A BRAND-NEW community event in Garelochhead has been declared a resounding success with 108 people taking part.

Hallowe’en Rocks was organised by the Route 81 Youth Team, based in Centre 81 in the village in partnership with Helensburgh and Lomond Young Carers.

A total of 222 stones, all painted by the members of the youth team during the October school holidays, were hidden throughout the village the day before the event – and despite the dreadful weather, plenty of stone hunters turned up to join in the search, with the promise of a treat bag at the end for those who completed the mission.

Local mum Lindsay McColl said: “Finding the rocks wasn’t easy and better weather would have been great, but the event was lots of fun and it was great to meet lots of families out doing the stone hunt. When we found a stone, we were ecstatic.”

Dayna McAlpine, whose daughters took part in painting and hunting for stones, added: “I think this was a great event to bring the community together.

“My daughters went out for a walk with their dad and really liked finding the rocks that they recognised that had been painted by people they knew.

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“They really enjoyed it and Route 81 should do this event again next year.”

A free raffle for a box of sweets donated by Morrisons in Helensburgh was won by 10-year-old Jack Slee, who also said he was looking forward to taking part again next year.

Catherine, 16, one of the Route 81 senior volunteers who organised the event, said: “For me as a volunteer, it was really great seeing lots of kids coming out of their comfort zone by taking part, bringing their rocks in, doing evaluations with me, and looking great in their costumes.

“It felt really good to be one of the people who organised this event that made everyone feel so good.”

Seventeen-year-old Cara from Route 81, who was also part of the organising team, has recently begun her Youth Achievement Award and planning, organising, and volunteering at this event was one of her challenges.

She added: “I had so much fun volunteering at this event, especially because I was with my friends, and it didn’t feel like doing ‘work’. I hope the community enjoyed it as much as me!”

Michelle Macdonald from Route 81 said: “We are grateful to The Art Society of Lomond and Argyll who provided funding for this event and to our main funders, The Gannochy Trust and Young Start – the National Lottery Community Fund, who have a vested interest in enabling young lives to be positively impacted by our work.”