CHRISTMAS has come early in Inverclyde – as a young mum looks to double the size of her free festive dinner and bring lonely people together.

Taylor Barnes organised a special Christmas feast at the 134 Steak House in Cathcart Street last year.

It was so successful that the big-hearted 20-year-old has already started organising an improved event this year – with the aim of doubling the number of guests from 60 to 120.

Taylor, who is mum to baby Harper, told the Tele: “Everyone loved it so much last year that they have already signed up for this year.

“I want to make it bigger this year – I’m hoping to hold it in Greenock Town Hall.

“Last year I invited people to the dinner who are lonely.

“But this year I also want to invite families who are struggling, including single mums and dads or families who are going through hard times.

“Last year a family came along who were really struggling and I saw how much it meant to them. So I’m hoping that more people come forward.”

Taylor, of Hay Street, is hoping to secure lottery funding for the dinner, but is also appealing for the community’s help.

She added: “I’m looking for local businesses, such as Duncan McKenzie Butchers, pictured, who were amazing last year, who would like to help with advertising and the food side of things.

“Local music acts are welcome too as I’ll have lots of entertainment on this year.

“I’ll also be looking for volunteers to help out on the day.”

Taylor has been shortlisted for an award at the Telegraph’s upcoming Community Champion Awards.

All the winners will be announced at a glitzy awards ceremony in Port Glasgow Town Hall on Thursday.

Anyone who would like to help Taylor with this year’s Christmas dinner is asked to email

To book tickets for the Tele’s Community Champion awards email or phone 0141 302 6036.