Special mention award for young Matthew

An 11-year-old has won a special mention award at our annual ceremony after he created a magical walking trail.

Matthew McDonald was commended in the Community Path Volunteer of the Year category after designing Toddle Tots Fairy Trail in Renfrewshire.

Matthew, a pupil at Linwood High School, led and delivered the creation of the Fairy Trail on an underused riverside path which has inspired people of all ages.

The youngster designed, painted, and weatherproofed the trail as well as designed an online trail that families could follow as they walked.

Matthew said: “My mum started the idea a few years ago, but we properly implemented it during lockdown.

"We posted pictures on Facebook to tell people about it and had lots of support from the community.

“Unfortunately the trail was vandalised, however, people in the community quickly got in touch via Facebook to support us and help get it set up again.

When people message us to say they have done the trail, I walk and deliver a note from the ‘fairies’ along with a door that people can decorate themselves - I’ve now been to around 50 houses!

My mum got a message about a three-year-old boy who had learned to count from counting the fairy doors on the trail which is amazing and makes me feel that I am doing something positive for the local community.

I was delighted to hear that I had won this special award and hope that many more people will be able to enjoy the trail.

Hopefully they will get as much enjoyment out of it as I did creating it.

Matthew was one of 13 winners at our 11th annual Volunteer Awards. See all the winners here.