A day in the life…… Richard Noakes

So Richard, can you explain what you do at YPWD and what you did before working at the charity?
At YPWD I work in planning and delivering workshops and supporting people diagnosed with young onset dementia that come along to our workshops. I previously worked with Older People with Dementia, cared for people with a range of conditions throughout the Country and I also taught English to Children in China
 
Is there a particular thing which you enjoy in your work at YPWD and why?
I enjoy seeing people enjoy themselves.
 
Is there a specific day of the week that you look forward to and if so why?
Wednesday is a day I particularly enjoy, as it’s art and walking at Dinton Pastures.  Seeing all of the attendees enjoy and express themselves, showing the skills that they already have and discovering ones that they never knew they had having never tried it before.
 
Of all your skills, which do you find yourself using the most in your day to day work?
My good sense of humour and being a good listener.
 
What is the most inspiring thing to have come out of the workshops while you’ve been there?
Seeing how a group of complete strangers who have never met before in their lives come together and share/produce so many joyful moments, but if I had to choose one I would have to say the amazing produce that was grown completely from scratch in the beautiful gardens at Inkpen in West Berkshire .
 
In your opinion which dish has been the most successful in the cooking workshop and why do you think that was?
I would have to say the delicious apple desserts that we made at Waltham Place, as using the home-grown produce seems to taste better.
 
Do you have a hobby or skill that you’d be happy to share with us and that you think may surprise our readers?
Well, I enjoy song and poetry writing in my spare time. I have been writing on and off since 1999.
 
What is your favourite meal to cook and why?
I enjoy cooking Chinese cuisine!  Not like the food bought in Chinese restaurants in the UK though, but authentic Chinese food. Chinese food isn’t usually about the type of meat or vegetable, instead It’s all in the flavour. Sichuan (South Western Chinese) is my favourite, it’s full of spicy aromas and flavour.
 
Where is the most interesting place in the world that you have been and why was it interesting?
I’d have to say Japan!   Because of the gadgets, noise, colour, excitement, warmth of the people, Bullet trains and having the opportunity to meet two real life Geishas in Gion, Kyoto and staying with my Japanese friends’ families.
 
If you were in charge of the world, for just one day, what is the one thing you’d encourage everyone to do?
Stop gun and knife crime.
 
Finally, most important question – cat or dog?
I’d have to say cat, I have loved cats ever since I was a child.