Montgomeryshire’s first ever Youth Parliament Member has been revealed.

Abbey Carter, 17, 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 Newtown teenager says she’s honoured to be elected to represent Montgomeryshire for the next two years.

She said: “It’s really great, but I never thought I’d get in! It’s a real honour to be the first member for Montgomeryshire. My Dad says it’s historic!”

She will join Grace Barton, from Tregynon, who will be representing the Carers Trust as a Partner Elected Member.

Abbey and Grace along with 58 other members aged 11 to 18 years old from across Wales were named as the first Welsh Youth Parliament members at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.

The former Newtown High School pupil and Powys Youth Forum member – whose key issues are mental health, education and the Welsh language – says she was inspired by Thomas White, Powys’ Member of Youth Parliament in the House of Commons, whose role sounded “amazing”.

Abbey said: “I want to represent the rural parts of Wales and as a Syrian refugee advocate, I’d like to give the less heard voices a bigger platform.

“I want to bring new ideas about mental health help for young people, making education a more equal platform for all and boosting the Welsh language across Wales, especially as I’m a Welsh speaker living in an area very close to the border where the language is struggling.”

Abbey says she hopes to visit secondary and primary schools to meet her constituents and explain her Youth Parliament role and how it can help young people in Wales.

“My time in the forum has given me great experience which I’d love to bring to the Welsh Youth Parliament. My work with the Youth Forum and my time spent volunteering to teach the Syrian refugees in my past high school to give them more confidence in maths and English allowed me to receive the Newtown High School Community Shield this year.”

When she’s not studying politics, French and history at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, Abbey is a bit of a bookworm and loves to bake.

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. The Welsh Youth Parliament 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 and 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.”

Assembly Member Russell George has congratulated Abbey as the successful candidate who will represent Montgomeryshire in the inaugural Youth Parliament for Wales.

He said: “I would like to congratulate Abbey and Grace on their election and well done to all of those young people who put themselves forward for election.

“I hope that the Youth Parliament will serve to increase youth participation in devolved politics and encourage a higher voter turnout.”

Mr George added: “Through Abbey, Grace and other Youth Parliament Members, Montgomeryshire’s children and young people are given the opportunity to have their say on issues that matter to them, and to ensure that politicians and other decision makers listen to their voices.

“I look forward to working with Abbey on her priorities including mental health, education and the Welsh language and Grace’s priorities which include discrimination, championing young carers’ voices and raising awareness of young carers’ rights.

“Early engagement is critical to embedding the importance of the democratic process to tomorrow’s electorate.

“Establishing a well-resourced youth parliament is a crucial step in ensuring future youth participation in Welsh politics and I hope it goes from strength to strength.”