Line of Duty star Lennie James visited a Lewisham youth academy as part of a new appeal to support care leavers across London.

The award winning actor and writer, also know for his role in The Walking Dead, was announced as Barnado's first ambassador representing children who are in and leaving care during his visit to the Catford YouthBuild Academy yesterday.

Along with his brother, Mr James went into care aged ten after their mother died, spending time in a children's home before they were fostered in Tooting.

Lennie said: “I’m honoured to become Barnardo’s first Children In and Leaving Care Ambassador.

“The fear and vulnerability of going into care is etched in my memory.

"What made the difference was the support of those who looked after me and helped shape who I am today. Without doubt care leavers have challenges to overcome, but a child’s future doesn’t have to be defined by their past.

“I was lucky to become an actor - if children have a stable and loving experience while in care, and then get the right support when they leave the system, they can go on to achieve and have fulfilling lives.

"I passionately believe this, which is why I am looking forward to highlighting and supporting the work of Barnardo’s.

"My fund is named after my mother Phyllis and my foster mother Pam. In different ways they both gave me life.”

Lennie, who appeared in movies Snatch and Blade Runner 2049, is currently in London filming the second series of Save Me 2, which is primarily set in Lewisham.

Callum Nicholas, 20, from Beckenham, said: “It was great to meet Lennie.

"YouthBuild Academy has been a brilliant programme for me, my colleagues and for the community in my local area.

"It’s been great that Barnardo’s has provided this opportunity.

"As a young person who has grown up in care, I know it’s not always easy to access education and training, which is why YouthBuild Academy can make such a big difference.”

Youthbuild Academy, which is run by Barnardo’s in partnership with construction industry group Saint-Gobain UK, Youth Build Ventures UK, Phoenix Community Housing and Barking & Dagenham College, provides construction skills training for care leavers aged 16-29 and young people who are not in employment or further education.

Barnardo’s is about to launch a campaign to raise funds over the next three years to support young people leaving care.

Lennie and his wife Giselle have lended their support by setting up their own fund named after Lennie’s birth and foster mums Phyllis and Pam which will aim to raise £50,000 in its first year for Barnardo’s Positive Futures appeal.