Samantha Morton dedicated her BAFTA Fellowship award to "every child in care, or who has been in care and who didn't survive."

The 46-year-old actress - who spent her childhood in foster care and residential homes - collected her award from producer David Heyman, who she worked with on 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them' at Sunday's EE BAFTAs ceremony.

In an emotional speech, she said: "This is nothing short of a miracle. When I first saw Ken Loach's 'Kes' on a huge telly that was wheeled into my classroom I was forever changed.

"Seeing poverty and people like me on the screen, I recognised myself - representation matters."

"[I would tell my younger self] You matter, don't give up, the stories we tell, they have the power to change people's lives.

"Film changed my life, it transformed me and it led me here today. I dedicate this award to every child in care, or who has been in care and who didn't survive."

Samantha received tributes from her 'Minority Report' co-star Tom Cruise, along with collaborators Susan Lynch, Molly Windsor and Daniel Mays.

Samantha received the award in recognition of her contribution to British cinema over the course of her career.

Anna Higgs, Chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, previously said: "Samantha Morton is a mesmerising storyteller with incredible range. She has made an extraordinary impact on the British film industry – consistently shining a light on complex characters and championing underrepresented stories.

"On-and-off screen, she always works to break down societal barriers and change the make-up of the screen industries for the better - often against great odds.

"Samantha is hugely respected by her peers in Britain and Hollywood alike for her versatility, talent and passion for the craft of acting, and we are delighted to be honouring her exceptional body of work at the EE BAFTA Film Awards next week."

Samantha follows in the footsteps of previous honourees to have received BAFTA's highest award including Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, Dame Judi Dench, Martin Scorsese and Dame Helen Mirren.