Big Lottery Fund reviews grant to trans kids charity Mermaids
The Big Lottery Fund has said it will review a planned grant to transgender children charity Mermaids, after a thread started on Mumsnet by TV writer Graham Linehan urged opposition to the funding.
The public body, which is responsible for distributing funds raised by the National Lottery for charitable causes, received a number of messages regarding a planned £500,000 grant to the charity, which works to support transgender children and their family.
“We’re grateful to those who have taken the time to write to us, and in light of the nature and volume of the communication we have received, we have decided to undertake a review of this grant,” a spokesperson for the Big Lottery Fund said in a statement on Monday (December 17).
The Sunday Times newspaper, which quoted a private Mermaids Facebook group celebrating news of the funding, reported on Sunday that the grant would enable Mermaids to create a network of 45 groups nationwide.
The news prompted Father Ted creator Linehan, who announced a Christmas break from Twitter in a 11-minute video posted on Friday (December 14) following the latest controversy about his position on transgender rights, to start a thread on the “Feminism chat” forum of parenting website Mumsnet to discuss his opposition to the donation.
In the thread—posted on Sunday (December 16) and titled “Mumsnetters assemble!”—Linehan quoted a message from an unnamed “friend” urging users to contact Big Lottery Fund CEO Dawn Austwick to “force a review” of the plan.
“The idea of 45 Mermaids clinic opening around the country is terrifying,” he wrote.
The Big Lottery Fund spokesperson did not disclose the number of messages received as a consequences of the appeal. “We have received a range of correspondence in relation to a proposed grant to Mermaids, expressing both concern and support regarding this organisation,” the statement read.
Big Lottery Fund grant would expand Mermaids support network across the country
Mermaids confirmed to PinkNews the funds would partially go towards expanding its support network around the UK.
“Mermaids understands that people may not know exactly what we do and how we support families, therefore we want to make it clear that part of the lottery funding is for family support groups across the country to allow parents and their children to meet in person, sharing experiences and reducing isolation and loneliness,” Susie Green, the charity’s chief executive, said in a statement.
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