Great Britain

Donate while you yoga: Hackney director launches charity class initiative

Vaughan Dagnell has set up Flip Your Dog for Mental Health. Picture: Submitted by Vaughan Dagnell

Vaughan Dagnell has set up Flip Your Dog for Mental Health. Picture: Submitted by Vaughan Dagnell

Archant

A Hackney director-turned-yogi is raising money for a variety of good causes with an ongoing schedule yoga classes.

Vaughan Dagnell initially set up the Flip Your Dog For Mental Health (FYDFMH) initiative as a one-off event in aid of Mental Health Awareness Week from May 18 to 24.

However, the yoga classes were so successful - raising more than £2,000 for charity - Vaughan expanded the project to a year-round fundraising drive.

During a weekly schedule of live, online yoga classes, teachers and studios donate a percentage of their proceeds to FYDFMH to be distributed evenly among Centrepoint, Family Action, Gingerbread, Mind and Refugee Council.

READ MORE: GP surgery will host virtual yoga sessions to boost health during the coronavirus lockdownHe has also planned various campaigns, which sees 100 per cent of the fees during a particular week donated to a relevant charity, for example the Refugee Council for Refugee Awareness Week.

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The next campaign is for Homelessness Awareness Week from October 7 to 13 in aid of Centrepoint’s house counselling and psychotherapy service.

Vaughan - who has worked as a documentary film maker, lived in Australia for seven years and travelled Latin America for a year - said he has seen how “good emotional and psychological support” can help those with mental health problems, including himself.

He told the Gazette: “Eventually I benefitted hugely from professional help and the support of friends and family, and during that time I learnt to cherish my yoga and meditation practice as the foundation of calm during dark days and an eternal source of inspiration during everyday life.”

FYDFMH supports charities which facilitate “spiritual, emotional and psychological stability,” he added.

“I’m not naive enough to suggest that all anyone needs is to do a few ‘om shanti oms’ and sun salutations and everything will be okay, but I do feel those of us who have the time, space, inclination and privilege to find a grounding through a regular practice could make a huge change with just a little adjustment - excuse the pun - in our lives,” Vaughan said.

View the class timetable and book at www.flipyourdogformentalhealth.comVaughan is also hoping to add a charity which works in mental health and fighting racism to its beneficiary list soon.

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