HADDINGTON Day Centre is getting ready to welcome volunteers from the past as it celebrates its leap year birthday.

The facility first opened its doors on February 29, 1988, and is getting ready to mark its birthday at the end of the month.

Caroline Scott, manager of the premises on Neilson Park Road, said that it had changed “dramatically” in the last 36 years.

She said: “Initially, it was a drop-in social club but, obviously, people now live longer and live in their homes longer.

“The day centre has changed and it is used much more now as a day care centre. It is a different setting and different environment.”

Plans for a day centre in the town started in 1986, with premises on Church Street identified.

The building opened two years later, before the facility was moved to Neilson Park Road in 2014.

Caroline, who has been involved with the day centre since 1999, becoming manager four years later, highlighted how the day centre users played a key role in what they did.

She said: “Coming to the day centre, mornings are relaxed: crosswords, newspapers, dominoes.

“We have got our own cook, so there is a home-cooked, three-course lunch, which a lot of people appreciate because at home they are not able to cook.

“In the afternoons, there is always an activity.

“They are led by clients and we have meetings where they tell us things they like to do and we organise it for them.

“We do all sorts: musicians, we have had ponies in and [recently] we had a few clients at Humbie Hub.”

To celebrate the centre’s anniversary, Ronnie Fraser will provide music, and birthday cake will be served at 1pm next Thursday (February 29).

Caroline added: “It is a lovely place to work and it always has been.

“I have met so many interesting people, lovely people.

“The job itself, you are making people’s lives better – what is not to like?”