When people with learning disabilities move out of home for the first time, they need extra time and support to learn new skills, and to see what independence looks like for them. The Aldingbourne Trust set up a Transition Service in 2018, working in partnership with Chichester College, to enable young people with learning disabilities and/or autism to learn locally and to live away from home.
One of the Trust’s transition students, Joseph Harrington is studying with Theatre Inc. and Performing Arts at Chichester College. Recently, Joseph took part in ‘Think Again’, a variety show full of singing, dancing, drama and musical theatre at the Chichester University showroom. Joseph has a talent with voices and is very interested in presenting and performing. One of his ambitions has always been to find a position as a weather presenter on the radio. Radio Respect is a voluntary online radio station dedicated to mental health and wellbeing. It is run solely by volunteers, and all of their volunteers and presenters suffer with some kind of mental health issue. To help reduce the isolation and stigma surrounding mental health, local G.P’s often refer their patients to them, to offer peer support and signposting.
Joseph explained to Radio Reset his interests in weather reporting and was very happy to hear that the owner of the radio station was on the look out for a good weather presenter, so they gave Joseph an audition. Joseph did so well, everybody commented on how professional he sounded and how talented he is. Joseph said “Weather reporting is my dream job”, so he arranged with the owner to go along one Saturday morning to pre-record his first session for weather presenting. He was so good at it that he was also asked to pre-record some news items. Joseph is taking the role very seriously and makes sure he is staying up to date with all the latest weather reports and current affairs. He loves his new role as a weather and news presenter for Radio Respect and has been told that when he’s ready, he may well be given his own live show.