Who are Mermaids?
Mermaids is one of the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charities, with their work focusing on offering essential support to trans, non-binary, and gender diverse young people. Not only do mermaids offer support for young people exploring their gender identity, but they also offer support and education to the families of the people they help.
How did they get started?
Mermaids began as a group of parents of gender nonconforming children back in 1995, originally acting as a small helpline aiming to ensure the safety and happiness of their children. Since then, they have grown into one of the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charities, supporting gender-diverse individuals and their families.
What current issues are trans and gender-diverse young people facing?
As well as a prevalent anti-trans rhetoric in today’s media, young trans people face the challenges of finding the right healthcare and mental health services. Mermaids help to tackle this issue by providing a range of helpline services supporting trans youth and their families up to the age of 25, including emotional support and information about current legislation and protections under the law.
What impact does Mermaids work have on gender-diverse young people?
Mermaids helpline service— which consists of calls, web chat, and emails— has seen a yearly increase in demand for support. In December 2020 Mermaids moved their members to their own platform where they are now able to host their forum, offering enhanced confidentiality and security.
Mermaids also have an amazing research and policy team who work closely with organisations and universities to collate and review existing data, conducting and commissioning peer-reviewed research for Mermaids and the wider sector. This research aims to improves the lives of gender-diverse young people and their families.
How can people get involved?
If you’d like to offer Mermaids your support, there’s many ways to get involved. As well as accepting donations, Mermaids have some great fundraising opportunities you can take part in. You can also volunteer to help out with local groups, events, or supporting their helpline service. They also provide lots of engaging content on their socials and in their newsletter where they provide more information on how to get involved with their amazing work.
Mermaids also offer an amazing training program for professionals and companies which helps to create and inspire a LGBTQ+ inclusive ethos. They’ve previously worked with professionals in a range of sectors such as schools, social services, uniformed services, and corporate sectors.