When Julie Griffin tucks into her Christmas dinner, she can rest easy knowing thousands of children in Scotland have benefited from her hard work.

She is the founder of Glasgow Spirit of Christmas, a 28,000-strong Facebook group of generous volunteers all with one goal – to make sure no child is left without a present on December 25.

“Wherever there is a possibility of a child waking up without a gift on Christmas Day we want to support them to make them feel included,” the 52-year-old said.

“Last year we helped over 11,000 children thanks to our members in the Facebook group and the sheer kindness of people in Glasgow who have come to volunteer, and we plan to do the same again this year.”

The group officially launched for its sixth year on October 1 to help children suffering hardship in Glasgow and the surrounding areas.

For the last five years without any public funding or fundraising campaign, Julie estimates that 32,000 children have been supported by their campaign – with presents worth around £850,000 being donated in total.

The idea is simple – every volunteer creates a ‘gift with love’. In simple terms, it’s a shoebox appeal, but with every gift specific for a specific type of child – whether that is age, gender, or interests.

To make things even simpler for those wanting to take part, the group – which is now an official registered charity – it has set up a GoFundMe page for the first time, meaning anyone who wants to help but doesn’t have time to pull together a gift can do their bit.

Julie added: “Without funding we donated around £850,000 worth of gifts just from the generosity of our members, it really is incredible what we’ve achieved just through the willingness of people wanting to help.

“The whole time the message has just been very positive, there even was a hashtag going around which was #theplacewherekindnesshappens which I just think is a beautiful description of the work we do.

“The group is so successful because it offers a shared space to celebrate kindness.

“We live in a very unpredictable world with a lot going on, and the Glasgow Spirit of Christmas offers a way for us to come together as a community to do something to help people in hardship.”

The mindfulness teacher at Cultivating Mindfulness added that the group is hoping to move into its own space after the festive period and expand on the work it does with other charities – changing the lives of those in need throughout the entire year.

“People have really come together through this campaign, it brings us all to tears. People have told me it’s now part of their Christmas tradition,” Julie said.

“It’s a beautiful feeling on Christmas Day, it’s really special.

“We know that there are households where children are excited for Christmas but have never really had a proper one, so for them to wake up and find a gift relevant to them, even if they didn’t expect it, is wonderful.

“And it’s nice to know that for the community as well, everyone who helped donate a gift is having the same feeling.

“It’s bigger than ourselves and it’s very heart-warming.”

Readers are urged to join the Glasgow Spirit of Christmas Facebook group or donate here.