More than a badge by Arfan Hanif

Colleagues may have noticed in our offices signage stating ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’. Something seen across a number of organisations and businesses including on emergency service vehicles.  So what does it mean? Does it mean that staff in all organisations/employers who say they are ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’ are competent to sensitively deal…

My real life insight into dementia (part 2) by Abigail Henry

Hi. I’m back with (I’m sure) the highly anticipated part B of my musings about dementia. As promised below is a transcript of my interview with a person living with a parent with dementia. I hope you enjoy the read and even better if it changes the way you might view those with and those…

Foster Care Fortnight 2019 by Leota Benjamin

My name is Leota Benjamin and I have worked for Touchstone for several years. My current role is a Mental Health Outreach Worker with The Community Support Team. In addition, I work as an approved Foster Carer, employed by Leeds City Council Children Services for more than 10 years. Being a Foster Carer is a…

My real life insight into dementia (part 1) by Abigail Henry

I’m a cognitive behavioural therapist who joined the IAPT team at Touchstone this month and this is my first ever blog. I’ve chosen dementia as my first topic, quite simply because I was asked! 🙂 Dementia is a term I understand but is not something which I’ve ever fully considered. I guess the way life…

Arts, Music and Dementia by Sarbjit Kaur

On the 13/14th April, Sikhs all around the world celebrate Vaisakhi and a procession called ‘Nagar Kirtan’ led by five Khalsa proceeds through public spaces. Vaisakhi marks the inauguration of the Khalsa, the body of committed Sikhs who have decided to dedicate their lives to the values of the Sikh Gurus. The Khalsa meaning “pure sovereign”…

The Nickel Silver Cutlery set with the Numbers on by Ralph Berry

There’s a set of cutlery from 1950, with the embossed numbers hammered in. It represents my fathers RAF National Service, over 2 years spent as a 20 year old young man straight from College, like his tools he made at English Electric in Thornbury after National Service that as an Apprentice, or the Morris Dancing…

A Vision for Dementia at Touchstone by Alison Lowe

Touchstone is proud of the contribution we make to the city-wide Leeds Dementia Strategy. There are an estimated 8,500 people living with dementia in Leeds, of whom just over 6,400 have a diagnosis.  Since 2013, the number of people with a dementia diagnosis in the city has increased by 40%. Touchstone, along with other charities,…

Vacancy: LSLCS Crisis Support Worker / Shift Coordinator  (Dial House @Touchstone and Connect)

LSLCS Crisis Support Worker / Shift Coordinator  (Dial House @Touchstone and Connect) 24 hours per week 5:30pm-12:30am Tuesday and Thursday at Dial House @Touchstone and 5:30pm-2:30am every Friday on Connect, plus attendance at a monthly reflective practice group and team meeting (every 2nd Wednesday 6:30–10:30pm) NJC Scale 6 Point 19-23 (new 2019 NJC scale –…

Vacancy: ESIF Stronger Families Mental Health Worker

SALARY NJC Scale 5 scp 12-17 – starting at £21,589 pa/pro rata HOURS:  15 hours per week LOCATION: Bradford This role is fixed term until September 2021 The post holder will work with Touchstone as a partner in the Stronger Families project, delivering mental health and wellbeing support to project participants in Bradford. Stronger Families…

New Service: Your Space

We are really excited to announce the launch of a new service in Leeds, Your Space, which will start on the 1st April 2019. The new service will deliver and promote a range of activities, awareness campaigns and signposting for people who live in LS8, LS9, LS10 and LS11. We will work with individuals and…

Apps for Mental Health & Wellbeing

There are loads of apps out there aimed at promoting wellbeing and good mental health. Here are 6 free apps that we have come across at Touchstone IAPT to get you started. This list is by no means exhaustive. Please feel free to add your free app recommendations in the comments below!   Catch it:…

Touchstone “truly excels” as an employer

Yorkshire mental health charity Touchstone celebrates achieving coveted three star accreditation in the annual Sunday Times Best Companies to Work survey in recognition of its extraordinary levels of employee engagement. The charity, ranked 8th in The Sunday Times Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2019, was also given the Discovering Potential award for the third…

International Women’s Day 2019 by Alison Lowe

International Women’s Day events are held worldwide on March 8 to celebrate women and their global contribution. Various women, including political, community, and business leaders, as well as leading educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and television personalities, are usually invited to speak at events on the day, highlighting their successes to illustrate how much progress has been…

LGBT History Month – Laverne Cox

In celebration of LGBT History Month, Touchstone is profiling a different LGBT celebrity each week in the month of February. The chosen celebrity this week is Laverne Cox: twin; actress, television producer and LGBT advocate. Born in Mobile, Alabama, Laverne was bullied constantly as a child and describes how she attempted suicide when, aged 11,…

LGBT History Month – Vicky Beeching

Victoria Louise “Vicky” Beeching (born 17 July 1979) is an English musician and religious commentator. She is best known for her work in the American contemporary worship music genre, and has been described as “arguably the most influential Christian of her generation” due to of her Twitter following and appearances on BBC’s Thought for the…

LGBT History Month – Alan Turing

In celebration of LGBT History Month, Touchstone is profiling a different LGBT celebrity each week in the month of February. This week, we have chosen the scientist Alan Turing, recently voted the most “iconic” global figure of the 20th century in a BBC 2 viewers’ poll. Alan Mathison Turing OBE FRS (23 June 1912 –…

LGBT History Month Bi Role Models

Drew Barrymore Drew Barrymore (born February 22, 1975) is an actress, producer, writer, and director. As a child actress, she became well-known for her performance in E.T.. Since then she starred in many films and, along with Nancy Juvonen, has started her own production company, Flower Films. In 2003 in and interview with Contact Music…

The Well-bean Crisis Cafe – Hope in a crisis blog: February 2019

THE WELL-BEAN CRISIS CAFÉ – HOPE IN A CRISIS BLOG: FEBRUARY 2019 – THE WELL-BEAN CRISIS CAFÉ IS NOW OPEN TWO EXTRA NIGHTS @ TOUCHSTONE HOUSE IN BEESTON (Written by Matthew Hall – Crisis Support Worker at WBC) The Well-Bean Café (WBC) is now open a further two nights in the south of Leeds at…

Touchstone in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers for 2019

Touchstone has been placed 20th in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers, which lists the best employers for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff. The list is compiled from submissions to the Workplace Equality Index, a powerful benchmarking tool used by employers to assess their achievements and progress on LGBT equality in the workplace, as well as their…

National Hug Day 2019 by Alison Lowe

As many of my colleagues at Touchstone will be aware, I am a hugger! Hugging is a way of being human with people; showing empathy, or just sharing a moment of joy.  I feel hugging keeps me connected with the people around me but it also allows me to show my emotions and vulnerability –…

Update: Community Based Mental Health Service

After running a competition at the end of last year a name has now been chosen for the new Community Based Mental Health Service which goes live from 1st April 2019. The service will be called Live Well Leeds and was a suggestion made by an existing service user. Live Well Leeds has been funded to…

Blue Monday 21st Jan: How Blue Are You?

The 3rd Monday in January is said to be the most depressing day of the year due to the weather, financial pressures and debts accumulated over the holiday season and low motivation levels.   Blue Monday was first publicized by Sky Travel in 2005. You can find out more about how it was calculated and…

U Choose Projects Bringing Communities Together

25 new projects, groups and activities to bring people together are getting off the ground in local communities across Leeds, as part of the ‘U Choose’ project being delivered by Migrant Access Project Plus (MAP+). The projects are all being led by local residents, who presented their ideas at a series of three voting events…

Community Based Mental Health Service

In Leeds the current local authority funded mental health services have been the same for a long time. The commissioner for all of these services has asked them to work together more closely to improve the way we support people who need help with their mental health. Touchstone is delighted and excited to be leading…

International Volunteers Day: 5th December

The Touchstone Volunteers Project is very open, diverse and service user (SU) friendly.  Not only do our SU benefit from the contributions of volunteers, but some also take on the role themselves.   Volunteers have the opportunity to volunteer in a number of roles across Touchstone and with partner organisations. Some of our volunteers are befrienders…