The Butterfly Effect: Meet Richard

Richard has been volunteering at Café CHAOS for six months as part of the Positive People Project funded by Big Lottery and European Social Fund; he is a talented musician that works extremely hard and is always smiling!

“Most people don’t even notice my Asperger’s as it’s so mild and sometimes I’m not good at dealing with it, I was diagnosed years ago at school. Volunteering at Café CHAOS has helped me so much because I think that I have been in denial of my learning disability as I can be too proud, being at the cafe has made me come to terms with it.

There’s been a couple of times where I have forgotten orders and have totally freaked out, then I realised that I just need to accept that I have Asperger’s, I just need to understand that I do struggle sometimes.”

“Being part of the Positive People Project has meant that I have made more friends and it has helped me to accept my learning disability. I have learnt lots of skills when I’m front of house at the cafe…I have to talk to customers and write down their orders, which has built my confidence and people skills.”

“I think that hard work and dedication is talent. I practise guitar daily and in the beginning I would practise for four hours a day, I teach once a week in a primary school for the afternoon. Some people think having a good time is to go out and get drunk, but I prefer staying in and listening to albums.

Music helps my Asperger’s as it can be healing and one song can change your life. One of my problems has been mixing with people I really struggle with it, two of my best mates are married. They live a while away and we meet occasionally but I find it hard figuring how to get there on bus routes.”

I have only just worked out how to get to Café CHAOS by bus. I had transport arranged for me to get to the café, but this is the second time that I have come in without transport prearranged for me I caught the bus on my own, which I feel is a big achievement.”

Positive Change made possible thanks to Positive People and the Big Lottery Fund.