Dozens of people are being given gifts anonymously thanks to a Facebook group hoping to spread kindness around Swindon during the coronavirus pandemic

The group, called Spreading Kindness – Swindon, was launched by Samuel May only two weeks ago and already more than 570 people have become involved.

Members put together an Amazon wishlist and post it in the comments on one of three posts each day, inviting others to make surprise purchases for them.

“The idea is literally just spreading kindness around Swindon,” said Samuel

“People can just go through and purchase something off the list for someone and it goes to them with a little personal note.

“The idea is just to spread a bit of kindness, put a smile on people’s faces and create a bit of happiness for people,” he said.

In the first week since the group started 100 gifts were delivered to people from among the 300 members.

This more than doubled to 350 deliveries in the second week.

“I never thought it would kick off in the way it has,” said Samuel.

“It’s just surprised me the number of people who joined it and got involved, especially during times like these. It makes you realise people are very nice and have been really kind.”

Gifts asked for range from chocolate bars, sweets and makeup, to books, plants and cleaning items.

“People are so grateful,” added Samuel.

“It’s nice to see all the messages from people saying things like they’ve had a hard day and then getting this gift really cheered them up.”

He said:“It’s so miserable at the moment with lockdown and things still not back to normal, but this is something nice that people can do for each other.”

The idea came from a national group Samuel came across on Facebook.

“There’s so many people on it so it’s quite difficult to really get involved in that,” he said.

“But with the local one you’ve got the local community gifting local people and I think that makes a difference.”

The group will also support a charity which is local to Swindon each month following a vote from the members.

This month it is backing the Special Care Baby Unit at the Great Western Hospital.

Samuel added “The group has just become a great little community looking out for each other and being kind.

"I never thought it would get a large as it has become. It just restores a little bit of your faith in people.”