A transgender children’s charity is facing scrutiny from regulators after they were accused of giving chest-flattening devices to young girls against their parents’ wishes.
The Charity Commission has confirmed they are ‘assessing’ concerns raised about Mermaids after an investigation also led to claims they were giving out medical advice on puberty blockers without the relevant training.
It comes as Harry Potter author JK Rowling slammed celebrities and organisations who had publicly backed the charity without doing their ‘due diligence’ as other critics called for an official probe into their practices.
Celebrities who have publicly backed Mermaids include the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry Potter star Emma Watson and Jameela Jamil.
Mermaids staff offered to send a breast binder to a girl they believed was only 14 after being told she was banned from using one by her mother.
According to the investigation by the Daily Telegraph, the charity has been offering binders to children as young as 13 despite their parents saying they oppose the practice.
The newspaper also said the charity’s online help centre tells children who present themselves as young as 13 and 14 that hormone-blocking drugs are safe and ‘totally reversible’ – a claim which is refuted by experts as there is little evidence of the long-term impact of the powerful drugs.
Mermaids, a taxpayer funded group which supports transgender children and their families, runs training for schools and some NHS trusts many of whom are facing calls to sever ties to the organisation.