A WEE COUNTY catering firm provided the homeless and vulnerable with a full lunch as a way of giving something back to the community.

Ochil Caterers stepped up when The Gate asked them to provide a lunch for people from all over Clacks – but refused to take payment for their services.

Steven Preston and wife Debbie, who run Ochil Caterers, got all the ingredients and provided the lunch for 70 people from “all walks of life”.

Booker in Stirling also provided the stewing steak free of charge to make sure the lunch could go ahead.

The event, which took place on Thursday, December 20, was described as an “eye-opening” experience for all involved.

Steven told the Advertiser: “I was approached to do a meal for the homeless and vulnerable at The Gate.

“They normally pay for the food, but when I thought about it, I thought about giving something back.

“So, we got our meat for Kevin at Bookers in Stirling so we could make steak pies and I bought all the vegetables and provided the time.”

As predicted, the support they received was fantastic, not just from those attending but from the wider county community.

Steven continued: “We have had a great response. It is one of the best things I have done for a long time.

“It was fantastic to see. There was a huge queue with people from all walks of life coming. For a lot of people it might be the only decent lunch they get.

“It has opened my eyes to just how many vulnerable people there are in Clackmannanshire.”

Such was the effect on Steven and Debbie, he said the firm will continue to take part in these types of events throughout the year when possible.

Steven wished to pay a huge thanks to all of his staff who helped out on the day.

He added: “I want to give the biggest thanks to everyone at The Gate, they are the real heroes.”