Shafa annual review

A Touchstone Service for the Rehabilitation of South Asian Offenders working together with the National Probation Service and the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC). What is Shafa? Shafa is a newly formed Touchstone project working across the whole of West Yorkshire. Shafa means renewal, restoration and healing in Urdu. Touchstone’s approach is to work with people who have offended from the South Asian community based on…

Sikh Elders Service annual review

This has been another successful year for the Sikh Elders Service with growing numbers of elders joining in regular activities and trips. The service continues to advocate on behalf of elders via one-to-one support in accessing statutory services to enable them to live independently. Despite the challenging financial environment we are always actively looking for new growth opportunities to make the service sustainable. Our membership has…

Shafa case studies

National probation case I was charged by the Parole Board to make enquiries of my client’s wife. My client is a Lifer – following a domestic murder of a female partner. Ijaz (Shafa staff member) had a good understanding of the family, and of my task, in relation to the information sought by the Parole Board, who will ultimately make a decision…

Community Support Team case study

Heidi has historically struggled to engage in mainstream services and often found them unhelpful. Depression and overwhelming feelings of hopelessness have often played a large role in Heidi’s life. Heidi had a difficult past, growing up in Local Authority care, and struggling with illicit drug use. She made a decision that she wanted things to change. She stopped using drugs without the help of any…

BME Dementia Service case study

A woman in her 70s approached the dementia worker following a talk at a local women’s group, sharing her concerns of having similar symptoms for the last few months. She was advised to contact her GP and advised to ask for a memory test if she felt that her memory loss was not a part of her normal ageing process. As well as contact…

Dosti case study

Previously divorced with children Ms. B had managed to maintain a good standard of living in that she had made a beautiful home. She felt lonely and thought she would never find a partner who would be with a divorcee with children. So when she met her second husband it made her feel that she had found the right man. Soon after marrying,…

Solomon’s Story – Volunteers Project case study

I was a university student, studying accountancy but dropped out due to poor health and then worked as a security guard before joining Touchstone. I was once a service user with Touchstone and was introduced to the Touchstone volunteering course by my housing officer. I have been volunteering for two years now. I don’t visit service users but I see them in the drop-in at…

Community Support Team (CST) annual review

CST is an assertive outreach service, working with people over 18 who have complex mental health conditions who are excluded from other services or unable to access other services. CST work with service users primarily on a one-to-one basis. CST use a strengths-based recovery approach, which is a person-centred model with a focus on finding the strengths and interests of service users and working positively towards…

Parisa’s Story – BME Carers Service case study

I am a carer for my daughter. After hearing about Carers Leeds I went to their office for support. Shuria arranged to come and visit me at my home to discuss my support. I was happy to see her as before this I had no proper support. My worker introduced me to a volunteer at Touchstone who provided language support for us to communicate better;…

Dosti annual review

Dosti is an Asian Women’s support service based in Leeds, offering a supportive environment for Asian women with mental health issues. In April 2016, Dosti joined Touchstone via a merger. Services are only offered through referrals which can be self-referrals or referrals from other professionals such as GPs. Access to the service is fast and in most cases the contact time is within one week…

Thank you, Dosti – focus, friendship and confidence

Two of the women who attend the Dosti group tell their story and explain the difference the support of the group has made to them. I used to attend ESOL classes, but my asthma got really bad so I stopped going. I then stayed at home. My husband passed away in 2011 and my life…

Community Development Service annual review

Touchstone Community Development Service (CDS) aims to improve the quality and equity of mental health access, experience and outcomes for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in Leeds. To achieve this, the CDS team actively engages and works co-productively with various statutory, third sector and community and faith-based partners. In 2015–16, for each quarter, we engaged with over 70 groups, services, and strategic and local multiagency networks. CDS…

Where leaders are going wrong

A guest blog post by Jolyon Kimble of APCO Worldwide. Last week we held a discussion on leadership with two remarkable leaders. One was Lord Browne, former boss of one of the world’s biggest energy companies. As many people know, he’s white, and a man. The other was Alison Lowe, Labour Councillor and head of…

Keep warm this Winter

As Winter sets in, Refat from Touchstone’s Support Centre offers some advice on taking the best care of ourselves in the cold weather. I’m sure by now you have all pulled out your winter clothing and bedding, prepared and ready for the cold winter weather ahead; dreading the mornings when we have to wake up…

IAPT annual review

During 2015–2016 we have continued to deliver free psychological therapy to address anxiety and depression from a wide range of community venues across Leeds. We currently see people from community venues in Harehills, Chapeltown, Armley, Hyde Park, Woodhouse, City Centre, and Beeston. Touchstone IAPT have offered appointments to 4,052 clients over the year and a total of 2,807 clients have been seen by a Touchstone clinician. We…

Kirklees Advocacy Service annual review

2015–16 was our second full year of delivering the combined IMHA (Independent Mental Health Advocacy) and community advocacy contract and having successfully secured additional funding we have been able to enhance our team and our service offer. We have recruited a new full time community advocate and as a result we have brought down our waiting list and waiting times. The IMHA service continues…

A sense of purpose – IAPT case study

The client was from a BME background and referred herself to IAPT after being recommended by her GP due to anxiety. On attending her first appointment she reported that this had a significant impact on her mood so the worker explained the concept of behavioural activation and made plans to continue her levels of activity. The sessions changed to telephone sessions at the…

Constantly learning – WY-FI case study

I didn’t realise how poorly I was and it took people and services to show me. When I heard about WY-FI and that it was formulated by Experts by Experience and staff combined, I wanted to find out more. Through my learning and being in the project I have been surrounded by a wealth of people and information and know that there are…

BME Carers Service annual review

Touchstone’s BME Carers Service provides support to carers from black and minority ethnic communities. We work as part of a city-wide Carers Service in partnership with Carers Leeds and Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust to provide a dedicated Single Point of Access for all carers in Leeds needing information, advice and support. In 2015, Carers Leeds launched Charity Log, its new database. This has been…

East Leeds Health For All – annual review

Touchstone East Leeds Health for All (ELHFA) aims to reduce health inequalities and promote local health improvements. In 2015–16, we used community development approaches and engaged with local communities and partner organisations to improve health and wellbeing directly as well as addressing wider determinants of ill health. ELHFA ran eight different project activities that promote healthier lifestyles and wellbeing. People who accessed our services improved on average from…

West Yorkshire Finding Independence (WY-FI) annual review

WY-FI entered Year three of the project in June 2016. A Big Lottery funded partnership working collaboratively with services and beneficiaries (service users) across West Yorkshire as part of 12 National Fulfilling Lives Projects. Our aim is to engage and support individuals with experience of Multiple Complex Needs (MCN: Homelessness, Offending, Mental Health & Addiction) and contribute to movements in system change that improve accessibility to individuals experiencing MCN….

Housing Service annual review

The importance of safe, stable and secure housing in promoting wellbeing and positive mental health cannot be overstated. The Housing Team strive to support people to find appropriate accommodation as well as manage and maintain existing tenancies more effectively. 216 service users were supported in the last year. Outcome Star Scores for the year demonstrate significant improvements – especially around tenancy management and improved mental health….

Sadee Smile annual review

Touchstone’s SADEE SMILE project was a nine month pilot aimed at improving self-management of Type 2 diabetes within South Asian communities. Each course ran as an eight week structured diabetes education programme tailored specifically for South Asians and delivered in community languages (Urdu and Panjabi). The project was funded by Leeds City Council Public Health and delivered in partnership with Leeds Health Care NHS Trust and Health…

My brief story – Community Development Service case study

My name is Ikhtsham Lone. I’m a young man from Chapel Allerton and throughout my life, I had to live through somebody who was living with a mental illness. Things got so bad that it slightly broke the family apart. I ended up moving out but still went to visit my mother who was living with the mental illness. I eventually started…

Rehabilitation and Recovery Service annual review

The Recovery Centre at Asket House is an innovative partnership project comprising Touchstone, LYPFT, Community Links and Leeds Mind. Touchstone employs two full-time recovery workers, whose role is to form supportive relationships with service users on ward, then support them to move out into the community. Once the transition is complete, recovery workers can continue to provide support for an additional six months. The ethos behind…

Transgender Day of Remembrance

20th November is Transgender Day of Remembrance – a day to look back at Trans people’s struggle for acceptance and particularly to remember those who’ve lost their lives because of the intolerance of others. There are two remembrance services planned in Leeds for the day, one at the Leeds General Infirmary chapel from 11am to 1pm…

Kirklees Peer Led Brokerage Service annual review

The Peer Led Brokerage Service offers free, independent advice and practical help with putting together Self Directed Support (SDS) packages for individuals, which are funded by their direct payment personal budget from Kirklees Council. PBS is designed and delivered by people with experience of mental health difficulties and mental health services. We help people to choose the kind of support they want and to work out what’s…

Support Centre annual review

Over the last year, the Support Centre has been busy implementing a new service model which includes: more peer-led social groups and popup groups; volunteers supporting different groups – such as the Women’s Group – Men’s Group and Social Group. Contributions from five Social Work students who have been on placement from Bradford University have also helped to support the change required to deliver a service…

WorkPlace Leeds annual review

Touchstone works in partnership with Leeds Mind and Community Links to support individuals to achieve their employability goals. All clients are referred to the Touchstone worker via the community mental health teams in Leeds where the Employment Specialists are co-located. Touchstone has one allocated worker a Mental Health Employment Specialist who offers a client centred approach to identifying Employment, Training and Education goals through one-to-one and…

“Thank you for giving me my life back” – Kirklees Peer-Led Brokerage Service case study

After having an epileptic fit I became very poorly. I couldn’t communicate with people – verbally or otherwise. I became very distant from everyone. The impact on my family was huge. Everybody was stressed and worried about me all the time. My dad lost his sense of humour and my parents took time off work to look after me. It didn’t make any…