NEARLY 50 people attended the annual general meeting at the Hollies Community Hub in Musselburgh, as it seeks to move forward to a “modern, purposeful and sustainable future”.

Karl Cleghorn, convenor and a trustee at the Hollies, later said that it was an “unexpected but very good turnout”, adding that the “bumper audience” provided a “lively, positive atmosphere” at the High Street facility.

The recent meeting, which was chaired by Maureen Allan, from Volunteer Centre East Lothian (VCEL), started with a new team of trustees being voted in and introduced to all.

In addition to Mr Cleghorn, the office-bearers are Lisa McArthur (trustee and secretary) and John McGovern (trustee and treasurer).

Rosemary Moffat, John McNally, Roger Knox and Ralph Laidlaw all volunteered and were voted in as trustees.

East Lothian Courier: The Hollies, on Musselburgh High StreetThe Hollies, on Musselburgh High Street

Mr Cleghorn said: “As trustees, we are volunteers, working towards something we all believe in – a community-led hub, shaped by our community to meet our community’s needs.”

An overview of the current position and activities of the organisation was discussed, as well as the next steps for the Hollies. A finance report was also given.

Mr Cleghorn said: “We have had a fantastic response on social media from the public who are keen to financially commit to supporting the work of the Hollies by committing to regular monthly donations. There is much work to be done.

“This, along with building partnerships and listening to the views of the local communities, will ultimately assist in moving the Hollies Hub forwards to become a modern, purposeful and sustainable future.”

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Mr Cleghorn added: “We have taken the bold move of advertising for a chef and an office manager/fundraiser to join the team on varying hours to suit these roles and the individuals’ lifestyle, and, although we have interest from new volunteers, we are happy to accommodate others, whether it be a few hours one day a week, or on a more regular basis.

“Anyone interested should contact Tracey or Rosemary at the hub or telephone 0131 665 5613.”

The hub, which runs a lunch club for elderly people, was at risk of closure last November but a grant of £30,000 from the Musselburgh Common Good Fund was agreed by East Lothian Council.

The council also recommended that the Hollies engage with VCEL and the council’s economic development team to develop a sustainable business plan and consider ongoing management arrangements.

The centre, which has been operating in Musselburgh since 1962, has been plagued with funding problems in recent years and its old building is in need of expensive repairs.

As a Scottish charitable incorporated organisation (SCIO), it relies on funding from outside agencies to allow it to provide its cafe and five-day-a-week lunch club, as well as transport.