Blog

Listen and Learn – Business Development

As an organisation Touchstone champions the values of inclusion and diversity, co-production, and quality and continuous improvement. As a team, the Business Development team are always looking for ways to discover and support the ideas of all the people we work with, and build relationships and partnerships that lead to better services for communities across…

Interwoven Histories – Hamari Yaadain group design flags for their roots, culture & identity

We are pleased to share that Carol Sorhaindo ran another fantastic community workshop with Touchstone’s Hamari Yaadain Dementia Café members. This time, Carol used the resilient buddleja plant as inspiration to think about our roots, migration and what gives us strength in difficult or uncertain times. The buddleja plant, which is common in Britain and Asia is known for…

Islamophobia Awareness Month. Stand up together – it makes us strong!

ISLAMOPHOBIA A MYTH ? The sad reality of the matter is that is REAL, the need to spread awareness and stand united to dispel and dismantle biases is our collective responsibility. What is ISLAMOPHOBIA & HATE CRIME ? The UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, defined Islamophobia…

The Well-Bean Crisis Cafe – one year on

November 12th 2017 marks the anniversary of the Well-Bean Crisis Café, it really doesn’t feel like we have been open a year. From having just one visitor on the first night of our service a year ago, the service has developed significantly – with over 350 service visits in the last quarter. Though we have…

Stop. Celebrate. Tell – A Reflection

Stop. Celebrate. Tell. There is no doubting how important it is to take the time to stop, look at what you’ve done well, celebrate and share your successes with others. This is usually easier said than done. So often we have many things in our lives that demand our time and attention, but it is…

National Stress Awareness Day

5 tips to help manage stress   1) It can be easy to feel overwhelmed if we have a lot of things happening in our lives. We naturally focus on the negative things in life such as the things we can’t do. Try to focus on the things that you can do something about. This…

Interwoven Histories – A new creative project for older BME people in Leeds!

This year, Touchstone has partnered with visual arts organisation, Pavilion to deliver “Interwoven Histories” – a  project which aims to engage older people from BME communities in creative arts workshops. Wednesday 18th October marked the first workshop of our exciting new programme, when Carol Sorhaindo introduced the Hamari Yaadain Dementia Café members to the use…

Alice Coachman athlete #BlackHistoryMonth

In London in 1948, Alice Coachman became the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, when she won the high jump competition. She was also the only female American athlete to win a medal at these Olympics. A fine sprinter as well as a superb high jumper, there’s little doubt she would have won…

John Henrik Clarke historian #BlackHistoryMonth

Born John Henry Clark on January 1, 1915, in Union Springs, Alabama, John left the family farm in Columbus in 1933 to Harlem, New York during the period some historians refer to as; The Great Migration. This period refers to the time between 1910 and 1970, where African Americans moved from the southern states, to the northern states…

Frank Bailey firerighter #BlackHistoryMonth

Frank Arthur Bailey, a man who’s legacy has been remembered by a glistening career in the London Fire Brigade, passed away in 2015 aged 90. Born in Guyana, Frank came to England in 1953 as a political activist, joining the West Indian Standing Conference. Whilst a member of WISC, he heard about the Fire Brigades…

“Always made my day” – the Best Start Peer Support Project

We asked participants in the Best Start peer support programme how they felt on the final day of the course. Here is what they said. “I’m gutted, I wish it went on for longer, everyone has been really friendly, I will miss everyone” “I wish it went on for longer, I’ve really enjoyed it and…

Clive Sullivan rugby player #BlackHistoryMonth

A Great Britain and Wales international winger, Clive Sullivan played with both Hull and Hull Kingston Rovers in his career, and also played for Oldham, and Doncaster. He was the first black captain of the Great Britain Lions and for any national British sporting side. Clive A. Sullivan MBE (born 9 April 1943 in Cardiff,…

Muhammed Ali boxer #BlackHistoryMonth

Muhammed Ali was ‘more than just a Boxer’. He was a Black, Muslim man in Pre-Civil Rights Era America and he would go on to be an activist for the remainder of his life. Erasing these facts not only erases his importance to Black people worldwide, but the prejudice and struggles Ali endured. When asked…

Jesse Owens athlete #BlackHistoryMonth

In 1936 African American sprinter Jesse Owens amazed the world by breaking Olympic records and winning four gold medals in Berlin, the headquarters of Hitler’s Nazi regime. However, Owens became known not only for his athletic triumphs, but for his friendship with German competitor Luz Long and for the social barriers he broke down in…

Margaret Busby publisher #BlackHistoryMonth

Born in Accra in the Gold Coast to parents with roots in Barbados, Trinidad and Dominica, she became Britain’s youngest and first Black woman book publisher, when in 1967 she co-founded Allison & Busby with Clive Allison (1944-2011). “We started off with virtually no money and thought we would go into making volumes of poetry…

Celebration event for the International Day of Older People at Leeds City Museum

To celebrate the International Day of Older People on Sunday the 1st of October, Leeds City Museum curated a wonderful display of thousands of forget-me-not flowers which had been created by community groups around Leeds. As a symbol of memory and love, the forget-me-not flower was chosen to raise awareness of Dementia, and as you…

Best Start Peer Support Project – feedback on each of our sessions

To help us assess the course offered by the Best Start peer support project, we asked participants to give some comments on each week’s content. Week 1 – Dealing with Stress Because now I can recognise when my stress starts, I can practice these exercises to cool down. Useful ways to recognise my stress levels…

James Peters rugby player #BlackHistoryMonth

James Peters (August 1879 – 26 March 1954) was an English rugby union player and, later, a rugby league player. He is notable as the first black man to play rugby union for England. He was also known as “Darkie Peters”. James Peters (August 1879 – 26 March 1954) was an English rugby union player…

Bayard Rustin activist #BlackHistoryMonth

Bayard Rustin was an American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, pacifism and non-violence, and gay rights. He was born and raised in Pennsylvania where his family was involved in civil rights work. In 1936, he moved to Harlem, New York City and earned a living as a nightclub and stage singer, and…

Lilian Bader RAF officer #BlackHistoryMonth

Lilian Bader was born in 1918, she would go on to be quite possibly the first Black woman to join the British Armed Forces. The influence of Lilian’s father (a Barbadian migrant who had served in the Royal Navy) in her decision to join the Armed Forces is questionable, as Lilian and her two older brothers…

World Mental Health Day 10th October: Workplace Wellbeing

10th October 2017 is World Mental Health Day. Mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year, but 10th October is a great day to show your support for better mental health and start looking after your own wellbeing. The theme for World Mental Health Day 2017 is workplace wellbeing. Mental health problems…

World Mental Health Day – warning signs of stress and mental illness

On World Mental Health Day, Naseem Tariq from the WY-FI team talks about signs to look out for if we’re concerned about our own or someone else’s mental health. Definitions World Health Organisation defines health as “A state of (complete) physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.” Health…

Frank Bruno boxer #BlackHistoryMonth #WorldMentalHealthDay

This letter from Frank Bruno was written for serving prisoners at HMP Leeds. We’re publishing it here to mark both Black History Month and World Mental Health Day. Hello its Frank Bruno here. I have been asked to mention Black History month and talk a bit about the prejudice’s I experienced when I was younger…

Nina Simone singer #BlackHistoryMonth

Born to a Christian family on February 21st, 1933; Nina was the sixth child to a North Carolina preacher, Mary Kate Waymon and Handyman, John Divine Waymon. Her early aspiration was to become a concert pianist, which lead her to audition at Curtis Institiute of Music in Philadelphia. She was rejected; a decision she felt…

Ira Aldridge actor #BlackHistoryMonth

Ira Frederick Aldridge was an American and later British stage actor and playwright who made his career after 1824, largely in London and in Europe and is most famous for his Shakespearean roles. Born in New York City, Aldridge went to the African Free School in New York City at aged 13. The school was established by the New York…

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…

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;…