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…

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…