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.
Mermaids has won a number of awards over the last few years, as we have grown our services to address the rising numbers of families and young people contacting us for support.We could not have done this without the dedication of our volunteers, trustees and staff.
- Sparkle Charity of the Year 2016
- Sparkle Diversity Champion of the Year 2016 for Mermaids CEO, Susie Green
- National Diversity Awards Charity of the Year 2016
- Pink News Awards Charity of the Year 2016
- Children and Young People Award Charity of the Year 2016
- European Diversity Awards Charity of the Year 2016
- Equality in Diversity Awards Diversity Champion Award in the Charity sector 2017 for Mermaids CEO, Susie Green
- Winner of the British LGBT Awards 2018 for Ourstanding Contribution to LGBT+ Life for Mermaids CEO, Susie Green
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 transgender and/or gender diverse, and their families, and professionals involved in their care.
It is difficult to know how many people are affected, but a number of surveys taken over the last few years point to between 1 and 3% of the population, with a growing number of people identifying as nonbinary.
Transgender and gender variant children and young people need support and understanding, and freedom to explore their gender identity whatever the outcome. Mermaids is committed to helping them and their families to navigate the challenges that they may face, and to provide a sense of community.
Mermaids has produced guidance to help people respond to the Government’s Gender Recognition Act 2004 Consultation for England and Wales that went live on 3rd July 2018. You can download the guidance here.
The Consultation asks the public to give their opinion on what the procedure should look like for someone applying for legal gender recognition in future.
The Guidance does not tell you exactly what to say; we believe that YOUR story, thoughts and experiences are the most powerful and we want you to complete the consultation in your words.
However, we do understand that consultations can be new to many people and we therefore thought that it would be helpful for us to pull out the priority questions that relate to transgender and non-binary children and young people, so you can be sure to respond to them all, should you wish.
The Guidance flags key questions to respond to, but also guides you as to what else you can do to show your support. We ask that you do as much as you can and give this guidance to someone else who can do the same thing!
The more people we have responding in support of transgender and non-binary children and young people the better.
We work to:
- Reduce isolation and loneliness for gender variant and transgender children, young people and their families.
- 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 gender variant and transgender children, young people.
- Improve awareness, understanding and practices of GP’s, CAMHS, Social Services and other professionals.
☎ HELPLINE: 0808 801 0400 (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.