Brecon and Radnorshire’s first ever Youth Parliament Member has been revealed.

Arianwen Fox-James, 13, was announced as the area’s representative to voice matters that affect young people’s lives at the National Assembly for Wales following a three week campaign.

The teenager from Llangunllo, near Knighton, says she’s “really excited and nervous” but honoured to be elected to represent mid and south Powys for the next two years.

Arianwen and 59 other members, aged 11 to 18, from across Wales were named as the first Welsh Youth Parliament members at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on December 5.

The Newtown High School, John Beddoes Campus pupil, whose key issues are transgender rights, disability discrimination and rural access to facilities, says she realised at secondary school that she has a “passion” for people’s rights.

“I’m trying to make a difference to people’s lives. I relate to the difficulties facing young people growing up in our rural community, whether you’re attending school clubs or wanting to hang out with friends. I want to work towards getting better transit links for young people because the buses are awful and usually late. For some it can take an hour to get to the nearest supermarket,” she said.

Arianwen says she’s hoping to achieve better LGBT rights in schools and says discrimination is a growing matter that her family and friends have struggled with.

She’s hoping to host a fortnightly community session and use social media to talk about important issues which matter to her constituents to help “build a stronger community”.

“I would like to give a voice to young people and all the individual difficulties we face in our daily lives whether that’s health, physical, learning disability or just the struggle of finding a balance between social/home life and school.”

“I hope everyone is willing to contribute in the coming weeks and months. Thanks to John Beddoes Campus, they’ve been so supportive throughout the campaigning by encouraging people to register to vote.”

Outside of politics, Arianwen enjoys writing her own songs and plays the guitar, and does a lot with school concerts.

The National Assembly is currently holding a poll giving young people the chance to say what issues they think the first Welsh Youth Parliament should be looking at. It will meet for the first time in February next year.

Newtown High School headteacher Robert Edwards said: “As a school, we were delighted to hear that one of our former students, Abbey Carter and current Year 9 student Arianwen Fox-James have been elected to the brand new Welsh Youth Parliament to represent the constituencies of Montgomeryshire and Brecon & Radnorshire in which both campuses of Newtown High School are located. Both girls are hard-working individuals, confident speakers and fantastic advocates for their local communities who I know will work hard in their new positions to give a voice to children and young people in this new national institution.”

Brecon and Radnorshire AM Kirsty Williams said: “Congratulations to the 60 that will take their seats in the first ever Youth Parliament. And of course special congratulations to Arianwen Fox-James who will be the Youth Parliament representative for the constituency for Brecon and Radnorshire.

“So remember if you’re a young person living in Brecon and Radnorshire or indeed anywhere in Wales please ensure that you get your voices heard by communicating with the members of the Youth Parliament so they can take up the causes that are important to you and your community.”