top of page

60. Cuppa tea with Richard

Written by Prof Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, Project Lead, Kingston University.

One Tuesday in February, I was sitting around the table having lunch with my colleagues Richard, Jonny, and Gerard. We were thinking about our upcoming conference, where people with learning disabilities will be holding the microphone as chair (Richard), interviewer (Sui-Ling), and presenter (various others). Sui-Ling has her very own YouTube channel where she interviews people, so we watched some of her episodes whilst munching our sandwiches.

Within minutes, inspiration and excitement flowed. It went something like this:

Me: Richard, you could do that!
Richard: Oh that would be nice! Yes! I like talking to people.
Me: Jonny, you like making documentaries and you’re good with editing… how about it?
Jonny: Would love to. Great plan.
Someone (can’t remember who): Actually, how about a podcast?

And we were off. A podcast! Brilliant plan! No worries about bad hair days, just recording a chat about this and that. We’d have to think which THIS and which THAT, but ideas flowed easily. Topics and people that Richard would love to talk to, about learning disability, about staying healthy, growing older, death and dying, doing research at a university…

Just having a cuppa tea and a chat. Actually, that would make a good title:


Long story short. We talked with Anastasiya, our cheerleader at Kingston University who is a whizz at organising our webinars, editing, spreading messages – she used to be a radio presenter, so podcasts are her thing. We asked the senior university leaders for support – they too cheered us on, committed Anastasiya’s time, gave some prize money so that we could organise student competitions to compose a podcast jingle and design a podcast logo. We booked the university’s recording studio (who knew that there was such a thing just a 5-minute walk from our office?) where the lovely Ebby was on hand to do all the fancy stuff with machines and microphones. We wrote “Podcast Rules” to make sure Richard stays safe and protected from worries and trolling. He will give his ideas and have the veto, but does not need to do the organising and knows who to talk to if there are any problems or concerns.

It is a joy to work at a university where you can have new ideas and get support to actually carry them out – true to the Kingston University’s mission of being Inclusive, Innovative, Enterprising, Ambitious (more about that later. Spoiler alert: it involves yet more cups of tea…!).

Just four weeks after that lunch with the initial brainwave of Richard creating his own podcast series, we recorded this short teaser. Episodes are being recorded and edited as we speak. You’ll be able to listen to the first episodes soon: Watch this space!


bottom of page