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 Entrepreneurial Award:

Josh Barton

East Lothian Courier: Josh Barton, CEO of Brose. Image: Sandy Young/

JOSH Barton is co-founder and CEO of Brose, a business based in East Linton which has won a prestigious award at Scotland’s Speciality Food & Drink Show for its drink made from Scottish oats.

Originally from Maine, USA, Mr Barton started Brose in 2017, saying he grew up on Scottish oats and stating that he wanted his creation to be a “truly Scottish product”.

Last year, the business was recognised with a silver ranking at the Scottish Retail Food and Drink Awards.

Andrew Bissell

East Lothian Courier: Sunamp's Andrew Bissell is part of a new national group which met at 10 Downing Street last week

ANDREW Bissell is chief executive and founder of world-leading heat battery firm Sunamp, based in Macmerry.

He has recently joined 18 other business experts as a member of the UK Government’s new Small Business Council.

Sunamp was founded in 2005 and says its “mission is to transform how we generate, store and use heat to make a significant global impact on tackling climate change and safeguarding our planet for future generations”.

Harka Karki

East Lothian Courier: Harka Karki

HARKA Karki is head chef and owner at Gurkha Bar & Restaurant in Musselburgh.

The restaurant has won a number of awards in the last year, including top prize – Curry Restaurant of the Year (Overall Winner) – at the Scottish Asian Food Awards.

Harka was also named chef of the year at the Scottish Curry Awards earlier this year.

The restaurant said of the award: “This remarkable achievement is a testament to chef Harka’s unparalleled culinary skills.”

Svetlana Kukharchuk

East Lothian Courier: Svetlana Kukharchuk, the Cheese Lady, Haddington

SVETLANA Kukharchuk runs The Cheese Lady in Haddington, which has been so successful it has expanded into larger premises, attracting a dedicated following.

Late last year, she was named Scottish Business Woman of the Year at the National Business Women’s Award in London.

Svetlana, from Dunbar, said she was “over the moon” with the award.