Santa is coming back to Swindon this Christmas to help two families who are going through tough times.

The festive figure put smiles on many people's faces when he toured the town in 2020 and he will soon be stopping off at four locations in the run-up to his busiest night of the year.

In the coming weeks, the jolly North Pole native will be spreading goodwill and raising money to help the couple mourning the loss of their seven-month-old baby and the parents of a young boy diagnosed with a rare form of cancer shortly after his fourth birthday.

The funds 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 son Cody goes through chemotherapy.

Neither family requested- this support but, after helping Prospect Hospice and the loved ones of young Rhys Paoletta back in 2020, Santa wants the people of Swindon to help provide more financial relief to others who could do with some good news during their difficult times.

Santa's Swindon representative Gary Read is organising the fundraising effort and has arranged for a new suit that the Christmas legend will wear during his visits.

Gary said: "Ryan - Rico, as he's known - has done so much for others and never asked for a lot, so I'm compelled to help his family out.

"Elsie liked feeding the ducks at Coate Water so we hope to have a permanent tribute to her there.

"Cody has been wiped out by his cancer treatments, so I want to take the burden away from him and his family and offer them some comfort.

"Hopefully, I have Swindon's support in helping these family members as a community, and look forward to seeing those smiling faces on Santa's travels."

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Santa Claus is coming to town next month.

The red-and-white icon will be at the Tadpole Garden Village from 4pm to 5pm on Thursday, December 14, then at the Town Gardens from 1pm to 3pm on Sunday, December 17, and at Lydiard Park from 4pm to 5.30pm on Thursday, December 21 before heading to the County Ground for a two-hour visit from 2pm on Saturday, December 23.

Father Christmas is also expected to make an appearance at Swindon Town's match day on December 16, with the club donating signed shirts and football merchandise to help boost the fundraising total.