Remembrance

On Armistice Day I remembered my mum’s dad; a well-read and well-loved man, amateur actor and architect, who ended up spending most of his life in Zambia, Central Africa. He was somewhat of a raconteur; telling tales of joining an army regiment based on which one wore the most eye catching hats on parade and…

Vacancy: Advocacy Kirklees Administrator

SALARY: NJC Scale 4 scp 18 – 21, starting at £18,870 pa/pro rata     HOURS:  18.5 hours per week LOCATION: Dewsbury  Advocacy Kirklees is a new advocacy service in Kirklees, and brings together the Care Act, Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy, Relevant Persons Representative Service, Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy and General Advocacy into one single service delivered…

Vacancy: Advocacy Kirklees Advocate

SALARY: £20,852 pa/pro rata HOURS:  3 x roles up to 37.5 hours LOCATION: Dewsbury  You will be required to work flexibly including evenings and weekends Advocacy Kirklees is a new advocacy service in Kirklees, and brings together the Care Act, Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy, Relevant Persons Representative Service, Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy and General Advocacy into…

International Stress Awareness Day: November 7th

For International Stress Awareness Day, Touchstone IAPT have compiled  a list of our best stress-busting songs! Here they are in no particular order…   Dance With Me –  Olly Murs Happy – Pharrell Williams Pata Pata – Miriam Makebe Good Times – Chic Don’t Stop Believing – Journey One Day Like This – Elbow Bohemian Like You…

October 19th is Wear Red Day: We Want to Show Racism the Red Card!

Wear Red Day: October 19th Show Racism the Red Card is holding its annual ‘Wear Red Day’ on October 19th. Show Racism the Red Card is an anti-racism educational charity and you can find out more about the work they do here: http://www.theredcard.org/about/

World Mental Health Day

October 10th is World Mental Health Day. Here are 5 top tips for maintaining good mental health from Touchstone IAPT: Create a protected space in the week to be spontaneous. Be kind to yourself no matter how you think you have done that day. Don’t put off doing the things that really matter to you….

Guides to life in Leeds for migrants and asylum seekers

New to Leeds is a new website for migrants, to help them understand services in Leeds

Where do you go if you move to Leeds from another country, and need support with housing, money, finding work or your health? If you’ve fled your home country, who can support your first steps as a refugee? Two new websites have been launched in Leeds to help answer these questions, and more, for people…

My ‘personal’ Black History By Simone S Bellwood

Old approach I don’t know about you, but where I went to school there was very little taught about Black History other than slavery. Forgive me, but as a black female born to parents from the Caribbean, I know I am a descendant from slaves. The world does not let us forget.  Those black history lessons were painful and uncomfortable…

Black History Month

Pat Regan When I think about black history my thoughts usually look to the American Civil Rights movement and as my daughter has started school I see her studying the same heroic American figures, like Rosa Parks, that would also come into my mind… but Black History Month is not about this. Thirty years ago…

Touchstone Honoured at UK’s Largest Diversity Awards

Touchstone – a Yorkshire based mental health and wellbeing charity – is celebrating winning the National Diversity Awards in the Diverse Company category at a star-studded night at the breathtaking Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. The awards were held on 14th September and saw individuals and organisations from across the UK crowned the best in British diversity….

Bi Visibility Day

Growing up I realised early on I was drawn to both men and women. At 13 I came out as bisexual to close friends and family, this is where I realised how difficult being a bisexual woman could be. I have had several challenges during my life including being locked out of the girls locker…

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…

Active Ageing Week 23rd September

I agreed to do the blog for active ageing week as it’s something close to my heart. I’m getting very near to 50. I’ve collected lots of things over 50 years and a few of those are long term conditions. But despite them, I would still consider myself to be reasonably fit, now I can’t…

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 Beeston and Cottingley 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…