Dementia Awareness Week – Carer’s Testimony

In the second of our blog posts for Dementia Awareness Week 2016, a carer talks about his family’s experiences from the time of their father’s diagnosis with dementia to the time of his death. My father was diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimer in 2001, we as a family didn’t really know what this meant. Our beloved father…

What to Expect at Your First Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Appointment

What to expect at your first cognitive behavioural therapy appointment   A lot of clients get nervous about their first CBT appointment and do not know what to expect. First appointments may vary a little from person to person, but here is an idea of the kind of things you might expect in your first CBT…

“Two Minds” – a poem for Mental Health Awareness Week

To mark the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week, a user of Touchstone’s services shares a poem that describes some of her experience of living with mental illness.   I‘ve written poetry for as long as I can remember, having my first poem published at the age of 14. Since then I’ve had a poem…

Events to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in Yorkshire

Progress in overcoming discrimination based on sexual orientation and to ensuring fair treatment for everyone can seem painfully slow at times. So sometimes it’s good to celebrate what’s been achieved already, as well as looking at the road ahead. 17th May is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (known by the slightly quirky acronym IDAHOBIT)….

Dementia Awareness Week – Dementia Champions

  In the first of a series of posts from staff and service users for Dementia Awareness Week 2016, Touchstone’s Arfan Hanif talks about the Dementia Champions group within the organisation. In 2015 Touchstone, as part of its ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’ accreditation, set up the Dementia Champions group which represents staff from all…

Sikh Elders Service Newsletter April 2016

You can now download the latest newsletter from Sikh Elders’ Service. The newsletter includes information about: Plans for a Summer trip Cha Da Cup weekly drop in group Silver Surfers – computer and internet training Bhoolay Bisre Yaadein monthly music and social group Report on our Winter Warmth Wellbeing event Download here.

Calderdale Health Awareness Event

Calderdale BME Health Forum invite you to… A FREE HEALTH AWARENESS EVENT Thursday 26th May 11.30am – 2pm Queens Road Neighbourhood Centre, Queens Rd, Halifax HX1 4NE Do you want to know more about local health issues? Any health topics you would like to find out more about? Come along to the BME Health Forum’s…

International Dance Day

The benefits of dancing has been well established, helping to improve not only our physical but also mental wellbeing. And dance holds a special place in the heart of one Touchstone IAPT clinician in particular therefore to coincide with International Day of Dance, Carlyn B, has chosen to share with you the following reflection. By Carlyn…

The Difference Between Living and Existing – A Client Journey

A client who recently attended a Stress Control Class has found the course so helpful that he wanted to share a poem about how he was feeling before accessing therapy. He has then provided a summary about his amazing success since engaging with Leeds IAPT.  If you can relate to how he is feeling, please don’t…

Introducing a new service user forum for Kirklees…!

Back in November 2015 staff and volunteers at Touchstone’s Kirklees Advocacy Service began supporting the service user reps of the Kirklees Mental Health Partnership Board to publish a survey on creating a new mental health forum. A few weeks on and here we are… Meeting of Minds (or MoM for short) has been created out of…

International Day of Happiness

By Sally P The one thing that we all strive for in our lives is to be happy. There are lots of ways that happiness impacts on how we feel; including our health, our levels of creativity and even how much we experience physical pain. One study found that happiness, optimism and life satisfaction are…

“Vada That” by Adam Lowe – for World Poetry Day

To mark World Poetry Day, we’re sharing a poem by Adam Lowe, written in the street slang language of Polari. The poem (and accompanying glossary were featured as Poem of the Week in The Guardian on 12th October 2015. Aunt nell the patter flash and gardy loo! Bijou, she trolls, bold, on lallies slick as…

The Excellence in Diversity Awards announce 2016 shortlist

Diversity Champions and Inclusive Employers shortlisted for Pioneering Diversity Awards Throughout the year, there are some individuals who work tirelessly to remove barriers and put diversity at the very heart of everything they do. This year, on May 12th, The Excellence in Diversity Awards will once again celebrate those who go above and beyond the…

Sylvia Rivera – pioneer of trans activism

To mark Trans Day of Visibility (31st March) we profile the life of a pioneering trans activist. Sylvia Rivera, who was of Puerto Rican and Venezuelan descent, was born in New York City and named Ray Rivera by her parents. She became an orphan at 3 years old and was then raised by her Venezuelan…

Public Health England launches One You

The One You campaign aims to help adults across the country avoid future diseases caused by modern day life. It is aimed to encourage adults, particular those in middle age, to take control of their health to enjoy significant benefits now and in later life. The campaign aims to encourage adults to take more exercise,…

Love Arts seeking artists for mental health arts festival

The Arts and Minds Network would once again like to work in partnership with artists in all mediums, whose work has a connection to mental wellbeing. The annual Love Arts Festival will run this year from 5th – 20th October 2016. Deadline for Submissions is 4pm on Monday 9th May To submit a proposal to contribute…

Touchstone Leadership Masterclass 2016 – Session Two – Rob Vickerman

You are cordially invited to attend this very special event:- Rob Vickerman talking about “Transformational leadership to develop better people and players” Come and hear about improving you and your teams leadership potential When: Tuesday, 19th April 2016 Where: The Enterprise Foundation – Leeds City Centre, Third Floor, Symons House, Belgrave Street, Leeds, LS2 8DD Time: 12 –…

Riding high in the Best Companies list

For the 4th year running, Touchstone is excited to be named as a Sunday Times 100 Best (Not-for-Profit) Organisation to Work for, achieving a 2 star status, and moving up 11 places from 32 in 2015 to 21 this year. Touchstone is placed 8th out of 100 companies for its leadership and 65% of staff…

Touchstone and Dosti to merge

  Touchstone and Dosti Trustees are delighted to announce that following several months of conversations about the future of services for BAME people in Leeds, they have agreed to merge from 1st April 2016. Shinde Dahri, Chair of the Dosti Trustee Board, said “I am really happy that the work of Dosti to support Asian…

Christmas time and mental health

Self-proclaimed Christmas lover and CBT Therapist Nicole C has taken time to write a very important and moving reflection about the festive period and the potential effect on mental health. As somebody who loves Christmas and the whole festive season it is important to be reminded that not everyone feels this way. I wanted to…

LGBT History Month 2016 Profile – 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. She describes how she attempted suicide after realising, aged…

LGBT History Month Profile – Virginia Woolf

To celebrate LGBT History Month in February 2016, Touchstone will profile a significant figure from LGBT history each week. Adeline Virginia Woolf (née Stephen; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English writer and one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century. Between the two World Wars, Woolf was a significant figure…

Sikh Elders Service on BBC Radio

Kirren Rathor from BBC Asian Network talks to Sikh Elders Service Staff about their work to reduce loneliness by matching volunteers with older people in the community. You can also listen to this on the BBC website.

Happy Chinese New Year!

​ By Geraldine M ​Monday 8th February 2016 is the day many people will be saying ‟Gong xi fa cai” (pronounced, roughly, ‟gong she fars eye”) – the Chinese greeting for ‟Happy New Year” – meaning ‟Be happy, get rich”.   …to which the response is often ‟Hong bao na lai” (‟hong bow na lie”)…

WY-FI annual conference: From Theory to Practice

On Thursday 21st April 2016, WY-FI are running a conference in Leeds for commissioners and service providers working with: Homelessness Addiction to alcohol and/or drugs Re-offending Mental ill health WY-FI is a collaborative project between several West Yorkshire organisations, which aims to help people with multiple and complex needs to access the services and support they need…