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Mermaids Press

Mermaids has appointed an interim CEO, who will be joining the charity this week. 

Lauren Stoner (she/her) has spent most of her career working in health and social care with a focus on person-centred support, rights, and voice.

Her career to date has focused on fundraising and policy change, ensuring that disabled people and abuse survivors have the right support.

Lauren has also been involved in developing and supporting partnerships with providers, commissioners and others across the statutory, voluntary, and community sector. She lives in Nottingham with her partner and their pet rats.

In a letter to staff, supporters and beneficiaries, Lauren acknowledges the challenges facing the organisation and says she wants to spend her first 100 days getting a clear plan in place to meet these head on. 

Dear Mermaids family, 

My name is Lauren Stoner, and I’m the new interim CEO of Mermaids. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself in my own words and tell you a little about my background, why I want to join Mermaids, and how I’ll approach the challenges that lie ahead.

I’m an experienced charity professional, with a background in health and social care, particularly focused on income generation, policy and communications. I’m passionate about co-production, equity and culture and want to build organisations shaped by the people we support, where people can bring their whole selves to work.

Outside of work, I live in Nottingham with my partner and our pet rats. I officiate roller derby, an explicitly trans-inclusive contact sport played on roller skates, and am an enthusiastic quilter and dressmaker.

“Why Mermaids?”, you might be asking. Because young trans people and their families need great support now more than ever, and I want to support the charity to deliver that, now and in the future. 

It’s a difficult time for the organisation and for the people we support and there are challenges ahead. In addition to supporting the statutory inquiry, I’ll start by listening to everyone with a stake in what we do and understanding their views, and review that alongside the work that’s already been done. 

Key areas for me to focus on are ensuring that we understand our future direction and have the right people, right culture, right systems and processes to enable us to achieve that. 

These are all big challenges and change can’t happen overnight, but I’m positive that as a team, and with support of our board, we can achieve our goals. We’ll share our progress and the lessons that we’ve learned openly.

I’m not going to promise to resolve all of those challenges between now and the end of March. Instead, in 100 days’ time, I want to know that we’ve identified the root causes of our challenges, have a clear plan in place and are starting to address them in a prioritised way.  

Longer term, I see Mermaids as a trusted source of support and advice for young trans people and those who are questioning their gender identity, and for the people around them including parents and carers, professionals, and anyone else who wants to create a better world for them. 

Thank you for putting your trust in me. Now, let’s get to work.