The Dragon Cafe opens its doors again this February

30.01.14 Categories: Art and mental health, How donations help, News

People in The Dragon Cafe

We’re delighted to announce that, thanks to funding from the Maudsley Charity and Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, The Dragon Café will continue its fantastic work in 2014 and will be reopening its doors on Monday 17th February.

‘Another exciting year of creative inspiration lies ahead for everyone in our local community, especially those going through mental illness and recovery,’ says Declan McGill, Communications Manager at Mental Fight Club – the organisation that runs The Dragon Café.

The Dragon Café is based in Southwark and offers a uniquely vibrant, creative space for those seeking a safe and comfortable environment to socialise in where quick judgements are not the norm. It’s open every Monday from 12 – 8:30pm.

The Dragon Café offers a whole host of creative and well-being activities including writing, tai chi, photography, dancing, art exhibitions and mindfulness. Visitors have also been taking the opportunity to have massages, which can help to re-establish the connection between mind and body that can often be broken in times of mental illness.

And even when The Dragon Cafe is closed, the website provides an online forum for people to connect and share their experiences.
The Dragon Cafe dancing

‘The Dragon Café started as a one-off twelve month project,’ says Declan.

‘Its popularity and its healing power proved so immense that we felt honour-bound to apply for further funding.’

Last year, 2500 people came through the doors to experience this safe, non-judgemental space.

“The Dragon Café is a fantastic place. It gives me a chance to meet like-minded people and make new friends. Very friendly people. May it last forever!”

“I always leave feeling better than when I arrived. I get to be around lovely and diverse people.”

“This café tackles something which no book or tablet ever could. I was lonely and isolated before. But since coming to The Dragon Café I feel happy.”

As well as continuing the well-being and creative activities that have made such a difference to people’s lives, The Dragon Café has big plans for 2014.

In June, it aims to become a creative hub in the Anxiety 2014 Festival run by the Mental Health Foundation. And throughout the year organisations will be invited to become Guest Curators at The Dragon Café for a month at a time, with Bethlem Museum & Art Gallery already on board to devise the creative programme for September.

In the long-term, Declan and his team plan to build the café into a long-lasting model of creative and social support.

Projects like this are made possible because of your generous support. To help us continue our work, make a donation to SLaM today.