IT is two years since the Mustoes endured a terrible tragedy at Christmas.
The death of Jack Mustoe, a dad of three, who was knocked down and killed in an accident at his lorry park and pallet yard, hit his family hard.
Now they have channelled their grief into raising money in memory of Jack, 71, by recycling old offcuts into festive garden decorations.
Jack’s grand-daughter, Amy-Jayne Gibson, who now runs Mustoe Pallets alongside sister Emma and mum Tracy, explained: “Every Christmas, my grandad would donate to The Salvation Army in Airdrie.
“He said he liked it because it was a charity that helped everyone and anyone.
“On the first anniversary of his death, my two sisters and I sat in the office with Mum and talked about Christmas, how we were starting to hate it and fearing this was just the way it would be, moving forward.
“But my mum said we couldn’t just sit and be sad, we had to keep ourselves busy because that’s what grandad would have done, and so we should do something for The Salvation Army.” Jack, who ran the business for more than 30 years, was struck by a lorry in November 2016.
“My mum saw the accident and struggles with what happened,” continued 26-year-old Amy-Jayne.
“We were always raised to think Christmas was the best time of year but suddenly it became a sad time.”
Family, friends and staff at Mustoe Pallets began making decorations from the yard’s waste wood and were shocked at how well they sold in the run up to Christmas, raising £1,450 for The Salvation Army last year.
With more time to prepare this year, they are on course to help even more people at Christmas.
Amy-Jayne said: “Although we were raised to believe Christmas is the best time of year, this experience has opened our eyes and made us realise that’s not the case for everyone – it’s actually the worst time for a lot of people.
“They might be struggling to give their children a Christmas present, or are lonely, or living on the street. Working with The Salvation Army, we’ve seen a lot of that now.
“We’re also helping to cook the food at a Christmas Eve meal at the Airdrie branch this year. The food is being donated by Morrisons, and it’s an evening for anyone who is struggling in some sort of way and needs a couple of hours to talk to someone.”
Thanks to an open day, a stand at Morrisons supermarket and word of mouth, the Mustoes’ Christmas decorations are proving popular and will raise even more money this year.
It’s something Amy-Jayne knows would have made her grandad proud.