Disabled war vet dubbed the ‘Barrhead Banksy’ loves spreading lockdown cheer

A disabled war veteran who is blind in one eye is determined to keep spreading positive vibes in his community.

David Martin was in a coma for ten weeks and suffered a serious brain injury after a devastating car crash, which he admits he was lucky to escape with his life.

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The 37-year-old, who served in Afghanistan, has never let that hold him back though and now the self-styled ‘Barrhead Banksy’ is raising smiles throughout the town by leaving artistic creations around the area for kids and adults alike to discover.

He said: “It’s been really hard in lockdown and I wanted to cheer people up and spread some joy.

“I go to the Scottish Warblinded Centre in Hawkhead a lot but that has been closed which has been tough.

“I miss it a lot and can’t wait to get back there when it opens.

“I normally do a lot of painting there and one day I was waiting in the queue for the shops and I just thought wouldn’t it be nice to have something to look at.

“So I started painting stones with ladybirds, rainbows and other positive things and leaving them around for people to find on their walks.

“Throughout my life all I want is to spread positive vibes and I’m like the Barrhead Banksy now.

“Thankfully it seems to be working because people keep telling me they love them and to keep it up.”

While lockdown is beginning to ease, David has no intention of putting away his paintbrushes just yet.

He said: “People have been so supportive, bringing me paints and rocks to keep this going.

“Even though we’re moving out of lockdown, I’m going to keep going because it’s such a nice feeling to know what I’m doing is making a difference.

“It seems to have had a domino effect as a lot of kids nearby have started doing it as well.”

Donna Stewart, who works for military charity The Homeless Veterans Project, says David is one of the nicest characters she’s ever come across.

And she wasn’t surprised to find out he was going the extra mile to spread some smiles during the ongoing pandemic.

She added: “David is so full of life and so optimistic.

“A lot of people might be very bitter after what happened to him but he’s just full of joy and sunshine.

“He has always enjoyed doing arts and crafts at Hawkhead and it’s lovely to see him using his talent in this

“All he wants is to spread some sunshine and I’m certain that he’s managed to do just that.”

Daily Record – Paisley