CELEBRITY Heather Mills today visited a school to inspire its students and give a talk about reaching their goals.
The Year 9 and 10 girls at Crookhorn College, in Waterlooville, welcomed the former model who spoke about her life and the difficulties she had to overcome after her leg was amputated following a road accident.
She shows you can do whatever you want toClaudia Gough
During her talk Ms Mills, who was married to Beatles star Paul McCartney, told the students about her work to stop landmines being built and how she helped design and distribute a range of prosthetic limbs.
She drew on her own experiences to encourage the students to never give up.
Ms Mills said: ‘From my hospital bed after the accident, I was already thinking what I could do to turn it around.
‘Instead of getting negative I said “I am going to turn it around and do everything I wanted to do”.
‘I decided from there that I would get well.’
As well as talking about her life after the accident, Ms Mills spoke about her childhood and how she dropped out of school.
She added: ‘This is your time now. If you think it’s hard work now and you cannot wait until you leave, it gets 20 times harder.
‘Have a brilliant time but put the effort in.’
Students had the chance to ask Ms Mills questions and Year 9 pupil Claudia Gough said she enjoyed the visit.
‘It’s inspiring that she’s gone through so much,’ said the 14-year-old.
‘She shows you can do whatever you want to.’
Fellow Year 9 pupil Ella Burridge, 14, added: ‘The best thing about it was no matter what happened to her, she always helped others.
‘She managed to get through everything and hearing her talk did inspire me.
‘It’s good of the school to get people to come in and speak to us.’
The visit was part of the school’s Distinguished Visitors Programme. Other guests such as The Chase’s Anne Hegerty will talk to students about raising their aspirations.
Pompey footballers will speak about the pressure of sport.
Deputy headteacher James Collins said: ‘Heather is the first of our distinguished visitors as part of our programme.
‘We’re hoping it will inspire the students and raise their aspirations.
‘By having a range of speakers, we hope they will appeal to all the students.’
Headteacher Sarah Bennett added: ‘It is about giving the pupils a sense of value in themselves.’