Vacancy: Office Administrator

SALARY: NJC Scale 4 – Spinal Column 18-21, starting at £18,870 pa/pro-rata HOURS:  22.5 hours per week  LOCATION: Leeds Volunteers Project – 7.5 hours (fixed term up to 12 months, with a possibility of an extension) Beacon Service – 15 hours We are looking for someone to assist in providing an effective service providing administrative…

Touchstone’s involvement in the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act

The review was set up to look at how the legislation in the Mental Health Act 1983 is used and how practice can improve. The purpose of the review is to understand the reasons for: rising rates of detention under the Act the disproportionate number of people from black and minority ethnic groups detained under…

My experience working with Hamari Yaadain Dementia Cafe

As my time working for Touchstone comes to an end, I have been reflecting on my experience here and the things I have learnt. When I first started here last year, I had just finished university and this was my first paid experience working in a charity organisation. I remember being nervous and excited about…

Hamari Yaadain Dementia Café Health and Wellbeing Workshops with Phoenix

In April this year Touchstone BME Dementia Service partnered with Phoenix Health and Wellbeing to provide a year of massage therapy sessions for our Dementia Café members. Once a month, we have two therapists from Phoenix join us for an hour at the Café, and they provide a variety of different workshops for our group….

Courses in Gipton and Beeston for new and expectant parents

Best Start Peer Support Project If you are pregnant or a carer of an under 2 yr old and live in South or East Leeds, why not get involved? Improve your self-esteem, learn new skills and help others in your community. What can we offer? The Best Start Peer Support Programme is offering a free course…

World Mindfulness Day and Eating Raisins

Ok, so you’re reading a blog about mindfulness, maybe you already have an app or two on your phone for mindfulness and maybe you are already using mindfulness on a regular basis. Or maybe not, you could be a complete beginner and wondering what all the fuss is about. Either way, there are loads of…

Depression Recovery Class – new dates for September!

Learn skills to protect from and overcome depression with a unique Islamic perspective! Our latest Depression Recovery Class is a free 6 week course which starts on Monday 17th September at Leeds Grand Mosque from 5.15-7.15pm. On the course you can learn to: Look after and improve your well-being Understand the common signs of low…

International Forgiveness Day: 5th August

When I think about forgiveness, I automatically think about it in terms of something you do to someone else. It is an idea that is closely entwined with compassion and kindness and is an active decision to let go of the anger you hold towards someone for something you believe they have done wrong. The…

Why Yorkshire? By Iby Knill

              For Yorkshire Day 2018, we interviewed Iby Knill on her experiences and reasons for moving to Yorkshire in the 1960’s. “It was 1962. I was employed as Welfare Training Officer by Berkshire County. Then, one day, somebody at County Headquarters thought that it might be an idea to…

Interwoven Histories – Animation and poetry workshops with Leeds Irish CHIME Group

As part of our Celebrating Age ‘Interwoven Histories’ project, Pavilion and Touchstone’s BME Dementia Service partnered with Leeds Irish Health and Homes’ CHIME Art Group to deliver a three part workshop focusing on the groups ‘first impressions’ of Leeds when many of them migrated to England from Ireland. Prior to the workshops, Teresa who runs…

Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside!

Hamari Yaadain Dementia Café visited Hornsea for a day of relaxation, delicious food and time to enjoy the beach. We arrived just before lunchtime and stopped at a little café, where we shared food prepared by some of our group members. A feast of samosas, chapattis, curry and an array of homemade chutneys! Members of…

Annual Service User Survey 2018 results

‘Amazing….would recommend to everyone’  The above comment from one of our service users as part of Touchstone’s Annual Service User Survey exercise pretty much sums up what the overwhelming majority of service users think of Touchstone. The following headline information reinforces this view: Overall  96% of service user respondents indicated that Touchstone is an excellent…

Touchstone shortlisted for Investors in People Awards 2018

Yorkshire based wellbeing charity Touchstone has been named as a leader in people management practice globally, having been shortlisted in the Excellence in Leadership and Management category of the Investors in People Awards 2018. Alison Lowe, Touchstone’s chief executive, said: “I am delighted our philosophy of distributed leadership has been recognised by this award nomination. Everyone…

Malala Day

Malala Yousafzai turned 21 on the 12th of July.   A few months ago I popped into my local library at the Reginald Centre and walked out with a copy of a now 5-year-old book: “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban”.   You may have…

Leeds IAPT Diversity Audit Findings

Dear colleagues Some of you  are aware that over the past 6 -8 months, I have been working alongside Richard, Steve, Arfan and our consortium partners to audit and review the workforce diversity profile of Leeds IAPT. This piece of work is now complete and I’d like to share some of our findings with you….

Migrant Stories Inspire Student Performances at Iconic Abbey

A group of Leeds migrants met with theatrical students from the city to enjoy a unique musical treat in one of Yorkshire’s iconic settings. Volunteers who are working with Touchstone’s Migrant Access Project Plus (MAP+) teamed up with students from the Level 3 Musical Theatre course at Leeds City College for a picnic and performance…

Touchstone has been shortlisted for the UK’s Largest Diversity Awards

Touchstone has been shortlisted for the Diverse Company category at the National Diversity Awards 2018. Over 20,000 people submitted nominations for the awards this year. Amongst those being honoured are freedom fighters, domestic violence campaigners and trans rights activists, all of whom work tirelessly to combat injustice and discrimination in very different ways. Designed to highlight…

Safeguarding and Coproduction – #SafeguardingWeek

Jim Leyland (Touchstone’s Operations Director – Inclusion) talks about the work Touchstone does to ensure adequate safeguarding for our clients and their communities. I am really excited in Safeguarding Week to share the work we have been doing at Touchstone with Leeds Safeguarding Adults Board. We were asked to contribute a service user voice to the…

Best Start Peer Support Programme – our progress so far

The Best Start Peer Support Programme aims to empower individuals and families about the relationships they have at home and with professionals, in order that they make healthier informed choices about their lives and therefore become better carers and parents producing healthy children, in line with the Best Start plan for the city. In year…

The Great Get Together in Holbeck

“We have more in common than that which divides us” Monday 25th June, 1 – 2:30pm St. Matthew’s Church, Holbeck Touchstone’s MAP+ (Migrant Access Project Plus) and Holbeck Elderly Aid in partnership Join us for the biggest international foodie fuddle in Holbeck! Come and meet your neighbours and bring a plate of something to share Raffle prizes to…

How are we doing? Annual Service Information Report 2017/18

On 31 March 2018 there were 1244 active service users accessing Touchstone services.  This suggests that on any given day we have well over 1000 active service users across Touchstone services. 59% of Touchstone’s active service users come from BME backgrounds. All Touchstone services have a BME service user profile above the 2011 Census baseline. …

Coping with Social Isolation and Crisis throughout the summer

THE WELL-BEAN CRISIS CAFÉ – HOPE IN A CRISIS BLOG – June 2018 (Written by Matthew Hall – Crisis Support Worker at WBC) Since the last blog was released – we are pleased to announce that funding for the Well-Bean Café has been secured, and the service has now been extended until the end of…

Events for Refugee Week in Leeds #RefugeeWeek

Sunday 17 June – Syrian Community of Leeds and Damasq 2.30pm to 8.30pm – Ebor Gardens Community Centre, 79 Haslewood Drive, Leeds, LS9 7PS This event is to bring all together to celebrate through food and sports! There will be a free Syrian Bakery and a sports competition for children. All are welcome. Contact: Fawaz Alghofari…

Support for carers who fast #CarersWeek

With Carer’s Week falling during the month of Ramadhan, Shuria Alam (Carers Support Worker) talks about the impact of fasting and the need for culturally sensitive support for carers. Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar, and this year will begin around 17th May and end around 16th June 2018. For 29/30…

Healthy Eating

For BNF Healthy Eating Week, Touchstone trustee Julie Laxton offers some guidance on how to look after ourselves by choosing what we eat. Healthy eating sounds really boring, but it will help you to keep well and feel better. It can prevent some diseases in the future for example, heart disease and diabetes. What is…

Events for Carers Week from Carers Leeds #CarersWeek

Carers Week begins on Monday 11th June. Our partners at Carers Leeds have compiled the following list of events for the week. Some of these events require advance booking. If in doubt, please call Carers Leeds on 0113 246 8338. Touchstone will also be running events for members of our staff who have caring responsibilities outside of…

Best Start Peer Volunteer Story #VolunteersWeek

I didn’t really know what to make of Best Start Peer Support when I first heard about it. It intrigued me, but I wasn’t sure it was my thing. A friend of mine had done it and told me I would enjoy it, so I decided to take myself out of my comfort zone and…

Volunteering with MAP+ #VolunteersWeek

The Migrant Access Project (MAP+) helps new arrivals in Leeds to connect with the local community, including finding volunteering opportunities. One of our MAP+ volunteers have shared some of her experience and feedback with us: “I suffered a really bad injury at work and had to reduce my hours, which meant I started getting into…

Highlighting Health inequalities in New Wortley

Bill Graham from New Wortley Community Association has looked into health inequalities for those in the New Wortley neighbourhood of Leeds. The charts below show some of what he found out. This indicator shows the proportion of households where no people in the household have English as a main language. This information was created from…