Helping the homeless and lonely at Christmas

Minnie Mouse stopped by to help (l-r) Kim Milligan, Gail Gillon, Louise Dacre and Lesley Watson wrap Christmas presents.
Minnie Mouse stopped by to help (l-r) Kim Milligan, Gail Gillon, Louise Dacre and Lesley Watson wrap Christmas presents.

An Uddingston cafe owner is throwing open her doors to the homeless and lonely this Christmas Day.

Last year Jollytots and Cookies welcomed 50 guests for a festive feast complete with pampering, entertainment and gifts.

It proved so successful Gail Gillon has been taking bookings all year and along with her team of volunteers is ready to play host to 60 people who may otherwise be spending December 25th with nothing.

Gail said: “Last year we didn’t know how many people would turn up, but on the day it was a great success and everyone who came said they had a great time.

“This year we are a little more organised and having been taking names for months so we know who is coming and that means we can organise gifts accordingly.

“Christmas can be a sad and lonely time for lots of people, whether it is the elderly on their own, homeless families or those gripped by addiction.

“We are supported by so many wonderful people so whether poverty means you can’t afford to celebrate Christmas or you just need someone to chat to then we guarantee friendly faces, a warm meal, entertainment, pampering and gifts to take away.”

Gail has been blown away by the support she has received from the community, including over £1,300 donated by staff at the Tunnock’s factory, but she has one special request.

She said: “We have a 12-year-old boy coming and we would really like Christmas to be special for him as his family don’t have much.

“I know he is into Lego and we’d also like to kit him out in some new clothes, so if anyone wishes to contribute something a bit trendy for a 12-year-old then we’d be delighted to receive it.”