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…

Grief and mental health

I originally wrote this blog in November 2014, 5 months after my dad had died. I was shocked at the level of despair I was experiencing and so felt unable to share my thoughts at that time. Now, on the eve of the anniversary of my dad’s death and to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week,…

Fun and fundraising – the Tour de Touchstone II

After two staff members blazed the way last year, with their tandem cycle ride to all of Touchstone’s office, this year lots of Touchstone staff and volunteers got in on the act, participating in a 13.3 mile themed relay from the centre of Dewsbury to Chapeltown in Leeds. Stages included silly walks, super hero costumes, egg’n’spoon and pram pushing. While…

Mental health advocacy on hospital ward rounds

Part of the service offered by Kirklees Advocacy Service is to support people who are detained in hospital because of their mental health to get clear answers about their treatment and to have their own opinions and concerns heard and acknowledged. Even for those with considerable confidence, the unfamiliar environment and routines of a hospital…

Mental Illness and the Media: The Curse of Flight 4U 9525

Following the loss of Germanwings flight 4U 9525, the media once again gluttonously feasts on the alleged mental ill-health of the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, – believed to have caused the death of 150 people- so putting back the campaign against stigma and discrimination by several years. These stories can have a big influence on the…

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. Last year the Department of Health injected an additional £4 million in funding to enable councils to train their staff in readiness for the implementation of the Care Act from 1 April 2015. Funds were primarily earmarked to…

Negative Self-talk is What Holds Women Back in Business…Is This Still the Case?

Touchstone CEO Alison Lowe, one of Forward Ladies Women in Business Award Winners in 2014, asks is negative self-talk what holds women back in business? Whilst seven  out of ten employees in the voluntary sector are women, only 43% of charities are led by female chief executives or chairs.  Why is this? Do women still struggle with…

Join in and Follow our Chief Executive’s Twitter Chat with @Forward Ladies!

Negative self-talk is this holding women back in business?  Wednesday at noon Building on her success last year as  Not for Profit Businesswoman of the Year in the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards, our Chief Executive Alison is hosting a twitter chat with @ForwardLadies on Wednesday 1 April about negative self-talk, is this holding women back in business? The…

Dementia Conference Report

Today more than 800,000 people are living with dementia. By 2021, it’s expected to rise to more than a million. More people than ever are now getting access to a diagnosis, are being given the right information to help them cope, and are receiving real person-centred care. But there are thousands of people living with…

Stonewall CEO to address Touchstone staff

Ruth Hunt

Everyone can be a leader, helping to drive positive change at work, in our lives and in our communities. As part of our commitment to develop all our staff’s leadership potential, Touchstone is organising a series of Leadership Masterclasses. We’re very pleased to announce that Ruth Hunt, CEO of Stonewall, will be addressing staff during…

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 April’s Alcohol Awareness Month, 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 and understand their own behaviour and to…

Positive Pathways: positive results

Positive Pathways

Touchstone’s Housing Service is part of the Positive Pathways partnership, which helps people, who are having difficulties connected to their mental health, to either find a place to live or to better manage their current accommodation. Ultimately, the best measure of our success is the impact we have in the lives of people who use…

Highlights of Women In Management – International Women’s Day 2015

Seven Video Productions have created a short video talking to some of the delegates and presenters from this year’s Women In Management conference for International Women’s Day. Watch the video on YouTube to hear from speakers including Charlotte Sweeney, Alison Bunn (TwelvePeaks Management) and Touchstone’s Alison Lowe. “It reminds people that, yes, we’ve come a…

International Happiness Day

International happiness day is today and Touchstone’s IAPT team want to offer you some top tips to enhance your life with a greater level of happiness. Firstly, are you happy enough? Click on the link below http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AreYouHappy2.pdf If you are, that’s great! If your not as happy as you’d like to be then look at the following list. Researchers…

Sikh Elders Service Welcomes Spring with a Fresh Start

It feels as though it’s been a long time coming, in fact as long as I have been with Touchstone, but finally in February, we received the news that Touchstone will continue to deliver the Sikh Elders Service to the community. All of us are incredibly excited about this. A huge sigh of relief from…

International Women’s Day – 8th March 2015

International Women’s Day events are held worldwide on March 8 to celebrate women and their global contribution. Various women, including political, community, and business leaders, as well as leading educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and television personalities, are usually invited to speak at events on the day, highlighting their successes to illustrate how much progress has been…

Celebrating Diversity – 24th February

Touchstone and Women’s Health Matters Celebrating Diversity Tuesday 24 February 2015 12.30pm Lunch open to everyone at: Leeds City Museum Stalls from LGBT friendly organisations Come find out about LGBT services and events around Leeds To get involved and set up a stall, please contact Jay Silver on 0113 216 2792 or Amrit Kaur on…

Oluwale Partnership Symposium – 17th April

Oluwale Partnership Symposium David Oluwale Memorial Assocn and partners Friday, 17 April 2015 from 09:30 to 16:30 (BST) Leeds , United Kingdom   Do you work with people in Leeds who are marginalised and excluded because of their homelessness, mental ill-health, destitution, alcohol problems?  Or pushed aside because they are seeking asylum, been in prison,…