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FE ME

Job: Actress Studied: Falkirk College, 1998-2001 Qualifications: National Certificates in Skillstart communications and numeracy, office skills and keyboarding, word processing, personal awareness and vocational awareness and exploring visual images Born:1980 Paula Sage starred in the critically-acclaimed film Afterlife, in which she played the role of Roberta, a tough young woman with Down's Syndrome whose life changes when her mother is diagnosed with cancer.

She won a Bafta for her role and is now an accomplished actress and also works part-time for a travel firm in Scotland.

"I always looked forward to the company at college. That was one of the best things.

"I remember the teachers: Andy Lawson, for the Brookside basics course, and Debbie, who was great in drama I also thought Diane was a great help with cookery.

"Jacqui McArthur was my course tutor.

"I liked all the lecturers but these were the ones I remember best. I got on well with all the staff and they made me feel at home in the college.

"But they all gave us great encouragement to do our best in everything.

"At Falkirk, I studied a range of subjects including core skills, drama, catering, computing and woodwork.

"I have been back just once, to get photos taken for the college prospectus and I still see Jacqui regularly as she is involved as coach at Scotland West netball club in Glasgow, where I am a member.

"We were at the Special Olympics in Glasgow last year and got a silver medal.

"But what I learned at catering in college has been a help in my present job in Travel Options, where I work in the cafe .

"My favourite college food was chips and melted cheese. The canteen was very small and it was always busy, but canteen staff were great.

"Also, the first time I did any real acting was while at Falkirk when I got a small part in a medieval play.

"I learned some basic skills like number work and computing which has helped me since leaving college.

"My first job was acting in Afterlife in 2003. Since then, I have had two spells in River City and started my job in Travel Options last year.

"I would like to get back into River City and do more acting. I'd love to be in Taggart at some time. Also, another film would be nice.

"I didn't have any real plans when I left college and was unemployed for more than two years. I had a job coach, but this did not help me to get a job.

"Since leaving college, making a film and doing television has been great.

"I am also an ambassador for Down's Syndrome Scotland, Enable and Mencap, and I go to a lot of events for these charities. It is very interesting work and I meet a lot of people.

"Because of my film and TV work, I get recognised in the street and at work and am asked for my autograph and photos.

"I have also travelled a lot, to London, Manchester, Cardiff and Los Angeles, and met a lot of famous people like Sir Sean Connery, Simon Cowell, Ross Kemp, Steve Brookstein and Will Young."

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