News

Touchstone CEO Alison Lowe Wins the Prestigious Forward Ladies Business Woman of the Year Award!

Congratulations to our Chief Executive Alison Lowe who has just won the prestigious Forward Ladies Business Woman of 2014 award, in the Not for Profit category.   The results have been announced earlier today on Friday 28 November.   Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards is an annual competition that recognises achievements of women in leadership positions across…

New View Project – churches combating mental health stigma

Touchstone’s Community Development Team worked in partnership with local churches to investigate how faith communities can work together to raise awareness of mental health issues and to support community members who may be struggling with their own mental health. The project was funded by Time To Change. The aims of the New View project were: To…

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…

International Women’s Day Conference – Friday 6th March

“Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.” UN…

Taking a stand against bullying

At Touchstone we’re committed to ensuring that diversity is something which is celebrated, rather than attacked. That’s why we’re delighted to support Anti-Bullying Week (17th-23rd November) and Stonewall’s No Bystanders campaign. The No Bystanders pledge reads “I will never be a bystander to bullying and teasing language. If I hear it, I will call it…

BME Dementia Awareness Conference – 24th November

Monday November 24th 10am—2.30pm Leeds Civic Hall Banqueting Suite, Calverley Street Leeds LS1 1UR LUNCH PROVIDED Keynote Speaker Professor Alistair Burns – National Clinical Director For Dementia Key Local Leeds Speakers Leeds Black and Minority Ethnic Communities Dementia Awareness Conference Exploring Solutions, Breaking Myths and Taboos, Sharing Experiences Organised By Touchstone For further information or to book your place…

Celebrate volunteering at our Annual General Meeting – Thursday 4th December

This year’s AGM takes place in Leeds at the West Indian Centre on Laycock Place, LS7 3JA. The theme will be benefits of volunteering – and to reflect that theme we will have presentations by Natasha Mort (Supporting Organisations Manager at Voluntary Action Leeds) and Justin Davis Smith (Executive Director of Volunteering and Development at the…

Touchstone chief up for award

Touchstone’s chief executive Alison Lowe is one of a group of inspirational women from Yorkshire and the North East who have been shortlisted for the Women in Business Awards organised by Forward Ladies – a support organisation for women in business. Alison has been nominated in the Not For Profit category, along with Sandra Howard…

BME Dementia Awareness Conference in Leeds – Monday 24th November

Touchstone, which has just received “working to become Dementia Friendly” status from Leeds Dementia Action Alliance is organising a Black and Minority Ethnic Dementia Awareness Conference at Leeds Civic Hall on Monday 24th November. The conference will look at raising Dementia awareness, exploring solutions, breaking myths and taboos and sharing experiences. Keynote speaker will be Professor Alistair Burns, National…

Touchstone goes for Gold – and gets it

Touchstone is delighted to announce we are an Investors in People Gold organisation. During a rigorous assessment of our policies, strategies, training and development over 4 days in October, IiP found that Touchstone had evidence to support every indicator of excellence at the gold standard and that we had staff whose commitment was second to…

Touchstone Kirklees Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Brokerage Service Annual Report 2013-2014

Co-production at Kirklees Advocacy Service

The latest annual report from the Kirklees Mental Health Advocacy and Peer Brokerage services is available below. The report was written and compiled by Jane Mackay, the service manager. The Advocacy Service works with people who are experiencing mental health difficulties to speak up for themselves. Our team of experienced advocates support people on wards…

Report: Decision Making in Stepped Care: How do Therapists Decide Whether to Prolong Treatment or Not?

“The efficiency of stepped care systems partly relies on systematic monitoring of patient outcomes and timely decisions to “step up” patients without any clear therapeutic gains to the next level of treatment. Qualitative evidence has suggested that this does not occur consistently, nor always congruently with clinical guidelines.” This report was compiled by Jaime Delgadillo (Leeds Community Healthcare…

Touchstone an active partner as West Yorkshire project goes live

Hundreds of people with multiple needs, including mental health problems, are set to benefit from the launch of a multi-million pound project. West Yorkshire Finding Independence (WY-FI), a new Big Lottery funded programme, is run by a consortium of the region’s community organisations and has now gone live. The project aims to help people with…

A mission for workplace equality

Touchstone has a strong commitment to supporting inclusion and diversity – not just in the work we do with others, but also within our team of staff and volunteers. Ed Long reports on the latest initiatives being led by the Pink Pals, our Touchstone-wide LGBT Allies Programme. One day short of the 45th  anniversary of…

New Funding for Positive Care Programme

The PCP is now accepting new referrals from anyone in West Yorkshire who has not completed the programme previously. To refer yourself to the PCP please download our Referral Form or to find out more information please contact the PCP staff on 0113 3876473 or 0113 3786474 or email them at pcp@touchstonesupport.org.uk Who does it support? * People…

Making Leeds services more accessible to migrant communities

Touchstone Community Development Service (CDS) in partnership with Leeds City Council Migration Partnership have recently completed training with 26 volunteers from 15 different countries, for the Migrant Access Project. The Migrant Access Project is a way of reducing pressure on public services where migration has impacted the most. Volunteers, known as ‘Migrant Community Networkers’, who…

Le Tour de Touchstone – the story in pictures

It may not be quite the Tour de France, but a 22 mile tandem ride is no mean feat. And doing it to raise money for charity is even better. Here’s the story of Senior Opertions Manager Gemma Hornby and Finance Director Ed Long’s ride… Stage 1 Stage 2   Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage…

“No Bystanders” – a new anti-bullying campaign from Stonewall

From the playground to the workplace, the opinions we form of other people and the way we express those opinions can make a big difference. If people feel they have to change or hide fundamental things about themselves, in order to avoid teasing, bullying or segregation, then the long term effects on mental health can…

Organisations unite to take positive action about dementia in Leeds

More than 70 people from businesses, public services and community groups across the city came to the open meeting of the Leeds Dementia Action Alliance on 19 May at West Yorkshire Playhouse, to find out more about building dementia friendly communities in Leeds. Bob Fulcher spoke eloquently and with a dash of humour about living…

Hamari Yaadain South Asian Dementia Cafe

Hamari Yaadain – A Dementia Cafe for South Asian people in Leeds. Hamari Yaadain, which means ‘Our Memories’ in some South Asian languages, runs twice a month on the first and third Thursday of each month from 1pm – 3pm at Touchstone Support Centre, Harehills Avenue, LS8 4EX. The cafe is for people with dementia…

New services for Kirklees

Touchstone’s Advocacy Service in Kirklees is adding two new strands to its work. Independent Mental Health Advocacy The Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) service will be working with people who have been sectioned or conditionally discharged, to ensure that they know about and are able to ask for their rights. They can also work with…

Secret Indian Cinema

For Sikh Elders Service Members and their Carers. Come and watch an Indian film in an intimate setting. Free entry – enjoy a free tea or coffee. 25th October at Inkwell, 31 Potternewton Lane, Leeds, LS7 3LW. Doors open at 4.45pm. Very limited spaces, confirm your space by 21st October by calling 0113 271 8277…

Lohri Stories

Lohri is a very popular festival, celebrated by the Punjabi people of the Indian subcontinent to mark the end of Winter. People celebrate the Winter Solstice with bonfires, and joyous folk songs and dances, including Gidha Boliyan and Bhangra. Fires are lit to mark the return of longer days, people putting on their most cheerful,…

Service User Training Schedule 2014

Touchstone Service Users wishing to book a place on any of the training below, should ring  Tim Grayson 07825 438 377 Compliments and Complaints (Enables you to sit on panels and be paid for reviewing the above) – Facilitator: Mark Baker – Tuesday 8/4/14 12.00 noon to 3.30pm at Touchstone House (The conference room)  – 10 places available. First Aid (…

Touchstone builds on success as top employer

The Sunday Times survey of best not-for-profit organisations to work for, this year lists Touchstone at number 59 (a significant rise from our placing of 72 last year). The results are due to be published in a special supplement on Sunday 16th March. Only one other West Yorkshire based organisation made it in to the…

Volition mark LGBT History Month

Volition (the umbrella organisation for voluntary sector mental health service providers in Leeds) has published a special edition of their newsletter for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) History Month this February. The purpose of the month is to mark the achievements, as well as the challenges, of people who identify in any of the…

Touchstone is a Stonewall Top 100 Employer!

At a star-studded champagne reception held at the Tate Modern on 15th January, Touchstone gained entry to the Stonewall Top 100 Employers’ list for 2014, 4 years after becoming Stonewall Diversity Champions. Touchstone is the first ever local charity to be awarded the accolade of being amongst the UK’s top gay-friendly employers, previous winners usually…

Award winning community development work from Touchstone’s Kimberley Saggu

We are thrilled to announce that one of Touchstone’s Black and Minority Ethnic Community Development Workers, Kimberley Saggu, has won a Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust Award.  The annual Trust Awards offer staff and members the chance to recognise and celebrate the talented people working and volunteering for the Trust. Kimberley has worked tirelessly…

Healthwatch Leeds appoints Chair

We are pleased to announce the appointment of our first chair of Healthwatch Leeds: Linn Phipps. Linn has a strong background in the NHS, in Leeds, and in patient and public engagement. She has over 14 years’ experience of serving as a Non-Executive Director of NHS mental health and learning disability services, and as Chair…