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Gloucestershire Business News

Big Hug event breaks world record

People from 53 different nations living in Gloucester have set a world record for a group hug.

The Big Hug event was organised in the city by BBC Radio Gloucestershire and the local charity GARAS (Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers for Red Nose Day on Friday.

It was to celebrate the fact that Gloucester has become a multi-cultural society with residents from all over the globe

The event took place at the GARAS headquarters in the multi ethnic community of Barton and was organised in part to celebrate the charity's 20th anniversary.

GARAS supports refugees and asylum seekers by providing practical help, workshops and classes for learning the English language and assimilation in to the UK.

The record was a tight call right up to the deadline. GARAS director Adele Owens was rushing in to shops along multi-cultural Barton Street to get people to join and make up the numbers.

She said that she was shouting at people 'I'm not from the Home Office, I promise!' as she was convincing people to make up the numbers.

Community artist Kulchalee Fable, a Gloucester-born Rastafarian who was performing music at the event, was also rushing people in from the street outside.

The Guinness Book of Records had stipulated there had to be at least fifty different nationalities involved for them to consider creating a new group hug record so when the 51st national, a man from Sierra Leone, wandered in he was welcomed by a huge round of applause.

Tim Pemberton, managing editor at BBC Radio Gloucestershire, said: "This event was part of a big mission to reach the heart of the community and bring together the widest range of people."

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