Alison Lowe, Touchstone’s previous Chief Executive Officer has been awarded an OBE for her services to mental health and wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Individuals from the worlds of sport, music, social care, the local community and local government are among those who have been awarded a string of honours in the Queen’s annual list, which recognises those who have gone above and beyond in their field and made a huge difference to the city and the country.

Alison was the CEO of Touchstone for seventeen years. She stepped down from the role to become the Deputy Mayor of West Yorkshire Combined Authority with specific responsibility for Police and Crime in August 2021.

Alison Lowe, Deputy Mayor of West Yorkshire, commented “I am delighted to have received an OBE in the 2022 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. This award would not have been possible without my beloved Touchstone and all the amazing colleagues who worked alongside me every day, who quite frankly made me look good!”

She goes on to say “Touchstone staff and volunteers really stepped up during Covid-19 delivering hundreds of thousands of meals to those in need whilst offering crucial mental health and wellbeing support. This award is for all of you, and I accept it on that basis. Thank you.”

Arfan Hanif, Touchstone’s Chief Executive Officer praised “We are delighted at Touchstone that Alison our previous CEO has been awarded an OBE for her outstanding contribution and leadership to ensure mental health services and wellbeing in our local communities were never compromised during the Covid-19 pandemic. Meeting the needs of service users and diverse communities remained paramount for Alison throughout the pandemic especially those most disadvantaged and adversely impacted by the pandemic. Touchstone are privileged that we had Alison as our CEO for many years and her legacy continues to inspire us all. Well done Alison we all very proud of you.” 

Jeremy Horsell, Touchstone’s Chair of the Board commented “Touchstone’s Trustees – past and present – join in congratulating Alison on this richly deserved and hard earned recognition of her inspirational leadership of Touchstone – not just through the pandemic but throughout her seventeen years as CEO. Alison’s authenticity, integrity, and resilience have inspired her colleagues who are as determined as ever to build on her legacy ‘inspiring communities’ and  ‘transforming lives’. We are immensely grateful to Alison and wish her well in her exciting and important role as Deputy Mayor.”