Community Christmas meal

Gordon Craik, of The Burn In Edzell, and Val Cooper, manager of the YM, are pictured.

Gordon Craik, of The Burn In Edzell, and Val Cooper, manager of the YM, are pictured.

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The community of Angus has joined forces for the second time to host a festive meal to bring people together on Christmas Day.

There is an open invitation at the YMCA, on Murray Street in Montrose, to anyone in the Angus and Mearns area who finds themselves without a place to go on December 25.

Katie Baxter organised a similar lunch in Arbroath a few years ago and last year she contacted Val Cooper, manager of the YM, to see if one could be put on in Montrose and within a few weeks the idea took off.

The Montrose Christmas Community Meal was such a success last year that Katie and Val have organised a second lunch for this December.

The meal is from 12 noon to 2pm at the YM on Christmas Day.

Val said: “I’ve been inundated with requests from people wanting to volunteer.

“Last year’s meal definitely struck a cord with people.

“The buzz was fantastic.

“We had about 80 to 100 people who had a full Christmas meal and went away with a food parcel.

“Someone told me that they met a man last year who was crying and he told them he had never experienced such kindness than at the Christmas Community Meal.

“There is no stigma. It is for anybody that is on their own at Christmas.

“We’re told Christmas is about family but some people can’t share it with their family.

“It’s a community thing, it’s for the community by the community.”

In 2015, the YM was inundated with kind donations from locals and businesses.

Food contributions are set to roll in again this year.

Gordon Craik of The Burn in Edzell is supporting the meal by donating food and cooking equipment.

Tins and packets to make up the food parcels are still needed.

The YM is open for donations on Mondays from 9am to 1pm and 6 to 9pm; Tuesdays 9am to 1pm; Wednesdays 9am to 12 noon and 4 to 6pm; Thursdays 8.30am to 9pm; and Fridays 9am to 9.30pm.

The public can also arrange donations by messaging the Montrose Christmas Community Meal Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ChristmasDayCommunityMeal