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 top 100.

People left isolated and bereft were the inspiration for Touchstone’s founding back in 1982. A social worker saw that large numbers of vulnerable individuals had no access to support outside office hours, and so set up a weekend club to compensate for it. Three decades later, the weekly gathering has grown into a group of 81 employees who provide mental-health and wellbeing services to more than 2,000 people a year. Colleagues at the Leeds-based charity feel they can make a valuable contribution to its success, according to an 87% positive score, which ranks it 11th among the small organisations on our list. Chief executive Alison Lowe is a very inclusive leader. Last year, she asked employees and service-users alike to give anonymous feedback on her performance. As a result, staff find Lowe inspiring (78%).

The supplement also notes Touchstone’s favourable staff conditions, including generous levels of annual leave and paid maternity leave, help with child-care and gym membership, a higher than average number of women in senior posts and a significant number of staff who have chosen to stay with the organisation for more than 5 years.