AN alternative to the viral social media trend neknominations, which has already claimed a life, is spreading as nominees decide to deal out random acts of kindness instead.

Raknominations are providing a more productive antidote to the Facebook craze, and started in Swindon after Amy Slater, from Redhouse, refused to join in the drinking game, where participants down a concoction of alcohol and other substances.

“There was no way I was going to do that,” said Amy, 35.

“I think it is quite childish, and it is mainly young lads with nothing better to do. This is about doing something constructive rather then destructive.

“I had heard about how the neknominations had been affecting people after becoming a viral thing on the internet, and that some people had died from it.”

Amy chose to spread some kindness instead, and saw her opportunity while walking through Swindon.

She said: “I was walking into town and saw a homeless man sitting beneath the underpass by the bus station asking for change. When I went to get my lunch I picked up a separate bag and and bought an extra lunch for him.

“When I gave him the bag his eyes lit up and he was so happy. It was a wonderful feeling.”

Amy then had to nominate a group of her friends to do their own good deed, and two stepped up to the challenge.

She said: “My friend Richard, from Oaksey, was one of them. I have known him for about 20 years and he is one of my best friends. He is in car sales and has his own business.

“He is getting in a Smart car and he said it would be great if people nominated someone who they thought was deserving of a free car. He has been getting lots of messages so far, so he will have to choose one.

“Another girl I nominated went to an old people’s home on Valentine’s Day with a load of roses and knocked on all their doors to hand them out. She has now nominated other people, and it has spread over to America.

“A lot of it is confidence. Some people are not very comfortable doing this kind of thing, but if they are nominated that will put the pressure on for a bit of a good deed.

“Sometimes it just takes somebody to push you for you to think you need to do something for somebody else. Often our lives are so busy it just does not occur to you. While we should not need that push, we might forget there are people out there who need a smile on their face. Someone might be having a really awful time.”

Richard, 35, will have to decide who deserves his free motor by the end of the month.

He said: “I was going to trade it out, but decided to give it someone who really deserves it. I put the post up on Thursday, and by Friday more than 2,000 people had seen it.

“I did not think it through very much. Somebody I know has nominated someone who has been through a bit of a hard time, so they are top of my list.

"The car is worth between £2,000 and 3,000, and we will get it all MOT’d, taxed and serviced. Lots of people do not even know they are nominated, so it will be a nice surprise for someone.

“I think we could all take some time out to do something nice for somebody who needs it.”