BME Dementia Service

dementia cafe

Photo: Foot massage session at the dementia cafe

Touchstone’s BME Dementia Service raises awareness of dementia in BME (black and minority ethnic) communities and to ensure that people living with dementia are properly supported. Our aim is to break down the barriers that exist about dementia and bring it out into the open so that people can access the help they need.

Awareness Raising

We raise awareness and understanding of dementia within BME communities in Leeds by:

  • Visiting day centres, community groups and religious centres to talk about dementia and tackle the stigma that surrounds dementia;
  • Speaking to people in their own languages and offering culturally appropriate information in different languages;
  • Running a monthly dementia café in Harehills, called Hamari Yaadain

To book an awareness session in English, Punjabi, Hindi or Urdu, please get in touch.


One-to-one support

People who are living with dementia, their carers and families can get in touch for one-to-one support. We can, for instance, support you if you are having memory problems and are struggling to get a diagnosis.

To refer somebody to the service, please use our referral form. We also accept self-referrals.

South Asian Dementia Café – Hamari Yaadain (Our Memories)

Held on the first and third Thursday of every month, 1pm to 3pm at Touchstone Support Centre. We provide a cup of tea, cake and time to chat and provide support in mother tongue for memory, health and wellbeing. This is a mixed group of carers and people with Dementia from South Asian communities. Transport can be requested if you have limited mobility.

“We find the café very useful. It has been so good to come and share our experiences with others and hear about theirs too. We have enjoyed meeting lots of new people and this has really helped us in coming to terms with what we are going through.” – Mrs K.

Current projects

  • BME Dementia Forum (with Leeds Older People’s Forum)

A group of BME dementia workers in Leeds are working to improve services for people with dementia and their carer’s, specifically for people from BME communities.

  • Interwoven Histories

    This year,  Touchstone’s BME Dementia Service has partnered with visual arts organisation, Pavilion to deliver a project which aims to engage older people from BME communities in creative arts workshops. We have launched the project with our current Hamari Yaadain Café members, and in the upcoming months we plan to reach out to other community groups to provide creative activities for elderly BME people. Feedback from the group so far has been really positive, and it is clear to see how much the group are enjoying the chance to be together and get creative. Below are a few quotes from the group about the sessions:

“It’s been great because I haven’t done anything like this since I was a child.”

“I feel very relaxed…it is good for me to focus on something else for a while.”

“I have really enjoyed myself… it hasn’t been ‘good’, it’s been great!”

  • West Yorkshire Playhouse

We are working in partnership with West Yorkshire Playhouse to write a dementia friendly play about the lives and experiences of our service users, which will be part of WYP’s Every Third Minute Festival. Writer and dementia campaigner, Ming Ho is running several workshops for our service users to explore their experience of living with dementia and/or caring for someone with dementia. Ming has led two sessions with the group, and together we have explored how dementia impacts our relationships, personal identity and lifestyle, with particular focus on exploring culturally specific topics which effect people from BME communities. The group have been incredibly open to sharing their stories, which will be written into the play. In upcoming weeks we will continue to work closely with Ming and WYP to create the play. We are very excited to see how the project develops and to see the performance together.

  • Supporting other organisations

Leeds Older People’s Forum (LOPF) has received a Third Sector Health Grant from NHS Leeds North Clinical Commissioning Group (LNCCG), which seeks to support two areas in North Leeds to become a more Dementia Friendly Communities. Touchstone BME Dementia service has been selected by LOPF to receive support for one year (starting from June 2017) to help make Chapeltown and Harehills dementia friendly communities.


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Partners and Funders:

Alzheimer's Society    LCC     NHS

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