EVERYONE across the world needs a pick-me-up in these dark and unprecedented times.

And youngsters across Colchester have been doing their bit to add a ray of sunshine into the lives of residents during the nationwide lockdown.

Thousands have been taking part in a craze which is sweeping the nation, by drawing or painting rainbows along with uplifting messages, and displaying them for the world to see.

Crystal Stanley, who lives in Ipswich, but is from Wivenhoe, started the Rainbow Trail Facebook group.

The group now has more than 150,000 members from all over the world.

“Everyone is a bit down at the moment because of everything going on,” she said.

“I thought it was something nice to show everyone is together and it would share some positivity.

“I am amazed by how it has taken off - the group has grown very quickly.”

The Gazette asked for readers’ photographs showing young ones’ handiwork, and our readers did not disappoint.

We received hundreds of replies and here are just a selection.

We need to stick together in these difficult days and hopefully these positive youngsters can be an example to us all.

Visit facebook.com/groups/681125849365623.