HAVING a bad word to say about Swindon is often easier than being positive, that’s according to an Old Town mum heading the Positive Swindon social media accounts.

Michelle Jones, 42, who also works as a digital media marketing specialist at Prospect Hospice, created the joint We Are Swindon Instagram and Positive Swindon accounts three years ago to promote positive imagery of the town.

After a slow start she now has thousands of followers following each account and gets regular photos sent in and shared from Swindonians showing off the sights around town in the best light.

Michelle told the Adver: “When I started the We Are Swindon Instagram campaign I only had 17 followers and considered stopping doing it as no one seemed interested.

“But I was determined to make a positive difference to my home town.

“Now I have some very loyal followers who are taking great photos of Swindon and tagging #we_are_swindon. People are very proud when their post is shared and featured, which is what’s it’s all about.

“I get new followers every week and some of the photos are amazing”.

Michelle runs the non-for-profit accounts by herself in her spare time, as well as juggling having two daughters aged five and eight.

Part of the reason she started the them in 2015, at the time the only ones available, was to give people an outlet to promote Swindon themselves, but also for her daughters to be proud about the town they live in.

“I see myself as a volunteer to the town by creating this campaign and keeping it active. It’s my way of giving back and making a difference.

“It seemed most of the negative talk about Swindon was from the people here,” she added. “Which is crazy to me! Why live here then?!”

“I love Coate Water, Old Town, the Railway Village, the Outlet Centre, the many amazing churches that we have. There’s places further out that people don’t think is Swindon but it is!

“I know some people will want to point out the negative and nasty looking parts of the town but everywhere has these. We have a bad habit of putting our town down ourselves.”

The trick must have worked because there are now duplicate social media accounts competing with Michelle to show off Swindon at its best.

"I could view them as competition but that would be silly," said Michelle.

"We are all giving people the platform to speak out for themselves about how they love living in Swindon and is proud of it too. So the more the merrier!"

The We are Swindon Instagram account now has 1,513 followers and Positive Swindon Twitter 1,137. To share pictures and have a look at what Swindonians have to offer go to twitter.com/positiveswindon and instagram.com/we_are_swindon