Who we are & what we do

We are here to support one another – to help parents feel less isolated; to provide the tools to advocate for their child in school and within health services and to help parents to hear and understand their child’s distress.

Read on to find out more about how we came to be and how we might help you, too.

Our History

The group began in autumn 2019 when three parents who’d met online decided to meet in person. For convenience, we chose the area of Bayswater in London. By the time of our first meeting in October of that year, we’d become a group of twenty-five mums and dads: the Bayswater Support Group. We adopted a simple governing document as an ‘unincorporated association’. By the time we held our first AGM in early 2021 we’d grown to more than 200 members and we now number over 400.

We are strictly for parents and guardians of children and young adults who identify as trans or non-binary. We felt that the public discourse about gender-distressed young people was often occupied by people who weren’t directly impacted by the issue as we were, so we wanted parents to have a voice directly. We have members in all regions of England and in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Our members are overwhelmingly parents whose children are adolescents or young adults. They are at different stages of gender transition, and have different experiences of NHS services.

Our Vision

To see a robust framework for supporting families with a child, adolescent or young adult identifying as trans or gender distressed which allows for extensive exploration, without presenting the concept of transition (social or medical) as the first line solution and recognises that a transgender identity may be a manifestation of many underlying issues.

Our Aim

To provide evidence and experience-based peer support for parents with trans identified children.  To provide additional services such as informed advocacy and education to state agencies, including schools, government and NHS services; signposting to therapists and strategies to support the family unit and child which take an exploratory, open-ended approach to resolving issues related to gender distress.

Our Core Values

We strive to be:

Optimistic

Empathic

Supportive

Evidence-led

What We Offer

Helping fellow parents is our way of finding our way through our own difficulties and our members tell us how much being a part of the group has helped them. These are just some of the ways we can help parents with their own experiences of parenting a gender-distressed child.

In-Person Meetings

We have held face to face meetings in Bristol, Cardiff, Edinbugh, Leeds, London and Swindon. We plan to increase the number and locations in the near future.

Online Meet-ups

We hold a regular online meeting for general support and another specifically for parents of young adults. We are looking to run more specific support groups, tailored to particular groups of parents.

Webinars

We organise professional-quality events involving specialists, attended not only by our parent members but also school leaders and mental health professionals.

Website Resources

We publish advice and signpost to others’ resources. Our Top Ten Tips have been translated into several languages and is being used by parent groups in Europe and Australasia.

Email Newsletter

All members receive our regular round-up of information, news and tips on supporting your child.

One-to-One Support

We are available to talk on the phone to members and applicants. Often it is the first time a parent has told their story and it can be an important moment for them.

Members' Forum

We have a very active online forum, which is a great place to ask a question, read other members’ stories, and feel like you are not alone.

Bayswater Blog

Read our blog for our latest hints, tips and commentary.

Media Enquiries

We welcome media enquiries and are keen to represent the views of our members. We can comment on mental health, autism, impact on families, CAMHS, NHS gender clinics, the Cass Review and school policies.