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 Youth Community Champion of the Year award, sponsored by SSE Renewables, Berwick Bank Wind Farm:

Amie Ferguson

East Lothian Courier: Amie Ferguson (left) and mum Kelly Cowan handed over a cheque to the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home

AMIE is a 16-year-old from Haddington who collected money for the Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home at a stall at the Nungate Gala in the town last summer, managing to raise more than £1,000 to help dogs in need.

Proud mum Kelly Cowan was thrilled with the “small fortune” raised.

The former Knox Academy and Ross High School pupil has also set up her own dog walking business, Who Let The Dugs Out, and is an animal lover at heart, caring for her pug Buster.

Her stall was extremely popular at the gala and her donation was greatly appreciated by the charity.

Charlie Mack

East Lothian Courier: Charlie Mack

CHARLIE, a 15-year-old from Port Seton, is a talented bagpiper who has helped out at a host of events, for schools, the local gala and various other community events, as well as keeping neighbours’ spirits high with his bagpipe playing during lockdown.

His musical talents stretched down south when he visited Wales to watch Scotland’s rugby team take on Wales earlier this year.

The talented Preston Lodge High School pupil performed from the stands at the game and got the chance to meet Welsh rugby legend Scott Quinnell in hospitality.

Jack Tait

East Lothian Courier: Jack Tait

JACK, 13, of Macmerry, was diagnosed with asthma when he was just three years old and has required multiple hospital admissions and care.

To show his gratitude, Jack has raised about £5,000 for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, through everything from running 5km races to helping with charity bucket collections outside superstores.

He also donates presents to the charity, which has given great support to his family, at Christmas time and Easter eggs at that time of year.

Jack continues to have a positive outlook on life and always thinks of others before himself.

Elle Washington and Sorcha Calder

East Lothian Courier:  Elle Washington and Sorcha Calder helped save a seven-year-old boy who was choking on a sweetie in Dunbar

ELLE and Sorcha, S2 pupils at Dunbar Grammar School, saved the life of a seven-year-old boy who was choking on a sweet last December.

The pair were walking home when they saw the boy choking.

They ran to help and used their first aid training, which they had learned at school, to dislodge the sweet.

After hitting him on the back didn’t work, they took off the boy’s backpack and repeated the process until they dislodged the sweet.

The boy managed to get safely home to his mum, who would later thank the girls with a small gift sent into the school.