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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…

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 firefighter #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…