THREE teenagers took over the running of a programme supporting young people in abusive relationships in the West Mercia area last week.

Melissa Craig, aged 16, along with Sophie Box and Jess Haverly, both 17, spent the day in charge of the CRUSH programme, run by West Mercia Women’s Aid, as part of the children’s commissioner’s Take Over Day on Friday, November 22.

As part of the day, the Herefordshire trio visited Worcester Sixth Form College, where they trained tutors in issues surrounding domestic abuse and how it can affect young people.

They also conducted research, interacted with other agencies and developed new marketing ideas. CRUSH co-ordinator Jemma Price said all three greatly enjoyed the experience.

“It was thoroughly well received and the tutors loved having young people conduct aspects of the training,” she said. “All three girls said they would love to come back and do it again.

“They have even been thinking about doing a fund-raiser and helping us promote our service to more children and young people.”

The CRUSH Project helps teenagers aged 13 to 19 avoid, or end, abusive relationships and deal with domestic violence and is funded by Children in Need as well as the Big Lottery’s Young People’s Fund. West Mercia Women’s Aid chief executive, Jan Frances, said she was firmly in favour of the takeover day initiative, which gives young people across the country the chance to get involved in the world of work.

“Children benefit from the opportunity to experience the world of work and make their voices heard, while adults and organisations gain a fresh perspective on what they do,” she said.

“Such events help break down the barriers between generations and encourage children’s active involvement in their communities.

“We thoroughly embrace the initiative and hope it will have a positive impact on those taking part.”

The event took part in the build-up to the 16 Days of Action, which is working to stamp out domestic violence, supported by your Worcester News.