DRAGON CAFE IN THE CITY
Dragon Café in the City welcomes anyone living or working in the Square Mile who is feeling the pressures of work or life.
It is a relaxing space, and is open to everyone. Located in Shoe Lane Library, the Café offers a range of free activities and events to promote and support mental wellbeing. The Dragon Café also provides an open, quiet and calm environment, to reflect or to practice mindfulness on your own. It provides a space to look after your own wellbeing – mind, body and soul.
Launching on 8th February 2018, Dragon Café in the City will run fortnightly on Thursdays between noon and 8:30pm, offering:
short massage and complementary therapy sessions,
creative workshops and talks on a wide variety of subjects,
Yoga and movement workshops,
and more TBC.
Dragon Café in the City is a collaboration between Mental Fight Club, Shoe Lane Library, Business Healthy, the City of London Corporation and Output Arts.
RELEASE THE PRESSURE
The City of London’s Release the Pressure campaign was launched in the summer of 2017, designed to help City workers and residents open up about mental health challenges and to ’release the pressure’ that builds as a result of work and life stresses. Dragon Café in the City will build on this initiative - giving people a physical space to unwind and release the pressure. Output Arts will present their installation Release the Pressure viewable and listenable within Shoe Lane Library during February and March 2018. The installation will include audio clips of various people giving their tips and thoughts on how to release the pressure.
"Fantastic, warm, safe, friendly relief from corporate bedlam. Once a week doses have kept me sane and productive."
MENTAL FIGHT CLUB
Mental Fight Club are unlike any other organisation currently working in the mental health field. We provide unique projects to improve people’s mental health in central London, Greater London and the wider world via physical spaces as well as social media and online platforms. Mental Fight Club have a wealth of experience and embedded knowledge of the provision of spaces for mental wellbeing, and have long recognised the need for a safe, creative and welcoming space for those working in the highly pressurised City of London.
The concept of Dragon Café in the City originated in the Borough of Southwark, just south of the Square Mile and close to many of the big firms that have established offices on the south side of the Thames. It is here that registered charity Mental Fight Club was founded by Sarah Wheeler in 2003. Sarah envisioned a space where people could relax and simply be, regardless of their mental health status, and Mental Fight Club exists to improve people’s mental health by providing this unique support; safe, creative spaces where people can connect with others. The flagship manifestation of this vision is The Dragon Café.
The Dragon Café is Mental Fight Club’s ethos in practice - a safe, welcoming space, open to all, no questions asked about mental health status, where people can connect with others and be creative. Opened in October 2012, The Dragon Café runs as a weekly pop-up that takes place in the Crypt of St. George the Martyr Church in Borough every Monday from noon - 8:30pm.
SHOE LANE LIBRARY
Shoe Lane Library is based on Little New Street in the heart of The City and within walking distance of St. Paul’s cathedral. Shoe Lane is one of five libraries managed by the City of London Corporation, and has built a great reputation for its engagement of City workers and residents through talks, play provision and events. It provides a comfortable space for its users as well as a comprehensive offering of books, cds, dvds and maps. The children’s section is especially popular, with a colourful and playful corner of the library devoted to the City’s youngest residents.
CITY OF LONDON CORPORATION
The City of London is also known as the Square Mile, the financial district and historic centre of London. It is one of the 33 areas with local authority responsibilities into which London is divided. Administratively, London is divided into 32 boroughs and the City of London. Local authority services are provided by the City of London Corporation. The residential population of this small area is approximately 8,000 people. However, over 400,000 people commute into the City every day for work and over 10 million visit as tourists every year. The City of London Corporation have a role and wide remit that goes beyond that of an ordinary local authority with three main aims:
- to support and promote London as the world's leading international financial and business centre and attract new business to the capital and the whole UK
- to work in partnership with local communities to increase skills, employment and opportunities for all Londoners, including through the City Bridge Trust
- to enhance the capital as a hub of culture, history and green spaces for Londoners – residents, workers, and visitors.
Output Arts is an art collective founded in 2009.
In their own words:
“We make site-specific, interactive and participatory audiovisual artworks and experiences.
We engage in a process of collaboration and refinement that brings together traditional and modern artistic techniques. We work with a variety of physical and time-based material – sometimes researched from a community through sensitive questioning – and combine this with thoughtful and careful use of digital technology.
Through this, we generate playful and poignant artworks that distil the enormity of an idea – such as the experience of loss or the wind – into an intimate contemplation. We create surprising and accessible artworks that encourage our audience to be active agents in the discovery of stories that unfold over time.”
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SHOE LANE LIBRARY
Shoe Lane Library,
1 Little New St,