Christmas cheer

THE Salvation Army are on a mission in Cumbernauld; to spread Christmas cheer to one and ALL this year.

The Clouden Road-based church have launched two initiatives which are the embodiment of Christmas spirit as they look to help Cumbernauld celebrate the festive period as a community.

The church’s ‘Christmas Cracker in Cumbernauld’ will see parishioners open up the doors of the church on Christmas Day to invite members of the community who may be on their own to celebrate Christmas with them with a festive lunch.

Young members of their parish have also rallied together to gather and distribute gifts to children in the community who are in need of a little extra Christmas care this year.

Seventy three-year-old Betty Laing, from Kildrum, is one of the church members who will be spending Christmas at Clouden Road - serving dinners, handing out presents and giving good company to those who would normally be alone.

“I’ve never been on my own at Christmas and just wanted to do my bit for those who don’t have any family around them,” said Betty.

“This church is like a family to me and we look after each other, so it’s only right that we are here to help people who would normally be on their own, or families who may be struggling.”

The church ran a similar programme last year to help people who were battling to reach each other in the arctic conditions and this year it is expected that the crippling recession may make Christmas a difficult time for many families.

Lieutenant Stephen Moir said: “The Salvation Army has a long history of offering practical support to people who need it most and what better time to show this than on Christmas Day?

“We welcome anyone who wants some good company and great food.

“If people know someone who would enjoy spending their Christmas Day with the Salvation Army then please pass their details on to us.”

Parish member Stuart Boyce (14), from Cumbernauld added: “I want to help kids and think that all of them deserve a present.

“I also want to show people that The Salvation Army is not as boring as they might think.”

Members of the public are asked to buy an extra gift for children aged 0-16 and the presents can be dropped off at Asda and Superdrug in Cumbernauld from November 19 until December 16.

They will then be distributed to referred children and families in the area through The Salvation Army’s own networks, local groups and social services.

The church in Cumbernauld will be open on Christmas Day from 11am until 3pm.

Christmas dinner will be served from 12.30pm.

Contact the SA on 01236 723195 to book a place or for further information on the gift drive.