Notification and consent
When anyone asks us for help, we have to start collecting information that will help us to take a decision. This is something that charities like ours have always done. However, the law now demands that all organisations, including charities, should tell you what information about you they are holding and they must also tell you what they are going to do with that information. The law also says that they cannot hold and use this information about you without your agreement.
We hope this statement makes it clear what we will do with the information in your record. Without your agreement, it will be unlawful even to open a case file on your application so we hope you will feel able to sign the application form, saying that you do agree because, only then, can we consider your application.
What will we do with the information?
Once we have received your application (and your agreement) we open a case record which will be kept in our filing system. Any additional information that you may send us or which we may receive from people such as doctors, health visitors, social workers or teachers will be put into this file.
Brief summaries of the information on the file and of any payments we make to you will be held on our computer system.
The main reason why we collect and hold this information is to help us to decide whether we should accept your application and, if so, what the appropriate level of support will be.
The case record is also useful to us because it allows us to keep proper financial records and it helps us to keep an eye on how we are spending our money.
We will not keep this information longer than we need to. All the papers on the file will usually be shredded within four years of our last contact with you. Most of the information held on the computer will be destroyed at the same time. We will continue to hold your basic contact details and a summary of your history with us for fundraising purposes after you have ceased to receive our support. The law requires that we continue to hold basic accounting information on any charitable payments for at least six years.
What about confidentiality and security?
The information in your case record is entirely safe with us. We may pass it to another charity (or charities) if we believe that they might be able to help meet your needs. Nobody else will be allowed to see your file or know about your information.
What about other people’s information?
Perhaps the application (or additional papers) will contain relevant personal information not only about you but also about other people. If you think that this may happen, please show this page to the people involved and make sure that they agree that we can store and use their information in the case record.