Anti-Bullying Week 16-20th November 2015

Bullying does not just happen in school, nor is it always children who are the bullies or the victims of bullying.  Bullying can and does happen everywhere. Anti-Bullying week is about raising awareness of what bullying is and works to help people stand up to the bully in their community, be that home, work or…

Social Phobia and Drinking – Friends or Foes?

Social Phobia and Drinking – Friends or Foes? Drinking can often seem like a quick and easy way to address problems of stress and nervousness. To mark November Alcohol Awareness Week, Touchstone’s IAPT team look at why this is and how it can actually make the problem worse. The IAPT service can help people to observe…

International Day of Kindness

On Friday 13th November 2015 it was International Day of Kindness. One of our IAPT colleagues Sally P has written the following piece to highlight the widespread benefits of random acts of kindness: Although on those bad days it can feel like we live in a society where people are uncaring, there has been a…

Supporting Refugee Mental Health

The work of Touchstone’s IAPT team has been featured in an article in Therapy Today discussing the services who are trying to meet the mental health needs of refugees arriving in this country. Below is a small extract from the article. Richard Garland is Manager of Touchstone IAPT in Leeds, one partner in the consortium…

Touchstone and West Yorkshire Sport to deliver Kirklees’ social prescribing service

We are delighted to announce that from Spring 2016, Touchstone will be delivering Kirklees’ social prescribing service; Better In Kirklees. Working with our partner West Yorkshire Sport, we will be supporting people with long term health conditions or social care needs to get involved in the broad range of different community activities that Kirklees has…

Rehabilitation and Recovery Project – annual review 2015

The Rehabilitation and Recovery project aims to support service users in the Recovery Centre to make the challenging transition to living in the community. The project is unique in that the voluntary sector work alongside NHS staff on the wards developing a proportional and joined up approach to supporting people in recovery in a holistic…

East Leeds Health for All – annual review 2015

East Leeds Health For All (ELHFA) is a healthy living service in Lincoln Green, at the heart of Burmantofts. The service aims to reduce health inequalities and encourage health improvement. We use a community development approach and engage with local communities and partner organisations to tackle poverty, financial exclusion, unemployment and social isolation. Some of…

Community Support Team – annual review 2015

2014–2015 has been an exciting, challenging and productive year for the Community Support Team (CST). Owing to the positive outcomes for service users, demand for the service has increased. This hard work and commitment has resulted in the service being awarded additional funding and two full-time support workers have been recruited, in order to meet…

“The basics of life” – one night sleeping rough

Simon on the Streets are a charity devoted to supporting people who are homeless and sleeping rough on the streets through intensive support programmes, street outreach work and weekly soup-runs. They reach out to vulnerable people who need help but may be excluded from or refuse other services for various reasons, and are then left…

Spotlight on: Refugees, People Seeking Asylum and Mental Health

Samantha Powell leads on the work with Refugees and People Seeking Asylum within the Community Development Service and has written an article to explore some of the barriers they face when accessing services. Since 1999 Leeds has been a main dispersal area for people seeking asylum in the UK. Lots of communities have settled, and…

2015 Service User Satisfaction Results

91% noticed a big improvement in mental health

On an annual basis questionnaires are sent out to service users in order to ascertain their views and opinions about Touchstone and the service they have received. The feedback and views of service users play a key role in identifying best practice, areas for improvement and informing our approach to delivering quality outcomes and continuous…

World Statistic Day – Ethnicity Recording

In the Community Development Service here at Touchstone we aim to achieve a greater understanding and ownership of mental health issues facing Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in Leeds. For World Statistics Day on 20th October, John Halsall, Community Health Development Analyst,  has written the first in a series of data blogs. Please take a few minutes…

Annual Celebration – 3rd December

Touchstone’s Annual Celebration will be held on Thursday 3rd December at Leeds Bangladeshi Centre, Roundhay Road, LS8 5AN. The Celebration is an opportunity to review our progress over the last year and to find out about our future plans. The theme of this year’s meeting will be “Peer Leadership and Lived Experience”.

Coming Out

“I’m going to talk to you tonight about coming out of the closet, and not in the traditional sense, not just the gay closet. I think we all have closets. Your closet may be telling someone you love her for the first time, or telling someone that you’re pregnant, or telling someone you have cancer,…

Community Development Service – annual review 2015

The Community Development Service (CDS) aims to improve the quality and equity of mental health access, experiences and outcomes for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in Leeds. To achieve this, the CDS team continued to actively engage and work co-productively with various statutory, third sector and community and faith-based partners. In 2014–15, our service…

Black History Month – a LGBT perspective

As a Stonewall Diversity Champion, Touchstone is committed to improving the lives of LGBT people both in the workplace and wider community. Which is why we want to pass on these practical tips about how best to celebrate Black History Month from Stonewall’s Josh Willacy. Black History Month has been celebrated every October in the UK…

Latest news from the Sikh Elders Service

Below, you can find a link to the latest newsletter from the Sikh Elders Service. You’ll be able to read about: Bhoole Bisre Yaadein project – a monthly music evening, The Chaplaincy Service at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Weekly drop-in and arts activities, SADEE SMILE (South Asian Diabetes Education Empowerment and Self Management in Leeds),…

World Alzheimer’s Day – case study

To mark World Alzheimer’s Day (21st September), Ripaljeet Kaur has provided this case study of one of the clients supported by Touchstone’s BME Dementia Service Mrs B was referred into the service by another organisation. She lives with her daughter-in-law, who is her full time carer, as well as her son and grandson. She was…

Bi-Visibility Day – 23rd September

Here at Touchstone, we like to eat cake! So celebrating Bi-Visibility Day on 23rd September will be a great opportunity to also eat our favourite food. Another reason to support Bi-Visibility Day is that whilst the profile of Gay, Lesbian and Trans people is at last on the up, the visibility of the Bi community…

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…