Sat July 2nd 2011 was international Free Hugs day as set by the original Free Hugger ‘Juan Mann’ so we brought Guerrilla Hugs to Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire. It was the first time we had done free hugs so were supported by Guerrilla Hugs Navigator who very kindly agreed to travel from London to show us how it’s done.
It was an amazing heart-opening experience which left me on a high for days after. We hugged all ages & were especially delighted at how many young people were happy to give & receive hugs. Even those who weren’t confident enough to have a hug were smiling as they watched. A local shop keeper came out with lovely fudge to share; the sun shone brightly, we all felt very blessed. Here are some of the comments from both huggers & the huggees!
“It was fantastic – I would love to do it again!
“It was a joyous experience…. Just like one big family hugging each other.”
“It was quite challenging being so open & being turned down by some people, but it felt as though we’d changed the energy of the space after an hour”.
“I loved the hugs day and couldn’t stop smiling about it for the rest of the day. I was amazed by the number of children who were sent over by their parents for hugs – so lovely in this ‘do not touch’ society we have now – when I taught in infant and primary schools we were not permitted to hug a child!! It was also lovely to see the onlookers, who were too shy to approach us, walk by with a smile on their faces. The happy feel good energy was palpable in Newcastle that day.”
“It’s so important to spread some love.”
“I’ve just spent £600 so I really need a hug!”
One lady said she didn’t want a hug as ‘it would make me cry’
One bloke sat on a bench who refused a hug but said ‘I’m just enjoying watching your antics’!!’
A business man coming out from the bank in a suit who said ‘How can I resist that?!’
Several elderly ladies who said ‘that was lovely, I haven’t had a hug like that since my husband died’
“I had some lovely comments, but the resounding comment was that we should do it more often. One lady said we should do it every week. Another said it should be on the NHS, particularly for lonely elderly people.”
One elderly lady said “Where are the beefy men?”
One elderly guy asked “Will you marry me?”
WATCH OUT FOR GUERRILLA HUGS IN THE AREA- WE’LL BE BACK!