Dedicated volunteers are preparing for a busy Christmas Day as rising numbers of less fortunate people sign up for community lunches across.
Kerry Hastie, who has organised the Café Project lunch in Arbroath for the last six years, said around 60 people attended last year with demand expected to be high again.
She said unemployment and reform to the welfare system have swollen the numbers looking for support on Christmas Day.
She said: “Universal Credit has been an absolute nightmare. There are more and more people struggling.
“We had 60 people last year. It is the most we have ever had, with lots of new people. It just seems to be getting bigger and bigger, which is unfortunate really.”
However, the big-hearted volunteer said she was happy to help.
“We couldn’t not do it. It is heart-warming and it is a lovely day. It is great to see people being cosy and getting good food, a wee bit of music and some good chat.”
Kerry said everyone is welcome at the Brothock Bridge event, between noon and 2pm, especially children with families, who will get a present from Santa.
She said those interested in attending should call her on 07401 945511.
Heather Kelly has been instrumental in organising the first community Christmas lunch in Kirriemuir Parish Church Hall, Bank Street, from 1 to 3pm.
The rotary club and Kirriemuir Cooperative backed event brings less fortunate members of the community together for a festive lunch and entertainment to enjoy a few hours of company and festivities.
She said: “As usual, the people of Kirrie have supported this event wholeheartedly. I have had so many offers of help from people it has overwhelmed me. The generous giving of time and money towards this is outstanding.”
She said anyone who could find themselves spending the day alone or without loved ones should contact her on 01575 574796 .
The Montrose YMCA is putting on a lunch from 1.30pm, with food parcels and gifts to take away at 98 Murray Street. A free bus is doing pick ups in the local area. The organisers are available on 01674 673966 for more information.
In Forfar, the Angus Creative Minds project is holding a Just Another Day event with soup, sandwiches and activities.
The project’s Forfar office, 1-3 St James Rd, is open between 10am and 8pm. Contact 07745 669565 for more information.
The Brechin Community Pantry is organising a Christmas Day lunch for those on their own. They are expecting 60 people.