Mermaids is passionate about supporting children, young people, and their families to achieve a happier life in the face of great adversity. We work to raise awareness about gender nonconformity in children and young people amongst professionals and the general public. We campaign for the recognition of gender dysphoria in young people and lobby for improvements in professional services.
We were awarded the Community Group of the Year Award at the 2016 National Diversity Awards in September, we won the PinkNews Community Organisation of the Year in October 2016, were awarded the Charity of the Year in the Children and Young Peoples Awards in November and the Charity of the Year at the European Diversity Awards. Mermaids also came third in the Helpline of the Year Awards with Helplines Partnership. This is a huge boost for us and recognition of the work we do, and the extraordinary work of our volunteers.
In The Beginning
Formed in 1995 by a group of parents brought together by their children’s longstanding gender incongruence, Mermaids has evolved and grown to meet demand and offer appropriate resources to young people, their families and carers, and professionals working with gender variant young people. Formed primarily as a support group, our focus has widened dramatically over the last few years.
Mermaids supports children and young people up to 20 years old who are gender diverse, and their families, and professionals involved in their care.
It is difficult to know how many people are affected, but the Equality and Human Rights Commission undertook a survey in 2012 of 10,000 people, which indicated that around 1% were dealing with gender variance to some degree.
If you would like to view a video made by a Mermaids teen and his Mum, you can view it here:
The video was created by Andy Linfield, an ally and friend.
We work to:
- Reduce isolation and loneliness for parents and young people dealing with gender issues.
- Empower families and young people with the tools they need to negotiate the education and health services.
- Reduce suicidality and self-harm in the young people who contact Mermaids, equip their parents to support their children to the same end.
- Improve self-esteem and social functioning in young people suffering with gender issues.
- Improve awareness, understanding and practices of GP’s, CAMHS, Social Services and other professionals.
☎ HELPLINE: 0344 334 0550 (Monday - Friday; 9am - 9pm)More Contact Details
Mermaids provide resources for the following...
- Young people
- Local authorities
- Police forces
- Social services
- NHS who signpost families to us
- Plus many more...
We have a helpline, an email support service, a parents forum and a separate teens forum, plus we organise multiple residential weekends per annum, and have several support groups. We can also give you information and links to other local organisations.