Touchstone

We provide mental health and wellbeing services to over 10,000 people a year.
Hidden mission statement
http://www.touchstonesupport.org.uk

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35
Best Company to work for in the UK
May 2021
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The passion at Touchstone, the multi-award-winning mental health charity with a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, is to secure the rights and entitlements of the people it works with and for. The charity aims to make the cities it works in more culturally competent and better able to meet the needs of the vulnerable people who live there.

Touchstone was founded in South Leeds – next year is the 40th anniversary – when Social Worker Sylvia Landells and Community Psychiatric Nurse John Clare noticed the large numbers of vulnerable people left isolated and distressed out of hours and at weekends. In response they set up a “weekend club”, which went on to evolve into Touchstone.

The charity – which supports 10,000 people a year – is acutely aware of its perceived position of strength as a major provider mainly in the black and ethnic community. It says staff are “committed, resourceful and knowledgeable and reflect the diverse community in which the organisation operates”.

Regular, clear and values-led communication with staff was prioritised during the past year. A Covid-19 folder was set up for everyone to access in which all communications, government guidance, health and wellbeing tools, and any other relevant information, was placed and updated.

The aim at Touchstone is to share its resources, knowledge and position of influence with smaller grassroots organisations to grow their confidence and capacity and for people across South Yorkshire to demand the services and positive experiences they are entitled to.

Featured Workplace Factors

My Company

93% of staff agreed

I love working for this organisation

Three staff surveys a year measure employee engagement: two cover staff satisfaction and one of these is external. The third is an external questionnaire run by Stonewall measuring LGBT+ equality. Further pop-up exercises include HR director Kathryn Hart conducting a wellbeing survey in November.

Wellbeing

81% of staff agreed

I am happy with the balance between my work and home life

Employee access to counselling sessions became unlimited during lockdown. Touchstone also offered everyone four free CBT sessions, delivered by its own qualified therapists, whom it pays on a self-employed basis. In the wake of anxiety about the second coronavirus wave and renewed school closures, it was agreed to not yet review home-working arrangements.

Giving Something Back

99% of staff agreed

This organisation is keen to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds

The charity decided to set up a foodbank during lockdown called Touchstone Loves Food (TFL). It cost £1,000 per week to maintain and most staff raised funds to support it. Collectively, employees raised more than £12,000 for TLF, the largest sum they have ever managed to raise.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
1982
Total number of employees
11
Number of UK locations
42
Employee average age
24% : 74%
Male : Female employee ratio
8%
Employees earning £35k+
11%
Employee turnover (voluntary)

Benefits

Holidays

Companies offering a minimum of 26 days annual leave to all employees.

Maternity

Companies offering at least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative.

Women in Senior Management

At least 40% of senior managers are women.

List Positions

National Ranking
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35
Best Small Companies to work for in the UK
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35
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National Ranking
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35
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35
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35
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35
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Sector Ranking
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3
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3
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3
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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Best Companies to work for in the UK
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3
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Yorkshire & The Humber
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12
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