YOUTH Ambassadors have been appointed by Merseyside's Crime Commissioner to provide a powerful voice on policing and community safety across the region.

Jane Kennedy launched a search for a group of enthusiastic, skilled young people to join her team as Youth Ambassadors in July.

After reviewing nearly 40 applications and following two selection days, the Commissioner has today unveiled the 10 successful applications - including two from Wirral - who will become her Youth Ambassadors for the next 12 months.

The successful applicants are aged between 16 and 22, represent each local authority of Merseyside and are currently studying or employed in a range of roles, including working as a vulnerable person's advocate for Merseyside Fire Service and a young advisor for St Helens Council.

The youth ambassadors will volunteer their time to support, challenge and inform the work of the Police Commissioner, her office and the wider criminal justice system. The group will meet bi-monthly with Jane and her team and will assist in the creation and delivery of a new Youth Engagement Plan, which they will help to share with other young people by visiting schools, youth clubs and community groups across Merseyside.

They will also be expected to attend youth engagement events, inform campaigns aimed at young people, act as influencers on key issues and review the criminal justice services offered to their peers to see how they can be improved.

Jane Kennedy said: "I'm delighted to unveil my new Youth Ambassadors, who will act as my advisors on youth issues in Merseyside.

"I was bowled over by the quality of the applications we received and the 10 successful applications have all proved themselves be passionate, motivated and determined young individuals who will provide a powerful voice for young people on Merseyside.

"We are privileged to have such an inspiring group of young people working with our office, influencing decision-making on policing and community safety issues at a senior level and ensuring we consider the views of young people as we work to address the key issues which affect them.

"The previous Youth Advisory Group did a great job, sharing their views and feedback with me openly and honestly and providing an effective forum for sharing opinions, but I took the decision to recruit a smaller group of Ambassadors so that the young people involved could take on a more hands on, active role.

"I have no doubt these young people will be real ambassadors for their peers and be a voice for change."

In exchange for their time on the scheme, the Youth Ambassadors will receive a range of training and development opportunities.

The new Youth Ambassador for Wirral are 19-year-old Mike Taylor and 20-year-old Poppy Cain.

Mike said: "The reason I wanted to join and be a part of the youth ambassador scheme is due to my ambitions to join the police after university next year, me joining the police is for me to make a difference in the community I live in and being a part of this programme will give me that opportunity.”

Poppy added: "I would like to become a Youth Ambassador as I like to make a difference and make sure whatever is happening has the best outcome it can. I think living in Wirral on one of the deprived areas I have seen a lot of anti-social behaviour and crime, I feel that there is always a reason behind what happens."

The new Youth Ambassadors have replaced the Commissioner’s Youth Advisory Group which ran since 2013.

The role will last for 12 months and was open to those aged between 16 and 24, who live, work or study in Merseyside.