“I left Ireland when I was twelve. They had me working on the farms. I settled in Scotland where I was potato picking till I was seventeen. I worked for a contractor and I worked where they needed me. St. Andrews was the last place before I moved to Leeds. And I’ve been here fifty years.
I lived in Garforth before but couldn’t get a bungalow there. I’ve got chronic arthritis in my knees. I lived on the first floor so it was difficult at times. They offered me a place at CHUMHI at Button Hill and I was pleased. One of the main reasons for moving was to get my life back in order; make a fresh start. I lost my daughter last year and I needed to move on from that.
It’s really good here, it’s exactly what I was looking for. Since moving in a few months ago, its amazing how I’ve got to know people. The activities they run really helps me meet new people. I’ve been to Yoga and we’re doing the arts and craft sessions at the moment. Having left home at such a young age, I really had no schooling. And I didn’t get to experience a lot. I’m making up for it now though!”
Touchstone provides a range of innovative services to improve the health and wellbeing of culturally diverse communities in our city. Their Leeds Fund Strategic Grant enabled them to provide an intensive 24 week mental health coaching programme called IN:CHARGE, specifically for Black, Minority and Ethnic individuals in East Leeds with lived experience of mental health issues. The project saw a number of individuals become fully trained mental health coaches for their communities, building their leadership and employability skills, and helping to reduce stigma and raise awareness among local people. CHUMHI (Community Help Understanding Mental Health Issues) is a support group in Chapeltown, led by two mental health coaches trained by IN:CHARGE.
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