Ammanford special chief officer Cairn Newton-Evans was among the winners at last night's St David Awards ceremony in Cardiff.

The LGBT activist picked up the Citizenship award during the ceremony which recognises the achievements of people in Wales from all walks of life.

When Cairn was 17 years old he was the victim of a homophobic hate crime. He was brutally attacked which resulted in him needing surgery. Rather than focus on the negative side of things, Cairn decided to join the Police Service so that he could stop this kind of attack happening to others.

He said: "At the time I felt let down by the criminal justice system and was scared to leave the house. It really started to affect my mental health and wellbeing.

"I decided to turn that negative experience in to a positive one."

When he turned 18, he joined the Special Constabulary as a volunteer and unpaid special constable with the same powers and uniform as a regular police constable. He has also served as a special constable, special sergeant, and special inspector and more recently he was promoted to special chief officer for Dyfed-Powys Police, the highest rank possible within the Special Constabulary and, at the age of 25, is the youngest chief officer in the UK.

He is responsible for a large team of special constables and leads on the use of volunteers or citizens in policing across Dyfed-Powys as well as taking part in various police operations and initiatives.

Cairn is a passionate advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. He’s a trained hate crime support officer and the deputy lead of the Dyfed Powys Police LGBT Staff Network and has also established an LGBT social and support project in Carmarthenshire to support and counsel people.

Following his nomination Cairn said: "I am very lucky to serve my community on a daily basis and turning a negative experience into a positive one to help others is something that I am very proud about, and is something I wouldn’t be able to do without the continued support of my family, friends and colleagues."