When Dinah Morgan, Sarah Dennis and Pat Eynon decided to set up clinics specialising in homeopathy and yoga, they had one overriding aim.

Their aim was to keep the cost of the sessions as low as possible so people who would not normally be able to afford alternative treatments and medicines could do so.

Knowing there were already several clinics in Brighton and Hove and the Lewes area, the trio decided to look around Newhaven instead.

Dinah said: "At first, we thought of buying our own place but then we heard about the Hillcrest Community Centre.

"It is a tremendous place and a real focal point for a community that is quite widespread. There is a lot of support for and commitment to the centre and we thought it would be an excellent place to hold our sessions."

Pat specialises in homeopathy and is also interested in flower remedies. These use extracts of flowers to help change the balance of the body's metabolism and promote wellbeing. They are particularly effective on children.

Sarah also practices homeopathy and specialises in developing alternative treatments for allergies and eczema.

Dinah holds regular yoga sessions and also works on a form of art therapy called Growth And Creativity which involves art work and discussion groups.

Dinah said: "I am interested in how people feel when they are painting a particular image and the type of energy they put into it.

"We then work on that as a group and find out ways of helping individuals. For example, a person may be bitterly angry and emotive when they do a painting or they may be calm and happy.

"We can usually tell what type of mood they are in from the resulting picture."

The trio, who have known each other for several years, have now been running the sessions at Hillcrest for about a month.

Dinah said: "Many people see the word homeopathy and immediately think they can't afford it and don't bother. What we are doing is giving them the chance to try it out and see what they think."

Homeopathy is an alternative system of medicine founded in the early 19th Century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann. It was very popular in the late 19th Century when about 15 per cent of all medical doctors in this country and other European countries were homeopaths.

With the advent of modern medicine, homeopathy was touted as "old and stodgy" by practitioners of conventional medicine and it fell out of fashion.

This trend has reversed recently and, since 1980, homeopathy has experienced a strong resurgence of interest.

A homeopathic remedy usually consists of a single substance - derived from a plant, animal, or mineral -

which is subjected to a special procedure to bring out its medicinal properties.

There are currently about 2,000 substances whose specific effects on the body have been recorded. Examples of these are charcoal, salt and poison ivy.

Developed in India, yoga is a spiritual practice that has been evolving for the past 5,000 years or so. Practising the postures, breathing exercises and meditation are said to make people healthier in body, mind and spirit.

Research also shows yoga can help manage or control anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, blood pressure, diabetes, chronic fatigue, depression, heart disease, epilepsy, headaches, multiple sclerosis, stress and other conditions.

It can also improve muscle tone, flexibility, strength and stamina, boost self-esteem, improve concentration and circulation, stimulate the immune system and create a sense of wellbeing and calm.

Once the clinics are better established, the group is hoping to extend its sessions to include baby massage clinics and yoga for new mums.

The yoga sessions take place at the Hillcrest Centre on Tuesday afternoons from 1.30pm to 3pm. The homeopathy groups meet on Thursdays, 10am to 3pm.

For more details, call 01273 487776 or 01273 470106.