Charity (no. 1160575)


"Mermaids supports transgender and gender diverse children, young people, and their families"

Who We Help, Why We Help & the Difference It Makes

Break through the isolation

Being transgender can be incredibly isolating both for the person and the family who support them. Don’t be alone, reach out to Mermaids who can put you in touch with others. Make new friends and share experiences.

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.

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.

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.

Our Services Are

Free Low Cost Subsidised Charged Donation Appreciated

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What We Do


Mermaids provides a helpline aimed at supporting transgender youth up to and including the age of 19, their families and professionals working with them. The helpline offers emotional support, a gateway to the parents and teens forums, information about current legislation and protections under the law, plus signposting to training and resources. The helpline is covered by volunteers, so we do not have a definitive schedule of when we can answer your call but aim to answer your calls between 9am and 9pm, Monday to Friday. Any voicemails will be responded to as soon as we can once received. If there is no-one available to talk to and your situation is urgent, please email [email protected]

The Mermaids Helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am - 9pm (times may vary on Bank Holidays)

HELPLINE: 0808 801 0400

It’s FREEPHONE and won’t show up on your phone bill!

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We need more volunteers to help us to provide a quality service, with a variety of different roles from admin to helpline and email support, attendance at events and helping with practical support. All roles have supervision and support provided. If you are interested, please email [email protected] with a completed volunteer application form that you can download here and we will be in touch. We ask for a minimum commitment of 2 to 3 hours per week for the helpline service, other roles vary hugely so please get in touch. If you are interested in other opportunities to volunteer for Mermaids, visit our volunteering page by clicking here.

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Additional Info

Web Chat

We are currently piloting a new web chat service. If you wish to speak to an operator and the service is shown to be available, just click on the 'Let's Chat' button on our website. When there are no operators available, the 'Sorry our web chat is currently closed' sign will appear. 

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