ITV newsreader Mary Nightingale has become the patron of a charity which supports families with poorly youngsters.

Leatherhead-based Rainbow Trust, which provides emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness, has appointed the news presenter as a celebrity patron.

The married mum-of-two has long supported the charity and said: "I’ve long admired the support that Rainbow Trust gives to terminally ill children and their families and had no hesitation when I was asked to join as patron.

"I have children of my own and can’t imagine how hard it must be when your child is diagnosed with a life threatening illness."

Nightingale’s first role as patron will be hosting Rainbow Trust’s annual fundraiser, Trust in Fashion, which will be held at London’s Savoy Hotel on March 10, 2014.