National Inclusion Week launches in Leeds

National Inclusion Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the importance of inclusion in the workplace and the business benefits of having an inclusive workforce. The National launch event for the week will be at the Civic Hall in Leeds on Monday 21st September. You can book your place online.

Migrant Access Point project in 4 minutes

Touchstone’s Community Development Service has produced this video to explain the work of the Migrant Access Point project, empowering community members to improve access for their communities to services in Leeds. Migrant Access Point Project in 4 minutes from Touchstone on Vimeo.

NHS Announces ‘Social Prescribing’ Service to Improve Local Health

Individuals in South and East Leeds are to benefit from a new NHS ‘social prescribing’ service to act as a single point of access to a wide range of community groups and activities in an easy, accessible way, which aims to reduce social isolation and improve health and wellbeing. NHS Leeds South and East Clinical…

‘Sleeping with Simon’

This year Team Touchstone will be spending one whole night sleeping out on the streets of Leeds to raise money for the charity ‘Simon on the Streets’ as well as awareness of the issues of homelessness, mental health, and the vulnerable members of our community who are falling victim to the ongoing housing crisis in…

Induction: A Function of HR or a Masterclass in Leadership?

Touchstone’s Alison Lowe will be the keynote speaker at the Employer Engagement conference in London on 10th September. Here she talks about how much difference an effective staff induction can make to the relationship between staff members and the organisation they work for.   At Touchstone, a West Yorkshire mental health charity, staff numbers have steadily doubled…

Leadership Masterclass 5 – Dr Satwant K Rait

Continuing our series of Leadership Masterclasses, which has already included sessions led by Touchstone staff and by guests from other organisations, Touchstone trustee Dr Satwant K Rait will be talking at the Hamara Centre, Beeston on Tuesday 15th September. Satwant will talk about “A History of Migration:-Overcoming Barriers“. Come and hear about her experiences, successes, and challenges….

WY-FI – one year on

The WY-FI project started its work on 1st June 2014. During its first year of operation, it has: Been in contact with 142 people Half of those people are now receiving full support from the programme Trained 21 Peer Mentors Touchstone is just one of the partners within the project. Particular achievements by our staff…

Kirklees Dementia Action Alliance

Touchstone’s Kirklees services are now part of the Kirklees Dementia Action Alliance. This means that we are making definite commitments as to how to make our services more appropriate and accessible for people living with dementia. Our action plan is published on the Dementia Action website. Current actions (August 2015) are: Improve our understanding of…

Leeds Pride – celebrating diversity and acceptance

The 9th Leeds Pride takes place this Sunday (2nd August 2015) – a celebration of diversity and acceptance. Kimberley Saggu and Stephanie Lewis from the Community Development Service reflect here on how acceptance and non-acceptance are learned at different stages of life and how we can choose to make a difference.   We both have…

Friends for Life: International Friendship Day

Vanysha Sahota from Touchstone’s Community Development Service wrote this article to mark International Friendship Day – and to talk about the role of friendship in personal and family life.   When I think about the word ‘friend’, images of certain people take over my mind along with memories of good and bad times. Many people…

Living well with Dementia in Leeds

This video from Leeds Involving People features June from Rothwell talking about her life with dementia, with illustrations of how groups in Leeds, including Touchstone,  are working to become dementia friendly.

Making Chapeltown a Dementia Friendly Community – Wednesday 22nd July

Leeds BME Dementia Workers Forum invites you to Making Chapeltown a Dementia Friendly Community 9:30 to 11:30 on Wednesday 22nd July at the Reginald Centre, 263 Chapeltown Road. To book your place, or for further information, please contact: Ripaljeet Kaur on 0113 219 2727 or email office@tuchstonesupport.org.uk.

School’s out – getting through the Summer holidays intact

This piece was originally published as a guest blog on the Bayford Foundation‘s website in July 2014. However the tips from our Positive Care Programme staff are just as relevant this year. The schools are breaking up and children’s excitement is mounting at having 6 whole weeks without school. But what about the parents? For…

Diabetes education programme for Urdu and Punjabi speakers

Touchstone is delivering a structured education programme to people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and those already living with the condition. The course is written by an NHS diabetic dietician and nutritionist (Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust) and has been specifically adapted for South Asian Punjabi and Urdu speaking communities. It will incorporate healthy…

Mental Health in Muslim Communities

The Community Development Service at Touchstone are promoting a project to increase understanding and awareness of mental health within Muslim communities. Stephanie Lewis gave this interview on community radio station Fever FM to help people understand how to talk about mental health and who to ask for help and support. Touchstone are recruiting volunteer coordinators…

Kirklees Advocacy Service annual report 2014-2015

The Kirklees Advocacy Service have now published their annual report for 2014-2015. You can see highlights, including some fantastic feedback from service users, below, or you can download the complete report.  2014-2015 has been a busy and exciting year for Touchstone in Kirklees. Whilst we have continued to deliver the community mental health advocacy service…

WY-FI BME TalkShop

On Monday 8th June, a BME Talkshop event was held at Touchstone House, organised by the West Yorkshire – Finding Independence (WY-FI). The West Yorkshire – Finding Independence (WY-FI) project is one of the 12 Big Lottery funded Fulfilling lives projects working with people with entrenched multiple and complex needs to engage and access appropriate…

Depression: tips to fight back.

Experiencing  depression or low-mood is very common. The World Health Organisation estimates that in a given year, one in four of us will experience it. With such figures in mind it is becoming more and more important to know what we can do to fight back against low-mood or depression and protect our wellbeing. In…

Case study: CBT based interventions with a client going through the UK asylum process.

The following case study, written by Morteza H, outlines the collaborative nature of the work taking place at Touchstone IAPT. Working with other organisations, and with the client, to provide a package of care tailored to their individual circumstances. Client name has been changed for confidentiality. X is a refugee originally from Pakistan. X had been subjected to physical…

Carers Week (8th-14th June)

The people who care for people with disabilities, long term health conditions or mental health issues often need some support themselves. Carers Week was established to highlight both the support that’s available and what else might be needed. Some of the events happening in Leeds for this year’s Carers Week are listed below. Tuesday 9th June…

1-7 June 2015 – Volunteers Week

Thank you to all Touchstone Volunteers and everyone who volunteers! Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. Touchstone volunteers are an amazing group of people who are passionate friendly, engaged and dedicated in supporting Touchstone, and we thank them this week and beyond for their…

My Volunteering Experience

Volunteers’ Week celebrates the work of volunteers across the country. To mark it, we’re publishing the stories of some of our great volunteers past and present, starting with Nafeesa who volunteers with The Kirklees Advocacy Service and Peer-Led Brokerage Service. After working in the retail sector for 13 years. I felt the need for a new…

Tom Riordan speaks on “Leading Through Austerity”

Those of us who work in the voluntary sector or in government-funded services, are often painfully aware of the effects of ongoing budget cuts. We see the effect they have in the lives of the people who use our services and also the effect they have on the level of service we’re able to offer….

The Pursuit of Happiness

We can all feel down and fed up from time to time, which is a normal part of life. However when this gets too much, and we notice we are falling into the trap of dwelling and worrying, it can be useful to use certain coping strategies to help pick us back up!   So…

Case study of High Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at IAPT

Ever wondered about the work being completed by our High Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapists here at IAPT? Or the great achievements and milestones reached by our service users? Well wait no longer, here we have a case study of one, of the many, such success stories from a member of our IAPT team Debbie and…

Dementia Information Event – 22nd May

21 MAY 2015 10.30AM—2.30PM at Leeds Irish Centre, York Road As part of Dementia Awareness Week Leeds Irish Health and Homes and Touchstone are holding an information event for people across the city. Join us at this FREE Information event Hear from Dr Oliver J Corrado, Consultant Physician, Leeds Teaching Hospitals’, ‘Dementia Champion’ and CoClinical Lead…

Dementia and BAME(Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities

This week is Dementia Awareness Week. In the last few years, there has been significant progress in terms of raising awareness, a crucial step towards tackling stigma around dementia. And according to Alzheimer’s Society, there are approximately 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK. 25,000 of these people are from BAME (Black, Asian and…