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A monthly update from Touchstone - inspiring communities, transforming lives.
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This month's news

What our Service Users think of Touchstone?

On an annual basis questionnaires are sent out to service users in order to ascertain their views/opinions about Touchstone and the service they have received.  The feedback and views of service users play a key role in identifying best practice, areas for improvement and informing our approach to delivering quality outcomes and continuous improvement.  

During spring questionnaires were sent out to a total of 1254 service users.
Questions were asked around the following areas
  • Overall opinion of Touchstone
  • Support
  • Access to service
  • Speaking and listening to service users
  • Communication
  • Involvement and participation
  • Dealing with problems
  • Diversity
  • Effectiveness of reception staff

The key headline information arising from the survey includes:
  • Overall opinion of Touchstone - 94% of service user respondents have indicated that Touchstone is an excellent to good organisation. 
  • Quality of support – 91% of respondents indicated they received an excellent to good service in relation to their support needs. 
  • Speaking clearly to service users – 93% of respondents indicated the quality of how we speak to them is excellent to good.  
  • Listening and acting on what service users say – 91% of respondents indicated that we are excellent to good when it comes to listening and responding to them.
  • Ease of getting hold of staff – 87% of respondents indicated that we are excellent to good in terms of getting hold of staff easily. 
  • Involvement in Touchstone – 83% of respondents indicated we are excellent to good in relation to getting service users involved in Touchstone.
  • Solving problems – 83% of respondents indicated that we solve problems in an excellent to good manner. 
  • Successfully getting things right at the first time – 81% of respondents indicated that we are excellent to good when it comes to successfully getting things right at the first time. 
  • Communication about things happening in Touchtone – 86% of respondents indicated the quality of our communication about things happening in Touchstone is excellent to good. 
  • Promoting Diversity (New Question) – 85% of respondents indicated that we are excellent to good when it comes to promoting diversity.
  • Effectiveness of reception workers dealing with queries (New Question) – 82% of respondents indicated that our reception workers are excellent to good in relation to dealing with enquires. 

Overall the feedback from service users that responded to the questionnaire this year is very positive.  This reflects the hard work and commitment of all staff to deliver high quality services to our diverse service users.

Further information about this year’s annual service user survey including how we are proposing to respond to service user feedback please contact Arfan Hanif – Operations Director (Quality & Performance)

Touchstone's success leads to continued growth

Having run successful and innovative services in Leeds and Kirklees for some time, Touchstone will shortly be announcing a new service working in partnership with probation services across the whole of West Yorkshire.

We're excited to share the full details with you as soon as possible, so please keep an eye on our website and Twitter for announcements.

Iby Knill, Holocaust survivor, share her experiences, successes and challenges

While growing up in Czechoslovakia during the 1920s and 30s, Iby Knill was not aware that she and her fully-assimilated family were Jews, and did not even know what it meant to be Jewish. But its significance became all too apparent when Nazi racial laws were imposed, leading to inconveniences, indignities, dispossession, deportation and finally a journey to Auschwitz.

Iby will be talking about her experiences at a Touchstone Leadership Masterclass on Tuesday, 17th November 2015 at Tiger 11 Hillside, Beeston Road, LS11 8ND, from Noon to 2pm. 

To book a place, please contact: office@touchstonesupport.org.uk

Read more...

Sikh Elders Service Celebrate International Day of Older Persons with Therapies, Art and Food

To celebrate the International Day of Older Persons, Sikh Elders Service came together with partners from the Positive Care Programme and East St. Arts to provide some of their most frail and elderly service users with a few hours of relaxation and creative enjoyment.

“I loved the massage. I feel very relaxed – thank you for taking the time for us here today,” said Mrs Amar Kaur.

The arts activity was the first of six sessions around memories and life stories, designed to celebrate the achievements and interesting lives of the group.

Read more about the celebration...

You can find out more about the Sikh Elders Service in their latest newsletter...

Recording of ethnicity and other data in mental health services

Touchstone's Community Development Service marked World Statistics Day (20th October) with a blog post looking at what information is (or isn't) recorded about people accessing mental health services.

Commissioners and providers need diversity information to be sure that mental health services are reaching all parts of the community. Relatively high rates of use of services by a community may mean that services or support can be provided better in different ways or that the causes can be identified and addressed. Diversity information also enables agencies to identify gaps in services to inform future service developments.

Read the full report...

Layers of discrimination

We marked the beginning of Black History Month with an article from Stonewall's Josh Willacy. Josh pointed out that LGBT+ people within BMEs communities can face multiple layers of discrimination, which is why organisations should make a special effort to support them. Josh's suggestions included:

Positively profile BME LGBT staff, customers, service users and stakeholders.
Holding film nights which explore being BME and LGBT, to open conversations about intersectionality.
Bring together LGBT and BME networks to provide an opportunity to share and learn from experiences.
Empower people to challenge racism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia whenever they see it.

Read Josh's article...

You can also read the article we published for Coming Out Day.

Refugees, People Seeking Asylum and Mental Health

Refugees and people seeking asylum often experience complex mental health issues. Research indicates that this group is 5 times more likely to have mental health needs than the general population and more than 61% will experience serious mental distress.

Despite this, they are often unable or reluctant to access services that would provide suitable support for their health. Touchstone's Community Development Service have recently published two articles looking at some of the barriers they face.  

Touchstone's Annual General Meeting - 3rd December

Touchstone’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday 3rd December at the Bangladeshi Centre, Roundhay Road, LS8 5AN.

The AGM is an opportunity to review our progress over the last year and to find out about our future plans.

The theme of this year’s meeting will be “Peer Leadership and Lived Experience”.

Watch for updates on Twitter.
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