Touchstones helped bereaved older people to learn everyday skills.  We were so inspired by this project, that we have launched the Rural Skill Share.
This is your opportunity to get involved and share your skills locally.

Visit the Rural Skill Share pages to read the inspiring stories from Touchstones and get ideas and resources for skills you could pass on.
Then take part in the pledge and get sharing your cookery, IT, DIY, or sewing know-how!


Read our case studies

Read our leaflet and learn how the project worked.

Read our blog 

Touchstones in the future

Keep in touch: @RAYTouchstones on Twitter.                                    

A list of local contacts for your area.




This project ran from September 2012 – February 2014 and was funded by the Big Lottery and the Daily Mail.

Related stories

Touchstones was a partnership between Rural Action Yorkshire and Age UK.

Dementia Friendly Toolkit

As part of the current dementia-awareness campaign nationally, RAY has produced a Dementia Friendly Toolkit which communities, businesses and individuals might find useful in making their environments more dementia friendly. 

Rural Action Yorkshire (RAY) has launched a new drive to encourage more people to share skills with neighbours, friends and those who may be more isolated in their community.  The Rural Skill Share is inviting people to pledge some time and know-how, whether this is ten minutes, or something more regular, to support someone learn something new such as emailing a photograph, or changing a fuse.  RAY believes each person who signs up has the potential to make a really positive impact on those they help.

Older drivers in rural parts of Wakefield have another chance to brush up on their confidence under the car bonnet, as part of a drive by the Touchstones project to keep them safer on the roads this winter.

Start Your Engines!  Older drivers in rural parts of Wakefield are brushing up on their confidence under the car bonnet, as part of a drive by the Touchstones project to keep them safer on the roads this winter.

The Touchstones project is looking for volunteers who have a skill or interest that they can pass on to someone who may be struggling with an everyday task on their own. 

Over the coming weeks we'll be tweeting some quick #wintertips that you can try yourself, or pass on to others.
Rural Action Yorkshire runs several projects and iniatives aimed at helping communities to address the needs of their more vulnerable residents.

Join Jean & Mel in Embsay to discuss winter weather, Christmas crafts, and cooking using toasters. They will be there from 10.30am and refreshments are provided. For more details use the link to email Mel or call us on 0845 313 0270.

Are you interested in setting up a skills exchange? As part of our Touchstones project we’re currently recruiting community groups to join us in piloting some credit-based skills exchanges. Find out how you can get involved.

Come along and find out more about volunteering opportunities in Wakefield.  

There will also be a stand for our Touchstones project, which RAY is working on in partnership with Age UK.

Contact Andy Goff at Voluntary Action Wakefield for more details about the fair: 01924 367418 or

An update on our Touchstones project, helping older people overcome social isolation after bereavement

Word seems to be getting out about our Touchstones project and so much has happened over the last few months.  We are working with our delivery partners Age UK in rural areas of Harrogate, Craven and Wakefield to support older, bereaved people to learn practical skills such as cookery, IT, gardening and sewing!

It's a busy time for Touchstones, we are keen to hear from you....

File Touchstones leaflet Nov 2013.pdf1.34 MB