A woman who turned to yoga during a dark time in her life says the relaxing activity could help tackle youth gang culture and crime in Lewisham.

Dragonfly Yoga Studio launched in Brockley in 2016 and is now set to open a second base in Sydenham High Street to support troubled youths.

crowd funding campaign has now been started to raise £30,000 to help open the second yoga studio.

Rebecca Suart, 25, who started volunteering at the studio four years ago, said a new facility in Sydenham will bring something modern to an "underdeveloped" high street and could save lives along the way.

"There are a lot of gangs here and teenagers are being convinced to go down a dangerous route," Rebecca told News Shopper.

READ MORE: Shocking video shows confrontation between two armed men in Brockley

She acknowledged teenage boys would need to be persuaded to start yoga but insisted it could inspire social change.

Rebecca said yoga would help disadvantaged teenagers after enduring her own mental health battle.

"I turned to yoga at quite a dark time," Rebecca said. "I started volunteering to get free classes. It helped me into routine and helped me so much with depression and anxiety.

"It is scary how many people are suffering."

She added: "After I finished at Sydenham Girls' School I went travelling for about four years. When I travelled alone, I lost a lot of weight and it spiralled into an eating disorder.

"Last year I experienced some trauma and PTSD. My coping mechanism has always been exercise and personally running helps me deal with frustration in my head.

"But yoga helped me to calm down."

She now hopes the new studio will have the same calming effect on other young people, drawing them away from the "dangers of knife, gang and drug culture within young adolescents in Lewisham".

Dragonfly Yoga Studio was started by GMax Trackstars, a charity that formed in 2010 to create a pathway for young athletes to reach Olympic level.

All profits from the studio go towards GMax Trackstars Charity. 

Rebecca added: "We want to make Lewisham a safer place and to keep these kids out of trouble and keep them alive and safe more importantly.

"We want to provide new facilities and spaces for these children to train in and give them the chance to excel in sports outside of school PE and the core curriculum."

It is hoped the new Dragonfly Yoga Studio could open this May at the top of Sydenham High Street opposite the Cherry and Ice café.

Volunteers are being sought to help work on the building and the online fundraiser will end next month.