The charitable side of ... Jade Goody

Indira Das-Gupta

The former Big Brother contestant had a difficult childhood - which explains which charities she supports.

Despite not actually winning Big Brother 3 in 2002, Jade Goody is still the most famous reality TV star ever to emerge from the house - and a millionairess to boot.

Not bad for someone who famously thought East Anglia sounded like it was "near India" and that horseradish came from horses.

But life wasn't always so rosy. In Jade: My Autobiography, now being serialised by the News of the World, she reveals she smoked her first joint at the age of five and was forced to do all the housework from the same age, after her mum Jackie lost the use of her left arm in a motorbike accident. It was her experience as a carer that prompted Barnardo's to approach Goody with a request to support the charity's work.

A spokeswoman for Barnardo's said: "A couple of years ago, she launched our 'Big Toddle', which is our biggest annual fundraising event, and really threw herself into it. We contacted her because her childhood matches a lot of the issues we deal with and she's someone our service-users can relate to."

The Red Pages celebrity guide also lists the Caudwell Charity Trust as one of Goody's charitable interests. She attended a fundraising ball last year, where she reportedly pledged £16,000 to pay for dying children to go on holiday, as well as £6,000 for football tickets.

A Sunday tabloid claimed Goody then failed to cough up the cash for several months, ignoring numerous phone calls and letters from the charity. But a spokesman for Caudwell said: "The situation is being resolved and is near to a conclusion. This is an issue for all charities that organise similar events then find it's a hard slog to extract the money from people afterwards."

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