Blog

Does Dance Matter?

International Dance Day falls on the 29th March each year. Each year prominent figures from the world of dance are asked to talk about why dance matters on a global and social level. Here are some of this year’s messages. Salia Sanou from Burkina Faso says: “…whether we like it or not, whether we recognize…

Maybe I’m autistic – World Autism Awareness Day

On World Autism Awareness Day (2nd April), Touchstone’s communication officer Ben Deutsch reflects on what autism is, how it can impact on working life and why some people might not seek a diagnosis. I consider myself autistic, but I don’t have a diagnosis for autism and I rarely use the word “autistic” in my life…

Love a Muslim Day

Touchstone IAPT would like to share some words of support and love on Love a Muslim Day.   I place immense value on the contribution of the Muslim community to Leeds and indeed to the whole country. At work I value and respect the immense contributions made by colleagues across the whole range of Touchstone…

Trans Day of Visibility 2018

International Trans Day of Visibility falls on 31st March every year. The aim is to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people around the globe and to counter prejudice by spreading knowledge of the trans community. This year’s theme is “surviving, thriving” (#TransThriving). Below, Touchstone volunteer Rachel talks about her experience and work. Originally from York,…

20th March: International Day of Happiness

Happiness is waking up warm and not having to get up. Happiness is spending time with friends, not worrying about things, going on holiday, being creative, doing nice things for other people, being happy and content with ourselves. Happiness is being yourself. Happiness is the journey not the destination. Happiness is knowing I contribute. Happiness…

International Women’s Day 8th March

I imagine that Touchstone is full of people like me who see some litter that needs picking up or something else that concerns them and they can’t quite walk past and ignore it. Over a long period I have been aware of protests happening outside clinics where women can access abortions but for some reason…

I-ART Exhibition New Artist

Our Spring artist will be SIMON LEWIS. See a picture of him at work on our walls in the IAPT training room. He lives in Leeds, not far from the support centre, working as an illustrator and printmaker. The range of his work varies from detailed black and white ink drawings, drawings combined with digital media, screenprints, drypoint etching and other…

Fair Trade Fortnight

“Even a bad cup of coffee is better than no coffee at all” It is fair trade fortnight for a few more days and, in the Touchstone IAPT team in the Fairtrade City of Leeds, we have been inviting visitors to our offices to share a cup of freshly brewed fair trade coffee. I am a daily black coffee…

It’s Not World Book Day!

I grew up in a house full of books and for a good few years I used to volunteer for a bookshop run by Oxfam in Headingley and now I spend some time most weeks in libraries in Leeds. I am fully of the belief that no form of storytelling is better than reading a…

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…

World Thinking Day 22nd February

When I first saw that 22nd February is World Thinking Day, as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist my ideas immediately turned to thinking styles, challenging unhelpful thoughts and… well, all things CBT. However, I am not going to write about those things here because World Thinking Day is not about any of that!  It is in…

LGBT History Month profile – Lewis Hancox

To mark LGBT History Month 2018, Touchstone is profiling different LGBT role models during the month of February.  This week we are proud to tell you about a fantastic film maker and comedian – Lewis Hancox who has featured in Stonewall’s Come Out For Trans Equality campaign. Here are Lewis’s own words, reproduced from Stonewall’s…

Random Acts of Kindness Day Saturday 17th February

The first time I heard about Random Acts of Kindness Day was about 15 years ago. I remember thinking  ‘this is so cool, it’s nice to have an excuse to be kind to a stranger’. Now, I know, some of you don’t need an excuse. You may already exude naturally excessive levels of kindness that…

Connect for Health – finding your prescription for support

Connect for Health Leeds is a social prescribing service delivered by Leeds Mind, in partnership with Touchstone, Hamara, Barca-Leeds, Leeds Irish Health and Homes and Better Leeds Communities. Connect for Health assesses each individual’s needs and takes into account the challenges you are facing, before supporting you to access a personalised selection of local groups…

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…

LGBT History Month Profile – HARVEY MILK

To celebrate LGBT History Month in February 2018, Touchstone will profile an LGBT person each week. We are choosing to profile Harvey Milk once again as 2018 is the 40th anniversary of his murder and his remarkable life is being commemorated this year by the LGBT History Month organisers http://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/ Harvey Bernard Milk was an…

Tinnitus Awareness Week 5-11th Feb

Tinnitus week begins today and is being promoted by the British Tinnitus Association. Tinnitus is the perception of noises in the ear and or head which have no external source. Those living with the condition may experience a ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling or other noise. The sensation can be continuous or intermittent and it can…

Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week

In the IAPT service, where I work, we talk to a range of people about their mental health and we are privileged to hear about other people’s life changing events including trauma and abuse. This is a difficult subject to write about as it is connected to so much pain and distress and it touches…

LGBT History Month

LGBT History Month is a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. It originated in the United States and was first celebrated there in 1994. It first took place in the UK in February 2005. It now takes place in…

Time to Talk Day

Very often in my work as a psychological therapist, I talk to people about being along a continuum of their mental health difficulty. We all fall somewhere along a continuum of depression, worry, anxiety and stress and we can all move up and down these continua at different times in our lives. I am no…

Mindy Goose: One of our IART Artists on Keeping Well

Mindy Goose Creativity has always been my outlet to keep myself well. My preferred medium is photography, which works perfectly with my other pursuit, walking and exploring our great county – Yorkshire. Being outdoors is living. Whatever the weather, a walk in the country, or by the seaside, is sure to make me feel so…

Hamari Yaadain

Hamari Yaadain – Touchstone’s monthly dementia cafe for people from the South Asian community – was recently featured on the Alzheimer’s Society website and in their Living With Dementia magazine. The articles author quotes Ripaljeet Kaur (Touchstone’s lead worker on dementia): “Groups like this one are really important for people from black, Asian and minority…

Interwoven Histories – Artist film workshop with Hamari Yaadain Dementia Café

As part of the Interwoven Histories Art workshops, Pavilion held a film workshop with members of Touchstone’s BME Dementia Service’s Hamari Yaadain Dementia Café. Will from Pavilion brought along a projector to the group and showed Nathaniel Dorsky’s 16mm silent film Autumn (2016).  Towards the end of 2015, Dorsky captured footage of the seasonal changes…

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…