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The Aldingbourne Trust set up a Transition Service in 2018, working in partnership with Chichester College, to enables young people with learning disabilities and/ or autism to learn locally and to live away from home. Learners at the transition service are supported to develop their independent living skills, and develop social networks and friendships. The service is available to anyone attending local college, and is linked to their time there.
One of our 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. The people we support alongside other company members amazed and wowed the audience with their outstanding talent. Joseph said “I had a great time performing in front of the audience, and it was lovely to receive a standing ovation at the end.”
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. One morning in January this year Joseph and his support worker took a stroll along the beach at Bognor Regis and popped into Radio Respect.
Radio Respect is an online Radio Station dedicated to mental health well being. 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 surrounding mental health, Local G.P's refer their patients to them, to offer peer support and signposting. Radio Respect run shows that include phone ins, interviews and chat based around mental health and of course great music from a variety of genres.
Joseph explained to them what he would like to do, 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 Joseph 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.
Liz Latter from Radio Respect said “Joseph is fantastic! He has only been coming in for a couple of weeks but in that time Joseph has picked up using the recording software really quickly. The first week he was so nervous and you could see it in his body language. But now he has really gained confidence, he speaks clearly and is very professional. He is a true gentleman! With a little bit more confidence building and practice with the equipment I don't see any reason why Joseph can't go live and have his own show”.