Blog

More than a badge by Arfan Hanif

Colleagues may have noticed in our offices signage stating ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’. Something seen across a number of organisations and businesses including on emergency service vehicles.  So what does it mean? Does it mean that staff in all organisations/employers who say they are ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’ are competent to sensitively deal…

My real life insight into dementia (part 2) by Abigail Henry

Hi. I’m back with (I’m sure) the highly anticipated part B of my musings about dementia. As promised below is a transcript of my interview with a person living with a parent with dementia. I hope you enjoy the read and even better if it changes the way you might view those with and those…

Foster Care Fortnight 2019 by Leota Benjamin

My name is Leota Benjamin and I have worked for Touchstone for several years. My current role is a Mental Health Outreach Worker with The Community Support Team. In addition, I work as an approved Foster Carer, employed by Leeds City Council Children Services for more than 10 years. Being a Foster Carer is a…

My real life insight into dementia (part 1) by Abigail Henry

I’m a cognitive behavioural therapist who joined the IAPT team at Touchstone this month and this is my first ever blog. I’ve chosen dementia as my first topic, quite simply because I was asked! 🙂 Dementia is a term I understand but is not something which I’ve ever fully considered. I guess the way life…

Arts, Music and Dementia by Sarbjit Kaur

On the 13/14th April, Sikhs all around the world celebrate Vaisakhi and a procession called ‘Nagar Kirtan’ led by five Khalsa proceeds through public spaces. Vaisakhi marks the inauguration of the Khalsa, the body of committed Sikhs who have decided to dedicate their lives to the values of the Sikh Gurus. The Khalsa meaning “pure sovereign”…

The Nickel Silver Cutlery set with the Numbers on by Ralph Berry

There’s a set of cutlery from 1950, with the embossed numbers hammered in. It represents my fathers RAF National Service, over 2 years spent as a 20 year old young man straight from College, like his tools he made at English Electric in Thornbury after National Service that as an Apprentice, or the Morris Dancing…

A Vision for Dementia at Touchstone by Alison Lowe

Touchstone is proud of the contribution we make to the city-wide Leeds Dementia Strategy. There are an estimated 8,500 people living with dementia in Leeds, of whom just over 6,400 have a diagnosis.  Since 2013, the number of people with a dementia diagnosis in the city has increased by 40%. Touchstone, along with other charities,…

Apps for Mental Health & Wellbeing

There are loads of apps out there aimed at promoting wellbeing and good mental health. Here are 6 free apps that we have come across at Touchstone IAPT to get you started. This list is by no means exhaustive. Please feel free to add your free app recommendations in the comments below!   Catch it:…

International Women’s Day 2019 by Alison Lowe

International Women’s Day events are held worldwide on March 8 to celebrate women and their global contribution. Various women, including political, community, and business leaders, as well as leading educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and television personalities, are usually invited to speak at events on the day, highlighting their successes to illustrate how much progress has been…

LGBT History Month – Laverne Cox

In celebration of LGBT History Month, Touchstone is profiling a different LGBT celebrity each week in the month of February. The chosen celebrity this week is Laverne Cox: twin; actress, television producer and LGBT advocate. Born in Mobile, Alabama, Laverne was bullied constantly as a child and describes how she attempted suicide when, aged 11,…

LGBT History Month – Vicky Beeching

Victoria Louise “Vicky” Beeching (born 17 July 1979) is an English musician and religious commentator. She is best known for her work in the American contemporary worship music genre, and has been described as “arguably the most influential Christian of her generation” due to of her Twitter following and appearances on BBC’s Thought for the…

LGBT History Month – Alan Turing

In celebration of LGBT History Month, Touchstone is profiling a different LGBT celebrity each week in the month of February. This week, we have chosen the scientist Alan Turing, recently voted the most “iconic” global figure of the 20th century in a BBC 2 viewers’ poll. Alan Mathison Turing OBE FRS (23 June 1912 –…

LGBT History Month Bi Role Models

Drew Barrymore Drew Barrymore (born February 22, 1975) is an actress, producer, writer, and director. As a child actress, she became well-known for her performance in E.T.. Since then she starred in many films and, along with Nancy Juvonen, has started her own production company, Flower Films. In 2003 in and interview with Contact Music…

The Well-bean Crisis Cafe – Hope in a crisis blog: February 2019

THE WELL-BEAN CRISIS CAFÉ – HOPE IN A CRISIS BLOG: FEBRUARY 2019 – THE WELL-BEAN CRISIS CAFÉ IS NOW OPEN TWO EXTRA NIGHTS @ TOUCHSTONE HOUSE IN BEESTON (Written by Matthew Hall – Crisis Support Worker at WBC) The Well-Bean Café (WBC) is now open a further two nights in the south of Leeds at…

National Hug Day 2019 by Alison Lowe

As many of my colleagues at Touchstone will be aware, I am a hugger! Hugging is a way of being human with people; showing empathy, or just sharing a moment of joy.  I feel hugging keeps me connected with the people around me but it also allows me to show my emotions and vulnerability –…

Blue Monday 21st Jan: How Blue Are You?

The 3rd Monday in January is said to be the most depressing day of the year due to the weather, financial pressures and debts accumulated over the holiday season and low motivation levels.   Blue Monday was first publicized by Sky Travel in 2005. You can find out more about how it was calculated and…

World AIDS Day: 1st December

This month I was fortunate to be offered training with the Black Health Agency’s BHA Skyline Team, who provide a HIV support service in Leeds. BHA was originally set up 28 years ago as a response to the lack of information and services available to Black communities in Manchester around HIV services and they have…

16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence: White Ribbon

White Ribbon UK was founded in 2005 and calls to end male violence against women. You can read more about White Ribbon UK here: https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/what-we-do/ At Touchstone IAPT the men in the team are wearing white ribbons in support of White Ribbon UK and the 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence running from 25th November…

Two years of The Well-Bean Café: Hope in a crisis

THE WELL-BEAN CRISIS CAFÉ – HOPE IN A CRISIS BLOG – November ’18: TWO YEARS OF THE WELL-BEAN CAFÉ: HOPE IN A CRISIS (Written by Matthew Hall – Crisis Support Worker at WBC) On 12 November 2016 the Well-Bean Café (WBC) opened, having our first visitor on that same evening. Now nearly two years on…

I-ART: It’s OK not to be perky!

Following recent shows at the Horsforth Walk of Art and Love Arts Festival,  Leeds artist Helen Gibson – professionally known as The Perky Painter –  is taking her first solo exhibition on tour to Touchstone IAPT.   The exhibition’s title, “It’s OK not to be Perky”, reminds us it’s OK not to be OK and that we can share these feelings….

I-ART

The Touchstone IAPT team have been fortunate to share our offices with the work of Alisia Casper this Summer and Autumn. Alisia is a Leeds based artist who draws on her experiences of long term health conditions (including chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia) when making drawings, paintings, photography, writing and music. As we have begun…

Remembrance

On Armistice Day I remembered my mum’s dad; a well-read and well-loved man, amateur actor and architect, who ended up spending most of his life in Zambia, Central Africa. He was somewhat of a raconteur; telling tales of joining an army regiment based on which one wore the most eye catching hats on parade and…

International Stress Awareness Day: November 7th

For International Stress Awareness Day, Touchstone IAPT have compiled  a list of our best stress-busting songs! Here they are in no particular order…   Dance With Me –  Olly Murs Happy – Pharrell Williams Pata Pata – Miriam Makebe Good Times – Chic Don’t Stop Believing – Journey One Day Like This – Elbow Bohemian Like You…

October 19th is Wear Red Day: We Want to Show Racism the Red Card!

Wear Red Day: October 19th Show Racism the Red Card is holding its annual ‘Wear Red Day’ on October 19th. Show Racism the Red Card is an anti-racism educational charity and you can find out more about the work they do here: http://www.theredcard.org/about/

World Mental Health Day

October 10th is World Mental Health Day. Here are 5 top tips for maintaining good mental health from Touchstone IAPT: Create a protected space in the week to be spontaneous. Be kind to yourself no matter how you think you have done that day. Don’t put off doing the things that really matter to you….

My ‘personal’ Black History By Simone S Bellwood

Old approach I don’t know about you, but where I went to school there was very little taught about Black History other than slavery. Forgive me, but as a black female born to parents from the Caribbean, I know I am a descendant from slaves. The world does not let us forget.  Those black history lessons were painful and uncomfortable…

Black History Month

Pat Regan When I think about black history my thoughts usually look to the American Civil Rights movement and as my daughter has started school I see her studying the same heroic American figures, like Rosa Parks, that would also come into my mind… but Black History Month is not about this. Thirty years ago…

Bi Visibility Day

Growing up I realised early on I was drawn to both men and women. At 13 I came out as bisexual to close friends and family, this is where I realised how difficult being a bisexual woman could be. I have had several challenges during my life including being locked out of the girls locker…