A children’s charity and a Petersfield School have collaborated to challenge a Guinness World Record for the number of people simultaneously hugging a soft toy.
Barnardo’s Hampshire Healthy Families service, which provides support to families with children under five alongside Southern Health’s health visiting teams, has teamed up with Petersfield Infant School to try and beat the current record which stands at 251 in the USA.
The event aims to promote infant wellbeing as the hugging of a bear or soft toy can reduce stress, help relaxation and improve emotional well-being which makes children happy. Hugs are important for children's emotional and mental health.
Dr Radha Modgil who broadcasts on radio & television to help highlight the importance of mental health and emotional well-being for children and young people also attended to show her support.
Rachel McKernan, Assistant Director, Children’s Services at Barnardo’s said:
“Hugs are one of the five activities parents are encouraged to do every day with their children to support their emotional development and this is an innovative way of highlighting the importance of mental health in children. It has been an opportunity for all of the children to get involved and be part of something record breaking which is very exciting!”
Dr Radha Modgil said:
“Young people growing up in today’s society are subject to many pressures and never more so has their mental health and wellbeing been so important. It is important to keep the conversation going and let children know it’s okay to talk about their feelings and to ask for support. This brilliant event is another way of doing that while the children have hugs, fun and become World Record breakers at the same time!”
Julie Amor from Petersfield Infant School said:
"The children were all very excited to bring their toys to school and take part in a world record attempt. As a very large infant school we were hoping to smash the current record with a much greater number of children being involved. We were also hoping to hug our toys for much longer! Whether we broke the record or not, this was bound to be a fun filled and memorable event for all our pupils."
The Barnardo’s shop in Bordon kindly offered to donate free bears, in case some children did not own a bear or soft toy or forgot to bring them on the day.
Hampshire Healthy Families supports community based projects such as the 'Ready Steady Mums' walking groups, workshops and groups for new parents and health promotion activity. The service adopts the 'Five to Thrive' positive parenting approach enabling children to be healthy and happy and helps to deliver the 'Henry' programme – which is Health, Exercise and Nutrition for the Really Young.
Would you like to work at Barnardo's? View their latest childcare jobs here: https://www.nurseryjobsuk.com/job/3073/early-years-lead-gloucester/