Mermaids

Each month we shine the spotlight on one of our Members so that you can find out a little more about them and the amazing people behind the logos! This month we chat to Susie from Mermaids. 

Group Stats:

  • Structure: Charitable Incorporated Organisation 
  • Est: 1995
  • Mission: Supporting children, young people, and their families to achieve a happier life in the face of great adversity. Working to raise awareness about gender issues amongst professionals and the general public. Campaigning for the recognition of gender dysphoria in young people and lobbying for improvements in professional services.

Mermaids was formed in 1995, and made into a charity in 1998. It was started when a group of parents attending the Tavistock clinic in London with their children due to their children’s issues with their gender and has gone from strength to strength ever since! This month we put Susie Green, Mermaids CEO under the spotlight. 

LGBTC - How did you get involved with Mermaids?

I called the helpline 16 years ago when my daughter was 6 years old, after she asked me when she could have an operation to make her into a girl. Up until that point I had tried to persuade her that being a boy who likes girl things was fine, but that conversation finally made me listen to her properly.

LGBTC - What is your motivation?

Prejudice and stigma attached to gender issues in children and young people is rife, despite recent progress made. The young people and families that come to us desperately need help to navigate education, the NHS, and the day to day difficulties that come with being trans or parenting a trans child. Demand has risen 240% over the last 12 months and that rise is continuing.

"The work we do saves lives"

LGBTC - What do you think will be the biggest challenge for Mermaids in 2016?

Sustainability and growing to meet demand. Mermaids has trained more volunteers to deal with demand but we need to do more. More meet ups and face to face opportunities, better ways for teens to reach out, and more campaigning to change public perception and improve services.

LGBTC - Do you have a recent success story that you would like to share with other Members?

We just received notification that we have been approved for a grant from Children in Need to provide 2 x Helpline Manager/Operators to grow our service! Whoopee!

LGBTC - What type of group is Mermaids and why did you decide on this type of group?

We are a Charitable Incorporated Organisation because as Mermaids grows, we need to make sure we are in a position to take us forward in a professional manner.

LGBTC -Please give us one positive and one negative aspect related to the type/structure of your group

Trustee’s are protected and we are seen to be more professional in this format but it took a lot of setting up!

LGBTC - Please give us an example of how you use your Membership with LGBT Consortium.

Networking has been a valuable part of our membership, plus of course you are advertising our new posts!

LGBTC - What one piece of advice would you give to our Members who are just starting out?

Don’t give up. The services we provide are essential and we can work together to make a more resilient and effective network.

LGBTC - What one thing would you like to hear about from other LGBT Consortium Members?

Policies. I would like help with growth and don’t want to start with policy making from scratch as we grow!

 

If you would like to share information or knowledge with Mermaids or any of our Members or would like us to shine our spotlight on your group - get in touch


 

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