STAFF at a Barrhead dessert parlour have been getting into the festive spirit early as part of a bid to support vulnerable children this Christmas.

A link up between Ice & Cream, in Cross Arthurlie Street, and the Women’s Aid service in East Renfrewshire has seen the introduction of a tree covered with gift tags.

On each tag is a child’s age and a description of the kind of gift he or she would like to wake up to on December 25.

All people need to do is pick a tag, give it to a member of the team so they can take a note and then head out to buy a present before returning it unwrapped and in a gift bag by December 15.

“We are just trying to make the kids’ Christmas,” explained Jennifer Cairns, who runs Ice & Cream, which mainly provides a takeaway and delivery service.

“There was one wee kid who asked for a pair of pyjamas. No child should be asking for pyjamas in this day and age. It’s heartbreaking.

“We are looking to help as many people as possible.

“There is no cap on how much to spend. People can spend as little or as much as they can afford.

“We do understand it has been a difficult 18 months for everybody but, if you can support in any way, then please pop in.”

Jennifer, 34, and her partner Zubair Arshad, who used to run a similar shop in Paisley, took on Ice & Cream a year ago.

Building up a customer base in the midst of a pandemic was tough but they have enjoyed being able to welcome customers to the shop over the last six months to buy sweet treats such as churros, Belgian waffles and milkshakes.

To show their appreciation to residents who have backed the venture, they wanted to support a local cause.

The tree has been a hit so far, with scores of tags collected.

Christine Miller, team manager at Women’s Aid South Lanarkshire and East Renfrewshire, told the Barrhead News: “We can’t thank Ice & Cream enough for their generosity and support.

“The donations will undoubtedly put smiles on many faces this Christmas.”