Members of the county’s Gurkha community have raised £10,000 for Brighter Futures in just three weeks during a special coronavirus campaign.

Donations flooded in when the Nepalese Association of Wiltshire sent out and appeal.

Secretary Bhawani Gurung said: “Because of the situation with Covid-19 we wanted to do something to help.

“We as the committee sent out a written request for donations to all the members of the Nepalese community here in Swindon, and the response was remarkable.”

He explained: “We weren’t able to organise any activities or fundraising events because of the restrictions in lockdown.

“So it was basically a question of asking the members to donate to this appeal.

“The response from each of the members has been brilliant – people have really reached into their pockets to show their appreciation for the cause.”

The donation was presented to the trust’s community and events fundraising manager, Michelle Leighton, over a video call.

In total 257 people donated money during the three-week campaign for the charity which supports Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

This includes the hospital itself and community health sites in Swindon.

“We set a three-week limit and couldn’t believe how much we raised,” Bhawani said.

“Some people even donated several hundred of pounds in some cases.

“We are really thankful to each and everyone who donated and really appreciate their help,” he added

“We weren’t able to do a proper event to hand over the money.”

“So we had to do it over a video call, but hopefully when the lockdown is lifted we’ll be able to do something properly.”

This is the second time the trust has been helped by the NAW in as many years.

The group raised a substantial £7,000 for the Brighter Futures radiotherapy appeal in 2018.

Bhawani said: “It’s so important to support the hospital at this time,”

“Living here in Swindon, we in the Nepalese community, all understand the importance of local services to the town and use them.

“And in these times we wanted to help make a difference by donating this,” he said.

Established in 2006 when many former Gurkha soldiers and their families were settling in the UK, the Nepalese Association of Wiltshire used to meet at Buckhurst Community Centre in park north before the lockdown restrictions came into force

It aims to help people settle into UK life and understand local customs and culture.