Updated: Monday, 13th July 2020 @ 9:36pm

'12 hugs a day for growth': Burnley woman plans to travel the world offering hugs

'12 hugs a day for growth': Burnley woman plans to travel the world offering hugs


All you need is hugs – according to a Burnley mum of two.

Debra Brown, 50, plans to sell her home and quit her job as part of a plan to travel the world offering free hugs to strangers.

The unconventional idea is something Debra has wanted to do for more than six years.

"I started hugging people in 2004 when my husband left me for another woman," Debra said.

After her relationship broke down, Debra quit her job as Executive Director of Burnley
Enterprise Trust and decided to make sharing hugs her full time vocation.

Debra describes her mission as 'to spread hugs around the world and connect with people who really need a hug at that moment in time.'

Debra said: "Hugs are a vital part of everyday life, but are something which most people don't make time for.

"We need three hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth."

Debra is a keynote speaker and life coach who aims to inspire others with stories about her own personal journey.

Last year, Debra organised the Haiti Teddy Bear Appeal which sent hundreds of cuddly toys to orphans of the disaster-stricken country.

June Davis recently recieved a hug from Debra at a gig in Manchester. 

She said: "I immediately felt my confidence and inner calm start to grow. Life can be so hectic but Debra has made me realise how important hugging every day is." 

So far, the hugs have been limited to the people of Manchester at countless shopping centres and charity events, but Debra plans to open her arms to the entire world.

Her travel plans have yet to be finalised but Debra is looking forward to taking her mission to foreign shores.

"I realise that not everyone is comfortable being hugged by a stranger so I say  'that's ok, I do hands too, and offer my hand to shake instead.'"

Debra aims to be on the road within the next six months.

Follow Debra's journey on Twitter @globalhugs