A reality television star from Accrington, who was born without part of her left arm, grew up thinking she was the only one with limb difference.

Jay Howard, who appeared on dating show Married at First Sight last year, has been named the ambassador for Reach, a charity that provides support for children with upper limb differences.

The former Rhyddings High School in Oswaldtwistle pupil said she was introduced to the charity as a child.

It was through the charity that she met other children with limb differences and realised that she wasn’t alone.

She said: “I was introduced to Reach as a child when my mum first discovered the charity –  it was thanks to the charity that I met other children like me with upper limb differences like me.

“Before [being introduced to] Reach, I didn’t know that other people like me existed in the world and I thought that I was the only one.

“This is a real full circle moment for me to have accessed the charity as a child to now becoming an ambassador for them.

“I’m a passionate disability advocate and cannot wait to start supporting Reach and their users while raising a ton of awareness along the way.”  

Jay’s appearance on Married at First Sight brought visibility and representation of upper limb differences to the mainstream.

She says she has received many “amazing opportunities” as a result of the show.

She was recently featured on the front page of Enable, a disability lifestyle magazine.

Lancashire Telegraph: Jay Howard appeared on Married At First Sight Jay Howard appeared on Married At First Sight (Image: E4)

She said: “I’ve got so many amazing projects and opportunities coming up off the back of my journey on Married at First Sight and I’ll be proudly flying the flag for team Reach and for the entire limb-different and disabled community along the way.

“As a passionate disability advocate and proud limb difference girlie, I am so unbelievably honoured to be Enable’s cover star for the next two months, raising disability awareness for the entire limb difference community while also opening up on my journey on Married At First Sight, and exciting future plans… I say it all the time but seriously, how is this my life?”

A spokesperson for Reach said: “We are thrilled to be announcing Jay as a Reach ambassador and looking forward to working together to increase awareness, representation and support for the upper limb difference community and our Reach members.”