Our Staff and Trustees
Our board of trustees are very committed to improving the lives of young people and their families. They work on an entirely voluntary basis and are made up of parents, trans people, business professionals, lawyers and much more! Although Mermaids has been running for over 20 years, we moved to a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) last year to help us to manage our growth which has been necessary in direct response to a huge increase in demand for support.
In January 2016 we took on our first member of paid staff when we employed a CEO. This was followed in September 2016 with the addition of 2 part time Helpline Manager posts, follwoing beng awarded a grant by Children in Need to develop and strengthen our core services, the helpline and email support provision.
Susie Green - CEO
Trustee for approximately 10 years of Mermaids, Chair for 3 years, and CEO since January 2016 she has worked and volunteered in the charitable sector for over 17 years. She has worked as an IT Manager for a Citizens Advice Bureau and also has sales, purchasing and project management experience, with extensive networking and people management skills. Since starting as CEO of Mermaids, Susie has expanded our capacity and funding, and working with the trustee board, she has succesfully grown and developed our services, and aims to continue this success into the future. Her passion is to ensure that families and young people can access the support they need to empower them to achieve the best outcomes possible in often difficult times, and to continue to campaign for better provision of services, and respectful media representation of trans children and young people, and their families.
Caroline - Chair
Chairing is a key role on the Mermaids Trustee Management Committee. The Chairperson must ensure that the Management Committee functions properly; that there is full participation during meetings; that all relevant matters are discussed and that effective decisions are made and carried out. The role of a Chairperson is important, with external representation of Mermaids, and work with staff.
Caroline is a senior strategy and transformational change leader with over 20 years experience, mainly in public sector policy and regulation. Over recent years Caroline has adopted a portfolio approach to her career, enabling her to combine part time and interim professional roles alongside pro-bono strategic consultancy for charities. Caroline has links with a number of child and health related charities and has first hand fundraising experience. She is a volunteer consultant for The Cranfield Trust which links professionals with small charities that would benefit from their support.
Cranfield introduced Caroline to Mermaids in early 2015 to help advise the Trustees on a plan to increase the organisation’s ability to support the rapidly increasing community of children and families needing advice and support with transgender issues. A busy 6 months working closely with Susie Green helped develop an ambitious but realistic approach to fundraising, and a strategic plan for business growth. In addition, Caroline helped link Mermaids with potential funders and new corporate partners. Caroline developed a real attachment to Mermaids over this period and was delighted to be asked to continue to support the organisation on an ongoing basis as a Trustee and volunteer, and accepted the role of Chair in October 2016.
Isabella - Treasurer
In May 2013, with full support of NLP, Isabella was able to transition and is now at the forefront of the LGBT business community in London, a prominent member of OUTstanding, a networking organisation for LGBT professionals.
Isabella qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1980, joined Levy Gee a year later and became a partner in 1985. As a partner at NLP, Isabella specialises in accounting, auditing, tax planning and financial advice, along with business restructuring and recovery, complex tax enquiries and heads up the forensic accounting division.
Sue joined Mermaids approximately 4 years ago for information and support to help her daughter who then transitioned at the age of six years, from male to female. Since then, she has worked with her daughters primary school over the past two years in holding their first ever ‘Diversity Weeks’. She is also a Parent governor at the school, being the designated SEND governor and part of the Parents in Partnership and most recently redeveloped the school library.
She has also worked with Lancashire County Council as part of a group to develop guidance specifically for schools on supporting children and young people who have gender identity issues or identify as transgender, as well as, with the help of two parents, set up the first support group for families of young people who identify as transgender within Lancashire. Also a member of the Lancashire LGBT practitioners forum which exists to share information, best practice and to support the LGB and T communities of the county. With her extensive background within the police, she is an invaluable part of protecting our families. Her current role as a trustee is that of Deputy Safeguarding, assisting with fundraising and answering email enquiries.
Allison came to Mermaids as a shellshocked mother in 2012, when she was told by her daughter that she was really a girl. Five months later and after attending a Mermaids residential, she attended a conference organised by the Gender Identity Service in Glasgow. After writing a short report for Mermaids, she was asked if she wanted to stand for election to the committee of Mermaids in the old structure. She was elected in late 2012 and has been able to provide information on the Gender Identity Services in the devolved NHS in Scotland. The following year, 2013, she was again at a meeting organised by the GIC, and asked them if they had thought about having a Parents’ Support Group. The reply was “Yes we have. would you like to start one?” As a a result of this, she founded the first support group for parents of transgender individuals in Scotland. The group is called TransparenTsees. Parents, grandparents and sibling have travelled from all over the Central Belt of Scotland and even from the north east. From very small beginnings, the group has grown, and in September 2015 had 24 attending. .That same month, TransparenTsees were delighted to be nominated for Community Group of the Year in inaugural Scottish LGBTI Awards.
In early 2016, a second branch of TransparenTsees was founded in Edinburgh and has been well attended. Towards the end of 2015, Allison was invited to be a member of the newly formed National Gender Identity Clinical Network for Scotland (NGICNS) as a representative of Mermaids. This body has been formed to provide a coordinated approach to the management of Gender Identity Services in Scotland. Allison has forged alliances with Scottish Transgender Alliance (STS) and LGBT Youth Scotland. In February 2016, she attended the Equalities Committee of the Scottish Parliament alongside STA to provide evidence regarding the campaign to have a simplified Gender Recognition process in Scotland.
Deborah was a senior nurse before embarking on a career in law. She is a senior lawyer specialising in governance, safeguarding and health and social care law. Deborah was part of the legal team for the Bristol Cardiac Inquiry in the 1990’s which changed the face of health and social care governance in the UK. Some years ago, Deborah also became an Independent author/chair for serious case reviews for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. Deborah’s other roles include being a Chair of an Ethics Committee in health; an advisor on a public leaders group; a panel member of the National Skills Academy and a member of several national panels.
Deborah has extensive investigatory experience, cross agency and has worked with over 100 organisations to strengthen governance structures, optimise organisational learning and improve regulatory compliance, with the aim of improving service user outcomes and experience. Deborah is very actively engaged in the national agendas across health, social care and safeguarding. In the last year she has been working with national bodies to influence health and social care policy, and make a real and tangible contribution toward better learning systems, always with efficiency and quality at the forefront.
Helen - Volunteer Co-ordinator
Helen joined Mermaids three years ago as a service user and has recently become a Trustee wanting to put something back into Mermaids. Her background is a degree in Hospitality Management and she currently filling the role of Volunteer Co-ordinator for Mermaids and is trained in safeguarding and child protection. Helen also runs her own support group local to her and peer supports parents. She is using these skills to help move Mermaids forward by helping plan residentials, admin and Volunteering on the Mermaids helpline.