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Too often, trans youth are spoken about, not heard. That’s something we became acutely aware of through our work with young people, who told us they felt powerless to make change. 

From those conversations, MANGO was born: a 12-week Activism and Advocacy programme for trans young people designed to empower and upskill the changemakers of tomorrow. 

Why MANGO? It’s an acronym – Mermaids’ Advocacy Network Group Online – and a fitting metaphor for the trans community. The mango is strong and resilient and you can find them in hundreds of varieties. Some are sweet, some citrusy, some a bit hot, and some plain. They are a diverse fruit that doesn’t bruise easily. 

20 young trans activists took part in the pilot project, which consisted of weekly online education sessions looking at trans liberation through an intersectional lens. 

Feedback from the first cohort of MANGO was really positive, and many of the young people who took part have used the skills they developed to take part in various opportunities including talking to MPs about trans issues, delivering a speech at the UN and being part of Mermaids’ first Youth Advisory Panel. 

“I would recommend MANGO. This group has provided me with an entire network of young adults, who are like me and are each incredibly passionate and talented in what they do. It is the most supportive and welcoming environment. Everyone understands each other and wants to help each other to become better”


The MANGO pilot was a huge success but we wanted to do more to offer similar opportunities to more trans young people, over a longer period, and have an even greater impact. 

So this year we’re excited to launch a new-look MANGO, thanks to a grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Evolving into a year-round advocate network, MANGO will work with up to 50 trans young people aged between 16 and 19 from across the UK, providing them with a variety of opportunities to develop their confidence, skills and experience, from taking part in events to speaking truth to power and having influence over the things that matter to them. 

Are you interested in taking part? Apply now using this form. If you need any support with your application, contact [email protected].