News

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…

International volunteering conference in Brno

Youth volunteering conference in Brno

Jay Silver (manager of the Community Support Team at Leeds-based charity Touchstone) gave a presentation on “Best Practice in Volunteering” at a recent conference held in Leeds’ twin city Brno, Czech Republic. Leeds was also represented at the conference by Karol Thornton from Youth Offending Leeds. The conference on the subject of young people volunteering…

Designing substance use services collaboratively

About a year ago, a group of people drawn from Leeds University, Leeds Partnerships Foundation Trust, South West Yorkshire Foundation Trust and others (including Touchstone, Altogether Better and User Voice ) came together to think about how Health Services in Leeds could be thought about, designed and delivered co-productively. We wanted to find ways of…

Refugee and asylum seeker action research project

Action Research

We are delighted to announce that the Action Research project “Understanding refugees’ and asylum seekers’ (RAS) experiences of accessing and receiving Mental Health support in Leeds” has started on 26th September 2011. The objective of this project is to explore and develop understanding on what successful MH work looks like with RAS clients inside and…

Guerrillas in the Midst

This Autumn sees the first Love Arts Leeds festival , organised by Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust celebrating mental health in all its forms. Touchstone’s Guerilla Badge Makers will be popping up all over the city, encouraging people to think about the labels we wear – the ones we choose for ourselves and the ones…

Community Development Team Named “Best Partner”

Touchstone’s Community Development Team were named “Best Partner” by Leeds Adult Social Care, in their Excellence Awards 2011.  Nafisa  Miraf and Samantha Powell  and Jon Beech were nominated for the award in recognition of their development of the Migrant Community Organiser Programme alongside Zobi Barok from Feel Good Factor and Pria Bhabra of Adult Social…

Health and Money Awareness Day

Burmantofts Health Improvement Group Presents Health and Money Awareness Day When and where? Thursday 25th August, 11am – 2pm ELHFA, 6 Boston Towers opp LINCOLN Green shops Leeds LS9 7PB

NHS Leeds Health Stars Awards 2011

Touchstone was highly commended in the Mental Health and Wellbeing category at this year’s Health Stars Awards for our work on the “Talking Our Language” training pack. Staff from the Community Development Service supported Chinese and Pakistani community activists to train peers about mental health.  Download and use the training manual.

Community Development Leaflet Now Available

The new Community Development Service leaflets are out now. Visit the CDS Page or click on the picture to the right to download a copy. The Community Development Service supports black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in Leeds. This includes people from African Caribbean, African, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Indian, Irish, Pakistani, refugee and asylum seeking communities. Staff are…

Referrals now being accepted by Kirklees Advocacy Service

Referrals now being accepted by Kirklees Advocacy Service. The Kirklees Advocacy Service enables people who have experienced or are experiencing mental health problems to: Speak up for themselves Help other people find their voice Work out what recovery means to them Download a referral form.