Emmerdale actress and West End star Verity Rushworth is backing the latest venture of a Horsforth child fundraiser by becoming a patron of her charity.

Verity, who plays Donna Windsor-Dingle in the soap, joins Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis – known to millions as Neville Longbottom – as patron for Bethany’s Smile.

Verity, who lives in Rawdon, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been asked to be a patron for Bethany's Smile.

“I had the pleasure of working with Bethany during a production of Annie at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

“Bethany is a fantastic example to young adults and I’m honoured to be joining the team for this extremely important cause, working towards raising funds for the treatment and care of poorly children."

Fourteen-year-old fundraiser Bethany has already raised more than £50,000 for children with life-threatening illnesses after gaining support from around the world by starring in a charity video dressed as Charlie Chaplin and singing Smile.

Her latest project – May’ke A Million In May – aims to help fund the building of Smile Cottage, a holiday home in Yorkshire for sick children and their families.

Bethany is calling on the people of Yorkshire to come up with ideas for fundraising initiatives that can be held throughout May at work, home or school. One of the events is May’ke – the Voice of Yorkshire, where the county’s hidden vocal talent will have a chance to shine.

A panel of experts will select the best ten entrants who will compete in front of celebrity judges in Millennium Square on May 31.

Fundraisers are also being invited to cycle the equivalent of both Yorkshire stages of the Tour de France – a total of 242 miles – with participants peddling three miles each on exercise bikes.

The fundraising will culminate in a free event being billed as a spectacular in Millennium Square, Leeds, on May 31.

The Celebration of Yorkshire event will see the whole of the county invited to enjoy bands, choirs, dancing, stilt walking, fire eating, Yorkshire tapas and entertainment galore.

Visit bethanysmile.org or e-mail bethanysmile@virginmedia.com for more about the charity.