Employment success – a story of a second chance through ETE support

Second chances don’t come along very often, especially if you are stigmatised by an offending history. Sometimes you need to believe in yourself before you can expect an employer to believe in you. Touchstone’s West Yorkshire Finding Independence (WYFI) project had been working with people who experience multiple and complex needs, including those who have been through the justice system, to gain the skills and the self-belief to get back

2020-09-15T14:10:34+01:0015th September 2020|Blog, Case Study, Complex Needs|

Anti-Stigma Leeds – The Fight Against Mental Health Stigma in Leeds

Mental health problems are common. They affect thousands of people in the UK, and their friends, families, work colleagues, and society in general. In Leeds around 106,000 people experience a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression (Leeds in Mind, 2017). Local hospital admissions for self-harm have been increasing for young women over the last 5 years (Young Women’s Mental Health Outcome Based Accountability Report, 2020). In Leeds, men are five

World Blood Donor Day 2020 by Elizabeth Smith

I am ashamed to admit that it took me many years of saying “I should really donate blood” before taking the plunge and booking myself into a blood donating session, and handing over 1 of my 10 pints of blood in the hope it could save someone else’s life.  I can’t be completely sure why it took so long.  I guess it just didn’t seem an overly enjoyable way to

2020-06-15T09:22:56+01:0015th June 2020|Blog|

Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service (LMWS) Volunteers – Tracey’s Journey #VolunteersWeek2020

I would like to pass my sincere thanks on to everybody at Forward Leeds, 5ways, Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service and Touchstone. I have been trying to reduce my drinking for approximately 10 years and the last 5 years have been particularly difficult as my consumption increased and seriously affected both my mental and physical health. My first contact at Forward Leeds was with a worker that himself had had an

2020-06-03T11:10:10+01:003rd June 2020|Blog, Peer Support, Volunteering|

Fasting for the Food Project: What I learnt when I fasted for two days during Ramadan

I recently fasted for two days during Ramadan, to show support for colleagues in the Liaison and Diversion team and across Touchstone, and to raise money for Touchstone’s food project. This was a daunting challenge for me. Getting up at 3:15am to have breakfast, then back to bed for a few hours before getting up and working from home all day, without the distractions of ‘normal life.’ Abstaining from food

2020-05-18T17:00:12+01:0018th May 2020|Blog|

Reverse Mentoring with Finn Dobson

Pronouns: They/Them/Their Some of you may recall my recent shout out for people to be mentored by SMT or to offer reverse mentoring to SMT especially in the areas we felt less knowledgeable, such as Judaism and Trans and Non-binary identities. I am delighted to say that Finn Dobson, who is a peer support worker within Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service, answered the call. Finn told me they had really started

2020-05-17T09:52:10+01:0017th May 2020|Blog|

Dying to be heard by Your Space

11th-17th May 2020 marks Dying Matters Awareness Week.  This week is run by Dying Matters, and their tagline is “let’s talk about it”.  This is reflected in this year’s theme, which is “dying to be heard” – encouraging us to talk more about our plans for our death and our thoughts about dying, as well as providing us all with helpful tips for having these conversations. Here at Your

2020-05-15T14:42:02+01:0015th May 2020|Blog|

Ramadhan Mubarak!

Ramadhan Mubarak! Your Space Leeds would like to wish you a blessed and productive Ramadhan. Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar for 29/30 days depending on the moon  Muslim’s spend the daylight hours in complete fast abstaining from all food and drink. Ramadhan is a time to purify the soul, focus ones attention to Allah (God) practice self-discipline and sacrifice a time for reflection. Ramadhan (Sawm)

2020-04-28T11:21:03+01:0026th April 2020|Blog|

Lesbian Visibility Week 2020

Touchstone is delighted to be supporting and sponsoring Lesbian Visibility Week in 2020 which starts today, 20th April, ending with Lesbian Visibility Day on Sunday 26th April; a day which was first celebrated back in 2008. This will be a week to celebrate and support lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer women across the UK and beyond to be their true selves, at home and socially. It will include events throughout

2020-04-20T10:57:27+01:0020th April 2020|Blog, LGBT*|

Supporting the elderly Sikh and BAME community across Leeds during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Last week (06/04), before Vaisakhi and the Easter bank holidays, Touchstone’s very small (but very vital) Sikh Elders Service did some brilliant work supporting the frail and elderly Sikh and BAME people across Leeds. 25 calls were made, including video calls, to offer 1:1 support and comfort to service users. The team supported people with health and wellbeing, understanding of government advice, accessing food (including shopping and distributing food parcels),

2020-04-20T16:44:36+01:0017th April 2020|Blog|