Hidden rocks to remember Amy Nice from Chorley are a happy surprise for walkers in beauty spots

Walkers, cyclists and others who love the outdoors are discovering painted rocks at beauty spots around Chorley.

Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 8:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 9:30 am
The hidden rocks are in memory of Amy Nice who took her own life after suffering from depression

Picking up the curious stones and turning them over people see mysteriously written on the back the words #Amy’s project.

Then searching online they discover that people are painting the rocks in honour of Amy Nice, from Chorley who suffered from depression and anxiety.

“Amy was gregarious and outgoing,” said her mum, Joy Nice who is in her 50s and lives in Coppull. “She liked to be around people and she was very memorable.

Adam Barker with his daughter Lexi

“She and her friend Gemma had come up with the idea for the project together.

“Their children are similar ages and they were quite similar as well – both are very arty and had an awful lot in common.

“Their kids love throwing stones in rivers and they thought how nice it would be to collect some of these stones and paint them just to brighten people’s days up.”

Amy, a mother to a little boy, was 21 years old when she took her own life in October 2017.

Lexi Barker, eight, finds one of the decorated stones

“Amy suffered from depression and anxiety,” said Joy. “She was very loved.”

Joy says that #Amy’s project is proving to be therapeutic for people.

She said: “There’s one man who takes his daughter out and after a stressful working week he says it helps him to relax.

“People are painting them and taking them up hills and taking them abroad. The hope is that when people find the stones they will take them with them and make one of their own and put it out somewhere that matters to them.

Adam Barker with his daughter Lexi

“People are now linking it back to mental health and writing the number of the Samaritans on them.”

Joy who says depression is “debilitating” added: “It’s very difficult when you are depressed because you don’t even want to get out of bed and talk to people and you need the support of people.

“Amy found it very hard to marshal her thoughts and explain to me how she was feeling.

“I think for other people who are suffering from depression, talk to other people who are going through it. You can’t explain to somebody who hasn’t been there, it’s impossible.

Lexi Barker, eight, finds one of the decorated stones

“Amy had this thing about nail varnishes so some people are starting to use nail varnishes to paint rocks. It seems to have unleashed an inner artist in a lot of people.”

So far painted stones have been found in Rivington, Astley Park, Birkacre, Duxbury Gardens, Helvellyn, Cumbria and even Kelso in Scotland.

Adam Barker, from Chorley, says that painting the rocks with his six-year-old daughter Lexi and taking them out on walks has been a great way to enjoy quality time together and wind down at the weekend.

He said: “It’s something I get to do with my daughter. We sit and paint the stones together.

“It gets her out walking. She loves doing it, first thing in the morning she says, ‘Daddy can we paint stones today’.

“I work hard all week so it chills me out at weekend sitting down and relaxing for a bit painting a stone.

“I go walking a lot so I have got in the habit of just taking a stone with me to put down at the top.”