Star Wars legend Warwick Davis gives inspiring talk to more than 300 pupils at Witchford school

PUBLISHED: 17:02 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:02 19 October 2018

Film star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

Film star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

Archant

Star Wars actor Warwick Davis was the special guest at a Witchford primary school today as he gave a talk and answered questions about dwarfism.

Three hundred schoolchildren at Rackham Primary School - including four-year-old Abigail who has dwarfism - filled the assembly hall and learnt about the work of Little People UK.

The charity which aims to raise awareness of the condition and was founded by Warwick and his wife Samantha.

“It’s all about the attitude from the people around you as to how you see yourself,” Warwick said.

“I had a very positive experience because my parents were determined for me to be treated just like any other child at school.”

Film star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTERFilm star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

The visit came about after four-year-old Abigail Custins - who is the only person in her family and school with the condition - joined Rackham in September.

Amy Boyden, the school’s special educational needs and disabilities co-ordinator (Sendco) and inclusion lead, then contacted Little People UK to see if the charity could offer any support.

Samantha added: “They encouraged me to get on and try everything. In life it’s about thinking how to do something for yourself and I was well and truly equipped for that once I left home.

“I loved it because I just got on with it. I wasn’t made to feel any different; apparently when I was five I came from school and said ‘mum, am I a dwarf?’ She said yes and I just went ‘oh, okay’ and went off and carried on playing.

Film star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTERFilm star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

“Since then I’ve never looked back. I’ve just accepted it and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Warwick said: “It’s a reflection of any disability really; it’s about how you’re treated.

“If you get positivity towards you then that’s what you become.”

After the talk - and answering some of the “most intelligent questions” he’s had when talking at schools - Warwick was presented with a cheque for more than £1,300 which was raised by staff at the school completing a cycling challenge, pyjama walk, cake sale and non uniform day.

Film star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTERFilm star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

Warwick then joined children in the new fiction library to read to them the story of ‘George the Giraffe’.

Amy Boyden, who contacted the charity to organise the visit, said: “Abi is the first child we’ve had at Rackham to have dwarfism and I feel that we need to spread awareness of the condition.

“I did a bit of research and found out Warwick runs the Little People UK charity. We did a sponsored walk, bike ride, cake bake and non uniform day - it’s been really good.

“The last week the children have had awareness assemblies and lessons all about dwarfism.

Film star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTERFilm star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

“They learnt about all the right terms to use and the children have really took it on board.

“They understand that people look different but we’re all the same.

“We’ve had different PSHE lessons about words that are offensive; and they’ve all really enjoyed it. It’s been a great success.”

Warwick added: “It’s a very interesting condition; it can come out of nowhere. Eighty per cent of people are born with tall parents.

Film star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTERFilm star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

“We call it the genetic lottery because you never really know what’s going to happen.

“You obviously want the best for your child as a parent, but I honestly say, if you can instil in your child positivity about themselves and their own self image, they will grow up just like any other child and have a career.

“They can to everything that other people can do.

“We’re moving into a world now where there’s diversity and inclusion - all these great movements are happening at the moment.

Film star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTERFilm star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

“There would be nothing for Abigail’s parents - or any other families for that matter - to worry about; we spend a lot of our time talking to parents and reassuring them of exactly that.”

For more information about the charity visit www.littlepeopleuk.org

Film star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTERFilm star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

Film star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTERFilm star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

Film star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTERFilm star Warwick Davis visiting Rackham School in Witchford, near Ely, on Friday, October 19. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

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