‘Never give up, embrace your challenges, and don’t be afraid to talk about your problems.’

Those were just a few pearls of wisdom shared by one of the town's most familiar figures when she swung by a school to give a talk to students and join in a question and answer session.

Vigo Primary School rolled out the red carpet for Andover-born Katie Piper on Friday afternoon.

The TV presenter-turned-activist talked to the pupils about a whole range of topics, including her inspirations, her experiences, and the challenges she has faced along the way.

She also fielded questions put to her by the pupils, who had turned out in non-uniform – many donning her favourite colour pink – to raise money for the Katie Piper Foundation.

After thanking the children for their fundraising efforts, Katie commended them for the quality of their questions and the confidence with which they delivered them in front of a jam-packed assembly room.

Those in attendance were able to find out more about Katie’s early years. From growing up in Andover, attending Portway and then Harrow Way schools, she then headed on to college in Basingstoke, before eventually moving to London to pursue a career in TV.

Following a horrific acid attack in 2008 left her fighting for her life, it was Andover that she returned to for her recovery.

“When I came out of hospital it was Andover that I chose to come back to. And lots of people in the town were very kind to me,” the 36-year-old said.

Andover Advertiser: Katie fielded questions from the school's pupilsKatie fielded questions from the school's pupils

“Where it’s quite a small town everyone knows each other and supports each other and it’s quite a safe, friendly place.”

Katie also opened up about some of the challenges she’s faced over the years.

She told the children that it’s “okay not to feel happy everyday” and gave them advice on how to cope with certain issues.

Year 6 pupil Megan asked the mother-of-two about shyness, and the former Strictly star explained it was something she was very familiar with.

“I think everyone in the room will relate to that feeling of being super confident with people you know but if we get into situations we’re not familiar with you feel shy.

“It’s okay to be shy, there’s nothing shameful about it.

“I think what helps with shyness is repeating things. Doing them again and again and never giving up when they go wrong, going back and giving it a go until you feel experienced enough in that part of your life.”

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She was also quizzed on the barriers she’s faced, but said no matter how big or small a problem may seem, “they’re not to be feared or run away from.”

And often, she added, talking to someone you trust about those problems is the best way to work through them.

“When I can’t talk to my parents, I talk to a special councillor,” she said.

“I think with anyone who is facing problems in their life, sharing it with someone helps take it off your shoulders. It gives you ideas to cope or helps clear your head.

“I suppose really over the years I’ve never stopped talking to people and that always halves the problem for me.”

There was also time for children to get a couple of inside scoops from Katie.

Simon Cowell is the kindest person to ever interview her, she says, and the media megastar has since become a patron for her charity.

“He reminded me that kindness can come from all kinds of people, and even the busiest of people can make time for others in their life,” she revealed.

Her biggest inspiration, meanwhile, is someone a little closer to home – a certain Mrs Piper who formerly worked at Vigo Primary School.

“My mum is probably my biggest inspiration,” she said.

“She was always very strong and very hard working.

“It’s that attitude of whatever happens in your life, you never give up and keep going on. And anyone who has that attitude inspires me.”

As part of the visit, pupils helped raised funds for the Katie Piper Foundation. The charity, set up by Katie in 2009, helps support and rehabilitate burns victims across the country.

For more information about the charity go to katiepiperfoundation.org.uk