A VIRTUAL hug will be given to Basingstoke in June when residents are invited to come together to create a human chain around the town.

On June 21 at 4pm, it is hoped that thousands of people will join hands to create a circle around the perimeter of the town centre to show how much they love Basingstoke by giving it a ‘Big Hug’.

The event is being organised as part of Basingstoke Festival, by Basingstoke Town Chaplaincy, and to be a success more than 2,000 people are needed to take part.

The Big Hug will be followed by a picnic in Eastrop Park with live music to entertain the crowds.

Reverend Mandy Bowskill, lead chaplain for Basingstoke Town Chaplaincy, said: “We feel this is a good publicity event for everyone but especially for our town. The Mayor and Mayoress will be joining us to start off the event which will begin with signal from the top of Festival Place car park.

“We are asking schools, businesses, charities and churches to join in and bring banners and wear bright clothing.”

The organisers are also looking for volunteers to help co-ordinate the event.

For more information and to register to take part visit http://destinationbasing stoke.co.uk/?page=BasingstokeBigHug.