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 up as a result of work and life stresses.

Dragon Café in the City builds on this initiative – giving people a physical space to unwind and release the pressure.


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. In 2017, the project was expanded to include a new location in the heart of the City of London: Dragon Café in the City, based in Shoe Lane Library.


Mental Fight Club (MFC) is a charity delivering imaginative events for people of all mental experience. Our flagship programme is The Dragon Café – a thriving arts and health space that has been running since 2012 from the crypt of St George the Martyr in Borough.

We use our mental health expertise to design models of support which meld the arts and social interaction. Our events are open to all, inspire resilience, and support recovery from life’s many challenges. We exist to bring people together and create joyful experiences.


Shoe Lane Library is one of the 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. Located within walking distance of St. Paul's Cathedral, Shoe Lane Library has earned its standing as the sanctuary in the heart of the City, providing 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 corner of the library devoted to the City's youngest residents and visitors.


The City of London, also known as the Square Mile, is home to 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 CorporationThe 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 all residents, workers, and visitors.