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Ballymena 'Rockers' out to spread some joy!

Jane Witherspoon

Reporter:

Jane Witherspoon

A new 'rocking' phenomenon is taking Ballymena by storm in the form of finding and creating little painted rocks hid around the town.

'Ballymena Rocks' was born out of an idea by local woman Doreen Armstrong who became involved with 'Rocks NI' after finding little painted rocks around Portrush and enquiring what their purpose was.

The idea is that people paint rocks with colour and add some words of inspiration and then hide or leave them around public places such as parks or town centres to bring a smile to the person who finds them with the 'Ballymena Rocks' Facebook page already having over 600 members, all creating, hiding and finding rocks around the town.

Doreen was keen to bring the practice to Ballymena after having great fun finding and creating her own rocks over the Summer in Portrush.

Speaking to the Guardian, she said: "Along with my daughter, Donna we thought this would be a lovely little way of spreading some happiness and smiles to our friends and neighbours here at home.

"It's a great way to get people out of the house and to get them walking around the local area in search of little rocks of sunshine and then also to hide and leave their own creations for others."

The craze has become popular with families, as many children and their parents are now actively creating these little gems and are keen to leave them for others. Rocks don't have to be hid, they can be left visible.

There is no particular theme to the rocks, just bright colours and whatever little saying or phrase or words of wisdom that you'd like to share.

If you find a rock you are able to keep it or else move it for someone else to find.

Doreen is keen for more rocks to appear. She said: "Anyone can join in, all you need is a rock, some paint and a paintbrush and get creative!

“Some people put our Facebook link 'Ballymena Rocks' on the back and then you can take a picture and upload it to the site when you find a rock.

"The more people getting involved means that the idea can grow and can spread to other towns, maybe it will even spread around the world!

"There certainly has been alot of interest in it around the town with whole families joining in."

Doreen is keen to organise an event where people can come together and decorate rocks, so watch this space for more information.

In Ballymena the most likely places to find a 'rock' is at the People's Park, Ecos Centre walk or around the town centre.

Don't forget to upload a picture of a rock if you find one.

Doreen concluded that she has heard many stories of how these little rocks have brought a smile to the face of many people just when they needed it most and pleaded for more people to become involved.

"C'mon Ballymena, help spread some happiness and get out and get active while you're doing it!"

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