Transgender charity faces funding wait

Sad teen

The Big Lottery Fund has undertaken a review of a £500,000 grant to Mermaids after receiving a wide range of comments on the decision

18th December 2018 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

A UK charity which offers support to transgender children faces uncertainty over funding.

Mermaids, which supports young people experiencing gender dysphoria, was awarded £500,000 by the Big Lottery Fund.

However the grant is now under review after the charity faced criticism.

An article in the Sunday Times said Mermaids has been accused of bullying doctors, promoting falsehoods and using "emotional blackmail" to pressure parents to support life-changing medical interventions for their children.

On the back of the story, the fund received a flurry of comments both criticising and in support of Mermaids.

A Big Lottery Fund spokesman said: “We have received a range of correspondence in relation to a proposed grant to Mermaids, expressing both concern and support regarding this organisation.

“We’re grateful to those who have taken the time to write to us, and in light of the nature and volume of the communication we have received, we have decided to undertake a review of this grant.”

The charity plans to use the money to create a network of 45 support groups across the country over the next five years.

A statement from Mermaids said that it would work with the Big Lottery Fund.

A spokesperson said: “Whilst we are disappointed that this is necessary, Mermaids understands that the volume of correspondence, both positive and negative, received by Big Lottery has necessitated a review of the grant that we were notified of last week.

“It is unfortunate that transgender children and young people continue to be a largely misunderstood population, and we understand that misinformation about the reality for trans kids is at the heart of this. Perhaps this review will reveal more about the very real challenges faced daily by families and young people, and help to foster understanding and acceptance.

“We look forward to the outcome of this review and will work with Big Lottery to provide them with any additional information they require, as and when needed.”

18th December 2018 by William Douglas

Whilst I do not support the cause, I do support the Big Lottery Fund in taking risks. There are times when someone needs to step up to the mark, and too often funders avoid doing so when the charity appears 'edgy' and there is opposition to the charity's raison d'etre. The NHS view on gender dysphoria is, in my opinion, a better one that this charity's.