Young people from across the Force area to Police Headquarters in Carmarthen have been appointed as new members of the Dyfed-Powys Youth Ambassador scheme, to ensure that young people’s voices are heard.

On Wednesday, January 31, Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn welcomed a total of nine young people (five new members and four current members) as members of the Youth Ambassador programme, ranging in age from 15 to 24 years old.

They were invited to the Police Headquarters for an induction and training session to support and prepare them in representing young people from Powys, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.

The training was provided in partnership with experienced Youth Work and Social .Education lecturers from University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education and Humanities.

Mr Llywelyn first established a Youth Forum in 2018 with youth ambassadors and has continued to build on the work to date, so that Dyfed-Powys has a Forum of Youth Ambassadors who are ready to ‘influence’ and ‘challenge decision-making’, to ensure that the communities of Dyfed-Powys have a Police Force that successfully safeguard children and young people and promote their wellbeing.

In July 2023, the previous group of youth ambassadors held a youth conference in Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli to present findings from a youth consultation they had been working with Mr Llywelyn over the academic year.

The Y Sgwrs consultation (a Welsh title meaning ‘The Conversation’) asked young people living in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Powys and Pembrokeshire for their views and experiences of mental health support for young victims of crime, substance mis-use and youth offending.

The consultation asked teenagers and young adults to explain what works, what doesn’t and how things might be improved.

They presented their findings in a report, which was shared with organisations and individuals who work with young people at their Youth Conference

Following the Conference, Mr PCC Llywelyn’s Office have been recruiting additional members to the youth ambassador scheme, who all came along to the induction held in January 2024 at Police Headquarters.

Mr Llywelyn said: “I have always had a passion for building a strong relationship with young people and want to better understand what leads some young people to crime and disorder and how they can be helped to make positive choices in life.

“I want to ensure that each and every young person has a voice in the future of policing in Dyfed-Powys. I want to know what they feel our priorities should be? What impact does crime have on them and their community? What do we need to change?

“It was fantastic to welcome the Ambassadors to Police Headquarters for their induction session, and to have to discuss various issues with them.

“They will now, be representing the voices of young people from all backgrounds, and will support me with my scrutiny work by challenging decisions, provide recommendations, and influence change for the benefit of young people in our area.”

Bradley Cole who is a Youth Ambassador from Pembrokeshire said: “We all had an amazing time at the induction event.

“It gave us an opportunity to get to know each other, and develop the skills to help us feedback to the Commissioner and his staff, which I'm really happy to be able to do for a second year.”

Angharad Lewis, Programme Director for BA & MA Youth Work and Social Education of University Wales Trinity Saint David's Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education and Humanities: Centre for Childhood, Youth and Education said: “It was a privilege to be a part of the Police and Crime Commissioner's Youth Forum Induction Event, and to spend time with the new Youth Ambassadors.

“They displayed great enthusiasm, participation and engagement, and will be excellent ambassadors and advocates for other young people across the Dyfed Powys Police Force area.

“They will be an asset to the Police and Crime Commissioner, and we wish them well.”