AN ALLOA church member has been appointed as the moderator of the Church of Scotland's National Youth Assembly.

Dana McQuater, 23, will be taking on the role this weekend, and will remain in post until next August.

The NYA is a platform for young adults aged between 17 and 25 to voice their opinions and actively participate in decision-making within the Church of Scotland.

It has been held annually for the last 25 years, but this year will be the last in its current format as new framework is put in place for future years.

With young people coming from across Scotland and beyond, it is a chance for those of different backgrounds to get together to worship, learn, discuss and debate on the issues that matter to them.

It was announced earlier this year that the incoming NYA moderator is Dana, an Alloa Kirk member who has raised thousands of pounds for charity.

Dana, who recently raised more than £2,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support by shaving her head, described her appointment as NYA Moderator as "a shock".

The role of moderator involves chairing the discussions that take place at the NYA, collating a record of the event, producing a report for the General Assembly, representing the Kirk at events, and ensuring the voice of young people is heard throughout the church.

Dana is looking forward to a "challenging" year, beginning with leading this year's discussions.

She said: "I am super excited to be going to the NYA – and to be going as moderator, it's become a totally different adventure already.

"Our topics this year are hate speech, missional buildings, and testimony and confirmation.

"I think the ones that intrigue me most are missional buildings and testimony and confirmation, so I'm especially looking forward to being involved and hearing all the opinions on these topics.

"Leading people through the last NYA will be a particular challenge so I'm very nervous. As it's the last one, I pray that it's a good one.

"Personally, it is with sadness that it's to be the last, but we must pray for what's next as young people of the Church of Scotland, and ensure that a way forward for us all is found and we continue to worship and praise god."