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 Little Champion of the Year award:

Flora Gentleman

East Lothian Courier: Flora Gentleman

FLORA is a five-year-old from Aberlady, now living in Haddington, who has shown incredible bravery since she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer aged just two.

Since then she has spent much of her life receiving treatment but has dealt with it all bravely.

Unfortunately, last year, Flora’s cancer returned and she is having to undergo further treatment.

Flora’s parents hope to once again raise funds to enrol her on another vaccine trial.

Annalise Kelly

East Lothian Courier: Annalise Kelly, 10, is donating 12 inches of her hair and raising funds for the Little Princess Trust

ANNALISE decided to cut off much of her hair and donate it to the Little Princess Trust, a charity which provides real hair wigs to children and young people who have lost their hair through cancer or other illnesses, free of charge.

The youngster, from Prestonpans, selflessly donated before in 2021 but this time has taken it further with 12 inches of hair.

Annalise raised more than £1,250 as part of her fundraising.

Ruaridh Muir

East Lothian Courier: Ruaridh Muir is doing his bit for Alezheimer Scotland by completing a fundraising challenge during the Easter school holidays

RUARIDH is an 11-year-old from Aberlady who ran a mile every hour for 24 hours in a fundraising challenge for Alzheimer Scotland, as his gran has the disease.

Mum Lucy was proud of her son’s efforts and said afterwards: “It was like a really massive, fun and exciting but stressful and exhausting weekend.”

The youngster raised more than £5,000 through his efforts.

Bodhi Watson

East Lothian Courier: Bodhi Watson

BODHI Watson, a P1 pupil at Law Primary School, North Berwick, raised more than £250 for a North Berwick group by selling off his baby toys.

Kind-hearted Bodhi collected £285 for the Kindness Co-operative, which supports people in the area struggling financially.

The primary school pupil came up with the idea on his own as a way to raise some funds.

His mum Wendy was proud of the youngster and said: “It was his idea to raise money by selling his baby toys for those who do not have enough money to buy what they need.

“His donation has helped provide essential support for families in the community.”