Here at Advocacy Focus, we are committed to protecting your personal information.
This page, together with our terms and conditions and our cookies policy, sets out the basis on which we will process any personal information we collect from you, from published sources and public registers, or that you provide to us.
This site is operated by or on behalf of Advocacy Focus. We are an independent charity which has been offering free advocacy support since 1998.
We work with people with a variety of mental health, health or social care needs, communicating on their behalf their desires or wishes to the relevant service.
Our registered charity number is 1086151 in England and Wales. Our company limited guarantee number is 4135225.
You can contact us:
This document was created with the help of SEQ Legal.
We may update this policy from time to time by publishing a new version on our website. You should check this page occasionally to ensure you are happy with any changes to this policy.
This document was created with the help of SEQ Legal.
We may collect, store and use the following personal information:
Before you disclose to us the personal information of another person, you must obtain that person’s consent to both the disclosure and the processing of that personal information in accordance with this policy.
Personal information submitted to us through our website will be used for the purposes specified in this policy or on the relevant pages of the website.
We may use your personal information to:
If you contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence. We may ask you to complete surveys that we use for research purposes, although you do not have to respond to them.
We will not, without your express consent, supply your personal information to any third party for the purpose of their or any other third party’s direct marketing.
All our website financial transactions are handled through our payment services providers, Stripe and GoCardless. When making a donation online, we do not see any of your financial information. Read more about making a donation further on in this policy.
We may disclose your personal information to any of our employees, advocates, trustees, partners, professional advisers or legal team insofar as reasonably necessary for the purposes set out in this policy.
We may disclose your personal information:
We share some of your data with third party providers to allow us to carry out certain functions such as allow people to double opt in via the website or allow a user to make a donation online.
Third party providers we work with include:
Except as detailed above, we will not provide your personal information to third parties without your consent.
We explicitly comply with our legal obligations in relation to the retention and deletion of personal information. Personal information that we process for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary by law for that purpose or those purposes. You can withdraw your data at any time.
We will take reasonable technical and organisational precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information.
We will store all the personal information you provide on our secure password and firewall-protected servers.
All electronic financial transactions entered into through our website will be protected by encryption technology.
You acknowledge that the transmission of information over the internet is inherently insecure, and we cannot guarantee the security of data sent over the internet.
You may instruct us to provide you with any personal information we hold about you. You have the right to obtain:
We provide these details free of charge and within 30 days of your request. To request access to your data, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We may withhold personal information that you request to the extent permitted by law.
You may instruct us at any time not to process your personal information for marketing purposes.
In practice, you will expressly agree in advance to our use of your personal information for marketing purposes, or we will provide you with an opportunity to opt out of the use of your personal information for marketing purposes. Read more about how we may use your data for marketing purposes later on in this policy.
Our website includes hyperlinks to, and details of, third party websites. We have no control over, and are not responsible for, the privacy policies and practices of third parties.
Please let us know if the personal information that we hold about you needs to be corrected or updated.
Cookies may be either “persistent” cookies or “session” cookies: a persistent cookie will be stored by a web browser and will remain valid until its set expiry date, unless deleted by the user before the expiry date; a session cookie, on the other hand, will expire at the end of the user session, when the web browser is closed.
Cookies do not typically contain any information that personally identifies a user, but personal information that we store about you may be linked to the information stored in and obtained from cookies.
We use both session and persistent cookies on our website. The names of the cookies that we use on our website, and the purposes for which they are used, are set out below:
Most browsers allow you to refuse to accept cookies; for example:
Blocking all cookies will have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites. If you block cookies, you will not be able to use all the features on our website.
You can delete cookies already stored on your computer; for example:
Deleting cookies will have a negative impact on the usability of many websites.
What am I signing up to?
By signing up to our newsletter you consent to receiving the latest news and updates from Advocacy Focus.
What we will email you about:
Our newsletters are sent every two months, unless we have a big announcement or are recruiting for numerous positions where we may email more frequently as we feel this may be in your interest.
What do you do with my data once I sign up?
We only ask for your first name, surname and email address for our newsletter as we feel this is all we need to keep you updated about our charity. We do not profile you or ask for any more personal information that we don’t need. This data is stored in a password protected file on our secure server where only the staff who need to see and work with this data have access to it. All our staff members are trained on European Data Protection laws and as such work with your data within the legal remits.
We use MailChimp as our email marketing platform which allows us to make our newsletters look nice and easily readable, and equally allows you to unsubscribe easily. MailChimp also allow you to unsubscribe more easily from our email updates should you no longer wish to receive these. You are able to unsubscribe and withdraw your data at any time.
What does MailChimp do with my data?
MailChimp is the world’s largest online marketing platform with over 14 million users worldwide, as such, they have very strict and stringent data laws and are compliant to data regulations across the globe.
How long will I be signed up for?
We will keep your data for two years unless you tell us you know longer wish to receive our updates, at which point we will remove all traces of your data from our marketing distribution list and you will no longer receive any marketing communications.
What happens next?
After you have signed up to our newsletter, we will send you an email to check that you have read and understand the above and consent to us sending you our company updates and news.
How do I unsubscribe?
You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in one of our marketing communication emails or by emailing email@example.com. Once you unsubscribe all traces of your data used for marketing purposes will be deleted.
It is important to note that we do not see or store your card or financial information, as these are processed via the third party payment provider. You can read about our payment providers below.
When applying for a job online you download and submit your data via an application form. Once you have submitted this application we will send you a Privacy Notice to review and sign.
This notice will make you aware of how and why your personal data will be used, namely for the purposes of the recruitment exercise, and how long it will usually be retained for. It provides you with certain information that must be provided under the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) and all applicable regulations. We will comply with data protection law and principles.
What information will we hold about you?
In connection with your application for work with us, we will collect, store, and use the following categories of personal information about you:
We may also collect, store and use the following “special categories” of more sensitive personal information:
How is your personal information collected?
We collect personal information about job applicants from a variety of sources. This information may be supplied by you in application forms or CVs, contained in your passport or identity documents, or collected through interviews and other forms of assessment [including online assessment].
We will also collect personal data about you from third parties:
Why will we process your personal data?
We need to process data to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract with you. We also need to process your data to enter into a contract with you.
In some cases, we need to process data to ensure that we are complying with legal obligations. For example, it is required to check a successful applicant’s eligibility to work in the UK before employment starts.
We have a legitimate interest in processing personal data during the recruitment process and for keeping records of the process. Processing data from job applicants allows the organisation to manage the recruitment process, assess and confirm a candidate’s suitability for employment and decide to whom to offer a job. We may also need to process data from job applicants to respond to and defend against legal claims.
Where we rely on legitimate interests as a reason for processing data, we have considered whether or not those interests are overridden by the rights and freedoms of employees or workers and has concluded that they are not.
We process health information if we need to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process for candidates who have a disability. This is to carry out our obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to employment.
Where we process other special categories of data, such as information about ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health or religion or belief, this is for equal opportunities monitoring purposes.]
For some roles, we are obliged to seek information about criminal convictions and offences. Where we seek this information, we do so because it is necessary to carry out our obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to employment.
We will not use your data for any purpose other than the recruitment exercise for which you have applied] OR [If your application is unsuccessful, the organisation will keep your personal data on file in case there are future employment opportunities for which you may be suited. The organisation will ask for your consent before it keeps your data for this purpose and you are free to withdraw your consent at any time.
Who has access to personal data?
Your information will be shared internally for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. This includes members of the HR and recruitment team, interviewers involved in the recruitment process, managers in the business area with a vacancy and IT staff if access to the data is necessary for the performance of their roles.
The organisation will not share your data with third parties, unless your application for employment is successful and it makes you an offer of employment. The organisation will then share your data with former employers to obtain references for you, employment background check providers to obtain necessary background checks and the Disclosure and Barring Service to obtain necessary criminal records checks.
We will not transfer your data outside the European Economic Area.
If you fail to provide personal information
If you fail to provide information when requested, which is necessary for us to consider your application (such as evidence of qualifications or work history), we will not be able to process your application successfully. For example, if we require a credit check or references for this role and you fail to provide us with relevant details, we will not be able to take your application further.
Information about criminal convictions
We do envisage that we will process information about criminal convictions.
We will collect information about your criminal convictions history if we would like to offer you the role (conditional on checks and any other conditions, such as references, being satisfactory). We are required to carry out a criminal records check in order to satisfy ourselves that there is nothing in your criminal convictions history which makes you unsuitable for the role. In particular:
You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making.
We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need-to-know. They will only process your personal information on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality. Details of these measures may be obtained from the Operations Director
We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.
How long will you use my information for?
If your application for employment is unsuccessful, we will hold your data on file for [time period] after the end of the relevant recruitment process. [If you provide consent to allow the organisation to keep your personal data on file, we will hold your data on file for a further 2 years for consideration for future employment opportunities. At the end of that period or once you withdraw your consent, your data is deleted or destroyed.
If your application for employment is successful, personal data gathered during the recruitment process will be transferred to your personnel file [and retained during your employment]. The periods for which your data will be held will be provided to you in a new privacy notice at the time of your appointment.
Rights of access, correction, erasure, and restriction
Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:
If you want to exercise any of these rights please contact The Operations Director in writing.
Am I able to withdraw my consent?
In the limited circumstances where you may have provided your consent to the collection, processing and transfer of your personal information for a specific purpose, you have the right to withdraw your consent for that specific processing at any time. To withdraw your consent, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your information for the purpose or purposes you originally agreed to, unless we have another legitimate basis for doing so in law, and as notified to you in this privacy notice.
Queries or complaints about how we process your personal data
If you have any questions about this privacy notice or how we handle your personal information, please contact the Operations Director in writing.
You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK regulatory authority for data protection issues.
If you are a media publication that has signed up to receive our press releases via our Media Sign Up form. You can find out here how we will use your data.
What am I signing up to?
By signing up to our Media Distribution List you are opting in to receive our latest press releases.
What do you do with my data once I sign up?
We only ask for your first name, surname, publication and email address for our as we feel this is all we need to be able to send you relevant press releases.
We do not profile you or ask for any more personal information that we don’t need. This data is stored in a password protected file on our secure server where only the staff who need to see and work with this data have access to it. All our staff members are trained on European Data Protection laws and as such work with your data within the legal remits.
We do not use any third party email marketing platforms to send these press releases.
How long will I be signed up for?
We will keep your data for two years unless you tell us you know longer wish to receive our press releases, at which point we will remove all traces of your data from our Media Distribution List and you will no longer receive any communications.
How do I unsubscribe?
You can unsubscribe at any time by emailing email@example.com. We will provide an overview of how to unsubscribe every time we send out a press release.
If after you have read this policy, you don’t understand something or you have any questions about how we use your personal information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
What information do we take from you?
We only record information that is relevant to helping you; this is information about who you are, where you live, why you are using our service and about the work we are doing with you.
Why do we need this?
We use this information to better understand how best to help you, we keep the files to help us understand how we worked with you and to assess how successful the outcome was. This kind of information helps us to help other people as well.
Who can see it?
Only the people who need to see your personal information can see it. This can be:
Will we share your information?
We don’t share information about you to other organisations or services without asking you first. We will always respect your decision on whether to share your information, however, there may be times when we may have to share this, such as:
Can I see what information you have on me?
Yes, you are able to ask us for something called a ‘Subject Access Request’ (SAR) at any time, if you request this we have to provide you with a copy of your records within 30 days. If you would like to see what is on your file, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You also have a right to request us to change or update any information we hold on you.
Can any of my information be withheld from me?
Sometimes we receive confidential information, such as information from a Doctor, if you wish to see this information, we have to ask the person who is providing the information whether they agree for this to be shared with you.
Sometimes, very rarely, we may withhold information for your own safety or because it may harm you to see it.
What happens to my data when I stop using your service?
When we have stopped working with you, your record will be closed and kept by Advocacy Focus for a minimum of six years. It may be kept for longer than this if legally required, but will always be kept within the legal timeframe. Throughout this time you still have the right to ask to see what information we hold on you (SAR).
After the timeframe is up, we will permanently delete your record in line with GDPR procedures.
What if I’m not happy with this or the information on my file?
If you are unhappy with any of the information in this policy or if you are not happy with information on your SAR, you can contact us on 0300 323 0965 or by emailing the address below.