News

New Touchstone Project Tackles Mental Health Discrimination Head On

Stigma and discrimination create barriers

  Touchstone has been awarded a Time to Change grant to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination in black communities inLeeds.   Time to Change isEngland’s mental health anti-stigma programme run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and funded by the Department of Health and Comic Relief.  The programme is distributing grants to…

Leeds Census 2011 – Another update from the CDWs

After the enormous success of our last post analysing the 2011 Leeds Census Arfan Hanif  from the Community Development team has crunched yet more data to explain the ethnic makeup of each electoral ward in Leeds. This kind of information is really important for local services trying to work out who lives on their doorstep, so…

Healthwatch Leeds – Update

  Touchstone are proud to announce their membership of the consortium chosen to manage  Healthwatch Leeds, together with Health Together, Inclusion North, and Leeds Involving People. Healthwatch Leeds will be the local voice of people who use health and social care services in Leeds from 1st April 2013, and will build on the work of…

Refugee Mental Health – Action Research Final Report

Touchstone and PAFRAS collaborated on action research project last year, looking at the mental health needs and experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds. We are proud to publish the final report – which contains the findings and actions of the action learning sets, and priorities for action, based on analysis of lived experiences…

Kirklees Advocacy Service Annual Report 2011/12

This is the first annual report of the Kirklees Advocacy Service – Touchstone’s first service designed and delivered on explicitly co-productive principles. In it you will see how we’ve attempted to model the core values of co-production through everything we do – and what we have achieved in collaboration with the people we work with….

What’s the Impact of community-based support for women who offend?

Touchstone and the Together Women Project are pleased to announce that they have come together in partnership to deliver a new project for women with mental health problems.  The Impact Project will reduce the use of custody for women who offend by providing courts with a credible package of measures enabling the use of community…

Touchstone Community Development Analyse the 2011 Census

The Census took place on 27 March 2011 with a response rate of 94%. The first released data was published on 11 December 2012 by the Office of National Statistics. The BME Community Development Team at Touchstone have published this brief analysis of local Census data related to ethnicity, religion and faith to help you make sense of…

Community Support Team Review Day – what service users say

Comments and quotes from Community Support Team Review Day 23rd October 2012-:  Community Support Team “My worker is a very nice person to be around and always goes the extra mile to support me” “CST helped me settle down and helped me meet new people” “CST helped me to get home” “I am quite new…

Touchstone’s Annual General Meeting – 7 December 2012

Carers from Touchstone's Carers Support Project on a day out

Touchstone’s Annual General Meeting will take place on the 7th of December 2012 at White Rose Banqueting Suite.  Our Guest Speaker this year is Peter Tatchell.  Please join us to celebrate 30 years of Touchstone. Please click on Touchstone AGM invite 2012 to find out more.

Self-care success in Leeds

Around 18 million people in the UK live with a long-term conditions and this number is expected to double by 2030. Within Leeds over the past 8 years we have developed a unique intervention designed to empower people living with long-term conditions to lead more fulfilling lives.  The Positive Care programme offers a unique mix…

TOUCHSTONE HOUSING SERVICE – A Great start to the New Financial Year!

Touchstone Housing Services were re-modelled in 2011-12 following the successful closure of Sholebroke Hostel. This led to an expansion of Touchstone’s Floating Support Service (now supporting 84 units) and the development of a new and improved ‘Accommodation Based Service’ which offers temporary supported and furnished accommodation in single tenancies across Leeds. (one of the very…

Speak to a Therapist Sooner?

Touchstone is part of the Leeds IAPT and Primary Care Mental Health Service – the service which delivers talking therapies to people across Leeds. We know that psychological therapy can help many people, but we do not help people as soon as we would like. When people contact us for the first time, we would like…

Touchbase Summer 2012

Click the link to view or download the Touchbase Summer Edition 2012 , Touchstone’s quarterly newsletter.

Positive Care Programme – Tai Chi

Carol – one of the tutors from the Positive Care Programme – demonstrates tai chi movements that can be used even by people with chronic health conditions.

Future Plans for PAFRAS and Touchstone

  Touchstone are proud to announce a 6 month extension to their mental health partnership with PAFRAS, funded by NHS Leeds. PAFRAS provide mental health outreach and support to destitute asylum seekers from their weekly drop-ins at St Aidan’s Church  – reaching many people who remain “off the radar” and invisible to most other services. The service helps asylum seekers…

Touchstone and “Cookies”

At Touchstone we know how important people’s privacy is, and we want to make sure everyone knows what information we gather as well as how we use information. When you came to the website just now, you probably noticed a little message on the bottom left hand side of the screen talking about “cookies”. This is…

Touchstone: ending mental health stigma

At Touchstone, we believe everyione has a right to be respected, no matter who they are, where they are from, or the experiences they have had. Sadly, admitting to having difficulties with how you feel,  is still a problem for many people. This is why Touchstone is committed to challenging the misconceptions and stereotypes which have grown up…

Become a Trustee of Touchstone

Everyone’s view is important – especially yours. Touchstone is currently looking for new Trustees to join the board, to oversee Touchstone’s operations and to take part in making important decisions about our future. The board meets 6 times a year in the early evenings. We particularly welcome applications from current and former users of Touchstone’s…

New software brings speedier response

a picture of a computer

From the 1st April 2012, if you have an individual keyworker with a Touchstone service you will find that your records will be kept on a new computer system called PSOCC. This new system is password protected, kept safe behind a computer firewall and only open to staff who work for Touchstone that have a…

Translating Touchstone’s website

Touchstone offers services to people from many different communities and countries. To help people access the information on this website, we’ve added a tool from Google Translate to the front page. Pick the language you need from the list and click “Translate”. (Translations are done by machine, so may not be perfect. However, they will…

Touchstone’s continuing work to support LGB staff

By Alison Lowe – Touchstone Chief Executive and LGB Champion I am delighted to announce that Touchstone has improved 42 places in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index and we are now ranked 170 out of 363 employers. Jay Silver (manager of Touchstone’s Community Support Team) and I met Madeline Lasko from Stonewall on 24th February to go through…

Touchstone: reducing reoffending, boosting employability

Working in partnership with the West Yorkshire Probation Trust,  Touchstone is improving the employability of offenders with mental health issues through the Step Change project. Mental health has been identified as a barrier into employment, education and training among ex-offenders.  People are often marginalised and can fall through the net.  In addition to employability-building, a large…

Latest news from the Sikh Elders Service

Sikh Elders Service have just published their seventh newsletter, including news about “Nice Cup of Tea” – a social and art project that a number of service users took part in “Voice of Sikh Elders” – a community consultation event at Ramgharia Sikh Centre on 8th March Yoga classes, swimming lessons and aqua aerobics Photos…

Touchstone at 30

In 1982, a drop-in centre “providing little else but support and a cup of tea” opened in South Leeds. That was the beginning of the charity now called Touchstone. Since those early days, we’ve been through many changes – now offering a diverse range of services to support the well-being of many people across West…

Giving Voice 3-session course with Rachel Healey

Giving Voice is a life-enhancing self-help tool.  It involves learning to use song to promote your own health and happiness.  In this short course, you will learn and practice how to use Giving Voice in your own life.  Benefits may include better health, joy, peace, connection, sharing and fun.  You don’t need any experience or…

Sundar Mann – monthly dementia cafe

On 22nd December, Yorkshire Evening Post published an article on services for older people in Leeds, including the following extract about Sundar Mann dementia cafe… In Harehills, mental health charity Touchstone in partnership with Leeds Memory Service and others runs a dementia café, giving members of the south Asian community who have dementia, and their…