Josef Tucker, who lives at SeeAbility’s Fiennes House, achieved something incredible earlier this month. Despite having no natural speech — a result of being born with Cerebral Palsy — he delivered the opening address on the main stage at the Somerset Home Farm Festival using a specialist communication aid.

The 23-year-old gave the heart-warming talk in front of 3,000 people to mark the 10th anniversary of the festival. He was also there to increase awareness for SeeAbility and the ‘School in a Bag’ project, of which he has recently been made an Ambassador.

Josef, who has received specialist support to develop his skills from SeeAbility since 2012, has an eye condition and uses a wheelchair. He relies on technology to give an alternative to natural speech but is incredibly proud of his independence. He describes himself as a ‘good-looking Stephen Hawking’ and loves meeting new people and talking about his passions, which include equal rights for people with disabilities, musical theatre and… marmite!

School in a Bag delivers rucksacks full of stationery equipment, learning resources and eating utensils that enable children in developing countries to have a safe learning experience. Josef came across the charity as part of his course at Somerset College, where he met founder Luke Simon.

“I am extremely honoured to be appointed the very first School in a Bag Ambassador. I hope to inspire the world to see that I merely have different abilities and that I am not labelled as disabled. I have not let my difficulty with natural speech get in the way of living a full and fulfilled life,” said Bridgwater-born Josef.

Josef loves music and has his own radio show on community station 10radio based in Wivelescombe. He also volunteers once a week with Musgrove’s Hospital Apple Radio. But ‘DJ Joe’ has aspirations to be a disability consultant and motivational speaker:

“I am in the process of setting up my own business as a motivational speaker to inspire audiences. I have gone into local schools in the area to read stories to the children and raise awareness of disability... It is very important that my message is clear to the rest of the world. People like me are part of the world and have just as important a role to play in present and future society.