Best Start Peer Support Project – what people thought

The Best Start peer support project offers a six week course to support expectant parents and the parents or carers of children under 2 years. To help us evaluate the course and to keep improving it, we always ask participants for their feedback. Here are some recent comments: What did you think of the course…

50th Anniversary Leeds Carnival Parade

The Leeds carnival is an amazing celebration which incorporates all three essential elements of authentic West Indian carnival: costumes, music and masquerade procession. It is one of the longest running West Indian Carnivals in Europe and began in 1967, therefore, marking the milestone 50th anniversary in 2017. On this special occasion, the carnival exceeded the…

World Mental Health Week events from the Touchstone Community Development team

Next week the Community Development Service and new Migrant Access Project  Plus Teams are going to venues across Leeds to talk to people about workplace mental health. This is to mark World Mental Health Day on Tuesday 10 October and we’ll be doing activities throughout the week. As well as running sessions for staff working…

Black History Month trip to Wilberforce House in Hull

October is Black History Month – Let’s Celebrate! Join us on a coach trip to Wilberforce House in Hull on Wednesday 18th October 2017 Who was William Wilberforce? William Wilberforce (1759 – 1833) was a politician who campaigned to end the slave trade and lived to see the abolition of slavery in 1807 and the freeing of all slaves…

MindWell website user survey

The MindWell team are celebrating their first anniversary with a survey to find out how we are doing. The link below will provide us with vital feedback from users of the site so that we can continually improve the content and how the site works. The survey will take a few minutes to complete and is mostly tick boxes….

Connecting the dots – Community Support Team and CMHT

I commenced my secondment with Touchstone at the beginning of July for a period of three months. It was an opportunity to explore different ways of working and to form better links between Touchstone Community Support Team (CST) and the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT). On my first day the Chief Executive, Alison, came and…

Bi-Visibility Day 23rd September

Bi Visibility Day, also known as International Celebrate Bisexuality Day, has been marked each year since 1999 to highlight biphobia and to help people find the bisexual community. It happens all over the globe. First observed in 1999, Celebrate Bisexuality Day is the brainchild of three United States bisexual rights activists: Wendy Curry of Maine, Michael Page of Florida, and Gigi…

Bi Visibility Day 2017

Bi Visibility Day started was first marked in 1999 and is now celebrated yearly on 23 September. It is a chance for the bi+ community and allies to come together and celebrate as well as helping to raise awareness and correct misconceptions. Bi+ people are often under-represented in the media and when discussing LGBT+ issues;…

The beautiful game

Barnsley Futures (Holden House)  put a team together to enter a 6 a side football tournament for suicide awareness week.  The tournament was organised through the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to raise awareness and funds for this serious issue.  It was held on Saturday 9/9/17 at the Barnsley Academy indoor ground (due…

How to be Mindful on World Mindfulness Day!

Would you like to do something to mark World Mindfulness Day or are you are curious what mindfulness is all about? Mindfulness is a fairly simple idea about how we direct our focus of attention, but like many things that may sound simple, it can be a little tricky to actually do! The basic principles…

Take a minute, change a life

World Suicide Prevention Day – 10th September 2017  “Take a minute, change a life” Every year, nearly 1 million people die by suicide and up to 20 times as many make a suicide attempt. Behind these statistics are the individual stories of those who have, for many different reasons, questioned the value of their own…

World Suicide Prevention Day

10th September is World Suicide Prevention Day.  According to the Alliance of Suicide Prevention Charities (TASC), suicide is the greatest cause of death amongst young men (15-44) in the UK as well as many young women too. Every four minutes someone in the UK tries to kill themselves and every hour and a half someone…

Latest newsletter from Sikh Elders Service

The latest newsletter from Sikh Elders Service is now out. This issue includes: SES will be holding a consultation for all service users on 6th November There’s a fundraising Dinner and Dance on 13th October As Summer fades, there’s some advice for getting ready for Winter The newsetter also contains information about ongoing projects, including…

Baby Week at Dewsbury Road Community Hub

14TH AND 15TH SEPTEMBER 2017 Free activities/taster sessions and information stalls Celebrating Baby Week Creating Relationships Enjoy the fun and find out more about local services and activities available for babies, children and families. Places are limited for some activities, so please book by visiting: www.ticketsource.co.uk/leedslibraryevents DEWSBURY ROAD COMMUNITY HUB 190, Dewsbury Road, Leeds LS11 6PF Thursday…

Diwali Dinner and Dance Fundraising Event

Bhangra Dancers – Raffle – Auction Money  raised will go to the Sikh Elders Service Friday 13th October 2017 White Rose Banqueting Suite 67 Tong Road, Leeds, LS12 1HQ 6.00pm – 11.00pm DRESS TO IMPRESS To book your ticket call on 0113 216 3143 Charanjit: 07842481270 Chani: 07825438376 Zeba: 07823448429   Ticket prices: Adults £15 Children under 12 £8…

THE WELL-BEAN CRISIS CAFÉ – HOPE IN A CRISIS: BLOG NO.1….

This is our FIRST blog post, WOW! It genuinely feels a pleasure to be able to talk about what we are, what we do and who we are here to help. The Café opened late last year (October 2016) and has slowly built up a head of steam, with the number of visitors we have…

Find out about volunteering at Touchstone

TOUCHSTONE’S VOLUNTEER MARKET PLACE INFORMATION AND RECRUITMENT EVENT LEEDS POLISH CENTRE CHAPELTOWN ROAD LS7 4JE THURSDAY 28th SEPTEMBER 10AM-2PM Are you a passionate and supportive individual? Looking for work experience in the field of mental health and wellbeing? Interested in becoming a Touchstone volunteer? Come along to our volunteer market place! Contact Zeba Khan on…

Touchstone awarded new Peer-Led Brokerage contract in Kirklees

We are delighted to announce that Touchstone has been awarded the new Mental Health Peer Led Brokerage contract by Kirklees Council, to commence on 1 October 2017. Touchstone has been delivering the pilot of this innovative service for the past four years, enabling people living with mental health difficulties to use their Direct Payments to…

“PROUD” – A Story of Touchstone at Leeds Pride 2017

Once again this year Touchstone staff celebrated all that is “Pink” about Leeds during Pride 2017. Not only did staff march tall with our Pink Pals banner in the parade, we also had a stall in partnership with Leeds Mind and Community Links to raise awareness of mental health amongst the LGBT+ and non-LGBT communities…

What “involvement” means at Kirklees Advocacy Service

Advocacy is all about helping people who use services to speak up, to be heard and to have influence – in other words to be involved in their own lives and in anything that impacts on their lives. Touchstone’s Kirklees Advocacy Service was designed from the ground up to achieve that. Here’s some of the…

Local Time to Change Champions needed to shape campaign!

Time to Change Leeds is looking for passionate volunteers who have experienced mental health problems. Joining the Champion Campaign Group is an opportunity to meet like-minded people and campaign together to celebrate mental health in the city. You are essential to making a difference.   If you want to find out more, please attend the…

Staff diversity at Touchstone

Touchstone supports people from a wide range of backgrounds and we aim to reflect the same diversity among our staff. To check how we’re doing, each year we ask staff to complete a brief survey. The results of our 2017 survey are summarised below. 16% of staff have a disability, compared to 14% the previous…

Ambitious Local Community aims to address Leeds Housing need

New Wortley Community Association (NWCA) has been successful in securing a grant to develop an exciting Community Led Housing project in West Leeds. This is a positive boost for the local community and builds upon the success of a number of other initiatives which NWCA already have up and running in the area. This local…

Depression Recovery course at Leeds Grand Mosque

Depression is much more common than we often think; sometimes we do not even recognize what it is… Depression is debilitating and it can hit anyone of us: male or female, young or old, regardless of our social circumstances. The important thing to realize is that there is hope and things will get better –…

Everyone Has Great Ideas! Report from the Leeds Co-production Conference

On 6th July 2017, Touchstone hosted Leeds’ second coproduction conference.  This time to coincide with national coproduction week. The aims of the conference were 3 fold: To shine a light on the existing examples of coproduction in the region To introduce more people to the “I Statements” and their place in mental health commissioning in Leeds To…

Annual Information Report: Who did Touchstone support in 2016/17?

On 31 March 2017 there were over 1500 active service users accessing Touchstone services. This suggests that on any given day we have around 1500 live service users across Touchstone. Half of Touchstone’s live service users come from BME backgrounds. All Touchstone services have a BME service user profile above the 2011 Census baseline. The…

WHO KNOWS BEST? WE DO!

The ‘We’ is our service users and they always know what is best. This has been reinforced by what our service users think and say about Touchstone in this years annual service user survey results. The key headlines are: Overall 95% of service user respondents indicated that Touchstone is an excellent to good organisation. Quality…

Leadership Masterclass: Steph Calvert

Steph Calvert will be speaking at the Touchstone Leadership Masterclass on Wednesday 26th July 12noon to 2pm at Hillside, Beeston Road, Leeds, LS11 8ND Steph was born in 1958, and only realised she was officially a boy on seeing her first brother in the bath when she was two. Decades of confusion and distress followed, along…

Free Hugs Day

The first Saturday of July is International Free Hugs Day. Maybe you’ve seen someone in your town centre holding up a hand-made sign that says “Free Hugs” – and delivering on that promise by hugging anyone that approaches them. Quite possibly you’ve already seen themusic video below, that shows the advent of this Free Hugs…

Leeds Leads: Encouraging Happy Young Minds

Hosted by local charity, Leeds Community Foundation (LCF), the Leeds Leads: Encouraging Happy Young Minds event will welcome special guest HRH Prince Henry of Wales on Thursday 6th July 2017 in Leeds. Leeds Leads: Encouraging Happy Young Minds is a beacon event addressing the mental wellbeing of the city’s young people. The event will bring…