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Lizzie Ladybird

Lizzie Ladybird – the story is unfolding its wings…

We are so excited and privileged to be working with Mary Atkinson, Co-Founder of the Story Massage Programme. Bringing positive touch, with consent, back into the lives of children has never been so important or desperately needed.

So how was Lizzie Ladybird born?

Mary and Emmanuel 2020

Pro-Touch Awareness Month launched back in October 2018, alongside the re-launch of National Massage Day on the 1st October each year. The planned National launch was due to be held in the Houses of Parliament, Westminster in October 2019 – but then sadly an emergency recess for Brexit meant it was cancelled. Come October 2020 – and 2021 we’ve been dealing with the CoVid pandemic. The impact on the hands-on therapy sector was devastating and still lingers in many ways today.

It led to everything being moved online as far as possible and also coming under the broader umbrella of the Pro-Touch Movement. That meant campaigning and fundraising could happen at any time of year, not just October, the main awareness month. October 2020 turned into a month of free online activities, lives, events and competitions… which were so well received they have carried on to this day! That’s when the fabulous Mary and Emmanuel, her adorable teddy bear, came along.

Pro-Touch Ambassador Mandy Gardner at Hippins Primary School 2021

Mary kindly agreed to do a live Facebook event of three follow-along massage stories for children. Unbeknown to Pro-Touch Founder Lizzie Badger, Mary had written a secret and exclusive story – called "Lizzie’s Surprise!". Live in the group, the unexpected story of Lizzie Ladybird was told – in honour of Lizzie Badger. It was a profoundly kind, thoughtful and generous gesture and lifts Lizzie's heart to this day. In fact, Lizzie Ladybird's spots are shaped like love hearts – and she flies around the world to bring a message of kindness and love.

The massage story has become extremely special to the Pro-Touch Movement, as it now incorporates "Lizzie's Kindness Buddies" who fly around the world with her. They bring comfort via acts of kindness through touch (with consent, of course), such as holding hands or a friendly hug. The theme for October is kindness as well as touch, so this is such a perfect addition.

PTM Founder Lizzie Badger and Mary are now planning many more stories with different themes that can be told throughout the year.

Says Lizzie –

"I couldn't be more delighted, humbled and inspired by being immortalised as a cartoon/childrens' ladybird! It beats a boring bronze statue any day!
"I follow a lifepath of Bhakti Yoga – devotion to the Divine as Love. My life's mantra has always been "What would Love do?" It’s a simple yet supremely powerful question that we can all ask ourselves when faced with life's many decisions and challenges – children can ask it too.
"For me, Lizzie Ladybird represents that very Divine Love, So when we ask – "What would Lizzie do?", it's a deeper "What would Love do?" This is a life-changing lesson to offer our children – and can cover all of the ways Love manifests – from kindness to patience, courage, joy, forgiveness, tolerance, hope... watch this space!"

Lizzie Badger (right) hands over a cheque to Compton Care (Hospice) from 2021 PTM merchandise sales

Mary and Emmanuel 2022

Says Mary -

"I feel so lucky to have met Lizzie Badger and become a part of the Pro-Touch Movement. Lizzie exudes warmth, kindness and a real sense of purpose and she is the inspiration behind the Lizzie Ladybird massage stories. Sharing a massage story is such a simple and powerful way of spreading the many benefits of positive touch for children and adults of all ages and abilities – and Lizzie and I want to share the joy and fun with everyone.
The Lizzie Ladybird stories, follow-along videos (featuring Emmanuel, my teddy) and instructions are provided as FREE resources to encourage everyone to enjoy them. Do give them a go… then please send us any photos and comments so we can keep building the message of the PTM as it makes its way around the world (just like Lizzie Ladybird and her Kindness Buddies!). “

Head to the free Childrens' Resources library on the website to access everything you need to share the Lizzie Ladybird massage story at your own local school, children’s group or within your own home.