A TRIO of community councillors have been praised for their efforts to help people in Dunbar during “a strange year”.

Volunteers stepped forward across the town and West Barns to help neighbours when the coronavirus pandemic emerged earlier this year.

During lockdown, volunteers collected shopping and prescriptions, as well as offering an array of other services to vulnerable neighbours.

Disused laptop computers and tablets were also refurbished and passed on to students who were unable to attend school.

Pippa Swan, chairwoman of Dunbar Community Council, praised the efforts of those involved with the voluntary resilience team during what she described as “a strange year for us all”.

Recalling the lockdown, she said: “Covid-19 has dominated all that we have done and prevented much that we would have liked to do.”

Dunbar and West Barns was split into nine distinct areas during lockdown, with each having a single point of contact (SPoC) who oversaw a team of volunteers.

Each of the SPoCs could then get in touch with community councillor George Robertson, who is also the chairman of the Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership (DELAP) and headed up the resilience efforts.

Mrs Swan highlighted the work of Mr Robertson, as well as fellow community councillors Ian Hamilton, who has announced his intention to step down, and Jacquie Bell.

The chairwoman said: “Dunbar community owes a huge debt of gratitude to community councillor George Robertson, who took immediate charge of a volunteer response to support those who had to stay firmly behind doors.

“He gathered a team of volunteers – some 200 people in total – built response groups, designed protocols and managed the support network for four months until the ‘emergency’ phase was deemed to be over.

“Community councillors Jacquie Bell and Ian Hamilton deserve particular thanks and praise for the unstinting support given to George and the wider volunteer group.

“The volunteer response required for this pandemic prompted action in respect of a formal Community Emergency Response Plan (CERP) and this was completed by Ian Hamilton and agreed and signed off by East Lothian Council.

“The CERP will continue to be reviewed and managed by a community council volunteer, appointed annually, and will remain a flexible response framework.”

The global pandemic also saw the cancellation of a number of events in Dunbar, including Civic Week.

Plans had been drawn up by a team of volunteers to celebrate 650 years of the town as a Royal Burgh.

The week-long celebration fell by the wayside, although “a highly successful competition” for the best dressed house, window and scarecrow was held.