Welcome to the News & Events page. Below you will find highlights of news and activities by Home-Start East Lothian as well as stories covering Home-Start projects around the UK.

Julie running 500 miles for HSEL

Julie has set herself a challenge and is running 500 miles for Home-Start East Lothian.  Follow Julie's blog or our facebook page to find out more or to get involved with this challenge.  #500milechallenge     #julieshomerun     #runningforfamilies     #HSEL500

Hope Rooms Coffee Morning


We held another fantastic coffee morning at the Hope Rooms, North Berwick on the 23rd February 2019.  We raised over £500. A huge thank you to everyone that helped, baked, donated and came along on the day.

Tesco Musselburgh – Blue Tokens

We came second in the blue token appeal.  Jane from Tesco Musselburgh in the Community popped into the office with a cheque for £2000.  A huge thank you to everyone that supported us in November and December 2019.

Martin Whitfield MP

Martin Whitfield visited Home-Start East Lothian, 22nd February 2019.  He met with staff, Board and Volunteers to hear more about our service

New Year Hampers 2019

Home-Start East Lothian gave New Year Hampers to all our supported families.  With a huge thank you to staff, none of whom needed a workout at    the gym that week!  Also thank you to East Lothian foodbank who donated 320kg of food basics, RGB who supplied the fresh elements, Aldi who  donated 100 shopping bags and most of all the kind donations we receive during the year as part of our fundraising, allowing us to fulfil this project.

Angela left Home-Start East Lothian on the 22nd November 2018.  Angela had been with Home-Start East Lothian for 10 years - supporting 207 families, 101 volunteers and 486 children in that time!  

Netball Sponsorship

Home-Start East Lothian are now sponsoring the Bass Rocketeers Netball Team in North Berwick.  This is a privilege to support a local community build team.  All the best Bass Rocketeers!!

Annual Report 2015/16

Annual Report

Edinburgh Kiltwalk 2018

Thank you to Elaine, Linda, Hazel and daughter, Mary and friend, Evelyn, Mark, Rosie, Rex the dog, Paula, Charles, Gemma, Katy and of course Slanj the bear.  It rained (very hard) but fun all the way and everyone made it back to Murrayfield for the big after party!!!

This is such a great event to raise our profile and of course a fantastic opportunity to fundraise too.  Thank you to everyone that sponsored this walk.

Volunteer Week 2018

1st-7th June has seen us celebrating our wonderful volunteers on a bigger stage. We had the opportunity to take part in films to share volunteers stories. Elizabeth and Ann have shared their stories. 




Home-Start East Lothian and Shelagh Young, Home-Start Scotland Director, headed to the Scottish Parliament, 9th May 2018.  We shared our work and the difficulties families face with the Education and Skills Committee.

Upcycling Event

A fantastic day on Monday 23rd  April at Home-Start East Lothian with Lyn from Wee Red Upcycle. The very talented Lyn came and shared some upcycling skills with volunteers. Lyn is in the process of setting up workshops in the community and we are happy she shared some of those ideas with us!! 

Here are some of the items our very talented volunteers made!

Quality Befriending Award
We are proud to say that we have achieved the Quality in Befriending Award for the second time! It is down to the hard work of our amazing team of staff and volunteers who support families within the East Lothian community selflessly ! Thank you to Garry from Befriending Network for all the support and to both the volunteer and family who agreed to be part of the process this time around!

National Volunteer Award - 

Laura Fozard, a volunteer at Home-Start East Lothian, has won the Volunteer Development Award in the charity’s national awards.

At a gala awards dinner hosted by the charity’s national ambassadors, Kirstie Allsopp and Alastair Stewart, Laura was presented with a glass trophy and a certificate signed by the charity’s royal patron, HRH Princess Alexandra.  The dinner took place at the charity’s national convention in Nottingham, on Monday 21 March.

Laura is one of the 14,808 amazing home-visiting volunteers and 2,448 trustees who gave their time to Home-Start to support families across the UK this year.  38 volunteers and 12 trustees give their time in East Lothian and the surrounding area.

Laura was nominated for the award by staff at the East Lothian charity.  Katy Pollock, manager of Home-Start East Lothian said, “Laura’s health visitor suggested she volunteer for Home-Start as she has excellent parenting skills. She is a lone parent with two adorable young children. She is registered as partially sighted, has a learning disability with reading and writing due to dyslexia and suffering from OCD and depression.

“The preparation course in September 2014 was initially scary.  But, using adapted materials, Laura feels she learnt a lot of different skills which she uses with her own children as well as her Home-Start family.

“Laura understands mental health well and has supported her Home-Start mum who was feeling overwhelmed as a parent.  The Home-Start experience has made Laura more assertive and able to manage her own life more confidently.  Her own support worker and manager have both noticed a huge difference in Laura.

Laura said, “I don’t feel discriminated against at Home-Start.  My time with the charity has been a fantastic journey. I may be different.  I may be slower but I have the determination to do it.”

In a written message to all the winning volunteers, HRH Princess Alexandra said, “This occasion is a wonderful way to celebrate all that can be accomplished by working together with one common purpose – to help parents and children to cope and thrive as they face very difficult circumstances.

“I have had the pleasure of meeting many of you and, this evening, I extend my personal thanks to all Home-Start Volunteers for your compassion for families and children and for your gifts of time, energy and care.

“My special congratulations go to this year’s winners and runners up. Thank you for your selflessness and kindness and for the very great difference you make to families.”

Before the awards ceremony, Laura and the winners of the other Home-Start national volunteer award categories were treated to a pamper afternoon, courtesy of The White Rose School of Health and Beauty, and afternoon tea with Kirstie Allsopp.

Football Fever
Sunday 13th March 2016 saw 5 children from supported families and volunteers appear as mascots at the Scottish League cup - all thanks to Utilita and SPFL. The children were all treated to the full mascot experience with Archie Hamilton being given the extra treat of handing over the cup at the end of the match - a first in British Football.

from Shelagh Young, Home Start Director for Scotland

‘… if you don’t feel happy on watching the BBC coverage of the cup presentation at Hampden yesterday you might need a holiday.
Seeing our mascots Kyle and Archie up there handing out medals and shaking hands with the players and hearing them (and Home-Start) name checked  by the BBC Scotland commentary team is marvellous. … you can see what it meant to our mascots Kyle and Archie. It was written all over their faces.'

'Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to making this happen. Please pass my thanks  on to volunteers and others on your team and, of course, to the families who brought their children along and agreed to share their stories.’

from Lyndsey Clark, Progress Sponsorship and Communications

Thank you
Tuesday 28th July 2015 - Staff and Trustees met at Cockenzie House for afternoon tea, to say goodbye and celebrate with two retiring Trustees. Both Fiona and Shona have been on the board for 15 years.  They have contributed greatly over those years and have see Home-start East Lothian grow in size and strength. The scheme would like to thank them for their tireless work over the years and their knowledge and skills will be missed.

Praise for Home-Start East Lothian
A great accolade from MP Fiona O'Donnell & MSP Iain Gray which was published on Ms O'Donnell's website on Tuesday 20th January 2015.
Read her comments on web page, follow the following link

Local MP's come to visit Home-Start East Lothian
MSP Iain Gray and MP Fiona O'Donnell came to visit the office on Friday 16th January 2015 and met with Katy Pollock and Angela Clyde. 
Both  Iain and Fiona are great supporters of Home-Start East Lothian and they thanked the staff, trustees and volunteers for their hard work and dedication in supporting families in East Lothian.

Christmas Parties
On Thursday 11th December we held a wee party for all the volunteers to say thank you for their hard work and dedication over the last year which was also a celebration of our newest volunteers finishing their course.Despite the snow and Ice it was a good turn out and everyone enjoyed the 'Snowman' drive followed by a small buffet. A huge thank you to all the staff, volunteers and Trustees for a fabulous year and looking forward to adventures next year brings.

On Saturday 13th December we held our annual Christmas party for the families. We had 55 children and 60 adults who all enjoyed a lovely lunch before being entertained by Bambino Beats and Gordon the Magician. The children had a visit to Santa before leaving happy but tired. A big     thank you to all the staff, trustees and volunteers who helped make this day so magical for everyone.


Launch of Home-Start UK Scottish Manifesto
Mary and Katy attended the launch of the Manifesto for Families at the Scottish Parliament.  Below is the link to the document for your information.  Iain Gray MSP attended the event and was very keen to hear how we were doing, he is an avid supporter of Home-Start East Lothian even tweeting about us after the event!! He has booked to visit us in the New Year. http://www.home-start.org.uk/about_us/what_we_do/manifesto  

Coffee Morning

We held a coffee morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support on Friday 26th September which was a great success,  thanks to your generosity.

WOW!  We raised  a total of £206.88.

Thank you to everyone who contributed and attended our event.

Home-Start East Lothian Review Day – 1st October 2014

At the Pennypit Centre in Prestonpans

Home-Start East Lothian are having a second review day at the Pennypit Centre, in Prestonpans on Wednesday 1st October  9.30 – 12.30, followed by lunch and we have invited families, volunteers and partner agencies as well as staff and our Board of Trustees. 

This is following on from the planning day in June, all suggestions and ideas that were discussed then will be focused on and the Board of Trustees will spend the afternoon on the 1st October putting an action plan together. 

We really would like to see a wide range of key stakeholders take part. 

If you wish to be a part of the day please contact the office on 01875 616 066

Volunteers Party
26th June 2014 

We celebrated Andy's retirement with a volunteers party at The Glen Golf Course in North Berwick. It was an evening to socialise and also to test the brain power with a traditional quiz and ding-bat session which not surprisingly Andy won!!! The whole of Home-Start East Lothian team wish Andy well as he enjoys planning his retirement time (no doubt with a lot of golf rounds in the mix)

Our Future Consultation

23rd June 2014

Planning for Our Future Consultation day was attended by 25 trustees, staff, parents, volunteers and professionals. We looked at what we do well now and leaping forward to 2016 - what would we like the service to look like. All discussions were well managed and a report has been produced to aid the board of trustees to move some of the ideas forward in the coming months, with another planning day in October.


18th June 2014

There was a good turn out to hear the fantastic work we have achieved again this year here at Home-Start East Lothian.

Cutting the Cake

Shamin Akhtar, East Lothian Council cabinet member for Education and Children’s Services, was our guest speaker and acknowledged the work the team do with families especially the volunteers.

This was affirmed by a moving speech by a previously supported mum and her son. 

The AGM was also the platform for the official launch of the new website and was celebrated by a beautiful cake depicting the front page of the site.

Home-Start East Lothian Planning Day

Home-Start East Lothian are having a planning day at the Brunton Hall in Musselburgh on Monday 23rd June 9.30 – 4.30 (with lunch provided) and we have invited families, volunteers and partner agencies as well as staff and our Board of Trustees. 

The day will focus on the future of Home-Start East Lothian and will be a sharing of ideas as to how the scheme should be developing over the coming years.

Any suggestions or ideas that come from the day will be taken forward for discussion by the Board of Trustees.

We really would like to see a wide range of key stakeholders take part. If you wish to be a part of the day please contact the office on 01875 616 066