A NIECE has started a charity to help people who have lost loved ones through suicide in memory of her beloved aunt.

Rebekah Banks, 19, from Chelmsford, has set up For Emma Jane after suffering the effects of losing her aunt, Emma Jane Parker, when she killed herself on August 31, 2011.

The charity aims to act as a support network to relatives of people who have committed suicide and also wants to raise funds to build a support centre and to speak about the subject openly.

Miss Banks, a university student, set up the group after she struggled to receive support following her aunt’s death.

She said: “I wanted to make a difference and if that meant preventing one family from feeling the pain we do on a daily basis at the absence of Emma then it was worth it.

“I didnt want to create a charity that claimed to have all the answers or stop suicide full stop but for somewhere for families who had been bereft through suicide to come and share their grief.

“It’s still such a taboo subject and in my opinion it needs to be addressed. It’s an illness that takes over not only the individual suffering but the families and friends too.

“Another reason for creating the charity was the need I felt to help those who still had a chance to make a turn around in their life. “I may have lost my dear auntie but I could try and prevent this pain and grief echoing once again.”

Celebrities have already thrown their support behind the cause including singer Beverley Knight, TV presenter Denise Welch, Sugar Hut boss and TOWIE star Mick Norcross and actress Nadia Sawalha.

Plans for fundraising events such as sky dives, quiz nights and being represented by marathon runners are also in the pipeline.

For more details about the charity, visit www.foremmajane.webeden.co.uk