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What is the name of the Mermaids charity?

The Mermaids charity is a UK-based organization that provides support for transgender, nonbinary, and gender diverse youth up to 19 years old, as well as their families. Mermaids offers a helpline, resources, workshops, residential weekends, and other services to help young people understand their gender identity and achieve wellbeing. The charity was founded in 1995 by Susie Green after her child came out as transgender, initially operating as a support group before becoming a registered charity in 2008. Since then, Mermaids has expanded significantly to meet the growing needs of the young transgender community in the UK. But what exactly is the full name of this impactful organization?

The Origin of the Charity’s Name

When Susie Green first founded the organization in 1995, she chose the name “Mermaids” to reflect its purpose in supporting transgender youth. The mermaid is a mythical creature that embodies a mix of human and aquatic features, serving as a metaphor for people born into a body that doesn’t align with their true gender identity inside. Just as mermaids dwell in the space between two worlds, transgender youth often feel caught between the sex they were assigned at birth and their actual sense of self. The mermaid represents the ability to transform and be free.

The name Mermaids captures the organization’s commitment to empowering transgender, nonbinary, and gender diverse young people to embrace their identity during a transitional period of life. It reflects themes of finding one’s voice, being free to be yourself, and exploring the fluidity of gender – key messages that Mermaids aims to communicate through its work.

The Full Registered Name of the Charity

When Mermaids officially registered as a charity with the UK Charity Commission in 2008, the founders chose the formal title “Mermaids UK.”

The charity’s full registered name is therefore:

Mermaids UK

This simple expandion from just “Mermaids” to “Mermaids UK” was likely intended to specify that this charity operates within the United Kingdom, differentiating it from any potential organizations that serve transgender youth in other countries. The UK designation makes Mermaids’ scope and community focus clear from its legal name.

Registering under the name Mermaids UK also connects back to the charity’s early days as a local support group in the UK. Though Mermaids has grown tremendously since 1995 and now serves young people across Britain, the UK in the title reflects its British-centered origins and mission.

Why the Name Mermaids UK is Impactful

The charity’s full registered name of Mermaids UK has been an impactful choice that resonates with the organization’s values and functions.

Some key reasons why Mermaids UK is a fitting and effective name:

It is descriptive

Mermaids immediately conveys the charity’s purpose of supporting transgender and gender expansive youth in their journey of self-discovery and transition. The name taps into mermaid symbolism to describe the transitional, fluid nature of the young people that Mermaids serves.

It places the focus on the beneficiaries

Rather than featuring the names of founders or taking on a more functional title, Mermaids UK keeps the emphasis on transgender youth themselves. The mermaid metaphor underscores the stories and lived experiences of the young people the charity aims to empower.

It is positive and aspirational

Mermaids evokes wonder, fantasy, and imagination. While the charity tackles serious issues around gender identity, the name takes an uplifting, hopeful approach. This creates a supportive environment for youth and families turning to Mermaids during a challenging time.

It is unique and memorable

The name Mermaids stands out from other charities, helping the organization make an impression and stick in people’s minds. The title is imaginative and thought-provoking, reflecting the creative spirit the charity brings to its programs and resources.

It has strong brand potential

Mermaids lends itself well to visual branding, enabling the charity to develop a distinctive, eye-catching logo and visual identity. The name provides flexibility for Mermaids to expand its brand in support of its mission over time.

The Meaning Behind the Name Has Extended the Charity’s Reach

While “Mermaids UK” serves as the charity’s official registered name, in practice the organization most commonly goes by just “Mermaids.” This simpler branding without the “UK” has enabled the charity to extend its reach and impact beyond national borders.

By calling itself Mermaids in external communications, outreach, partnerships, and other initiatives, the charity has been able to position itself as an international leader on transgender youth issues. Mermaids develops global advocacy campaigns, collaborates with organizations throughout Europe, and attracts donors from around the world.

Removing the UK designation from its common title reflects the reality that Mermaids now serves a global community of trans youth, their families, and allies. Yet the charity’s core origin story and meaning tied to its full registered name of Mermaids UK remains a key part of its identity.


In summary, the full registered name of the impactful organization dedicated to supporting transgender, nonbinary, and gender diverse youth and their families is Mermaids UK.

This formal title emerged when the charity officially registered with UK authorities in 2008, expanding from its original name of just Mermaids. The “UK” designation in the charity’s name highlights its British roots and scope.

But the shortened name Mermaids is what the charity more commonly goes by, allowing it to extend its reach and serve transgender youth globally. Yet the meaning of the full name Mermaids UK remains an important part of the charity’s brand and impact to this day.

Key Points:

  • Mermaids started in 1995 as a local UK support group, taking on the name “Mermaids” to reflect its mission supporting transgender youth.
  • The organization registered officially as a charity with the UK Charity Commission in 2008 under the name “Mermaids UK.”
  • The full registered name is Mermaids UK, specifying its British origins and focus.
  • Shortening it to just “Mermaids” in branding has enabled the charity to serve trans youth globally.
  • But the meaning behind the full registered name of Mermaids UK remains an important part of the charity’s identity.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was Mermaids founded?

Mermaids was founded in 1995 by Susie Green as a support group for parents of transgender children. It became a registered charity in 2008.

Where is Mermaids based?

Mermaids is headquartered in the UK and provides services focused on transgender youth living in Britain. However, the charity now works globally to support the international trans community.

What does the name “Mermaids” represent?

The name refers to mermaids as mythical creatures that embody a mix of human and aquatic features, serving as a metaphor for transgender individuals’ mix of gender identity and physical sex.

Why is the charity commonly just called “Mermaids”?

Dropping the “UK” from its name in branding and communications enables Mermaids to extend its reach and serve trans youth worldwide, positioning itself as a global leader on these issues.

What services does Mermaids offer?

Mermaids provides a helpline, online and in-person support groups, residential retreats, mental health services, educational resources, policy advocacy, and training programs for trans youth and their families.

Year Key Milestone
1995 Mermaids founded as a support group in the UK
2008 Registered as a charity under the name Mermaids UK
2016 Expanded services to offer residential weekends for trans youth
2021 Launched a nationwide campaign to ban conversion therapy
2022 Opened new offices in London and Leeds

Detailed History of Mermaids UK

1995-2008: Early Beginnings as a Support Group

– Mermaids was founded in 1995 by Susie Green, mother of a trans child, as a support group for parents of transgender youth.

– The group met monthly in the UK, providing information and community for families navigating their child’s gender transition.

– Mermaids operated informally as a local support network and safe space for several years.

– In 2008, Mermaids officially registered as a national charity with the UK Charity Commission under the name Mermaids UK.

2008-2016: Formalizing as a Charity

– With charity status, Mermaids was able to formalize its structure, hire some staff, and access funding to expand services.

– Mermaids began training professionals, like teachers and social workers, on supporting trans youth.

– The charity opened its first office in Leeds in 2010 to manage growing operations.

– In 2011, Mermaids launched an online forum and national helpline for transgender children and teens.

2016-Present: Developing Wider Services and Reach

– In 2016, Mermaids organized its first residential retreat weekend to bring trans youth together.

– Mermaids opened additional UK offices over the years, along with enhancing its online services.

– The charity engaged in advocacy campaigns to advance trans rights in areas like healthcare and education policy.

– Mermaids expanded services to offer mentoring, mental health support, crisis assistance, and family reconciliation.

– The charity developed global partnerships, online content, and international advocacy, taking on an increasingly global focus.

– Today, Mermaids continues working to support trans youth and families nationwide while advancing equality worldwide.

Ways Mermaids UK Supports Transgender Youth


– Free, confidential helpline for any transgender or gender-questioning person under 19 years old

– Available 9am-9pm Monday-Friday via phone, text, or email

Parents Groups

– Monthly facilitated support groups for parents and caregivers

– Cover topics like mental health, medical transition, legal issues

Youth Groups

– Fun meetups for trans youth to connect with peers over shared interests

– Activity topics include gaming, creative arts, outdoor adventures

Residential Retreats

– Weekend and week-long retreats to bring trans youth together

– Opportunity to meet peers and engage in fun camp activities in a safe, affirmative environment

Mental Health Services

– One-on-one counseling and support sessions over the phone or online

– Help accessing gender-affirming care from mental health professionals


– Campaigns and lobbying to advance trans rights in healthcare, education, government policy, etc.

– Engaging decision-makers, running PR campaigns, collaborating with other organizations

Educational Resources

– Articles, videos, guides on the website covering topics like coming out, transitioning, staying safe at school

– Resources aim to inform, empower, and increase confidence/resilience

Training Programs

– Workshops to train teachers, social workers, and other youth-serving professionals on best practices for supporting trans youth

– Cover use of names/pronouns, creating safe spaces, challenging bullying/bias, etc.

Quotes from Youth Supported by Mermaids UK

“Mermaids gave me the confidence to come out at school. I finally feel accepted for who I am.” – Sam, age 15

“Talking to other trans teens at Mermaids changed my life. For the first time, I felt like I wasn’t alone.” – Jamie, age 17

“I was able to get on hormone blockers after Mermaids helped me access health services.” – Alex, age 16

“Mermaids is like a new family. The friends I’ve made there will be in my life forever.” – Casey, age 14

“I’ve learned so much from Mermaids’ online articles and videos. The resources really speak to trans youth experiences.” – Taylor, age 18

“Knowing Mermaids is there for me if things get hard at school keeps me going.” – Jordan, age 13

“Thanks to Mermaids training my teachers on pronouns, I can finally be myself at school.” – Quinn, age 12


In closing, the full registered name of the Mermaids charity that has provided critical support and community for transgender, nonbinary, and gender diverse youth since 1995 is Mermaids UK. This British-based organization has made an immense impact through services like helplines, support groups, retreats, and advocacy campaigns. While the charity now extends its reach globally by commonly going by just “Mermaids,” its full name with the UK designation reflects its origins and special commitment to improving life for trans youth. Mermaids UK’s empowering name and mission will continue inspiring hope and self-acceptance for generations to come.