A CHARITY ambassador who lost his father to suicide when he was just a child has started a petition to help other children who have lost loved ones.

Ken Hermes, 28, has launched a petition calling for a Government-funded scheme or awareness programme for children bereaved by parental suicide, following his own tragic experience.

Ken, of Halstead, was just 15 when his father Kenneth killed himself in 2006.

He said he struggled to find the support he needed and has now recorded a video urging people to sign the petition to help children going through similar tragedies.

Ken said: “I think that my time would have been easier if I had understood the emotions I was going through and had been given some information about mental health and suicide.

“It would have been easier to transition into adulthood and understand that I didn’t need to blame others for my loss.

“There may be charities out there and there may be organisations out there, but if there are my question is why was my school not aware when I lost my dad to suicide?

“Why were they not aware of these organisations and why was I not given the support and guidance that I needed?”

Ken said that growing up he was offered support from a job-seekers service which was funded by the Government, but he can not understand why there isn’t a service that specialises in bereavement by suicide.

He said: “If there is a service my petition still stands because I think the awareness needs to be there for schools because they are unprepared and they get the blame for a lot of this.

“Either way, if you can sign the petition and we can get this to Parliament I am happy to be the poster boy for this as it’s a cause so close to my heart.

“There are all these petitions like ‘I didn’t win the lottery I want a redraw’ or ‘England didn’t beat Croatia, I want a rematch’.

“I thought wouldn’t it be really good if we did a petition for something useful and something close to our hearts.”

Ken is also an ambassador for the Lions Barber Collective, a charity which helps raise awareness of male suicide, and recently met Prince William to talk about the importance of the cause.

He said: “The work we do with the Lions helps men like my dad, but I really want to help children like I was.”

Ken is urging people to sign the petition, saying it would “mean the absolute world” to him.

The petition runs until October 2. If it reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will respond to the petition and if it reaches 100,000, the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.

To sign, visit petition.parliament.uk/petitions/251098.