Students provide walking encouragement with stone art

Ace Christmas stones

Students provide walking encouragement with stone art

Workstart, Pathfinder and School link students based at Forth Valley College’s Alloa Campus are encouraging the people of Clackmannanshire to have a ‘Look Aboot Ye’ for painted pebbles, when out walking this Christmas.

The 13 students – Stephen Broughton and Alyn Scullion from School link Alloa, Fern Ford and Matthew Thomson from Pathfinders Alloa, Chloe Brown, James Derrick, Theo Hutchison, Lewis McDermid, Cieran Muir, Caitlin Robertson, Caitlin Snaddon, Morgan Stewart and Alex Weaver from Workstart Alloa – have been busy in the run up to the festive season by painting and decorating around 30 stones, which are being placed all around Clackmannanshire walking routes.

They want people to famous Wee County motto to heart, find the stones, take selfies with them and post them on social media (Twitter and Facebook) using the hashtag #forthvalleycollege, then find a new location for each stone for another walker to find.

The creative group, who were supported by Access and Student Services Department staff Communication Support Worker Evelyn Burgess, Learner Adviser Mhairi Harvey and Learning Resource Assistant David Gentles and Art Lecturer Angie McLaren, hope that the colourful pebbles will encourage the people of the Wee County to get out and about during the holidays, to look for them take photos with them and perhaps replace them in a new location.

Stones have already been placed near Clackmannan, in the wetlands near Alloa, on the cycle track near Menstrie and in the Hillfoots and Ochils area.

Back in November, students from the Workstart and Lifestart courses, plus School Link courses in Alloa and Falkirk and backed by some ACE and Pathfinders learners, painted poppy’s on stones to display them near all three campuses to mark Remembrance Day.

Now the simple Christmas stone idea hopes to encourage people to get active during the restricted Christmas lockdown period.

Evelyn, said: “While discussing mental health and wellbeing during a coffee break with Mhairi Harvey and David Gentles, we were trying to think of how to encourage people out and about in their local area over Christmas.  I had been involved in stone drops before and came up with the idea of getting the students involved and tagging Christmas themed stones with #forthvalleycollege, so that people can take photos of where they found them and move them on in their journey. With time short we had to get some collaborative learning involvement so Angie McLaren was approached and asked if she could help with her students.

“We want to see how many people can find, and encourage anyone to add to our collection if they’re looking for an activity to do during the holidays. Go out and see what our beautiful county has to offer hidden high and low.”

Angie, said: “The students enjoyed painting the rocks and hope they will really brighten someone’s day.”


Ace Stones 1


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