A volunteer’s story

What was your situation and background before you became involved with volunteering? I was working as the Exams Officer at a high school in Leeds when I became poorly during 2013. My condition deteriorated and I was admitted to hospital and finally diagnosed in December 2013 with Neuro-sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis is a rare anti-immune disease which…

After the NHS – a CHS?

The election is finally behind us. The Labour Party had most of the eye-catching policies – and community businesses could provide the next big idea, writes our guest blogger Bill Graham from New Wortley. (This blog was originally published on the Power to Change website). One of the ideas was to turn the education system into…

Being a Dementia Champion – #DementiaAwarenessWeek

Geraldine, from Touchstone’s IAPT team, talks about the role of a Dementia Champion. My name is Geraldine and I am one of the Dementia Champions with Touchstone. I work in the Touchstone IAPT service where we meet people with common problems with mood and mental health such as anxiety and depression and offer a range…

Dementia journey with my mother – #DementiaAwarenessWeek

Stephanie Lewis from Touchstone’s Community Development Service talks about how her mother’s dementia impacted on the whole family. I first became aware of Dementia when I studied for counselling back in 2000-2008 however, my first personal experience of this was when my mother was diagnosed in 2005. My father passed away in 1998 and they…

Why leaders have difficult conversations all the time

A guest blog from Bill Graham of New Wortley Community Centre – originally published on Power to Change. “Discussions must be in-depth, inclusive and sometimes difficult to make things improve.” Bill Graham New Wortley Community Centre We have all sat in meetings where we think just by having the right people round the table a…

Afternoon tea – supporting a neighbour #DementiaAwarenessWeek

Juana Kwok from Touchstone Support Centre talks about being there for a neighbour who’s husband is developing dementia. “I’ve seen you around the garden trimming your beautiful flowers.” “I tried not to disturb you.” “Ooh, please do.” “How are you?” “Yes, I am fine, thank you.” “How’s Joe…” “He’s not so good, he’s getting worse,…

Dementia journey with my relative – Dementia Awareness Week #DementiaAwarenessWeek

Continuing a series of personal reflections on the impact of dementia, Sikh Elders Service manager Chernjit Batebajwe talks about supporting a relative living with dementia.  I would like to celebrate this week with sharing my experiences with dementia. I supported my relative the age of 86 living on her own every Monday of the week….

My dad’s diagnosis – Dementia Awareness Week #DementiaAwarenessWeek

My dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2007 following a stroke when he had a fall at home.  This fall was preventable as dad had just had a knee replacement so his house should have been assessed by social care and then he might have had a handrail fitted on the stairs but information…

Dementia Information Event – 18th May

As part of Dementia Awareness Week, Touchstone (in partnership wit the Reginald Centre and Feel Good Factor) is organising a dementia information event for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities on Thursday 18th May. We’ll be at the Reginald Centre on Chapeltown Road in Leeds from 9:30am to 1pm. Join us at this free information…

Thanks to Brudenell Groove

Working Together for Equality Resource Pack

Last Friday Brudenell Groove – the not-for-profit dance party held an event at HiFi raising money for Touchstone and Yorkshire MESMAC. We’d like to say a huge thank to you Brudenell Groove, for supporting us and for challenging discrimination and for creating safer party spaces. To find out more about Brudenell Groove head over to…

Thanks from a Housing Service client – #MHAW17

First of all, let me say a big thank you to Touchstone for a job well done. I have been a restless women for the past years, and moving into your property was the best thing to me, and ever since I have been in this property, I was at peace all through out. I…

Introducing Better in Kirklees new Peer Champion – #MHAW17

“Meeting up with you was the first thing I did to get out and about…” “In the past, other groups made me feel like I was a patient. You made me feel like I was worthy of doing something!” A bit of background… Patricia is a former secondary school teacher and head of year. She has a massive range of skills and experience after teaching Art…

Feedback from CST clients – #MHAW17

When we asked people who use the Community Support Team (CST) service how they felt about the support they’d received, here are some of their responses “Very happy about it. It’s given me back a life. It has helped to understand myself. If it wasn’t for Touchstone I think I would have gone back, its given…

Therapies and workshops for people in North Leeds with long term health conditions

Positive Care Programme What is this? A 4 week programme of complementary therapies and workshops How can this help? The treatments can help with: Depression Loneliness Anxiety Chronic physical pain Fibromyalgia Chronic stress Sleep Issues And a range of other conditions… What will be available? One to one Complementary Therapies to de-stress and deal with both…

In the running – Touchstone volunteer raising funds in Leeds Half Marathon

We want to express our huge appreciation for Meenakshi Parmar, who not only volunteers for Touchstone, but who is also running the Leeds Half Marathon to raise money for the organisation. We hope that many of Touchstone’s friends and supporters will choose to sponsor Meenakshi or turn out to support her on Sunday 14th May. Sponsor…

Best Start peer support launch event

Do you work in South Leeds with pregnant women and parents and carers of children aged 0-2? Come and find out about our new Peer Support Programme. Are you pregnant or a parent or carer yourself? If so why not come along and see how you can get involved. Thursday 18th May, 11am-2pm Come and…

Barnsley Futures – New Housing Support in Barnsley

Touchstone is excited to announce the launch of “Barnsley Futures” – a new service providing  support for individuals experiencing complex  needs in Barnsley.  The new service will be delivered in partnership with West Yorkshire CRC (managing the service) and Foundation, and is funded by Barnsley Council. Barnsley Futures will work with individuals over 25 who…

Free courses for people with Type 2 Diabetes

BDPL (BME Diabetes Programme Leeds) Do you have Type 2 Diabetes? Join our course to learn how to manage and take control of your diabetes. Learn in Urdu, Punjabi and English with your own community. Free Structured 8 week diabetes education for Black , Minority & Ethnic communities. This course will increase your knowledge, skills…

Healthy Weight with Healthy Meals

FREE COOK 4 LIFE COURSE Free 4 week cooking course Provides a free Health Check Simple healthy meals to help lose weight How to reduce risks of cancer, diabetes & heart disease Wednesday 26th April 2017 Wednesdays 2pm – 4pm at The Meeting Point Café 409 Harehills Lane, LS9 6AP Everyone is welcome, just come…

In:Charge Leeds Mental Health Coaching Initiaitive

IN:CHARGE is a new and exciting project by Touchstone and PATH Yorkshire, bringing together people from African, African Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Mixed Heritage backgrounds on a FREE 24-week Training Course to learn and develop as a ‘Mental Health Coach’. The project will give participants the chance to improve their employment prospects and leadership skills…

Sikh Elders Service newsletter – April 2017

Sat Sri Akaal and Hello! Welcome to the Sikh Elders Service Newsletter. I know that it has been quite some time since you last heard from me, but I am happy to say that I am back from maternity leave! I am really pleased to see that while I have been away the SES Team…

Demystifying Business Development @ Touchstone

Business Development can seem like a slippery concept, with many people interpreting what it means in many different ways. Not only this, but it’s a term that refers to quite different things, depending on the context and sector in which it’s being used .At  Touchstone it refers to a wide ranging of activities, conversations and…

#MoreThanVisibility: Celebrating Trans Lives

International Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV) is an annual event occurring on March 31st each year. The day is dedicated to celebrating Trans people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by Trans people worldwide. Trans Day of Visibility is a time to focus on the positive elements of Trans people’s lives. Here are 8 things…

Understanding Gender Identity: Titles and Pronouns

In the run up to Trans Day of Visibility (31st March), Leeds City Council have released a series of short video presentation about gender identity. Watch the third video on “Titles and Pronouns” below.

Beacon Begins

Beacon is a consortium of 3 local organisations that has been commissioned by Leeds City Council to provide a new city wide Housing Related Support (HRS) accommodation service. Leeds Housing Concern, Touchstone and Foundation are working together to provide a new Housing Related Support accommodation service in Leeds from July 2017. The service will aim…