Create a Smile Scotland, a Cumnock-based charity that has been delivering meals to the elderly during the coronavirus pandemic, has finally handed the reigns back to East Ayrshire Council.

Heather McEwan volunteered day and night for six months straight alongside son Brian, 24, and daughter Amy, 27, to ensure that vulnerable people across the county had access to hot meals.

The Drongan family assures the elderly, whom they have formed a special bond with, that they will continue checking in – this time with some home baking.

Heather said: “Most of the council workers are back now so they’re able to pick up and distribute the meals themselves but we still keep close ties with Vibrant Communities, especially coming up to Christmas.

“We’re trying to deliver home baking because we want to keep contact with the older people and assure them that we’re still here. We’re still very much part of the community.

“Some of them got a bit upset at us not doing it because they got attached to Amy and Brian. You were often standing speaking to them for five or 10 minutes from a safe distance.

“When you arrived they were low, but by the time you left they were laughing. It really cheered them up.”

The charity is now preparing for Christmas Day Dinner deliveries, supported by local businesses such as Top O’ The Brae Chip Shop, who are donating a dozen cooked chickens and McKnight Hair Lounge, who are contributing tea, coffee, sugar and after dinner mints.

Heather continued: “We’re working on a Christmas project with our drama group to spread a bit of Christmas cheer which should benefit older people across all communities.

“We’re also taking donations for our Christmas parcels. No way am I leaving people on Christmas day with nothing.”

Amy, who has been volunteering while studying for a PhD, said: “I’ll really miss delivering the lunches in Drongan.

“Seeing the lunch group really was the highlight of my day.

“It was great hearing about their weekend activities and their families, and speaking about memories from years gone by.”