Issue 92 is out now
The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

09th May 2019

How one woman aims to change the world one hug at a time

The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

09th May 2019

The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

09th May 2019

Mayella Reynolds is a life coach from Colliers Wood who had the idea of starting up a Random Hugging event in 2004. She was inspired after hearing a presenter on the radio complain about how you could find random terrorists on the streets “but not random huggers”. ‘I thought what a brilliant idea,’ the 56-year-old recalls. ‘It really tickled me to think of a group of people offering hugs on the streets of London, so I got together with a few friends and we created Random Huggers Day.’ Today the event has been adopted by several cities and Mayella’s mission is unfolding beautifully; to spread the love, warmth and wonderful energy that is in a great hug, around the world. So, what does it feel like? ‘It’s fun, it’s beautiful, it’s moving, it’s confronting - stepping out for the first time asking a stranger if they want a hug!’ says Mayella. ‘One of the highlights is when people look at me curiously and wonder what is it I really want, then when they realise it’s simply a hug, they smile or laugh and open their arms ready for a hug!’

“Research has shown that hugs increase levels of oxytocin as well as reducing blood pressure levels”

Steps to Random Hugging

  1. Put the word out and find yourself a team of like minded people (people who love to hug, or at least love the challenge that, offering to hug a stranger, brings).
  2. Put Random Huggers Day in your diary - May 19th.
  3. Decide on a central location for your event. Choose one that has lots of people passing by and is highly visible from a distance.
  4. Once you have decided on your location, have a chat with your local council and police.
  5. Form your group of huggers. Involve your team in asking everyone they know and ask them to speak to everyone they know and so on. Between 10-20 huggers per location is a good number to aim for.
  6. A good way to generate interest in your event is to get the local press involved.
  7. Either take your camera with you or invite someone to come and take photos of your event on the day.
  8. Meet up at about 10am on the day. Find a space that you can use as your base and a place to leave bags is helpful. Good luck!
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