My story

I was born in Islington on a bathroom floor (as you do), then moved to France when I was, as they say in France, “One year and some potatos”.

After a stint in French education and acquiring a dual nationality, I was sent back to the UK to further my education and ended up, many years later, in London.

Like many people, due to overwork and social pressure to climb a ladder and make money, I have known loneliness.
Living in London, working 4 jobs, 7 days a week to try to save enough for a home of my own while trying to follow all my interests, I suddenly found myself alone and with only work for any social contact. I therefore started working longer hours for the interaction and hid in a bottle when I was alone, wondering why no-one was calling and what the point of staying alive was.

I ended up screaming to my family and friends that I was done and thankfully, although they did not initially understand how bad the situation was, they helped me.

Not everyone is as fortunate as I was and January is quite often, the time when people do give up and the suicide rate is astronomical, which is why International Hug Day is on the 23rd of January every year.

After my sister’s wedding, which took place between two lockdowns and was the happiest 10 days of my life, we decided to revive a hug t-shirt idea that a family friend had done in her teens and we covered our hands in paint and simply hugged each other.
Looking at my family’s prints on the clothes I now have, makes me smile and always reminds me of the warmth and love that their hugs bring. And I want to share that feeling.  

I’ve always found that a smile, a kind word or a random act of kindness can make someone’s day and I am now addicted to making people smile.

I like making people feel seen.

A hug costs nothing but can make a huge difference to a person’s life, so this is where you come in, as we would now like to encourage people to “Give the World a Hug” .

Our mission as a homespun fundraiser is to help organizations who help individuals get out of loneliness and promote a meaningful connection between people through creativity and the simple act of a hug.

My return to France to spend some time with my parents made me want to start to make a difference locally. And the wonderful thing about coming back to the village that I grew up in, is that everyone knows me and my family and it’s much easier to get things moving!

Final part

The Plan of action!

During the Covid lockdowns, a movement was started by Laurence Benaem and Romain Monteaux-Sarmiento called “Les Talents s’engagent au profit de SOS Ehpad@lestalentsengagent , in France. The famous and creative International talents auctioned off; signed photos, prints, drawings, watercolours, experiences, exceptional workshops, and one-of-a-kind pieces to raise funds for SOS EHPAD.
SOS EHPAD is a charity that supports the elderly and their care workers.
This online auction inspired me to aim higher and after meeting with Romain Monteaux-Sarmiento for a coffee in Paris in May, here I am – Aiming to raise funds for established charities that help people who feel lonely and do it around the clock!

Online auction dates are now set for Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th december 2024: Artwork submissions & celebrity Hugs welcome!

How do You see a Hug?


Come and see the various community events that we have organised so far this year !


Do get in touch for any tips on how to organise your own "Flash Hugs" !