AFTER the riders of the Tour de Yorkshire have peddled out of Richmond Market Place the stage will be set for a full day of live music and entertainment - and the events will be kicked off by an announcement from a brave little boy.

Joshua Jessop, nine, from Brompton-on-Swale, suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an incurable, severe muscle wasting disease which affects boys and causes progressive damage and limited life expectancy.

But he doesn't let his condition stand in the way of him living life to the full, and on Saturday, May 5, at around 1.20pm, he will be up on stage to announce the start of the Richmond Rocks Festival.

His mum Karen Jessop said: "We approached the council to see if there was a way Joshua could be involved, and we soon heard from Phil Upton, who has organised the festival, who asked if Joshua would open the event.

"Joshua was a bit nervous at first, but once Phil explained what it would entail he is now really excited."

Mrs Jessop said they are currently fundraising to take Joshua on a trip to Lapland, and this June they are holding a Christmas themed fundraiser at the Comrade's Club in Richmond.

She said: "Joshua won't experience as many Christmases as most other children so we have decided to have two every year.

"The fundraiser will include a DJ, snow machine, and a raffle. Richard Brown, last year's winner of Britain's Got Talent, has donated some signed merchandise, and Wackadays will hopefully be delivering 2,500 Christmas cards, roughly one for every child in the UK who has DMD currently."

For updates and information on how to buy tickets for the Christmas event visit Journey With Joshua on Facebook.