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…

Hamari Yaadain South Asian Dementia Cafe

Hamari Yaadain – A Dementia Cafe for South Asian people in Leeds. Hamari Yaadain, which means ‘Our Memories’ in some South Asian languages, runs twice a month on the first and third Thursday of each month from 1pm – 3pm at Touchstone Support Centre, Harehills Avenue, LS8 4EX. The cafe is for people with dementia…

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…

Lohri Stories

Lohri is a very popular festival, celebrated by the Punjabi people of the Indian subcontinent to mark the end of Winter. People celebrate the Winter Solstice with bonfires, and joyous folk songs and dances, including Gidha Boliyan and Bhangra. Fires are lit to mark the return of longer days, people putting on their most cheerful,…

Service User Training Schedule 2014

Touchstone Service Users wishing to book a place on any of the training below, should ring  Tim Grayson 07825 438 377 Compliments and Complaints (Enables you to sit on panels and be paid for reviewing the above) – Facilitator: Mark Baker – Tuesday 8/4/14 12.00 noon to 3.30pm at Touchstone House (The conference room)  – 10 places available. First Aid (…

Touchstone builds on success as top employer

The Sunday Times survey of best not-for-profit organisations to work for, this year lists Touchstone at number 59 (a significant rise from our placing of 72 last year). The results are due to be published in a special supplement on Sunday 16th March. Only one other West Yorkshire based organisation made it in to the…

Volition mark LGBT History Month

Volition (the umbrella organisation for voluntary sector mental health service providers in Leeds) has published a special edition of their newsletter for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) History Month this February. The purpose of the month is to mark the achievements, as well as the challenges, of people who identify in any of the…

Touchstone is a Stonewall Top 100 Employer!

At a star-studded champagne reception held at the Tate Modern on 15th January, Touchstone gained entry to the Stonewall Top 100 Employers’ list for 2014, 4 years after becoming Stonewall Diversity Champions. Touchstone is the first ever local charity to be awarded the accolade of being amongst the UK’s top gay-friendly employers, previous winners usually…

My Journey at Touchstone…

Youth volunteering conference in Brno

Volunteers’ Week (1st-7th June) is a celebration of the work that volunteers do and an encouragement to more of us to volunteer. Touchstone has a strong base of volunteers involved in our work and we offer support and training to make the volunteering experience as productive and enjoyable as possible. To celebrate Volunteers’ Week, we’re…

Award winning community development work from Touchstone’s Kimberley Saggu

We are thrilled to announce that one of Touchstone’s Black and Minority Ethnic Community Development Workers, Kimberley Saggu, has won a Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust Award.  The annual Trust Awards offer staff and members the chance to recognise and celebrate the talented people working and volunteering for the Trust. Kimberley has worked tirelessly…