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 - Credit: 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.

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

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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.”

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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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