A south Essex wildlife shelter have announced former One Direction superstar Zayn Malik as their newest ambassador.

Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, in Brentwood, announced the news on Facebook, stating that Zayn is “a passionate advocate for animal welfare” with the cause being “incredibly close to his heart.”

Zayn Malik, 30, rose to fame through his career with One Direction, which began in 2010 when he joined the boy band in season seven of the X Factor.

Zayn said: “Hopefield Animal Sanctuary provides a safe place for abandoned and mistreated animals.

“They educate the local & afar communities on animal welfare, and I’m honoured to be partnering with them to spread their message and save animals in need,” Zayn said.

Leona Lewis, who won the X Factor in 2006, is also a trustee of Hopefield Animal Sanctuary.

Hopefield Animal Sanctuary added in the statement that the shelter “provides a safe place for abandoned and mistreated animals.”

The sanctuary currently cares for over 500 sick, unwanted, and mistreated animals, with their mission being to help animals in need and provide education and awareness.