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 Heart of Gold award, sponsored by PureMalt:

Davie Martin

East Lothian Courier: Davie Martin

A PRESENTER at Radio Saltire in Tranent, Davie is a veritable legend in the town.

He has helped raise thousands of pounds for good causes and has been at the heart of a number of fundraisers and good deeds in Tranent and beyond.

During lockdown, he ensured that people who were not allowed to attend funerals could hear the services from outside the cemetery thanks to his PA system. In total, he did 187 such funeral services.

In addition, he has been a key member of the Tranent Belters, who have passed on dozens of riser chairs and mobility buggies to people in need over the years.

Kirsty McLuckie

East Lothian Courier: Kirsty McLuckie, Dunbar Grammar School

DINNER at DGS (Dunbar Grammar School) brings together schoolchildren and older members of the community and is run by Kirsty, a pupil support worker at the school.

Each week, pupils cook, prepare and serve a home-cooked meal, then sit down to enjoy it with their guests.

This inter-generational project has been credited with reducing social isolation in the community and has also helped the school’s participating young volunteers gain confidence and additional social skills.

During lockdown, Kirsty ran a group for older members of the community to learn to use iPads.

Elaine Morrison

East Lothian Courier: Elaine Morrison from the Foodbank

ELAINE manages East Lothian Foodbank and works tirelessly to make sure those struggling in East Lothian have somewhere to turn to in their hour of need.

The foodbank has seen demand for support rise in recent years, with staff and volunteers struggling to keep up.

Elaine as been tasked with taking charge of a difficult challenge in ensuring support can be granted to as many people in need as possible.

The work of the foodbank has been praised by MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, with one describing the group’s efforts as “outstanding community service”.

Evelyn Weir

East Lothian Courier: Evelyn Weir

EVELYN is a podiatry lecturer at Queen Margaret University who gave up her time over the Christmas period to provide specialist footcare for homeless people in Edinburgh.

Evelyn, from Haddington, has been volunteering to help homeless people as part of the Crisis Edinburgh initiative for more than 10 years.

But helping people on the streets is now part of Evelyn’s DNA – she has been providing specialist foot services for homeless people in the Lothians for nearly 30 years and was recently awarded with the Alf Morris Award from the Royal College of Podiatry for her many years of volunteering with the homeless community.