Generous staff at a Saltcoats café are offering lonely people the chance to enjoy food and company on Christmas Day for a second year running.

The Cafe @ the Station is holding a free Christmas dinner for those who would otherwise spend the festive season alone.

Last year’s Christmas dinner – the first of its kind at the Vernon Street café – proved to be a huge success and saw around 40 people attending.

To ensure that this year is just as fruitful, organisers are looking for volunteers to help out.

Owner Susan Barbour said: “Because quite a lot of our customers come in on their own and they were spending Christmas on their own, that was really the inspiration behind it. It then kind of snowballed from there.

“It was very popular [last year], actually a wee bit chaotic. I wasn’t expecting it to be as popular as it was. We had families and volunteers and it actually worked out really well because everyone all mingled together so nobody knew who was there on their own and who was a volunteer.

“We’ll be more organised this year because we’ve got a wee committee of me and two staff.

“There were just under 40 including volunteers. We’re hoping to get a wee bit more this year, maybe a few more kids. We had six kids last year.”

The Café @ the Station’s Christmas dinner has already received a welcome boost after Saltcoats Community Council donated money to help pay for the food. But the event also needs the help of volunteers if it is to run smoothly and put smiles on faces.

A planning meeting will be held in café next week, which anyone is welcome to attend.

Susan added: “It’ll be just a coffee, cake and a chat.

“We’re hoping for volunteer drivers so we can pick people up if they don’t have a lift. Also, people to help in the kitchen, even to do a wee bit of preparation the day before.

“If we can try and get it to three courses again that would be ideal.”

More details of the arrangements for the Christmas dinner, including times, will be decided nearer the time.

Anyone wishing to volunteer is urged to attend the open meeting at the cafe at 5pm on November 15.

If you wish to volunteer but cannot attend the meeting or if you would like to book a seat for the Christmas dinner, contact the cafe via Facebook at or call them on 01294 607772.