Local heroes rock!
Kiera McKimm and Carrie-Ann Safian have dedicated their time during lockdown to spread joy throughout the local community.
And this has won the pair this month’s Westport Veterinary Clinic’s Local Hero Award which recognises and honours acts of kindness in the local community.
Kiera and Carrie-Ann manage and run the ‘Linlithgow Rocks’ Facebook page – a facebook group dedicated to painted rocks in Linlithgow. They encourage people to be creative and paint colourful rocks and then hide them around the town. If you find one, the group page asks that you take a picture of it and post it on the Linlithgow Rocks page, then re-hide it for someone else to find.
This group has been massively popular and is a really wonderful source of joy and positivity. This fantastic group has gone from strength to strength throughout the pandemic and continues to grow in popularity now having an impressive 950 members!
This is something which can be enjoyed by individuals as well as families. Even those not involved in the online group have the pleasure of spotting these beautiful ‘rocks of art’ when out walking in the local area. Literally an activity for all ages to be enjoyed by all ages. Many locals have commented on how much they enjoy seeing the rocks, along with the effort, time and thought people have put into them.
A popular activity for local children is to go ‘Rock hunting around town’ where they collect as many as they want, then re-hide them again for others. Many parents have been sharing the photos of the moment children have discovered rocks and posting photos online of the faces of sheer joy - sharing this joy with others. Linlithgow Rocks is a page and group, which promotes and encourages an unspoken ‘pay it forward’ with kindness and positivity in the local community.
Carrie-Ann told us: “Kiera and myself love running the Linlithgow Rocks group. It was Kiera’s idea to do something and it naturally evolved from there. She was the brains behind the idea.”
Kiera added: “During the first lockdown I had seen a few other rocks groups and was wanting to get something for Linlithgow. There was already the “Linlithgow pebbles” page and I put a post saying we should get some rocks painted to hide around the town to keep us busy with our daily walks during the lockdown! The original creator of “Linlithgow pebbles” had moved to Bo’ness and they now have their own group (Bo’ness boulders) so she was actually looking for someone to take over the group I became main admin and changed the group name to Linlithgow rocks - the rest is history!”
The joy and happiness Kiera and Carrie-Ann have brought to their local community has been absolutely phenomenal. They not only run and manage the ‘Linlithgow Rocks’ group, but they have spent a lot of time each creating batches of beautifully coloured designs to hide in the town for local residents to enjoy. Linlithgow Rocks, and all of Kiera and Carrie-Anns hard work, has been a shining light of positivity in a dark and difficult year. Even on the dreich days and through the cold weather, seeing a colourful rock that someone has spent their time to create for others to enjoy, really brings a smile.
Kiera and Carrie-Ann's own acts of kindness have created so many other little acts of kindness, in sheer volume, which are literally throughout the whole of the local community, by way of others ‘rocks of art’. It helped give families a focus on walks and a fun activity for all to participate in over lockdown. Also encouraging time spent outdoors which has such a positive impact for mindfullness and mental wellbeing. What a wonderful way to inspire people to be creative, encourage design in all generations, spreading a joy that everyone can be involved in.
As well as managing Linlithgow Rocks page, Kiera works full time as a Nail Technician at Final Touch Beauty In Broxburn. Throughout May she has also been doing a sponsored walk for cash for kids of walking 5K every day in May. In addition to this she has also been planning her wedding and enjoying spending her time at weekends with her fiance, and walks with the dogs.
As well as doing Linlithgow Rocks, Carrie-Ann works full time for an Investment Bank managing their technology recruitment, and is kept busy looking after her 7 year old daughter.
Carrie-Ann says: “My work day is very demanding so I like to switch off in the evening, grab my rocks and acrylic pens and get creative!"
We asked if they are planning to continue Linlithgow Rocks:
Carrie-Ann told us: "The rock group has been a bit quiet lately so I’ve been busy getting another batch ready to start encouraging more people to get involved. I love the joy it brings my daughter when someone posts they have found one of our rocks. We’ll run more competitions to keep the momentum going. School holiday times are a great time to run them when families have more time to get out and about."
Kiera told us: “Definitely! I absolutely love the idea of the group and I wish I thought of it first! If someone’s maybe having not so good a day and if by chance they find a painted rock or a positive message on a rock and it makes them smile then I think that’s a good thing to have out there”
Two truly inspirational individuals who have dedicated their own time to bring a smile to others. We hope you know just how much your work has helped lift the spirits of others and is so very much appreciated by the local community.
The Linlithgow Rocks facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/481683718885069/
Link to Kiera’s cash for kids fundraising link: https://www.cashforkidsgive.co.uk/campaign/boogie-in-the-morning-5k-a-day-2021/fundraisers/kiera-mckimm/