Blog

BME Carers Service annual review

Touchstone’s BME Carers Service provides support to carers from black and minority ethnic communities. We work as part of a city-wide Carers Service in partnership with Carers Leeds and Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust to provide a dedicated Single Point of Access for all carers in Leeds needing information, advice and support. In 2015, Carers Leeds launched Charity Log, its new database. This has been…

East Leeds Health For All – annual review

Touchstone East Leeds Health for All (ELHFA) aims to reduce health inequalities and promote local health improvements. In 2015–16, we used community development approaches and engaged with local communities and partner organisations to improve health and wellbeing directly as well as addressing wider determinants of ill health. ELHFA ran eight different project activities that promote healthier lifestyles and wellbeing. People who accessed our services improved on average from…

West Yorkshire Finding Independence (WY-FI) annual review

WY-FI entered Year three of the project in June 2016. A Big Lottery funded partnership working collaboratively with services and beneficiaries (service users) across West Yorkshire as part of 12 National Fulfilling Lives Projects. Our aim is to engage and support individuals with experience of Multiple Complex Needs (MCN: Homelessness, Offending, Mental Health & Addiction) and contribute to movements in system change that improve accessibility to individuals experiencing MCN….

Housing Service annual review

The importance of safe, stable and secure housing in promoting wellbeing and positive mental health cannot be overstated. The Housing Team strive to support people to find appropriate accommodation as well as manage and maintain existing tenancies more effectively. 216 service users were supported in the last year. Outcome Star Scores for the year demonstrate significant improvements – especially around tenancy management and improved mental health….

Sadee Smile annual review

Touchstone’s SADEE SMILE project was a nine month pilot aimed at improving self-management of Type 2 diabetes within South Asian communities. Each course ran as an eight week structured diabetes education programme tailored specifically for South Asians and delivered in community languages (Urdu and Panjabi). The project was funded by Leeds City Council Public Health and delivered in partnership with Leeds Health Care NHS Trust and Health…

My brief story – Community Development Service case study

My name is Ikhtsham Lone. I’m a young man from Chapel Allerton and throughout my life, I had to live through somebody who was living with a mental illness. Things got so bad that it slightly broke the family apart. I ended up moving out but still went to visit my mother who was living with the mental illness. I eventually started…

Rehabilitation and Recovery Service annual review

The Recovery Centre at Asket House is an innovative partnership project comprising Touchstone, LYPFT, Community Links and Leeds Mind. Touchstone employs two full-time recovery workers, whose role is to form supportive relationships with service users on ward, then support them to move out into the community. Once the transition is complete, recovery workers can continue to provide support for an additional six months. The ethos behind…

Transgender Day of Remembrance

20th November is Transgender Day of Remembrance – a day to look back at Trans people’s struggle for acceptance and particularly to remember those who’ve lost their lives because of the intolerance of others. There are two remembrance services planned in Leeds for the day, one at the Leeds General Infirmary chapel from 11am to 1pm…

Kirklees Peer Led Brokerage Service annual review

The Peer Led Brokerage Service offers free, independent advice and practical help with putting together Self Directed Support (SDS) packages for individuals, which are funded by their direct payment personal budget from Kirklees Council. PBS is designed and delivered by people with experience of mental health difficulties and mental health services. We help people to choose the kind of support they want and to work out what’s…

Support Centre annual review

Over the last year, the Support Centre has been busy implementing a new service model which includes: more peer-led social groups and popup groups; volunteers supporting different groups – such as the Women’s Group – Men’s Group and Social Group. Contributions from five Social Work students who have been on placement from Bradford University have also helped to support the change required to deliver a service…

WorkPlace Leeds annual review

Touchstone works in partnership with Leeds Mind and Community Links to support individuals to achieve their employability goals. All clients are referred to the Touchstone worker via the community mental health teams in Leeds where the Employment Specialists are co-located. Touchstone has one allocated worker a Mental Health Employment Specialist who offers a client centred approach to identifying Employment, Training and Education goals through one-to-one and…

“Thank you for giving me my life back” – Kirklees Peer-Led Brokerage Service case study

After having an epileptic fit I became very poorly. I couldn’t communicate with people – verbally or otherwise. I became very distant from everyone. The impact on my family was huge. Everybody was stressed and worried about me all the time. My dad lost his sense of humour and my parents took time off work to look after me. It didn’t make any…

World Diabetes Day

Naseem Tariq (manager of Touchstone’s Long Term Condition and Diabetes Programme), speaks about World Diabetes Day, and ways to manage or avoid the condition: Today is World Diabetes Day, which has grown every year to become a globally-celebrated event to increase awareness about diabetes. It is proving effective in spreading the message about diabetes and raising…

Islamophobia Awareness Month

Islamophobia Awareness Month by Ruqayyah G, CBT therapist Touchstone IAPT Islamophobia or anti-Muslim racism is the prejudice, hatred, or bigotry directed against Islam or Muslims. Islamophobia is when someone is targeted (including Islamic institutes and organisations), discriminated against or excluded in any way, due to their actual or perceived Muslim identity. It also includes prejudice that…

National Stress Awareness Day

Today is national stress awareness day and to highlight this important day our colleague at Geraldine M has written this wonderful piece. Stress Awareness Day I heard a comedian talking about how normal it is to talk about feeling stressed… that we say ‘I feel so stressed at work’ or ‘my children make me feel…

Choosing to be a positive role model – an article by Stonewall’s Josh Willacy

Josh Willacy is an Account Manager at Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity. He manages the housing sector and looks after the Yorkshire and Humber region, advising organisations on policy-making decisions and helping them to ensure their workplaces are as inclusive for LGBT staff as possible. Growing up mixed race and gay…

Celebrating Black History Month

Our colleague in Touchstone IAPT Carlyn B has written a piece about a topic close to her heart to celebrate Black History Month. We hope you enjoy reading it… BLACK HISTORY MONTH Many people do not know but the month of October every year is dedicated to black history month. The month is dedicated to…

National Coming Out Day

Coming out – speaking the truth that we’re not sure others want to hear – it’s a courageous act. What reaction will we meet? Celebration, condemnation, curiosity or indifference? Will people stand by us, or will they walk away? Will we, maybe, inspire someone else to have the courage to speak their hidden truth? What…

Raat Di Roti – support through sharing

Raat Di Roti is ever increasing to become a popular project where volunteers and matched elderly participants come together in a cosy environment to share stories, laughter, joy, and a meal. We have had positive feedback from a few of the elderly participants and likewise from the volunteers expressing they find the experience so endearing…

Winter Wellbeing Café Top Ten Tips

As Winter starts to return, we’re republishing some of the tips that our Winter Wellbeing Cafe came up with last year – to help you keep healthy and safe through the cold months.  1. Eat more fruit and veg to boost your immune system, including prunes, kiwi fruit, other greens and carrots. Also make garlic part…

Parity of Esteem for Mental and Physical Health

‘Parity of Esteem’ is essentially: ‘Valuing mental health equally with physical health’. More fully, parity of esteem means that, when compared with physical healthcare, mental healthcare is characterised by: Equal access to the most effective and safest care and treatment Equal efforts to improve the quality of care The allocation of time, effort and resources in proportion…

Client feedback from PEP social prescribing service

The Patient Empowerment Project is a social prescribing service commissioned by the West Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group and delivered in partnership between BARCA Leeds, Better Leeds Communities, Mind and Touchstone. The project supports people to take control of their health and wellbeing. Participants are referred by their doctor and are supported to access groups, services and…

The rainbow flag – what it means and where it comes from

As businesses and communities prepare for Leeds Pride this weekend, we can expect to see a plethora of rainbow flags adorning the buildings of Leeds city centre. The flag has been a symbol of LGBT unity and strength for nearly 40 years – so much so, that we rarely think about what they flag’s origins…

World Hepatitis Day

28th July is World Hepatitis Day.  This year is particularly special as The World Health Organisation will deliver its Global Elimination Strategy for Viral Hepatitis, outlining the goal of eliminating the threat viral hepatitis by 2030. Viral hepatitis is curable.  Hepatitis B can be prevented and hepatitis C can be treated.  Better still, they can…

SES on the “orient Express”

Sikh Elders Service manager Chani Batebajwe describes the most recent outing organised for users of the service. SES went out on their annual trip on the 25th June to Whitby via Pickering on a steam train experience. Everyone, all 55 of them, attentively listened to the volunteer guide talking about the history of the railway and…

Celebrating Eid-al-Fitr

Celebrating Eid-al-Fitr To celebrate Eid our colleague Gul H has written the following piece to explain about the festivities.   Eid-al-Fitr is said to have originated when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) arrived in the city of Medina, he found some people celebrating two explicit days on which they used to entertain themselves with recreation and…

The Mental Health Support Experiences in Leeds of Black Women and Roma Men, Born Outside of the UK

Touchstone’s vision is to inspire communities and to transform lives. Over our 30 plus years of operating across West Yorkshire this aspiration has led us to focus on the hopes, experiences and outcomes of our most diverse communities, as experience shows that these communities are most often the most excluded, marginalised and overlooked. These reports will hopefully go…

A big thumbs up from our service users

On an annual basis questionnaires are sent out to service users in order to ascertain their views/opinions about Touchstone and the service they have received.  The feedback and views of service users plays a key role in identifying best practice, areas for improvement and informing our approach to delivering quality outcomes and continuous improvement. During…