Sixteen days of activism against gender violence

Every year from the 25th November (International Day to End Violence Against Women) till the 10th December (Human Rights Day) groups around the world campaign to highlight the high incidence of violence aimed at women and girls and encourage everyone to take a part of the responsibility for stopping it. Touchstone wants to stand alongside…

Anti-Bullying Week 17-21st November 2014

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…

International Women’s Day Conference – Friday 6th March

“Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.” UN…

Taking a stand against bullying

At Touchstone we’re committed to ensuring that diversity is something which is celebrated, rather than attacked. That’s why we’re delighted to support Anti-Bullying Week (17th-23rd November) and Stonewall’s No Bystanders campaign. The No Bystanders pledge reads “I will never be a bystander to bullying and teasing language. If I hear it, I will call it…

Alcohol Awareness Week

This year’s Alcohol Awareness Week runs from 17th-23rd November. Emma Goldsack from Touchstone’s Housing Service offers an informative article on the risks of drinking too much and how to drink safely. The festive season is upon us and we are once again bombarded with an assortment of offers on chocolate boxes, Christmas decs and of course…

Beating the winter blues: five tips for coping with SAD

Fiona Venner, director of Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service, writes about dealing with the effects of shorter days and longer nights… When the clocks go back many of us may feel the urge to retreat under our duvets. For around two million people in the UK who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), coping with…

BME Dementia Awareness Conference – 24th November

Monday November 24th 10am—2.30pm Leeds Civic Hall Banqueting Suite, Calverley Street Leeds LS1 1UR LUNCH PROVIDED Keynote Speaker Professor Alistair Burns – National Clinical Director For Dementia Key Local Leeds Speakers Leeds Black and Minority Ethnic Communities Dementia Awareness Conference Exploring Solutions, Breaking Myths and Taboos, Sharing Experiences Organised By Touchstone For further information or to book your place…

New Care Act Will Radically Overhaul Support For Both Users and Carers

Touchstone’s Chief Executive Alison Lowe outlines the impact of new legislation on carers and the services provided for them. I welcome moves by the Department of Health to inject an additional £4 million in funding to enable councils to train their staff in readiness for the implementation of the Care Act next April. Funds will…

5 Tips to Help Manage Stress

Wedenesday 5th November is National Stress Awareness Day. Sally Poyser from Touchstone’s IAPT service offers some advice for coping with everyday stress. Stress affects everybody, but high levels of stress can affect our ability to cope with the demands that come up in life. So, it’s important that we try to look after ourselves by…

Celebrate volunteering at our Annual General Meeting – Thursday 4th December

This year’s AGM takes place in Leeds at the West Indian Centre on Laycock Place, LS7 3JA. The theme will be benefits of volunteering – and to reflect that theme we will have presentations by Natasha Mort (Supporting Organisations Manager at Voluntary Action Leeds) and Justin Davis Smith (Executive Director of Volunteering and Development at the…

Touchstone chief up for award

Touchstone’s chief executive Alison Lowe is one of a group of inspirational women from Yorkshire and the North East who have been shortlisted for the Women in Business Awards organised by Forward Ladies – a support organisation for women in business. Alison has been nominated in the Not For Profit category, along with Sandra Howard…

BME Dementia Awareness Conference in Leeds – Monday 24th November

Touchstone, which has just received “working to become Dementia Friendly” status from Leeds Dementia Action Alliance is organising a Black and Minority Ethnic Dementia Awareness Conference at Leeds Civic Hall on Monday 24th November. The conference will look at raising Dementia awareness, exploring solutions, breaking myths and taboos and sharing experiences. Keynote speaker will be Professor Alistair Burns, National…

Touchstone goes for Gold – and gets it

Touchstone is delighted to announce we are an Investors in People Gold organisation. During a rigorous assessment of our policies, strategies, training and development over 4 days in October, IiP found that Touchstone had evidence to support every indicator of excellence at the gold standard and that we had staff whose commitment was second to…

Touchstone Kirklees Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Brokerage Service Annual Report 2013-2014

Co-production at Kirklees Advocacy Service

The latest annual report from the Kirklees Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Brokerage services is available below. The report was written and compiled by Jane Mackay, the service manager. The Advocacy Service works with people who are experiencing mental health difficulties to speak up for themselves. Our team of experienced advocates support people on wards…

Report: Decision Making in Stepped Care: How do Therapists Decide Whether to Prolong Treatment or Not?

“The efficiency of stepped care systems partly relies on systematic monitoring of patient outcomes and timely decisions to “step up” patients without any clear therapeutic gains to the next level of treatment. Qualitative evidence has suggested that this does not occur consistently, nor always congruently with clinical guidelines.” This report was compiled by Jaime Delgadillo (Leeds Community Healthcare…

Touchstone’s Accounts and Annual Reviews: 2005-2013

We’re currently at work on the 2013-2014 review, to show you what we’ve been at work on over the last year. In the meantime, here’s an opportunity to look back over some of our history with the reviews from previous years. 2012/13 Annual Review 2012-13 2011/12 Annual Review 2011-12 2010/11 Annual Review 2010-11 2009/10 Annual…

Touchstone an active partner as West Yorkshire project goes live

Hundreds of people with multiple needs, including mental health problems, are set to benefit from the launch of a multi-million pound project. West Yorkshire Finding Independence (WY-FI), a new Big Lottery funded programme, is run by a consortium of the region’s community organisations and has now gone live. The project aims to help people with…

A mission for workplace equality

Touchstone has a strong commitment to supporting inclusion and diversity – not just in the work we do with others, but also within our team of staff and volunteers. Ed Long reports on the latest initiatives being led by the Pink Pals, our Touchstone-wide LGBT Allies Programme. One day short of the 45th  anniversary of…

New Funding for Positive Care Programme

The PCP is now accepting new referrals from anyone in West Yorkshire who has not completed the programme previously. To refer yourself to the PCP please download our Referral Form or to find out more information please contact the PCP staff on 0113 3876473 or 0113 3786474 or email them at pcp@touchstonesupport.org.uk Who does it support? * People…

Top Tips for Caring For Someone With Dementia

This post originally appeared on The Yorkshire Times. Living with dementia is incredibly difficult for those who are affected by it and also for their family and friends. As the person’s mental capabilities begin to decline, they can feel scared and vulnerable and may require increased levels of help and support. There are a number…

How volunteering boosts health, confidence and employability skills

Guest blog by Nafisa Miraf, Touchstone Volunteers Project on the Bayford Foundation site.  A new survey to mark national Volunteers’ Week reveals that four in five people say volunteering boosts health while six out of 10 individuals report that giving up time to help a good cause helps to reduce stress. The new report from…

Supporting volunteers experiencing mental health difficulties

Nafisa Miraf

This post originally appeared on the Doing Good Leeds site, you can find it here. Mental health and volunteering Anyone can be affected and for some individuals mental health issues can return for any number of reasons. People experiencing mental health issues may choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. Volunteering allows them to…

Making Leeds services more accessible to migrant communities

Touchstone Community Development Service (CDS) in partnership with Leeds City Council Migration Partnership have recently completed training with 26 volunteers from 15 different countries, for the Migrant Access Project. The Migrant Access Project is a way of reducing pressure on public services where migration has impacted the most. Volunteers, known as ‘Migrant Community Networkers’, who…

Touchstone sets wheels in motion for top teamwork in Tour de France countdown

With the buzz and excitement of the Tour de France countdown in full swing, Thursday, July 3rd saw senior managers, Gemma Hornby and Ed Long, from West Yorkshire health and well-being charity Touchstone don yellow jerseys and set off on an epic cycle ride from Dewsbury to Leeds on a tandem. Energetically waving them off…

Le Tour de Touchstone – the story in pictures

It may not be quite the Tour de France, but a 22 mile tandem ride is no mean feat. And doing it to raise money for charity is even better. Here’s the story of Senior Opertions Manager Gemma Hornby and Finance Director Ed Long’s ride… Stage 1 Stage 2   Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage…

“No Bystanders” – a new anti-bullying campaign from Stonewall

From the playground to the workplace, the opinions we form of other people and the way we express those opinions can make a big difference. If people feel they have to change or hide fundamental things about themselves, in order to avoid teasing, bullying or segregation, then the long term effects on mental health can…

Organisations unite to take positive action about dementia in Leeds

More than 70 people from businesses, public services and community groups across the city came to the open meeting of the Leeds Dementia Action Alliance on 19 May at West Yorkshire Playhouse, to find out more about building dementia friendly communities in Leeds. Bob Fulcher spoke eloquently and with a dash of humour about living…

South Asian Dementia Cafe

Hamari Yaadain – our monthly Dementia Cafe for South Asian people in Leeds continues through the Summer. The cafe is for people with dementia and their carers and is accessible to speakers of Punjabi, Urdu or Hindi. The cafe takes placeat Touchstone Support Centre, Harehills Avenue, LS8 4EX on the first Thursday of every month…

New services for Kirklees

Touchstone’s Advocacy Service in Kirklees is adding two new strands to its work. Independent Mental Health Advocacy The Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) service will be working with people who have been sectioned or conditionally discharged, to ensure that they know about and are able to ask for their rights. They can also work with…

Secret Indian Cinema

For Sikh Elders Service Members and their Carers. Come and watch an Indian film in an intimate setting. Free entry – enjoy a free tea or coffee. 25th October at Inkwell, 31 Potternewton Lane, Leeds, LS7 3LW. Doors open at 4.45pm. Very limited spaces, confirm your space by 21st October by calling 0113 271 8277…