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Positive Pathways: positive results

Positive Pathways

Touchstone’s Housing Service is part of the Positive Pathways partnership, which helps people, who are having difficulties connected to their mental health, to either find a place to live or to better manage their current accommodation. Ultimately, the best measure of our success is the impact we have in the lives of people who use…

Highlights of Women In Management – International Women’s Day 2015

Seven Video Productions have created a short video talking to some of the delegates and presenters from this year’s Women In Management conference for International Women’s Day. Watch the video on YouTube to hear from speakers including Charlotte Sweeney, Alison Bunn (TwelvePeaks Management) and Touchstone’s Alison Lowe. “It reminds people that, yes, we’ve come a…

International Happiness Day

International happiness day is today and Touchstone’s IAPT team want to offer you some top tips to enhance your life with a greater level of happiness. Firstly, are you happy enough? Click on the link below http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AreYouHappy2.pdf If you are, that’s great! If your not as happy as you’d like to be then look at the following list. Researchers…

International Women’s Day – 8th March 2015

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…

Keeping the Memory Alive

Tuesday 27th January 2015 marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. The liberation of the camp has become a date in the calendars of many communities at which we stop and reflect about the death, destruction and inhumanity in our recent past.  For Julia Kinch, a member of Touchstone’s…

Reactive depression – taking back control

Touchstone’s Community Support Team (CST) works with people with severe and enduring mental health problems – many of whom have not been able to access support from other services. Using an assertive outreach approach, they meet with clients, helping them to recognise their own strengths and to use those strengths to set and achieve goals based on their own…

Touchstone Service Users Christmas Party

Touchstone is passionate about involving service users in all aspects of service delivery and planning.  We work together and we celebrate together. Roderic Morgan (Service User Consultant) reflects on the annual service user party in December last year.    The Touchstone Christmas Party for 2014 was held at the Sheepscar Club in Chapeltown on the…

Keeping warm this winter

Amrit Kaur from the Sikh Elders Service introduces the Winter Warmth scheme and shares some advice on staying warm and well as the weather gets colder…   Cold homes and dark winter months have a significant impact on people’s health. One of the best ways of keeping yourself well during winter is to stay warm….

What I got from volunteering

Another story for Volunteers’ Week – this time from Amina, who went from volunteering with Touchstone to getting a job with Touchstone’s Peer-Led Brokerage Service. You do not hear many people say this, but I am truly blessed as I love my job and the organisation I work within. Volunteering has enabled me to reach this…

Ways to cope with loneliness at Christmas

Emma Goldsack from the housing team shares some advice on dealing with a tricky time of year…   Hi Everyone! As Christmas approaches, it is important to be aware that not everyone will be in a position to celebrate this year. In a world where we can find ourselves quite cut off from others there…

International Volunteer Day – Global Celebration of Volunteering

Did you know that 5th December is celebrated world-wide as the International Volunteer Day? Each year, millions of people around the world volunteer their time and skills to help make the world a better place. Volunteering not only helps improve the lives of others but also has a profound positive effect on the lives of…

16 Days of Action to End Violence Against Women

What is the 16 Days of Action Campaign? One in three women worldwide face abuse, violence and rape everyday. In no country of the world are women free from this fear and terror. In the UK, one in four women experience domestic violence during their lifetime.  25th November to 10th December 2014 The 16 Days…

Anti-Bullying Week 17-21st November 2014

Bullying does not just happen in school, nor is it always children who are the bullies or the victims of bullying.  Bullying can and does happen everywhere. Anti-Bullying week is about raising awareness of what bullying is and works to help people stand up to the bully in their community, be that home, work or…

Alcohol Awareness Week

This year’s Alcohol Awareness Week runs from 17th-23rd November. Emma Goldsack from Touchstone’s Housing Service offers an informative article on the risks of drinking too much and how to drink safely. The festive season is upon us and we are once again bombarded with an assortment of offers on chocolate boxes, Christmas decs and of course…

Beating the winter blues: five tips for coping with SAD

Fiona Venner, director of Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service, writes about dealing with the effects of shorter days and longer nights… When the clocks go back many of us may feel the urge to retreat under our duvets. For around two million people in the UK who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), coping with…

New Care Act Will Radically Overhaul Support For Both Users and Carers

Touchstone’s Chief Executive Alison Lowe outlines the impact of new legislation on carers and the services provided for them. I welcome moves by the Department of Health to inject an additional £4 million in funding to enable councils to train their staff in readiness for the implementation of the Care Act next April. Funds will…

5 Tips to Help Manage Stress

Wedenesday 5th November is National Stress Awareness Day. Sally Poyser from Touchstone’s IAPT service offers some advice for coping with everyday stress. Stress affects everybody, but high levels of stress can affect our ability to cope with the demands that come up in life. So, it’s important that we try to look after ourselves by…

Top Tips for Caring For Someone With Dementia

This post originally appeared on The Yorkshire Times. Living with dementia is incredibly difficult for those who are affected by it and also for their family and friends. As the person’s mental capabilities begin to decline, they can feel scared and vulnerable and may require increased levels of help and support. There are a number…

How volunteering boosts health, confidence and employability skills

Guest blog by Nafisa Miraf, Touchstone Volunteers Project on the Bayford Foundation site.  A new survey to mark national Volunteers’ Week reveals that four in five people say volunteering boosts health while six out of 10 individuals report that giving up time to help a good cause helps to reduce stress. The new report from…

Supporting volunteers experiencing mental health difficulties

Nafisa Miraf

This post originally appeared on the Doing Good Leeds site, you can find it here. Mental health and volunteering Anyone can be affected and for some individuals mental health issues can return for any number of reasons. People experiencing mental health issues may choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. Volunteering allows them to…

Touchstone sets wheels in motion for top teamwork in Tour de France countdown

With the buzz and excitement of the Tour de France countdown in full swing, Thursday, July 3rd saw senior managers, Gemma Hornby and Ed Long, from West Yorkshire health and well-being charity Touchstone don yellow jerseys and set off on an epic cycle ride from Dewsbury to Leeds on a tandem. Energetically waving them off…

My Journey at Touchstone…

Youth volunteering conference in Brno

Volunteers’ Week (1st-7th June) is a celebration of the work that volunteers do and an encouragement to more of us to volunteer. Touchstone has a strong base of volunteers involved in our work and we offer support and training to make the volunteering experience as productive and enjoyable as possible. To celebrate Volunteers’ Week, we’re…

Positive Care Programme: “it’s given me hope in my future, and has improved my everyday life”

I have participated in the Touchstone Positive Care Programme for the past 5 months. This amazing course combines 1 to 1 complementary therapy (e.g. reflexology, acupuncture, shiatsu, Indian head massage, healing) group activity (e.g. tai chi, meditation, Alexander technique, breathing) and group workshops (e.g. “lifting your spirits”, “positive steps”, “being friends with your body”, “mind,…

Positive Care Programme: “My life seems so much brighter”

Some feedback from a Positive Care Programme service user… Just a few lines to show my appreciation to the Positive Care Programme, which I have just completed. First and foremost I feel I am a much more positive person both in body and mind. When I fist attended the programme I had been off work…

Interviews with Positive Care Programme participants

The following excerpts are from interviews taken with Positive Care Programme clients as they neared the end of their time with the Programme. Mac: “Be totally open minded about it and get as much out of it as you possibly can.” Marie: “Knowing I was coming here just gave me the incentive to get up.”…

Positive Care Programme – “There is now a purpose in what I am doing”

Rain

Testimony from a previous participant in Touchstone’s Positive Care Programme… Walking through horizontal rain driven by disdainful gusts that whip across my face I try to remember why I am spending two hours on a Thursday just to get to the Postive Care Programme in Leeds. Three months ago I would have avoided it like…