Stepping Stone Theatre group offer hugs to promote upcoming show and well being

Stepping Stone Theatre offered 'bear hug' to Tesco customers and staff
Stepping Stone Theatre offered 'bear hug' to Tesco customers and staff

A Gainsborough theatre group used hugs as a way to promote their latest production as well as better well being.

Members of Stepping Stone Theatre For Mental Health went along to Tesco in Gainsborough with their bear mascots to give out hugs to the customers.

Bill Rodgers said: “The idea around it was two fold, to help promote Stepping Stone Theatre For Mental Health and the event we are doing on April 29, to celebrate the life and work of Nigel Webster, and also a thank you to Tesco for choosing us as one of their charity partners at the beginning of the year.

“The idea of the bears came about after I read an article in the Guardian about hugging and the benefits. I thought it would be a good idea to take the bears into the community and offer bear hugs.

“It was a great success in Tesco, even some of the staff got involved and one member of staff, who asked for a hug, said afterwards, ‘thank you, I needed that. I feel so much better’.

“It also made people feel good seeing something different around. We had families asking to have their photos taken with the bears,

“It is also a way to promote well-being, hugging can help with promoting better mental health, according to the article.”

The bears have been named by the group and are called Syd and Sarah Tonin.

Bill added: “As in serotonin, the bodies feel good endorphin. The baby bear does not have a name yet and we want to run a competition to name him. Baby bear’s name will have to reflect the theme of good mental health as its last name is Tonin.”

To submit a name email, visit or find them on Twitter, @SStoneTheatre. The winner will be chosen in April and they will receive two free tickets to the event.