Mermaids would like to update our service users and allies in light of recent events.
Firstly, we have regrettably continued to receive a high volume of distressing, and in some cases threatening, calls, emails and web chat contacts as a result of some of the recent coverage.
We must protect our staff from this unacceptable abuse, and therefore we will be closing the helpline service tomorrow (Wednesday 12 October) in order to give them respite. We will be resuming a normal service as soon as we can, but we are operating in a particularly challenging environment at present and there may be further interruptions to our usual service.
We are taking all possible steps in response, including referring all contacts of a criminal nature to the police.
Secondly, The Times newspaper published an article today about a former member of staff. While we can confirm that the person referred to no longer works for the charity, we are unable to comment further due to the need to maintain confidentiality.
We note claims in the paper that an anonymous person has made a complaint to the Charity Commission but we have not been informed about it directly and so are not aware of its precise nature. Should the Charity Commission have any questions for us then we will of course answer them.
We must apologise for the need to write again with news of this nature but remain enormously grateful for your support as we navigate this challenging period.