Coping with Social Isolation and Crisis throughout the summer

THE WELL-BEAN CRISIS CAFÉ – HOPE IN A CRISIS BLOG – June 2018 (Written by Matthew Hall – Crisis Support Worker at WBC) Since the last blog was released – we are pleased to announce that funding for the Well-Bean Café has been secured, and the service has now been extended until the end of…

Events for Refugee Week in Leeds #RefugeeWeek

Sunday 17 June – Syrian Community of Leeds and Damasq 2.30pm to 8.30pm – Ebor Gardens Community Centre, 79 Haslewood Drive, Leeds, LS9 7PS This event is to bring all together to celebrate through food and sports! There will be a free Syrian Bakery and a sports competition for children. All are welcome. Contact: Fawaz Alghofari…

Support for carers who fast #CarersWeek

With Carer’s Week falling during the month of Ramadhan, Shuria Alam (Carers Support Worker) talks about the impact of fasting and the need for culturally sensitive support for carers. Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar, and this year will begin around 17th May and end around 16th June 2018. For 29/30…

Healthy Eating

For BNF Healthy Eating Week, Touchstone trustee Julie Laxton offers some guidance on how to look after ourselves by choosing what we eat. Healthy eating sounds really boring, but it will help you to keep well and feel better. It can prevent some diseases in the future for example, heart disease and diabetes. What is…

Events for Carers Week from Carers Leeds #CarersWeek

Carers Week begins on Monday 11th June. Our partners at Carers Leeds have compiled the following list of events for the week. Some of these events require advance booking. If in doubt, please call Carers Leeds on 0113 246 8338. Touchstone will also be running events for members of our staff who have caring responsibilities outside of…

Best Start Peer Volunteer Story #VolunteersWeek

I didn’t really know what to make of Best Start Peer Support when I first heard about it. It intrigued me, but I wasn’t sure it was my thing. A friend of mine had done it and told me I would enjoy it, so I decided to take myself out of my comfort zone and…

Volunteering with MAP+ #VolunteersWeek

The Migrant Access Project (MAP+) helps new arrivals in Leeds to connect with the local community, including finding volunteering opportunities. One of our MAP+ volunteers have shared some of her experience and feedback with us: “I suffered a really bad injury at work and had to reduce my hours, which meant I started getting into…

Highlighting Health inequalities in New Wortley

Bill Graham from New Wortley Community Association has looked into health inequalities for those in the New Wortley neighbourhood of Leeds. The charts below show some of what he found out. This indicator shows the proportion of households where no people in the household have English as a main language. This information was created from…

Volunteering with the Liaison and Diversion service #VolunteersWeek

Volunteers play an important role in supporting the Liaison and Diversion service, both in the community and in the custody suite. Volunteers provide variety to our service and, in return, experience with us enables them to get closer to their goals. One of our volunteers joined us as his goal was to change career and…

Be a buddy for a new Leeds resident #VolunteersWeek

Most people have had experience of feeling new, not knowing where things are or how to get help. Well, here is your opportunity to be a buddy to somebody that is new to the city – to show them things like: where the train and bus stations are visiting museums together exploring different areas of…

Dementia or Jinns?

My friend’s uncle has been displaying a lot of unusual behaviours which are totally out of character. He believes his daughter is his wife who passed away a few years ago. He does not recognise his family members’ true identity at all – he refers to his son as though it is his brother and…

World Hunger Day

May 28th 2018 is World Hunger day – a day designed to promote awareness of the simple and tragic fact that 800 Million people in the world do not have enough food to eat. The statistics are shocking. Have a read, digest the numbers involved and share with friends and colleagues..… http://www.foodaidfoundation.org/world-hunger-statistics.html The 28th is…

Cromwell Mount Becoming Dementia Friendly

Dementia is something we all need to be aware of at Touchstone as it can affect all of our lives.  Although most of the service users who access Cromwell Mount do not have a Dementia diagnosis we recognise that not everyone displays the symptoms or disclose if they do. To ensure that we are in…

What is Dementia and How Can We Support People with Dementia?

You may be aware that in Touchstone we have Dementia Champions linked to our main sites. I am the Dementia Champion for Haslewood Drive offices and the Touchstone IAPT team where we offer treatment for people experiencing common mental health services, with a focus on patients from BAME and marginalised communities. We think about dementia…

Becoming a Dementia Friendly Organisation

Since 2015 Touchstone has been working hard to be a Dementia Friendly organisation. Through the leadership of the Dementia Champions group awareness around Dementia including some practical actions as enabled Touchstone to become more of a dementia friendly organisation. One of the key aims of the Dementia Champions is to ensure there is a consistent…

Caring for a loved one with Dementia

I started working with adults with memory issues in 2016 and it was around that time I noticed changes in my Great Nan Rose. She had always been forgetful and other family members didn’t notice the subtle changes but I did. It started with little things like getting people’s names wrong. This wasn’t uncommon as…

Dementia Action at Touchstone

Touchstone is committed to becoming Dementia friendly, and in recent months we have been focusing on what changes we can make to make our sites easy for people with dementia to feel relaxed in. This has involved fitting new carpets and brightly coloured toilet seats, which can be helpful for people with dementia, as it…

14th June is World Blood Donor Day

It’s like paying tax on having good health… … and paying tax isn’t always comfortable, but neither is having very poor health or being at risk of dying! I’ve been giving blood for a few years now and I’m about to give my eighth donation. As someone who was born in the NHS, had my…

Making Mental Health Sustainable – Mindful Employer Leeds Conference 2018

This year’s Mindful Employer conference will give employers advice and guidance on how to embed positive mental health into the workplace and create sustainable employee wellbeing. Be part of challenging perceptions about mental health within your organisation, look at the different ways you can start your journey and develop good practice further. This event has…

Seeking refuge from an oppressive anti-gay regime

Touchstone staff and volunteers recently had the opportunity to hear the story of a gay asylum seeker from Uganda. To protect her identity, we have not included her name or photograph here. At the time that she was growing up in Uganda, people simply did not talk about being gay, because it could cost your…

Mental health: BME communities go unheard and ignored

People from West Yorkshire’s BME communities with mental health concerns feel ignored and struggle to find a voice, according to charity Touchstone. The mental health charity recently ran two consultation events with BME service users as part of a national independent review of the Mental Health Act.  Feedback from participants at the events in Leeds…

May 17th – International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is observed on May 17th and aims to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide. Commemorations have taken place in over 120 countries, in all world regions. Despite some legal and social advances in the past…

Mental Health Awareness Week – the stress bucket

Vanysha and Adriana from the Mentally Healthy Leeds team use the stress bucket model as a visual aid, to show how we each have limited capacity for everyday stress factors, and that capacity may be different, depending on our life circumstances. This year, Mental Health Awareness Week (14th-20th May) is focussed on the theme of…

World Asthma Day

Nazia from Better in Kirklees talks about living and working with asthma. Organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma, May 1st marks World Asthma Day 2018. It is a day committed to improve asthma awareness and care around the world, with this year marking its 20th anniversary. According to the World Health Organisation, 300 million people suffer from…

M.E. Week

Trying to find clear information on M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis) can be pretty tricky. There are many different opinions about what it is, who has it, what causes it and how (or if) it can be treated. It is also often referred to as CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), though not everyone agrees that the two terms…

New Bradford service to help reduce risk of re-offending

A service aimed at reducing reoffending among vulnerable people is being introduced in Bradford this month. The Liaison and Diversion (L&D) Service identifies, assesses and refers people with mental health, learning disability, substance misuse and social vulnerabilities when they first come into contact with the youth and adult criminal justice systems. Funded by NHS England…

Does Dance Matter?

International Dance Day falls on the 29th March each year. Each year prominent figures from the world of dance are asked to talk about why dance matters on a global and social level. Here are some of this year’s messages. Salia Sanou from Burkina Faso says: “…whether we like it or not, whether we recognize…

‘The Meaning of Food’ – Poem by Cha Da Cup & Ian Duhig

Touchstone, Pavilion and Ian Duhig are pleased to share their new poem ‘The Meaning of Food’. This poem was co-written by Ian Duhig and Touchstone’s Cha DaCup group, who have now ‘crossed the threshold’ to become published authors, as their poem has been featured in the recently released in ‘The Cookbook Project Sewerby Hall and…

Touchstone nominated for the UK’s largest diversity award

Touchstone a local well-being charity in Yorkshire has been nominated for the Diverse Company of the Year category at The National Diversity Awards 2018. The Liverpool Anglican Cathedral will play host to this year’s awards, to be held on 14th September, recognising individuals and groups from grassroots communities. The event recognises nominees in their respective…