YOUNG people in Dalry have shown off their artistic side at a vibrant new mural in the heart of the town - with the help of a local graffiti artist.

North Ayrshire Youth Services has enlisted the help of Tragic O'Hara to create the mural on the wall adjacent to the car park (part of the Masonic Hall building) next to Dalry Community Gardens.

And the amazing mural boasts a mental health message, which reads: "One day you will thank yourself for never giving up."

The mural is a group effort between the young people of Garnock Youth Forum, North Ayrshire’s Youth Work Modern Apprentices and the Council’s Community Mental Health and Wellbeing team.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: The Garnock Youth Forum with the Provost and Tragic O'HaraThe Garnock Youth Forum with the Provost and Tragic O'Hara (Image: NAC)

Known as Bee You Ambassadors, the young people involved in the Kindness Mural have been supported by Youth Work Modern Apprentices following mental health first aid training, undertaken earlier this year.

Bee You Ambassador and Modern Apprentice Findlay said: “We were all really passionate about building a lasting legacy for young people in North Ayrshire.

“The reason for this is because we understand that mental health and the stark rise of young people impacted by suicide are both serious issues having a real, detrimental impact on the wellbeing of local young people today.

“So, over the last few months we have been speaking directly to our peers in both classroom and youth settings to hear more about their lived-experiences. This has given us an understanding of what is working well and if they need it, we’ve shared what support is out there locally.

"One key theme we have identified through this work is that there’s so many young people out there who are unsure about where they can turn to outside of school.”

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Dalry mural

To combat this, as well as designing the art-piece, commissioned to Tragic O’Hara, the Bee You Ambassadors have incorporated a vital design element – the inclusion of a QR code that people can scan when visiting the mural to find out what mental health support is out there for them.

Raising awareness and ending the stigma surrounding mental health are key drivers for the Kindness Murals initiative that will be rolled out in 2024 across North Ayrshire’s other localities.

Tragic's work is well known across North Ayrshire; back in August he created a similarly vibrant mural in the centre of Ardrossan, telling the town's story in glorious colour, in an Ardrossan Community Development Trust project.

He has also worked with young people in Saltcoats and local group SeaSalt Street this year to create stunning new artworks on the wall outside the old Hip Flask pub and in the nearby lane at Sloane's Jewellers.

Provost Anthea Dickson unveiled the new mural at the official opening ceremony on Friday.

She said: “Although the consultation stage has been several months in the making, the painting of the mural itself only started out on Monday last week, and what a transformation!

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the dedicated young people who came up with the mural design and to local graffiti artist extraordinaire Tragic O’Hara who has worked together with them on this striking modern mural for Dalry.

“Congratulations to everyone involved. You should all be really proud of yourselves.”

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: A post opening tea at Dalry Library with Garnock Youth Foforum and Tragic O'HaraA post opening tea at Dalry Library with Garnock Youth Foforum and Tragic O'Hara (Image: NAC)

NACs mental health champion, Councillor Jean McClung, said: “What an important message this mural conveys. It’s amazing to think that just a few days ago this was a blank wall - look at it now. A stellar job from everyone involved.

“I would like to extend our warmest gratitude to Tragic O’Hara and all the inspiring young people involved in making this mural a reality which will now leave a lasting and postive legacy.

“Mental health matters. It is as important as physical health and particularly at this time of year, it is more important than ever to take care of yourself and look out for each other.”

Councillor McClung added: “As ever, for young people, it is clear that pressures with friends, fallouts, school life, social media, body image, personal safety, the cost-of-living crisis and more can all be compounding factors that can have a serious and lasting impact on a young person’s mental health, so this type of community empowerment project is so important.

“I would say to anyone - no matter their age or background - who needs help, to firstly speak to somebody you can trust – whether that is a friend or family member. And I would say go to your GP for advice.

“Remember, if you or someone else is in immediate danger call 999.”

To find out more about the Mental Health And Wellbeing support in your locality, visit the mural to scan the QR code or visit the Mental Health and Wellbeing mapping resource here:

You can also follow the NAC Mental Health and Wellbeing on Twitter: