A VEGAN beauty therapist is confident she can make the lifestyle more accessible by hosting an inclusive charity event.

Dionne Bartlett, 32, who founded Garden of Eden Beauty, in Eld Lane, Colchester, is now planning a vegan fair of the same name.

It is set to be a full day of vegan health, beauty, fashion and lifestyle advice and tips with live music and entertainment.

As well as visitors being able to try creative vegan food and drinks from a specialist brewery, there will be palm readers, medium Robert Lumis and circus acts.

More than 40 stalls will be nestled under a gazebo at the Colne Engaine Village Hall, at Station Road, on Sunday, October 9.

The mother-of-one has the event family-friendly and wants non-vegans to feel welcomed.

She said: "Vegans can be quite negatively stereotyped and also events can be militant about who they're marketing to, which can scare non-vegans so they miss out on the education. You also don't need to be vegan to appreciate what these businesses offer.

"Everyone is so proud of the vegan scene in Colchester and we already have an established fair, but I wanted to do something bigger, just as positive and to bring everyone together."

The proceeds of the £3.50 entry fee will be split between two charities of equal importance - Ruff Stuff Rescue and Cornwall Hospice Care in memory of her best friend's mum who passed away of cancer.

She said: "Vicky has always been incredibly supportive of everything I do and without her, I probably wouldn't have taken the jump and started my business.

"It was heartbreaking watching Vicky lose her mum and the comfort she found in such an amazing hospice really made me want to help.

"The rescue has also been struggling financially so I wanted to help them out, but other animal welfare charities will be there too."

Inspirational speakers from vegan or animal welfare organisations are now needed to complete the event.

She added: "I'd want them to explain the principles of veganism and focus on the positives, this would be excellent.

"There's been so much interest so far across the UK. The Vegan Society had shared the page and I've also been approached by Veg Fest UK so it's attracting really good attention."

The Garden of Eden Vegan Fair runs from 10am until 5.30pm.

To request a stall or offer your services, email thegardenofedenbeauty@yahoo.com.