news

South Asian Dementia Cafe

Hamari Yaadain – our monthly Dementia Cafe for South Asian people in Leeds continues through the Summer. The cafe is for people with dementia and their carers and is accessible to speakers of Punjabi, Urdu or Hindi. The cafe takes placeat Touchstone Support Centre, Harehills Avenue, LS8 4EX on the first Thursday of every month…

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…

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…

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…

Workplace Wellbeing – Touchstone’s exciting new service

As the modern workplace becomes increasingly stressful and demanding, employers are looking for new ways to support their staff to stay well, motivated and positive. Touchstone’s new Workplace Wellbeing service is designed to do just that. Combining workshops such as managing stress, looking after your body, maintaining your energy levels along with a comprehensive range…

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…

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’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: “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,…

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…

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.”…

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…