Clever cookies at Jollytots

Jollytots and Cookies owner Gail Gillon.
Jollytots and Cookies owner Gail Gillon.

Hundreds of people in need are set to enjoy a Christmas Day meal after a heartfelt online post by an Uddingston business owner went viral.

Gail Gillon, owner of Jollytots and Cookies on Old Mill Road, took to Facebook last week to explain her reasons for opening the cafe’s doors to those less fortunate.

And she has been left overwhelmed by the support since as people flock to volunteer on Christmas Day and hand in donations of essential items such as toiletries and winter hats.

Gail was spurred into action after watching a festive appeal by The Salvation Army, which supported her father in his last years.

The former mental health nurse told the Times & Speaker she was ‘completely amazed’ by the response to her post, which has extended to offers of help from the nearby Castle Rooms, Tesco and Tunnock’s.

She said: “Both personally and in my experience as a mental health nurse, I witnessed lots of trauma, but often the overwhelming sadness for people is spending Christmas alone.

“So regardless of if you are old, young, have an addiction or support someone who does, or are lonely or in financial difficulty, Jollytots and Cookies is open for you on Christmas Day.”

Dozens of people interested in volunteering to help on Christmas Day attended an open evening on Monday.

Gail has now appealed for someone to play Santa, as well as a DJ and a hairdresser who could spare some time on the day.

Anyone who may be able to help can find out more on the cafe’s Facebook page or by calling 01698 811337.