Join your local community council
Community councils play a vital role in our communities, their work at the heart of local areas is invaluable - delivering improvements to the local area and organising events.
Joining your local community council can be very rewarding and can make a big difference for the benefit of others.
Here are a few examples giving a flavour of the great work East Lothian’s community councils do.
Haddington and District Community Council granted start up funding to establish The Lammermuir Larder, a community food initiative. This was set up by community members and volunteer members of the public. Since it began in February 2021, it has helped just under 500 individuals in the Haddington and Lammermuir area who are suffering from food poverty, it has also supplied food for over 100 cats and dogs.
North Berwick Community Council raised over £20k to support local people during the coronavirus pandemic. They led the resilience response for the town recruiting over 200 volunteers. They made sure people had enough to eat and were supported against isolation by: setting up swap shops for jigsaws and books, providing tablet computers to vulnerable groups to video call their families and sending cards, made by residents, to simply send a smile. They ran a similar response to the 'Beast from the East' - supplying shovels and arranging snow shovel sessions around the town!
Pencaitland: A local campaign was formed to lobby for a new path as a pedestrian alternative to the bridge dividing Easter and Wester Pencaitland. The campaign joined with the community council and worked with the local church, East Lothian Council and others. This led to the sucessful creation of a new, safe alternative for parents, children and older people.
Tranent 'Blooming Belters' group won an award at the Tranent and Elphinstone community council awards and a silver gilt from Beautiful Scotland!
Dunpender Community Council have mapped their local network of footpaths, resurfaced some of the paths, repaired bridges, had benches built and painted and have installed information boards about the local area. They have also refurbished of the fountain in The Square at East Linton.
Ormiston Community Council are extremely proud of their Christmas lights in the Main Street - the switch on ceremony in December is always well attended and gives the people in the village a lot of joy every year.
Haddington and District Community Council volunteers help organise and take part in many events throughout the year such as craft fayres, tabletop sales, Christmas in Haddington and Haddington Hogmanay. As well as the Haddington Fireworks, Christmas Light Display and Blooming Haddington.
"The Community Council uncovered the stone that was above the entrance door of the former Wallyford Miners Institute. With the owners of the ground where the Institute once stood and planning permission we returned the stone to its place of origin, with a plaque fixed to the brickwork giving the history of the Miners Institute."
Prestonpans Community Council are working with East Lothian Council on the plans for the regeneration of the War Memorial on the High Street and at Preston Tower and Doocot. They met with the planners and agreed on the preferred option of works to be carried out. Works have begun at the Tower and Doocot, and planning has been granted for the works at the War Memorial Site.
West Barns Community Council projects have included the erection of a War Memorial where an annual remembrance service is held. More recently a memorial to the WW1 Belton Airfield, provided by the Airfields of Britain Association, was installed.
Prestonpans Community Council has worked with staff at Prestonpans Health Centre on a 'green prescribing' project to create a community orchard, plant spring bulbs and install raised beds. Bringing together young and old to plant, grow and share knowledge and skills - as well as meeting up for a chat. Sale of the produce grown will bring funds to keep the project going.
Dunbar Community Council actively engages in discussions and planning for future care provisioning and supports local wellbeing initiatives, such as the recently established Dunbar Dementia Network, formed as a consequence of community consultation. They are currently working towards the provision of a Changing Places Changing Room at Dunbar Pool to enable equal access for all.
"We installed plaques in Wallyford Community Centre to pay tribute to those that have served and left their mark further afield in our community. Descendants of the families were invited to an unveiling evening to celebrate with members of the community for a social evening with food and refreshments."
Musselburgh and Inveresk Community Council organise the Christmas lights from start to finish. They also started a Christmas market, held on the same day as the Torchlight Parade and the switch on ceremony. Hard work but enjoyed by all! They also organise the children's gala on Fisherrow links, and the Citizen of the Year ceremony at the Brunton.