WOMEN from across the UK were invited to train at an open martial arts session on Sunday.

Lanchana Green and David Griffiths, the women's martial arts coaches at The Lab Martial Arts gym in Darlington, held the "open mat" for women who train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Twenty three attended, and they were coached by Ms Green and Mr Griffiths, and then had the chance to all train with each other.

Ms Green said: "Something that a lot of ladies involved in BJJ have in common is a lack in other female training partners so it was a great opportunity for them to train with other females.

"What made our day truly special though was a raffle we held whereby all proceeds were to be contributed to our local Darlington Women's Refuge.

"People had donated prizes such as ladies training clothing, antibacterial soap and even made prizes such as a huge carrot cake and a 'girls night in' hamper.

"The ladies attending were very generous, buying tickets and just making donations so between all of us we raised £174.50 for the refuge, which we will give to them this week."