Wise words from TV and film actor Warwick Davis to learners and staff at Nacro centre in Spalding
"Always follow your dreams, be ambitious, don't shy away from a challenge and do something you enjoy."
Learners and staff in Spalding received some welcome lessons in life from TV, stage and big screen star Warwick Davis who was in town yesterday.
Warwick and his wife Samantha were guests at the new Nacro Education centre in Westlode Street, Spalding, where the couple were shown what was the town's former jobcentre.
Nacro caters for young people aged 16 to 19 who, despite being outside of mainstream post-GCSE education, can achieve vocational qualifications in childcare, employment skills, retail and child care, as well as GCSE maths and English.
During a question and answer session at the centre, Warwick said: "I've enjoyed being here and I don't think people realise that places like this exist.
"I particularly wanted to come here because I think the centre is really inspiring and doing great things for young people.
"When I was growing up, I had a lot of challenges going through school, even though it was really good and the teachers there made accommodations for me.
"My parents told the school 'Don't give Warwick an easy ride because we want him to be challenged' and I was challenged, both physically and academically."
Warwick also talked about his experiences of working on blockbuster movies, such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and his breakthrough film, Willow.
He said: "For me, being famous isn't at all what I set out to do in this world.
"I set out to be as good a performer and actor as I could be and the fame bit is a by-product of being successful.
"But you can achieve nobility for being good at something and so if you want to succeed, do something that you want to do and something that you enjoy."
Zoe Whitmore, Senior Tutor at Nacro Education in Spalding, said: "We provide an alternative to college for 16-18 year olds.
"Nacro students may have struggled at school, attended alternative provision or been home-schooled.
"Some of our students will have had disruption to their studies because of personal issues and we anticipate that many of our young people will qualify for free school meals.
"So we provide additional support like breakfast every day and bursaries to help with travel, as well as a highly supportive educational environment to build confidence in a small group setting.
"Our staff are specialists in supporting the development of personal and social skills, with 80 per cent of students going on to college, work or an apprenticeship.
"However, unlike college, Nacro takes in learners all the year round, ensuring that young people get onto a programme and can work towards qualifications no matter when they join us.
"Nacro in Spalding is recruiting right now so any young people who are not in employment, education or training can come in for an interview to see if there is a programme that will take them on to their next steps in education."