Swindon's Santa has been spreading goodwill and supporting two families in need this Christmas.

The festive figure popped up around town to put smiles on people's faces in the weeks leading up to his busiest time of the year.

His efforts will help a couple who are mourning the loss of their seven-month-old baby and the parents of a young boy who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer shortly after his fourth birthday.

Money raised by Father Christmas' trips to the Tadpole Garden Village, Town Gardens, and other busy parts of the borough will pay for a memorial bench in Coate Water that pays tribute to Rico and Cherisse Richards' daughter Elsie, and support the Turner family as Garry and Shona's brave son Cody goes through chemotherapy.

Santa visited Cody at Great Western Hospital earlier this week and observed a minute of applause in memory of little Elsie before Swindon Town's home game last Saturday.

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon's Santa with Cody Turner at Great Western HospitalSwindon's Santa with Cody Turner at Great Western Hospital (Image: Gary Read)

Santa said: "I got to meet my little friend Cody.

We laughed and coloured in a picture together. Cody showed me his cars. He is a little artist.

"Hopefully, Cody can get home in time for Christmas as he had to stay in again.

"Thank you for the lovely pictures and see you soon, Cody."

Santa's Swindon representative Gary Read is organising the North Pole neighbour's fundraising effort, which follows a previous campaign in 2020 which supported Prospect Hospice and eight-year-old Penhill boy Reece Paoletta

Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/swindon-santa to donate and help him reach the target of £5,000.

So far, 67 generous people have contributed to the cause.

Gary said: "Neither family have requested help or support but the people of Swindon were able to help Prospect and young Reece and I hope I can count on them to provide some financial relief to one family and a place to sit and remember their baby who gained her angel wings too soon.

"Hopefully I have your support in helping these family members as a community and look forward to seeing those smiling faces on my travels."

In the final days before Christmas, jolly old St Nick will be visiting Lydiard Park on Thursday, December 21 from 4pm to 5.30pm and then stopping by at the County Ground from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday, December 23.