Diwali Dinner and Dance Fundraising Event

Bhangra Dancers – Raffle – Auction Money  raised will go to the Sikh Elders Service Friday 13th October 2017 White Rose Banqueting Suite 67 Tong Road, Leeds, LS12 1HQ 6.00pm – 11.00pm DRESS TO IMPRESS To book your ticket call on 0113 216 3143 Charanjit: 07842481270 Chani: 07825438376 Zeba: 07823448429   Ticket prices: Adults £15 Children under 12 £8…

THE WELL-BEAN CRISIS CAFÉ – HOPE IN A CRISIS: BLOG NO.1….

This is our FIRST blog post, WOW! It genuinely feels a pleasure to be able to talk about what we are, what we do and who we are here to help. The Café opened late last year (October 2016) and has slowly built up a head of steam, with the number of visitors we have…

Find out about volunteering at Touchstone

TOUCHSTONE’S VOLUNTEER MARKET PLACE INFORMATION AND RECRUITMENT EVENT LEEDS POLISH CENTRE CHAPELTOWN ROAD LS7 4JE THURSDAY 28th SEPTEMBER 10AM-2PM Are you a passionate and supportive individual? Looking for work experience in the field of mental health and wellbeing? Interested in becoming a Touchstone volunteer? Come along to our volunteer market place! Contact Zeba Khan on…

Beacon Peer and Volunteer Development Worker

Position: Beacon – Peer and Volunteer Development Worker Salary: NJC Scale 6 (scp 26 – 29) starting at £23,166 pa/pro rata Hours: 22.5 hours per week This post is funded for 5 years, with the potential to be funded for a further 3 years. The post holder may be required to work some evenings and…

Touchstone awarded new Peer-Led Brokerage contract in Kirklees

We are delighted to announce that Touchstone has been awarded the new Mental Health Peer Led Brokerage contract by Kirklees Council, to commence on 1 October 2017. Touchstone has been delivering the pilot of this innovative service for the past four years, enabling people living with mental health difficulties to use their Direct Payments to…

“PROUD” – A Story of Touchstone at Leeds Pride 2017

Once again this year Touchstone staff celebrated all that is “Pink” about Leeds during Pride 2017. Not only did staff march tall with our Pink Pals banner in the parade, we also had a stall in partnership with Leeds Mind and Community Links to raise awareness of mental health amongst the LGBT+ and non-LGBT communities…

What “involvement” means at Kirklees Advocacy Service

Advocacy is all about helping people who use services to speak up, to be heard and to have influence – in other words to be involved in their own lives and in anything that impacts on their lives. Touchstone’s Kirklees Advocacy Service was designed from the ground up to achieve that. Here’s some of the…

Staff diversity at Touchstone

Touchstone supports people from a wide range of backgrounds and we aim to reflect the same diversity among our staff. To check how we’re doing, each year we ask staff to complete a brief survey. The results of our 2017 survey are summarised below. 16% of staff have a disability, compared to 14% the previous…

Local Time to Change Champions needed to shape campaign!

Time to Change Leeds is looking for passionate volunteers who have experienced mental health problems. Joining the Champion Campaign Group is an opportunity to meet like-minded people and campaign together to celebrate mental health in the city. You are essential to making a difference.   If you want to find out more, please attend the…

Ambitious Local Community aims to address Leeds Housing need

New Wortley Community Association (NWCA) has been successful in securing a grant to develop an exciting Community Led Housing project in West Leeds. This is a positive boost for the local community and builds upon the success of a number of other initiatives which NWCA already have up and running in the area. This local…

Depression Recovery course at Leeds Grand Mosque

Depression is much more common than we often think; sometimes we do not even recognize what it is… Depression is debilitating and it can hit anyone of us: male or female, young or old, regardless of our social circumstances. The important thing to realize is that there is hope and things will get better –…

Everyone Has Great Ideas! Report from the Leeds Co-production Conference

On 6th July 2017, Touchstone hosted Leeds’ second coproduction conference.  This time to coincide with national coproduction week. The aims of the conference were 3 fold: To shine a light on the existing examples of coproduction in the region To introduce more people to the “I Statements” and their place in mental health commissioning in Leeds To…

Annual Information Report: Who did Touchstone support in 2016/17?

On 31 March 2017 there were over 1500 active service users accessing Touchstone services. This suggests that on any given day we have around 1500 live service users across Touchstone. Half of Touchstone’s live service users come from BME backgrounds. All Touchstone services have a BME service user profile above the 2011 Census baseline. The…

WHO KNOWS BEST? WE DO!

The ‘We’ is our service users and they always know what is best. This has been reinforced by what our service users think and say about Touchstone in this years annual service user survey results. The key headlines are: Overall 95% of service user respondents indicated that Touchstone is an excellent to good organisation. Quality…

Leadership Masterclass: Steph Calvert

Steph Calvert will be speaking at the Touchstone Leadership Masterclass on Wednesday 26th July 12noon to 2pm at Hillside, Beeston Road, Leeds, LS11 8ND Steph was born in 1958, and only realised she was officially a boy on seeing her first brother in the bath when she was two. Decades of confusion and distress followed, along…

Free Hugs Day

The first Saturday of July is International Free Hugs Day. Maybe you’ve seen someone in your town centre holding up a hand-made sign that says “Free Hugs” – and delivering on that promise by hugging anyone that approaches them. Quite possibly you’ve already seen themusic video below, that shows the advent of this Free Hugs…

Leeds Leads: Encouraging Happy Young Minds

Hosted by local charity, Leeds Community Foundation (LCF), the Leeds Leads: Encouraging Happy Young Minds event will welcome special guest HRH Prince Henry of Wales on Thursday 6th July 2017 in Leeds. Leeds Leads: Encouraging Happy Young Minds is a beacon event addressing the mental wellbeing of the city’s young people. The event will bring…

Setting the Standard for Coproduction #coproweek

At Touchstone we strive to model all that is great about coproduction.  In 2016, we delivered Leeds’ first ever coproduction conference which included contributions from all sectors and – of course – experts by experience as a given. We also wrote a blog about the conference for SCIE, which can be found here: http://coproductionweek.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/coproduction-conference.html On…

“The future looks much brighter” – a Peer-Led Brokerage Service client’s story – #MHAW17

The following is a testimony from an individual using Touchstone’s Peer Led Brokerage Service. This person has a diagnosis of Schizoaffective disorder, anxiety and suspicious personality which has resulted in being sectioned and detained numerous occasions for long periods of time since 2000. The state of her accommodation was highlighted as one of her Psychosocial…

Wellbeing and Befriending scheme

Steph Lewis from the Community Development Service explains how and why a Winter Wellbeing project has turned into a service that’s offered all year round. In January 2017 ELHFA and CDS services jointly started the Winter Wellbeing Project which was based on the very successful Winter Wellbeing Café run during the winter of 2016. The…

Leeds Commitment to Carers

Unpaid carers are crucial both to our communities and to the sustainability of health and care in the city. If Leeds is to be the best city in the UK for health and wellbeing then it has to be the best for carers. The Leeds Commitment to Carers has been co-produced by members of the Leeds Carers Partnership, which includes a significant contribution…

WY-FI Peer Mentor Training – begins August 2017

What do I need to become a WY-FI Peer Mentor? To become a WY-FI Peer Mentor you must have: previous experience of volunteering or peer mentoring (supporting people) lived experience of at least two of the following: homelessness addiction to drugs, substances and/or alcohol re-offending behaviour mental ill health How do I become a WY-FI…

Shaid Mahmood – Organised Religion, BME Communities and Sexuality

Shaid Mahmood is the Chief Officer for Communities and the Chief Officer lead for the Council’s Stronger Communities Breakthrough Programme. He is leading on the development of the ten community committees, working with local elected members, involving people in local decision-making and in the shaping and improvement of their neighbourhoods; integrating council and partner services…

Anxious – a poem by Surrinder Singh

Anxiously waiting, preparing in your mind, for someone to offer a word that is kind. Battle, in your mind, rages and you begin to close its doors, your sweat begins to build and starts running from the pores. You want that moment when you can take a step, without spending hours in a state of…

A volunteer’s story

What was your situation and background before you became involved with volunteering? I was working as the Exams Officer at a high school in Leeds when I became poorly during 2013. My condition deteriorated and I was admitted to hospital and finally diagnosed in December 2013 with Neuro-sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis is a rare anti-immune disease which…

After the NHS – a CHS?

The election is finally behind us. The Labour Party had most of the eye-catching policies – and community businesses could provide the next big idea, writes our guest blogger Bill Graham from New Wortley. (This blog was originally published on the Power to Change website). One of the ideas was to turn the education system into…

Being a Dementia Champion – #DementiaAwarenessWeek

Geraldine, from Touchstone’s IAPT team, talks about the role of a Dementia Champion. My name is Geraldine and I am one of the Dementia Champions with Touchstone. I work in the Touchstone IAPT service where we meet people with common problems with mood and mental health such as anxiety and depression and offer a range…

Dementia journey with my mother – #DementiaAwarenessWeek

Stephanie Lewis from Touchstone’s Community Development Service talks about how her mother’s dementia impacted on the whole family. I first became aware of Dementia when I studied for counselling back in 2000-2008 however, my first personal experience of this was when my mother was diagnosed in 2005. My father passed away in 1998 and they…

Why leaders have difficult conversations all the time

A guest blog from Bill Graham of New Wortley Community Centre – originally published on Power to Change. “Discussions must be in-depth, inclusive and sometimes difficult to make things improve.” Bill Graham New Wortley Community Centre We have all sat in meetings where we think just by having the right people round the table a…