Colourful tokens of hope crafted by budding young artists are being scattered around public places in Whangārei.

They are part of the Spread Hope project organised by the Quarry Arts Centre.

The tokens are designed to provide a message of hope, foster the sense of community and give people "a little surprise" when they find them.

Manager Sally Lush said the project started at the ArtBeat Festival in February.

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An interactive stall was set up where children could create the clay tokens. They were free to make whatever shape and design they wanted, before stamping a message of hope on the back.

The message reads: "Quarry Arts Centre. Made for you, please keep this gift or pass it on. Spread Hope project." The centre's website is also included.

Lush said many children and adults were keen to get involved during ArtBeat.

The centre has now glazed and fired all of the pieces in the kiln and they are ready to go out into the community.

A collection of the colourful Spread Hope clay tokens. Photo/Supplied
A collection of the colourful Spread Hope clay tokens. Photo/Supplied

Lush said when the children were creating the tokens, about 25 of them indicated they wanted to be part of distributing them.

"The kids who put their names down are going to pick up a bag and... put them in public places."

She said they would be mostly in city areas, such as the Town Basin, nestled in places like gardens.

People out and about these school holidays should keep an eye out for colourful clay flowers, kiwi, stars, hearts, fish and more.

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In the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks, Lush said the project could not have come at a better time.

"We just thought now was a great time to get it out in the public."

She said the centre came up with the idea for ArtBeat as they wanted to do something where the children were "making it for a greater purpose" than just something to come and pick up and keep for themselves.

"They really committed to the idea of making something special - not to keep for themselves but to gift to someone else."

Children get creative making tokens for the Spread Hope project at ArtBeat. Photo/Supplied
Children get creative making tokens for the Spread Hope project at ArtBeat. Photo/Supplied

Lush said all up there are between 200 to 250 tokens, some of which have already been put out.

"We plan to do it again."

She said other events and days where they have groups of children through the centre would provide opportunity to make more tokens and keep the project going.

If you're a school or workplace interested in being part of spreading hope in your community, contact the Quarry Arts Centre on 09 438 1215 for more details.