A STUDENT attending Trafford College became the envy of her peers after making a cameo appearance on Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks.

Kirsty Ashton, who has spent all of her life battling a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis, was recently rewarded for her years of charity fundraising by being given a one-off part in her favourite show.

Kirsty, 18, started raising money when she was seven, and has since raised thousands of pounds for charity despite her illness – a crippling condition which causes tumours to grow on her nerve endings.

And thanks to her charitable endeavours, which last year included organising a Valentine’s ball at the Radisson SAS, in Manchester, she was able to send 100 children to Lapland to meet Father Christmas courtesy of the £72,000 she had raised for the When You Wish upon a Star charity, which works with very sick children.

Her special guest appearance was organised by Noel Edmonds as part of his new TV show, Noel's HQ, which celebrates the best of Britain.

Kirsty was kept completely in the dark by her close friends and family, and knew nothing about the surprise until Ricky Whittle, who plays the soap’s Calvin Valentine, turned up at Trafford College with an invite to star on the show.

She was whisked away to the set of Hollyoaks in Liverpool, where she learned she was going to have a speaking part alongside some of her favourite characters.

Kirsty, whose appearance will be broadcast on Febuary 20, told Messenger: “Ricky just walked into college and said he was looking for me.

“He drove me over to the set in Liverpool and showed me around, introducing me to some of the other actors. It was such an amazing experience.”

Kirsty was well placed to pull off the part, as she is part way through a performing arts course at the college.