A CHARITY providing support to seriously ill children, a leading person in mental health walks, and a key figure in a town’s football club have been recognised in the Scottish Parliament.

A ceremony recognising the work of community champions from across East Lothian was held at Holyrood.

Volunteers from the health, well-being and sports sectors were recognised in the ceremony at Holyrood.

Entertainment was also provided on the day by the award-winning East Lothian Senior String Ensemble.

The ceremony was organised by Craig Hoy, South Scotland MSP, who selected three standout volunteers.

Laura Young, founder of Musselburgh-based Teapot Trust, was unable to attend the ceremony but was recognised as the winner of the ‘health’ category.

Since the charity was formed in 2010, hundreds of children with chronic conditions and their families have received support through art therapy.

David Habgood was declared the winner of the ‘well-being’ category for his voluntary work with Ageing Well Dunbar.

Mr Habgood set up and leads mental health walks in the county and also voluntarily maintains several core paths in East Lothian.

Furthermore, he supervises and assesses Duke of Edinburgh expeditions in the county and has helped to develop outdoor learning with forest school specialists for primary school children in East Lothian.

While Graham Robertson was recognised as a community champion in sport for his work as a team leader of coaches at Haddington Athletic Football Club.

He voluntarily manages training sessions for boys and girls and has helped to deliver two weekly training sessions, and matches on a Sunday, for five years.

Mr Hoy, who previously represented the Haddington and Lammermuir ward on East Lothian Council, described it as “an honour” to welcome local heroes from across East Lothian to the Scottish Parliament.

He said: “Lockdown was a difficult time for many of our communities, but it also brought people together in interesting ways and inspired so many acts of generosity.

“I want to say a massive thank you to all of the fantastic local heroes who came to the reception in the Scottish Parliament, and thank everyone who helped their communities during the Covid pandemic and beyond.”

Mr Robertson was delighted to receive the accolade.

He said: “I was both surprised and honoured to be recognised as a community champion, especially as the nominations were put forward from parents and grandparents of our club.

“Ultimately, though, it felt like I was receiving recognition on behalf of all the volunteer coaches and committee members who give countless hours of dedication across all grassroots sports in our local community.”

Mr Habgood said he was “surprised and a little embarrassed” to get the award.

He said: “Over the years I have worked with so many other people who have voluntarily given up time to help communities and feel this award does, in some way, also recognise the work they have done.”