Mermaids have been named the recipient of this year’s GAY TIMES Honour for British Community Trailblazer.

For more than 25 years, Mermaids have worked tirelessly to support trans and non-binary youth and their families in the UK.

This year has shown that support services for LGBTQ+ people, and specifically young trans people, is vital.

With many of us locked inside, often having to conceal or hide our identities, Mermaids has become a life-saving service for young trans people and their families to be able to navigate their way through the beauty that is trans identity.

To mark their win, we’ve spoken to a handful of the people who work at Mermaids to find out more about the team and the joys and challenges they face in their roles.

“Due to COVID-19, this year has been particularly busy as we have seen a rise in contacts with the number up to the end of October exceeding that for the whole of 2019/20,” says Krystyna Hebb, Helpline Service Manager and Safeguarding Lead at Mermaids.

“Still having five months left in this financial year we anticipate that we will easily double our contacts for 2020/21. This in itself has brought the additional pressure of ensuring that we can staff the helpline/web chat service every week day from 9am to 9pm.

“But despite the additional pressure this has brought, we have an amazing team of staff and volunteers supporting me to ensure the helpline service runs to full capacity.”

You can read all of our interviews with the brilliant team at Mermaids in the new issue of GAY TIMES Magazine.

GAY TIMES Honours 2020 is taking place between 25-26 November across our digital and social channels.

We are celebrating the individuals and organisations who have had a profound effect on the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the past 12 months.

Interviews with GAY TIMES Honours winners feature in the new issue of GAY TIMES Magazine, which is in stores, available online and on Apple News+ from 27 November.

GAYTIMES+ members get the new issue of GAY TIMES Magazine first, along with exclusive digital content and membership benefits. GAYTIMES+ membership is available globally, and starts at just £3.50/€4/$5 per month. Find out more here.