A POPULAR annual yoga event which has raised thousands of pounds for charity has been saved from cancellation thanks to a community-minded North-East hotel.

Karen Thursby, who runs Alola Yoga, has organised annual outdoor yoga classes in aid of Cancer Research UK since 2017, but feared she would have to cancel this year after struggling to find a suitable venue.

But to her relief, Walworth Castle Hotel has stepped in and offered to host the event in the grounds of its County Durham venue.

Karen said: “We’re enormously relieved and thankful that Walworth Castle has allowed us to bring our charity yoga to such a beautiful setting, particularly during such a busy time for the hotel industry – it’s a very generous gesture.

“I can’t think of a better backdrop for the event than the hotel’s stunning building and grounds. My hope is that their support helps us attract more people and raise more money than ever before for a charity very dear to my heart.”

Karen began fundraising for Cancer Research UK after her mother, Lola, who came to the UK from Nigeria in the 1950s and trained as nurse, was diagnosed with bile duct cancer.

Lola passed away shortly after her diagnosis, aged 82, but Karen has kept the event going in her mum’s memory, and has to date raised £13,000 for the charity.

Unsal Aydin, General Manager of Walworth Castle, said: “We’re very pleased to support a worthy community event like Karen’s, and help her to raise money for a fantastic cause.

“We’re proud that Walworth Castle is seen as a vital part of our local community, and we agree the venue offers a spectacular backdrop for events like this. We wish Karen and all her yoga students a very enjoyable time.”

Karen’s charity outdoor yoga is suitable of practitioners of all levels, from beginners to experts. Visit www.alola.yoga to register for the event, or for more information.