Touchstone’s BME Carers Service provides support to carers from black and minority ethnic communities. We work as part of a city-wide Carers Service in partnership with Carers Leeds and Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust to provide a dedicated Single Point of Access for all carers in Leeds needing information, advice and support.
In 2015, Carers Leeds launched Charity Log, its new database. This has been an exciting step forward in providing high quality support to carers, enabling us to monitor our work and evidence our impact in a safe and secure way without compromising confidentiality, whilst trying to maintain a fluid communication system between partner organisations.
Since April 2015 (following the Care Act 2014), carers are entitled to a carer’s assessment where they appear to have needs; this matches the rights to an assessment of the person being cared for. Carers will be entitled to support if they meet the national eligibility criteria.
As a result of this change, Carers Leeds has set up a Carers Assessment Team based at their city centre office to take referrals and questions.
During 2015 and 2016 the combined BME Carers Service received 240 new referrals with staff providing a range of support, including:

  • Information and advice
  • Referral to Carers Assessment
  • One-to-one and emotional support
  • Monthly Group/Peer Support Service
  • Access to Touchstone’s Volunteers Project
  • Support with benefit claims
  • Access to respite support
  • Access to Time for Carer Grants for breaks
  • Rank Grant application
  • Signposting and referral to other agencies

As a result of our support, carers have had access to information and advice to better manage their caring role and their wellbeing.

  • 96% of carers rated the way we communicate with them as excellent to good.
  • 88% of carers rated how well we involved them as excellent to good.
  • 93% of carers rated how well we promote and value diversity/equal opportunities as excellent to good.
  • 96% of carers rated their support as excellent to good.

“I have benefited from the support service at Touchstone. Staff are friendly and supportive every step of the way.”
“The service is good as it is. Nothing to add which you can improve.”
“Excellent help received from Shuria.”
“The staff that came to see me were really friendly towards me.”
Touchstone Annual Review 2015-2016