A CARMARTHENSHIRE teenager has been chosen as a youth ambassador for the Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE).

17-year-old Tarian Mair Lewis Jones is one of 35 DofE Award holders between the ages of 16 and 24 who will act as a youth ambassador for the charity.

Tarian is currently doing her silver DofE award and wants to show that young people are having a positive impact on their communities.

Tarian signed up for DofE in school when Neil Maliphant – her school’s DofE manager – promoted it and has been supporting her since.

Tarian said: “I have gained so much from my experiences with the DofE and have learned many life-skills. For my silver award volunteering section, I am coaching an under-11 girls football team.

“This is a chance for me to be a role model to these young players and show that girls can succeed in football and coach. I’ve realised that volunteering is so much more than just giving your time and that it’s very rewarding personally.”

The youth ambassadors will advocate for young people, sharing expertise on key issues that impact them. They will make young people’s voices heard by speaking at events, meeting decision-makers in Parliament and beyond, and feeding into decisions that shape the direction of the DofE charity’s work.

Tarian wants to encourage young people to get involved with DofE. She said: “I want to be a voice for my peers. The Welsh language is very important to me as it’s my first language and I’m proud to represent Wales as a youth ambassador.

“I also represent the LGBTQIA+ community in school and I believe that the DofE is for everyone, and that young people can be themselves when doing their award.

“I think that young people are sometimes criticised and there are a lot of stereotypes. But the DofE awards show that we are kind and motivated.

Ashley Williams, DofE’s UK youth engagement manager, said: “Tarian is one of many young people who have achieved incredible things through their DofE. As a charity, we’re determined to put young people at the heart of everything we do and to connect them with opportunities to make a positive impact on the issues they care about – and we can’t wait to see what our new cohort of youth ambassadors achieve this year.

“As they navigate the ongoing after-effects of the pandemic and a severe cost-of-living crisis, it’s more vital than ever that all young people get access to opportunities like the DofE, which let them have fun, grow their resilience and self-belief, and develop vital skills they can’t always get in the classroom.”

The youth ambassador programme is funding by The Gosling Foundation.