Entertainment & Arts

Cheryl to be new face of Childline

Cheryl Image copyright NSPCC
Image caption The announcement of Cheryl as a Childline campaigner comes days after the service celebrated its 30th birthday

Pop star Cheryl has been announced as the new face of the charity Childline.

The ex-Girls Aloud singer will front a campaign film which sees her voice replaced by young people talking about their problems.

It includes a boy too frightened to tell his dad he is gay and a teenage girl who talks about being sexually abused at home.

The charity hopes the former X Factor judge will help bring its work to "a whole new audience".

Founded by Dame Esther Rantzen in 1986, the organisation marked its 30th anniversary earlier this week.

Cheryl said: "As a teenager I was aware of Childline, but like so many others I mistakenly thought it was just for young kids.

"The reality is that it doesn't matter whether you are at primary, secondary school or college, or how big or small your problem is, Childline is there for you."

'New dangers'

Born Cheryl Tweedy, the star has also been known by her married names Cheryl Cole and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

Dame Esther said: "We are really excited at the awareness that Cheryl will bring to the service, and in particular how she will enable us reach out to even more desperately unhappy young people with nowhere else to turn.

"She fully understands the new dangers young people face today such as sexting and cyber-bullying.

"The reality is that whatever the age or the problem Childline is a free, confidential helpline for any young person - a message that Cheryl will help us take to a whole new audience now that she has joined the team."

New Childline figures show a 22% increase over the last three years in the number of counselling sessions provided for girls aged 12-18 suffering from mental health and wellbeing issues.

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