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…

Healthwatch Leeds appoints Chair

We are pleased to announce the appointment of our first chair of Healthwatch Leeds: Linn Phipps. Linn has a strong background in the NHS, in Leeds, and in patient and public engagement. She has over 14 years’ experience of serving as a Non-Executive Director of NHS mental health and learning disability services, and as Chair…

Workplace Wellbeing – Touchstone’s exciting new service

As the modern workplace becomes increasingly stressful and demanding, employers are looking for new ways to support their staff to stay well, motivated and positive. Touchstone’s new Workplace Wellbeing service is designed to do just that. Combining workshops such as managing stress, looking after your body, maintaining your energy levels along with a comprehensive range…

Positive Pathways Goes Live

Positive Pathways

Positive Pathways goes live on 2nd April 2013. Positive Pathways supports people with mental health problems in Leeds, working on housing, employment and other needs to help with recovery. The service is led by Community Links in partnership with Touchstone, Leeds Mind, Leeds Irish Health and Homes, St Anne’s Community Services and Leeds Federated Housing…

New Touchstone Project Tackles Mental Health Discrimination Head On

Stigma and discrimination create barriers

  Touchstone has been awarded a Time to Change grant to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination in black communities inLeeds.   Time to Change isEngland’s mental health anti-stigma programme run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and funded by the Department of Health and Comic Relief.  The programme is distributing grants to…

Leeds Census 2011 – Another update from the CDWs

After the enormous success of our last post analysing the 2011 Leeds Census Arfan Hanif  from the Community Development team has crunched yet more data to explain the ethnic makeup of each electoral ward in Leeds. This kind of information is really important for local services trying to work out who lives on their doorstep, so…

Healthwatch Leeds – Update

  Touchstone are proud to announce their membership of the consortium chosen to manage  Healthwatch Leeds, together with Health Together, Inclusion North, and Leeds Involving People. Healthwatch Leeds will be the local voice of people who use health and social care services in Leeds from 1st April 2013, and will build on the work of…

Refugee Mental Health – Action Research Final Report

Touchstone and PAFRAS collaborated on action research project last year, looking at the mental health needs and experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds. We are proud to publish the final report – which contains the findings and actions of the action learning sets, and priorities for action, based on analysis of lived experiences…

Kirklees Advocacy Service Annual Report 2011/12

This is the first annual report of the Kirklees Advocacy Service – Touchstone’s first service designed and delivered on explicitly co-productive principles. In it you will see how we’ve attempted to model the core values of co-production through everything we do – and what we have achieved in collaboration with the people we work with….