Midlothian Ladies Club means business

L-R Claire Houston and Julia Iddir. Claire and Julia are founders of the Midlothian Ladies Club and are preparing for their first event at The Restoration Yard in Dalkeith Country Park
L-R Claire Houston and Julia Iddir. Claire and Julia are founders of the Midlothian Ladies Club and are preparing for their first event at The Restoration Yard in Dalkeith Country Park

A recently formed Midlothian women’s Facebook group with 3000 members, which promotes local business, is set to hold its first event.

Midlothian Ladies Club (MiLC) was founded by local businesswomen Julia Iddir and Claire Houston. Its Facebook page, which began in June, now has 3000 members. While the club is in the process of registering as a charity.

The club will hold a members-only comedy night this Friday at the Restoration Yard in Dalkeith, again promoting local businesses.

Julia explained why she helped set-up the group.

She said: “In Edinburgh there is a group called the Edinburgh Gossip Girls (EGG). And there was nothing like that in Midlothian. There is nothing just for bringing women together. For any women in Midlothian celebrating business.

“In some senses it’s your average Facebook page. Looking for local recommendations etc. But of the back of that we get people coming back in circles. Every month when people join the group we ask people say something about themselves. Then from that you get people saying ‘lets go for a walk on Sunday’ for example, and 20 people turn up.

“I have heard of people saying there’s quite a lot of young families moving to the new estates. But actually you don’t get outside and speak to neighbours like you used to do. So this brings people together. And helps build friendships. Helping people settle here.

“There are many people coming out of Edinburgh to get a bigger home for their money and not only not knowing their neighbours but not knowing much about Midlothian and what there is to do and see here.”

Julia explained more about the group’s business side.

She said: “In the background we are helping local small businesses to promote themselves.

“We have already had success. Two women brought together by the group who are starting a business venture.

“So our group is really working. Just the way we wanted it to.”

The club’s first event, at the Restoration Yard on Friday, has long been sold out, with members-only in attendance at the comedy night starring Edinburgh comedian Elaine Miller.

Julia added: “She sold out at the Fringe. She is coming to do her show for free. It’s donation at the door only.

“We will have a local photographer and small businesses bringing edibles for the venue. So it’s about promoting those businesses while having a great night out.”

See www.facebook.com/groups/HelloMiLC/ for more information about the group.