Controversial trans charity Mermaids received £1.85m in last year

Controversial trans charity Mermaids received £1.85m income in last year and trained staff at 59 schools, 12 social services and 10 NHS Trusts – including students at Sussex Uni where feminist professor is being hounded by activists, accounts reveal

  • Transgender charity Mermaids received income of £1.85million over past year 
  • Figure is nearly 15 times the amount received just four years ago of £127,920 
  • Leeds group gave 143 training sessions in a year including to Sussex students
  • Income included donations of £1,656,999 – up from £522,690 two years ago

Transgender charity Mermaids has received an income of £1.85million over the past year – including £1.66million in donations and legacies, MailOnline can reveal.

Its income for the 2020/21 financial year was at nearly 15 times the amount received just four years ago of £127,920 – showing the rapid speed at which it is growing. 

Annual accounts for the Leeds-based organisation showed it had given 143 training sessions in a year including 59 at schools, 12 for social services and 10 at NHS trusts.

Among the groups receiving training were fourth-year pharmacy students at the University of Sussex, where protesters over the past fortnight have been demanding the resignation of philosophy Professor Kathleen Stock for her views on trans rights.

The feminist academic is currently at the centre of a free speech row after an anonymous group of students began putting up posters around campus as part of a campaign to oust her over views they claim are transphobic. Ms Stock, who has written about the need for female-only spaces, denies the claim levelled at her. 

Mermaids, founded 25 years ago, has also given training to the public service union Unison and recorded a podcast for the Police College and LGBT+ Police Network.

The total income of £1,847,868 included donations and legacies of £1,656,999 (90 per cent), grants of £95,192 (4 per cent) and training income of £59,546 (3 per cent). 

The donations total has more than tripled in two years, from £522,690 in 2018/19. A ‘legacy’ is a gift that someone has left to the charity in their will.

Transgender charity Mermaids has received an income of £1.85million over the past year -nearly 15 times the amount received just four years ago of £127,920

The total income of £1,847,868 included donations and legacies of £1,656,999 (90 per cent), grants of £95,192 (4 per cent) and training income of £59,546 (3 per cent)

Total expenditure in 20/21 was £1,181,244 of which £719,633 (61 per cent) related to staff costs – with its unnamed top earner’s annual salary being £60,000 to £70,000.

In its financial results, the charity said the ‘substantial increases in donations’ over the past year were thanks to it ‘becoming increasingly well known for our work’.

Mermaids chief executive Susie Green

Mermaids, which was supported by Prince Harry through the Royal Foundation in 2019, has been criticised over its campaigning for children to be allowed better access to puberty-blockers and other medical options.

The charity said in its results, published on the Charities Commission website: ‘Mermaids is becoming increasingly well known for our work supporting families and young people and this has continued to result in substantial increases in donations throughout the year, and partnerships with organisations that wish to support our work. 

‘We know that we are very fortunate to be in this position, especially when considering the increased hostility towards transgender people in general, and specifically trans women, trans and transgender and gender diverse children, young people, and their families. 

Total expenditure in 20/21 was £1,181,244 of which £719,633 (61 per cent) related to staff costs – with its unnamed top earner’s annual salary being £60,000 to £70,000

Student protesters gathered outside the University of Sussex this month to demand lecturer Kathleen Stock’s resignation over her views on transgender rights 

‘The trustees are focused on utilising our funding as rapidly as possible to support the mission of the charity, whilst balancing this against the challenges of rapidly growing an organisation.’

Annual accounts for the organisation showed it had given 143 training sessions in a year

It added: ‘Trustees are aware of the continuing criticism of Mermaids as an authority in transgender children’s rights. 

‘We will continue to robustly defend our service users and their families and are very grateful for the support that we receive that enables us to do so.’

Mermaids states that it is ‘one of the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ charities’ and exists to support ‘transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children, young people’.

It works with thousands of people within online communities, local community groups, helpline services, web resources, events and residential weekends.

Banners saying ‘Stock Out’ have been held alongside burning flares at the university campus

Posters have been put up in the tunnel from Falmer station to the university’s campus

The charity also tries to ‘educate and inform wider society on gender identity by helping professionals accommodate and reassure gender-diverse young people’.

But in July, Mermaids was fined £25,000 by Information Commissioner’s Office after its boss published personal emails from parents worried about their children’s transition.

Lecturer Kathleen Stock is facing calls to quit

Chief executive Susie Green had set up an email group online which mistakenly had insufficient security settings, meaning the exchanges were publicly accessible to anyone.

In total, data belonging to 550 people, not of all of whom were service users, was shared in the email exchanges from August 2016 until July 2017 when the email group was decommissioned.

However, archived emails remained online until 2019 because the charity was unaware of the data breach.

A Mermaids spokesman told MailOnline today: ‘We are incredibly grateful for each and every donation we receive as this money enables us to meet a growing demand for our services. 

‘In 2020-21, we supported over 7,000 young people and their families, a number which continues to rise.’

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