Newtongrange woman puts community first

Newtongrange woman Dot Horne (50) received an MBE for services to Young People
Newtongrange woman Dot Horne (50) received an MBE for services to Young People

Newtongrange woman Dot Horne was “stunned” to discover that she will receive an MBE for services to young people.

The 50-year-old has been director of the Edinburgh Youth Cafe for 20 years, and as part of Newtongrange Community First she brought a £80,000 skate park to the village last year.

She told the Advertiser of her surprise at receiving the honour: “I was absolutely shocked when I received the letter and obviously delighted that people had considered to put me forward, so I’m really, really pleased.

“It’s a real honour and it shows that people from all backgrounds can make a difference and start change for people.

“It’s all been a secret for a while. I found out a month ago.

“When the letter came through the door I thought at first it was something to do with tax or jury duty.

“So I was stunned but delighted when I opened it.

“My teachers from my schools might be surprised!”

Edinburgh-born Dot has had a strong sense of community from a young age.

She said: “I started volunteering at 15, running a youth club in Edinburgh.

“My family was brought up in community groups.

“My dad died when I was very young so my mum, who was left with six kids aged between 2 and 12, totally utilised any clubs she could get us in, so we were brought up in that environment.

“I have now gone on to make a career in it, running the cafe.

“It’s also taken me abroad to Russia, taking humanitarian aid there and working with kids there.

“Growing up, we were always encouraged to do our best and work hard.

“I’ve only been in Midlothian for 10 years. I love it here. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

“My mum died two years ago, I brought her to Newtongrange when I moved here.

“She would have been so proud of me.”

Dot was previously on the Tall Ships Trust, a grant assessor for the Prince’s Trust and she worked with a children’s charity in Tanzania.