Joseph Harrington has a bright future whatever the weather.
The 28-year-old has achieved his ambition of reading weather reports on the radio. He has taken on the role at Bognor Regis-based Radio Respect.
The online radio station is dedicated to mental health wellbeing. It is run solely by volunteers and all of them and its presenters suffer some kind of mental health issue.
Joseph, a transitioning student with Aldingbourne Trust, visited the station in Argyle Road with his support worker earlier this year.
He was delighted to learn it was on the lookout for a good weather presenter – and his audition wowed everyone at Radio Respect with his professionalism and talent.
“Weather reporting is my dream job,” said Joseph.
He takes his new role seriously and stays up to date with all the latest weather forecasts and current affairs.
His love for his role shines through and he has been told he may well be given his own show.
Radio Respect’s Liz Latter said: “Joseph is fantastic. He has only been coming for a couple of weeks but, in that time, he 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.”
The Aldingbourne Trust, based at the Aldingbourne Country Centre, set up a transition service in 2018 with Chichester College to enable 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 to develop social networks and friendships.
The service is available to anyone attending college in the area and is linked to their time there.
Joseph is studying with Theatre Inc and Performing Arts at the college. He recently took part in Think Again, a variety show full of singing, dancing, drama and musical theatre at the showroom of the University of Chichester.
The people supported by the trust, alongside the other company members, amazed and wowed the audience with their outstanding talent.
Joseph has a talent with voices and is very interested in performing and presenting. He and his support worker called into Radio Respect last January when they were out for a seafront stroll.
He explained what he would like to do and arranged to go along to pre-record his first weather report.
He was so good he was immediately asked to pre-record some news items.
Radio Respect runs shows that include phone-ins, interviews and chat based around mental health and great music from a variety of genres.
To help to reduce the isolation around mental health, GPs in the Bognor Regis area refer patients to them to offer peer support and offer signposting to other relevant services.