A SALTCOATS business has launched a special Christmas appeal encouraging people to buy a soup for a stranger in need.

The Lunch Box, an institution in the town, started the Pay It Forward campaign last week and it has already proven a resounding success.

The idea is customers can buy a soup of a reduced cost of £1 for someone in need.

You write a nice message on a post-it note which goes on a board and then whoever may need some warming soup can take one of the post-it notes from the board and redeem the soup.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: The board started off with just a few contributions.The board started off with just a few contributions.

Owner Louise Brown said: “It’s a nice feeling that somebody out there bought you that soup with a wee nod to show we are all thinking about each other.

“It is without question and based on trust.

“I wanted to make sure people are not embarrassed and support each other.

“There is a bit of stigma, it’s a pride thing, but it shouldn’t be about that.”

The 36-year-old used to work at the take-away when she was 21, after working in different jobs and living in Australia for a number of years, she returned to Saltcoats when its owner was looking to retire.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Soon lots of customers were taking part.Soon lots of customers were taking part.

Having taken on the reins, she is determined to give something back to the community and the board has gone from empty to full in under a week - with all kinds of well wishing messages.

One message read: “Hope this heats you up”.

Another said: “Have one on me, enjoy.”

Louise wants to spread the word.

She said: “I want it to reach the people that need it the most, you don’t have to be homeless or struggling.

“We’ve all been there. Everyone goes through struggles at some point in the your life.”

Any notes still on the board on December 25 will be part of a Christmas soup kitchen.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: The board is almost completely full.The board is almost completely full.