To lift her spirits and the spirits of those in her community West Lothian College lecturer Rebecca Nicol has been leaving little presents around her neighbourhood.

Rebecca Nicol, who teaches a variety of courses at the college, has been creating clay ornaments to decorate trees, gates and any other spaces she can find around her neighbourhood for friends and strangers to find.

It all started at the beginning of lockdown in 2020 as people began giving back to their communities to support one another. Rebecca decided to give back to her community by hanging decorations on trees and magnets on lampposts. This was all done anonymously at first but after people figured it out Rebecca began posting on Facebook to let people know when new ornaments were out.

Rebecca said: “I got feedback from people in the community that kids liked it and it helped lift people up a little bit when they were out on walks if they were feeling down. I started going twice a week kept going for the rest of the year! Now I go at least twice a month, sometimes more and I like to create special pieces on special occasions like Easter, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc.

“This last year has been hard on many and a small act of kindness can really make a difference to people’s days. It’s so important to show kindness to people.”

It’s not just Rebecca who enjoys it either, she’s received wonderful feedback both in person and on social media. Kim Innes on Facebook commented: “Thank you for bringing some joy to our walks. My daughter loves looking for your wonderful creations when we are out. They give her so much joy and puts a spring in her step when she is feeling a little down.”

Another commenter, Collette Baird, said: “Hi. I just wanted to let you know these creations brighten my walk every day. My mum passed away 2 weeks ago and I first saw some of the stones on the day of her funeral. They absolutely helped me get through the day, and every time I’m out I look for them. I especially love the bunny holding the heart. I’d love to purchase a few if possible.”

Rebecca continues to craft her clay creations and hopes to continue sparking joy in those who come across them.