Joey Essex has become a child bereavement charity’s first celebrity ambassador.

The TV star, 24, whose mother committed suicide when he was 10, was announced as an ambassador for Child Bereavement UK on Tuesday.

The charity supports families when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.

Mr Essex, a former West Hatch High school student, said: "It was really hard when my mum died, so I'm very happy to help Child Bereavement UK, so they can support other kids who are going through what I went through.

“I never found it easy to talk about it when my mum died.  I was only a kid – it’s a unique experience and people don’t really understand what it’s like at such a young age.

“It’s a huge honour for me to be able to help raise awareness of Child Bereavement UK and the great work it does.

"I want other people to find the support I didn’t get - it's a charity that’s really close to my heart.” 

Ann Chalmers, chief executive of Child Bereavement UK, said: “The young people we support have told us that it means a lot to them to have someone like Joey speak openly about what it has been like for him after the death of his mum.

“I’m delighted Joey has agreed to become an ambassador – he has a natural ability to relate to people and will make a brilliant spokesperson for bereaved young people.”