An eight-year-old boy has been given his very own gritter — after being hailed a hero for spending his snow days salting the pavements.
Instead of sitting at home watching TV, inspirational Kyle Mackay used his initiative to keep his neighbourhood snow-free.
He was worried that people might slip on the ice and filled a wheelbarrow with grit before making his way down streets and pavements.
As a reward for his efforts, the youngster has now been given his very own salt spreader and a high-visibility jacket — both emblazoned with his name.
Kyle’s mum, Allana Mackay, 32, said: “I am so over the moon for him. He’s so cute honestly.
“I work for a children’s charity and I can see how children that stay indoors in front of a computer end up being affected.
“It has a bad effect on their health and I am so proud that Kyle is the opposite of that.
“It first started when the snow hit us quite badly. But all the roads near us had not been gritted and Kyle was concerned that someone might get hurt walking past.
“So he took it on himself and got a wheelbarrow and went all the way around the corner pouring salt.”
Kyle, from the Highlands village of Kiltarlity, was presented with a £788 gritter paid for by construction firm, William Gray Construction.
Allana, who is a charity executive for MFR Cash for Kids, said she was “quite emotional” when she found out about the surprise.
She added: “I knew how happy he would be. I had to tell him he was having a half day at school just so he could see his surprise.
“He struggles in school at times, especially with his confidence. I feel this will improve his confidence fully.”
Kyle was chuffed with the recognition he was given.
He said: “I don’t know how long I have been gritting but quite a while. I like it when people say thank you to me.”
Willie Matheson, a founder of Kiltarlity Community Events, is the man who saw Kyle involving himself in the village’s winter resilience scheme.
He said he was grateful for Kyle’s help because “we are well down the list when it comes to getting the pavements gritted.
“This is the first winter when we have done the winter resilience scheme which is sponsored by the council, they supply us grit bins and the grit – we do whatever work we can.
“But it is good and an inspiration to others to get the likes of Kyle who is willing to come and help.”
Chris Buchan of Macgregor’s, industrial supplier, gave Kyle his jacket and gloves.
He said: “The young lad was out helping all the time so we thought we’ll have to do something for him.
“It is good to have a wee loon that is not at home sitting on a PlayStation 24 hours a day – he’s out doing something for the community.”
Kyle, the gritting machine, will be back on the streets as more sub-zero temperatures are expected for Kiltarlity.
Allana added: “He now sends me texts to my phone with the weather forecast and he tells me he will be getting the grits on.”
Kyle has become a gritting sensation to the point that even the Scotland’s transport minister Humza Yousaf has given the youngster an open invitation through social media.
On Twitter, he wrote: “What a kid!
“If Kyle wants a look round a salt depot and to see our gritters up close. I am sure our Operating Companies would be more than happy to oblige.”
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