A small group of painters left a trace of positivity around their center of Galway – putting a whole host of uplifting messages and colors on ordinary stones.
They are all members of Athru, a small day service group based at the Brothers of Charity Center at Kilcornan in Clarinbridge.
The three supported adults Sean, James and Colleen – added by three staff members – have all been very busy the past few weeks, painting Positivity Rocks for anyone who uses the field as a place to exercise, also for those who work here. .
“Each stone is made up of images and colors to try and make people smile during these difficult and very dark times. Some rocks contain little messages of positivity to help boost people’s morale, ”said a spokesperson for Team Athru.
“We all enjoyed it very much and it certainly gives us a little ray of sunshine every day to know that everyone who finds our stones gets their little meaning from it.
“Either way, better days will come or even the fact that among some darkness there is always a reason to smile if you look hard enough,” they added.
Among those touched by the simple but uplifting messages was Mary Rose Gormley, who is also a social worker for the Brothers of Charity Clarin Services.
“When I left work, I spotted the beautiful painted stone at the front door. In the distance I noticed a small group walking through the gardens planting these beautifully painted stones here and there, ”she said.
“I left thinking about this. I was so touched by this act. Here we have a group of people with intellectual disabilities sending positivity to everyone.
“The Kilcornan estate, with its magnificent walled garden, is a public facility; it’s a wonderful place to explore with the family with a beautiful walled garden and forest trails, ”she added.
Later that day, she brought her own children to see the project – and they too had such a great time looking for these stones.
“I was really moved by the positive message from this random act of kindness,” said Mary Rose.
“It made me think of the hidden heroes of this whole crisis. I think the people supported and their support workers do an incredible job protecting our people.
“It is obvious that they are doing such a good job because the Covid-19 has not yet raised its head in our service,” she added.
She said it was important to recognize “the wonderful work frontline workers with disabilities are doing to fight Covid-19 and prevent it from having devastating effects on our community.”
“They work as hard as anyone else in a clinical setting, only they focus on preventative measures,” she said.
“The people who planted these wellness stone creations, sharing love and kindness in a scary and unpredictable world, are a wonderful example of resilience and empathy. Love and kindness will always win in the end, ”she added.
The Athru staff themselves said none of this would have been possible “without the very kind donations of painting from Quinn’s of Labane and a local painter Stephen Dent who have both very generously given us an abundance paint”.