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Big Lottery Fund reviewing decision to give transgender charity £500,000 following 'concerns'

The Mermaids charity help young trans people and have been campaigning for children to have support in schools and the healthcare system

2018-12-17

Words: Steve Brown

The Big Lottery Fund is reviewing its decision to award £500,000 to the transgender charity Mermaids following ‘concerns’.

After an article in the Sunday Times criticised the move by the Lottery Fund claiming the charity had been accused of bullying doctors, promoting falsehoods and using ‘emotional blackmail’ to pressure parents to support gender confirmation surgery.

The BLF said in the article they would look into any concerns but added: “However, we do not see any reason not to fund this.”

But in a statement given to Third Sector, a spokesperson 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.”

Mermaids is a charity that supports young people who are experiencing gender dysphoria and have been campaigning for children to have support in schools and the healthcare system.

LGBT campaigner and activist Dr Adrian Harrop posted an image of the email from the BLF to Mermaids and wrote: "Trans children exist.

"Trans children are valid & real. Trans children deserve to be treated as equals.

"Trans children must given the resources they need to thrive, succeed & survive. #IStandwithMermaids"

Simon Blake, chief executive of Mental Health First Aid England and trustee of Stonewall, wrote on Twitter: “So sad, but unsurprising to see The Sunday Times taking a cheap pop @Mermaids_Gender again.

“Any others remember the same headline in the Mail 20 years ago re The National Lottery funding gay youth groups?

“They stood strong then. I trust they will now #ComeOutForTransEquality”