme is wound down and with the possibility of job losses.

“We’re monitoring the position and we aim to keep our community up to date on what’s happening as soon as we know about it.”

Meanwhile, the community essentials larder remains a vital asset within the village, with an increase in regular visits.

The larder had been set to move to more permanent premises but this has been delayed.

Jack Findlay, landlord of the Castle Inn in the village, has allowed DART to extend its time at the premises with the larder.

David added: “Without Jack’s generosity we would have lost this vital asset, one on which our community continues to depend.

“We are forever grateful to Jack and his family for the support they are giving to the DART team.

“There aren’t enough words out there to thank them for their kindness.”

Contact details

For continued and up to date information on DART’s activities, go to

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


THE resilience effort in Longniddry is still available for people who need to use it and the local dental practice has introduced new rules as part of its reopening during phase two of the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Anyone who needs to contact the practice is asked to call first, as the door will be locked.

People will be asked screening questions before appointments, which they are encouraged to attend alone.

There will be hand sanitiser at reception and the toilet will remain closed.

Appointments will be spaced out to allow for social distancing.

People are being encouraged to pay using contactless methods and staff will be wearing additional PPE.

Meanwhile, despite not receiving a lot of requests for help, the resilience effort is still available for those who need it.

Longniddry residents can also benefit from the food pantry in Port Seton Centre.

The pantry is open 1pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Delivery can be arranged by calling 01875 818181.

There is also a food pantry at the Pennypit Centre in Prestonpans, from 10am to 1pm.

Contact details

If anyone needs support or assistance of any kind, they are asked to call Sheila Jamieson on 07927 400437.

East Lothian Courier: Prestonpans. Picture: Google MapsPrestonpans. Picture: Google Maps


PRESTONPANS community resilience effort is now looking at winding down some of its volunteer activities as members of its team return to work and demand for support reduces as people who have been shielding are allowed to got out under an easing of restrictions.

Brian Weddell, chairperson of Prestonpans Community Council, said thoughts were turning to winding down resilience work after more than three months of “tremendous effort”.

But he stressed that the hardship fund set up by the community council to help those finding it difficult in lockdown remainsed and anyone who needed support could still call the resilience team for help.

He said: “Our thoughts are turning to winding down our resilience efforts. “There has been a tremendous amount of work put in by our volunteers in Prestonpans since the start of lockdown on March 23 and we cannot thank them enough for their support.

“At the start of this, our volunteers delivered leaflets to every household in the Pans and during the past three months have delivered meals and shopping, collected food donated from supermarkets, collected prescriptions for people self-isolating and shielding and last, but not least, walked the dogs for people unable to get out.

“The relaxation of the rules by the Scottish Government allows our volunteers to start to wind down but their magnificent efforts on behalf of their local community should not be forgotten.

“Without their selfless efforts the past three months would have been a lot tougher for many people living in Prestonpans.”

Brian added: “Whilst the work of our resilience volunteers is quietening down, life at the Pennypit Pantry carries on, with food parcels being delivered daily to the elderly, and many families now collecting food from the Pagoda in North Grange Avenue.

“Last week, the Pantry provided 439 meals to the elderly and families in Prestonpans, which included almost 50 deliveries each day.”

Anyone in Prestonpans who needs support with meals or essential groceries can call the Pennypit Pantry on 01875 815221 or email

As well as the Pennypit Pantry, Jane Russell’s Sunday Fresh Chicken Dinners are still being provided, and last weekend they delivered 132 dinners.

Sunday dinners can be ordered via East Lothian Sunday Fresh Chicken Dinners via its Facebook page or by calling 07752 284249.

Contact details

Anyone who needs help can contact the team by calling their hotline telephone number on 07517 715085 or by emailing them at