IN JUST three weeks’ time, the East Lothian Courier will celebrate the people who make such a positive difference to the lives of others and our communities.

Our Community Champion Awards night takes place at Haddington Corn Exchange on Thursday, May 30, when we will reveal the winners in categories covering everything from sport to business, and teaching to charities.

East Lothian Courier: East Lothian Courier Community Champion Awards logo

Last month, our judging panel had the difficult task of deciding the finalists for our awards, and the task of choosing the winners was no easier.

Now we can’t wait to recognise the people who make our communities a better place – every one of our finalists certainly does that.

Courier editor Robbie Scott said: “There are so many people in our towns and villages who, week after week, year after year, step up to help those less fortunate than themselves, giving their time and efforts to make other people’s lives better.

“We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to submit a nomination, as well as everyone who was nominated for everything they do for their communities, and we’re excited to highlight the great efforts of all our finalists. I’d also like to give a special mention to our awards sponsors, without whom none of this would be possible.”

The Community Champion Awards are generously sponsored by East Coast Buses; PureMalt; SSE Renewables; and Sustainable Facilities Management.

East Lothian Courier: The East Lothian Courier Community Champion Awards are sponsored by East Coast Buses, PureMalt, SSE Renewables Berwick Bank Wind Farm, and Sustainable Facilities Management

Tickets for the awards evening, hosted by TV and radio personality Bryan Burnett, can be purchased online via:

Here’s a look at all the finalists for the Live Music Award:

East Linton Community Choir

East Lothian Courier: East Linton Community Choir

STARTING by performing a few Christmas carols in The Square in the village, the group now has about 40 singers.

The choir has performed at the village’s primary school and during festive celebrations in the community, and is now celebrating its 10th year, having lost three years to Covid, and is open to all within the community, no auditions required.

During lockdown, the group performed a special virtual performance of You Raise Me Up, which was viewed thousands of times online.

The group provides a space for intergenerational bonding over song and community, and has become a much-loved part of the East Linton community.

Goats’ Toes

East Lothian Courier: Goats Toes

THE Goats’ Toes is Knox Academy’s folk group, which is currently run by S6 pupils Katie Llewellyn and Tess Henderson.

They meet once every week to practise a variety of different traditional Scottish songs and are self motivated,with no teacher to lead them.

The group has made a fantastic effort to bring their music into the community, including playing events such as Our Community Kitchen Burns supper this year, Green Futures Festival, Haddstock, and the Big Beach Busk in Portobello, as well as schools events across the year.

Pupils from the band have been recognised at school awards for their efforts over the years as the group continues to grow.

Haddington Pipe Band

East Lothian Courier: Haddington Pipe Band at town's farmers' market, April, 2024

A REAL community band that is truly part of the fabric of the town, it has members of all ages and performs at events around the county.

The band performs across Haddington and wider East Lothian, and is a welcome sight, and sound, at community events in the town.

The band’s annual calendar is also a popular feature, with themes celebrating East Lothian’s beauty, history and music.

Funds raised from the picturesque calendar help pay for tuition, instruments, uniforms and other initiatives which help the band to develop.

Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band

East Lothian Courier: Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band

THE band took part in the World Pipe Band Championships as 190 bands from across the globe came together in celebration of Highland culture and are now toasting success after being named the fifth best school pipe band in the world.

Gavin Clark, Preston Lodge High School headteacher, hailed the success of the group on the international stage as the band has grown into a much-respected renowned band across the globe,

Featuring pupils of all ages, the band also provides a platform for aspiring musicians and a space for bonding amongst peers.