A Cumnock-based charity has overcome the difficulties posed by the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 to successfully deliver a lip-smacking Christmas dinner to more than 50 people across 10 communities.

Create a Smile Scotland (CASS), headed up by Heather McEwan, daughter Amy and a whole host of other volunteers, were trepidatious about the rising Covid cases in East Ayrshire last month and so made the difficult decision to move their annual Christmas dinner to a delivery service yet again.

Although the team said they were “absolutely gutted” at having to do this for the second year running, especially as the dinner is aimed at those who normally spend Christmas Day alone, they were more concerned with keeping everyone safe during the surge in cases.

And local businesses were behind them every step of the way - showing “fantastic support” by donating food and allowing them to provide dinner absolutely free.

Amy told the Chronicle: “On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we had a team of volunteers helping to get everything ready and then to get the meals delivered out to 51 individuals across 10 different communities.

“Thanks to the generosity of everyone, each person received a dinner and pudding, along with biscuits, chocolates and a wee gift from Santa. We’ve heard back from some of the individuals who received a meal and they’ve been telling us how much they enjoyed the dinner and gifts.

“We’re just so, so happy that we were able to put smiles on people’s faces after another difficult year.

“A huge thank you goes to Tarelgin for the turkeys with all the trimmings, Prime Cuts Cumnock for steak pies, A&A Spittal for all the veg, The Corner Café Auchinleck for the puddings, Central Garage Cumnock for mince pies and biscuits, Schokolat Scotland for their donation of chocolate gifts and finally to Shire Housing whose funding allowed us to buy gifts.

“We also need to thank those kind-hearted individuals who donated items and Andrea McCulloch and Nia Lowe who are always such a massive support to CASS but especially so during this year.”

Amy added: “We can’t wait to get our groups back on full-time. We’re also excited to continue our Film Festival with Shire Housing.”