Positive Care Programme – Tai Chi

Carol – one of the tutors from the Positive Care Programme – demonstrates tai chi movements that can be used even by people with chronic health conditions.

Positive Care Programme: “it’s given me hope in my future, and has improved my everyday life”

I have participated in the Touchstone Positive Care Programme for the past 5 months. This amazing course combines 1 to 1 complementary therapy (e.g. reflexology, acupuncture, shiatsu, Indian head massage, healing) group activity (e.g. tai chi, meditation, Alexander technique, breathing) and group workshops (e.g. “lifting your spirits”, “positive steps”, “being friends with your body”, “mind,…

Future Plans for PAFRAS and Touchstone

  Touchstone are proud to announce a 6 month extension to their mental health partnership with PAFRAS, funded by NHS Leeds. PAFRAS provide mental health outreach and support to destitute asylum seekers from their weekly drop-ins at St Aidan’s Church  – reaching many people who remain “off the radar” and invisible to most other services. The service helps asylum seekers…

Touchstone and “Cookies”

At Touchstone we know how important people’s privacy is, and we want to make sure everyone knows what information we gather as well as how we use information. When you came to the website just now, you probably noticed a little message on the bottom left hand side of the screen talking about “cookies”. This is…

Touchstone: ending mental health stigma

At Touchstone, we believe everyione has a right to be respected, no matter who they are, where they are from, or the experiences they have had. Sadly, admitting to having difficulties with how you feel,  is still a problem for many people. This is why Touchstone is committed to challenging the misconceptions and stereotypes which have grown up…

Become a Trustee of Touchstone

Everyone’s view is important – especially yours. Touchstone is currently looking for new Trustees to join the board, to oversee Touchstone’s operations and to take part in making important decisions about our future. The board meets 6 times a year in the early evenings. We particularly welcome applications from current and former users of Touchstone’s…

Positive Care Programme: “My life seems so much brighter”

Some feedback from a Positive Care Programme service user… Just a few lines to show my appreciation to the Positive Care Programme, which I have just completed. First and foremost I feel I am a much more positive person both in body and mind. When I fist attended the programme I had been off work…

Interviews with Positive Care Programme participants

The following excerpts are from interviews taken with Positive Care Programme clients as they neared the end of their time with the Programme. Mac: “Be totally open minded about it and get as much out of it as you possibly can.” Marie: “Knowing I was coming here just gave me the incentive to get up.”…

Positive Care Programme – “There is now a purpose in what I am doing”

Rain

Testimony from a previous participant in Touchstone’s Positive Care Programme… Walking through horizontal rain driven by disdainful gusts that whip across my face I try to remember why I am spending two hours on a Thursday just to get to the Postive Care Programme in Leeds. Three months ago I would have avoided it like…

New software brings speedier response

a picture of a computer

From the 1st April 2012, if you have an individual keyworker with a Touchstone service you will find that your records will be kept on a new computer system called PSOCC. This new system is password protected, kept safe behind a computer firewall and only open to staff who work for Touchstone that have a…

Translating Touchstone’s website

Touchstone offers services to people from many different communities and countries. To help people access the information on this website, we’ve added a tool from Google Translate to the front page. Pick the language you need from the list and click “Translate”. (Translations are done by machine, so may not be perfect. However, they will…

Touchstone’s continuing work to support LGB staff

By Alison Lowe – Touchstone Chief Executive and LGB Champion I am delighted to announce that Touchstone has improved 42 places in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index and we are now ranked 170 out of 363 employers. Jay Silver (manager of Touchstone’s Community Support Team) and I met Madeline Lasko from Stonewall on 24th February to go through…

Touchstone: reducing reoffending, boosting employability

Working in partnership with the West Yorkshire Probation Trust,  Touchstone is improving the employability of offenders with mental health issues through the Step Change project. Mental health has been identified as a barrier into employment, education and training among ex-offenders.  People are often marginalised and can fall through the net.  In addition to employability-building, a large…

Latest news from the Sikh Elders Service

Sikh Elders Service have just published their seventh newsletter, including news about “Nice Cup of Tea” – a social and art project that a number of service users took part in “Voice of Sikh Elders” – a community consultation event at Ramgharia Sikh Centre on 8th March Yoga classes, swimming lessons and aqua aerobics Photos…

Touchstone at 30

In 1982, a drop-in centre “providing little else but support and a cup of tea” opened in South Leeds. That was the beginning of the charity now called Touchstone. Since those early days, we’ve been through many changes – now offering a diverse range of services to support the well-being of many people across West…

Giving Voice 3-session course with Rachel Healey

Giving Voice is a life-enhancing self-help tool.  It involves learning to use song to promote your own health and happiness.  In this short course, you will learn and practice how to use Giving Voice in your own life.  Benefits may include better health, joy, peace, connection, sharing and fun.  You don’t need any experience or…

Sundar Mann – monthly dementia cafe

On 22nd December, Yorkshire Evening Post published an article on services for older people in Leeds, including the following extract about Sundar Mann dementia cafe… In Harehills, mental health charity Touchstone in partnership with Leeds Memory Service and others runs a dementia café, giving members of the south Asian community who have dementia, and their…

International volunteering conference in Brno

Youth volunteering conference in Brno

Jay Silver (manager of the Community Support Team at Leeds-based charity Touchstone) gave a presentation on “Best Practice in Volunteering” at a recent conference held in Leeds’ twin city Brno, Czech Republic. Leeds was also represented at the conference by Karol Thornton from Youth Offending Leeds. The conference on the subject of young people volunteering…

Designing substance use services collaboratively

About a year ago, a group of people drawn from Leeds University, Leeds Partnerships Foundation Trust, South West Yorkshire Foundation Trust and others (including Touchstone, Altogether Better and User Voice ) came together to think about how Health Services in Leeds could be thought about, designed and delivered co-productively. We wanted to find ways of…

Refugee and asylum seeker action research project

Action Research

We are delighted to announce that the Action Research project “Understanding refugees’ and asylum seekers’ (RAS) experiences of accessing and receiving Mental Health support in Leeds” has started on 26th September 2011. The objective of this project is to explore and develop understanding on what successful MH work looks like with RAS clients inside and…

Guerrillas in the Midst

This Autumn sees the first Love Arts Leeds festival , organised by Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust celebrating mental health in all its forms. Touchstone’s Guerilla Badge Makers will be popping up all over the city, encouraging people to think about the labels we wear – the ones we choose for ourselves and the ones…

Community Development Team Named “Best Partner”

Touchstone’s Community Development Team were named “Best Partner” by Leeds Adult Social Care, in their Excellence Awards 2011.  Nafisa  Miraf and Samantha Powell  and Jon Beech were nominated for the award in recognition of their development of the Migrant Community Organiser Programme alongside Zobi Barok from Feel Good Factor and Pria Bhabra of Adult Social…

Health and Money Awareness Day

Burmantofts Health Improvement Group Presents Health and Money Awareness Day When and where? Thursday 25th August, 11am – 2pm ELHFA, 6 Boston Towers opp LINCOLN Green shops Leeds LS9 7PB

NHS Leeds Health Stars Awards 2011

Touchstone was highly commended in the Mental Health and Wellbeing category at this year’s Health Stars Awards for our work on the “Talking Our Language” training pack. Staff from the Community Development Service supported Chinese and Pakistani community activists to train peers about mental health.  Download and use the training manual.

Community Development Leaflet Now Available

The new Community Development Service leaflets are out now. Visit the CDS Page or click on the picture to the right to download a copy. The Community Development Service supports black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in Leeds. This includes people from African Caribbean, African, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Indian, Irish, Pakistani, refugee and asylum seeking communities. Staff are…

Referrals now being accepted by Kirklees Advocacy Service

Referrals now being accepted by Kirklees Advocacy Service. The Kirklees Advocacy Service enables people who have experienced or are experiencing mental health problems to: Speak up for themselves Help other people find their voice Work out what recovery means to them Download a referral form.