GENEROUS students from Johnstone High surprised elderly residents doing their Christmas shopping by handing out gifts in the town centre.

Dozens of older people were left stunned by the random act of kindness by S6 students, who distributed more than 70 parcels to brighten up the festive season for their fellow residents.

The gifts were donated by pupils throughout the school in an initiative which aimed to encourage them to think of others over the Christmas period.

It was the first time the senior students had travelled into Johnstone town centre to hand out gifts, having previously visited care homes in the area.

Graham Munro, deputy headteacher at Johnstone High School, said he is proud of all those involved.

He told The Gazette: “Handing out gifts is something which we have done each year but this was the first time we have done this in the town centre.

“Previously, we’ve gone to care homes and places like that but the trouble with that is you can end up making some people feel left out, so I came up with the idea of just handing things over to elderly residents as they passed by in the town.

“We ask all of the students in the school to bring items in, such as gift sets, which we can then hand out to older people.

“It actually worked out really well in the town centre and the whole day had a really nice feel to it.

“Students had people chatting to them, saying they went to Johnstone High back in the day.

“I think it was special for them.”

Mr Munro added: “We must have handed out about 75 parcels, I think.

“It’s certainly something we want to continue doing now year after year.”

Students at Johnstone High have been throwing themselves into the festive celebrations throughout December, with everyone at the school enjoying a Christmas lunch last week ahead of the big day.

Keen performers also staged a production of High School Musical last week to get the town in a festive feel-good mood.

And a Christmas craft fair was held at the end of November, when visitors were able to indulge in mince pies and browse through a variety of stalls in search of some early festive bargains.