Mental Fight Club (MFC) was founded by Sarah Wheeler in Southwark in 2003, as a creative force for change led by service users. The group has been running pop-up creative events since 2003 to explore issues around mental illness, recovery and wellbeing. These varied events play to packed audiences, using creativity to break down the barriers between the ill and the well, the supporters and the supported. In this way the group hopes to “open everyone’s mind to the wisdom and riches that can be gained in the journey through mental illness into recovery”.
In 2012 Maudsley Charity began funding the Dragon Caféproject: MFC’s most innovative endeavour to date. Fuelled by a regular volunteer workforce, two-thirds of whom have themselves experienced mental health problems, the Dragon Café is open every Monday in the Crypt of St George the Martyr Church (London, SE1 1JA) and offers a support structure to the work of MFC, creating a hub which draws together people from a diverse range of backgrounds and mental health experiences.
A programme of creative or wellbeing-related events is delivered every Monday, with different themes each month; from poetry to painting, Tai Chi to boxing, there is a new experience to suit every palate. The café is free and open to all, people can come and go for creative activities with payment only required for the delicious and healthy vegetarian menu.
The Dragon Café prides itself on being a “free, open, creative, welcoming and high quality community space where all can feel at home”.
A great way to support the Cafe is by coming along to its first DRAGON NIGHTS fundraising gig on Friday 27th March, 7-9 pm @ St George The Martyr Church (upstairs). Get tickets here, or follow the White Rabbit…
For more information, visit www.dragoncafe.co.uk
The story of Mental Fight Club is also the story of how their seven Muses arose during the founding period of Mental Fight Club from 2003 to 2008.
It is essentially a story of how creativity connected one person’s experience of mental illness and the journey through recovery to the experience of others – both ill and well, supporter and supported.
To learn more about the extraordinary journey that lies behind the Dragon Cafe and Mental Fight Club, please visit their website.