Two funeral director brothers are hoping to rally more volunteers in a bid to help them tidy up county cemeteries.

Former soldier Jordan Allan, 28, and brother Daniel Allan, 31, who are originally from Ormiston, work for M&F Funeral Services Ltd in Musselburgh.

Jordan, who lives in North Berwick, said they decided to give East Lothian Council a helping hand after noticing some cemeteries had gone “downhill” and were in need of “TLC”.

He added that a social media post also highlighted a complaint about the state of West Byres Cemetery in their home village of Ormiston.

Jordan said that the council was still maintaining a standard by cutting the grass at cemeteries when it could, so he and Daniel, who lives in Tranent, decided to get to work at weekends removing weeds, cutting back overgrown plants and edging grass.

So far they have given attention to West Byres and also Inveresk Cemetery, which was “not looking its best”, with the plan to move on to other East Lothian cemeteries in the future.

He stressed that the council workers were “stretched”, adding: “It is not their fault. Instead of complaining about it, we decided to do something about it.

“It is very satisfying when you see the transformation.”

Jordan explained: “Daniel and I work for M&F Funeral Services so we are regularly in local cemeteries and have seen the impact that their decline is having on mourners.

“We wanted to make a difference and help the council as opposed to criticise them, as we see how busy their schedule is and busy they are with limited staff.”

They are being supported in the initiative by their employer, with their bosses supplying equipment such as shovels and brushes, with the intention of providing leaf blowers to help in the autumn months.

Jordan said they had received messages of appreciation for their actions, particularly from elderly people, and volunteers had joined in to help them with the clean-ups.

He stressed that more helpers would be welcome and anyone interested should contact them via M&F Funeral Services Ltd’s website or Facebook page.

Jordan added: “We are hoping this could become a weekly event in which people can come along and join in.

“We like the idea of this being a social and fun gathering with the reward of the cemeteries looking much better.

“It could also be a good support network for people, especially if they’re struggling emotionally with grief.

“Spending time with others who could be going through similar difficulties whilst cleaning the cemeteries could be hugely beneficial to them.

“Also, this could benefit people who are lonely, for example there could be widows that have lost loved ones and then find friends with the same difficulties.

“We can’t see any negatives to what we’re doing and we hope it takes off.”

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “Budgets for burial teams have been maintained in recent years but there continue to be significant resourcing and staffing pressures.

“There has been a significant increase in the number of burials and amenity services has worked to prioritise these whilst facing staff absences and vacancies.

“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, amenity services teams worked incredibly hard to maintain services and focus on critical activities. It is recognised that we are at the height of the growing season and teams will do their best to cut grass and maintain cemetery grounds, and provide the highest possible standard of service in the face of current challenges.”