Birth Companions Privacy Policy
We take your privacy very seriously and we are committed to protecting it. We take appropriate measures to ensure that the information disclosed to us is kept secure, accurate and up to date and kept only for so long as is necessary for the specific purposes it has been collected for.

Who we are
Birth Companions is a registered charity (number 1120934).  Birth Companions collects, uses and is responsible for personal information about individuals we come into contact within the course of our activities. When we do so we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulations which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information for the purposes of those laws.

Reasons we can collect and use your personal information
We rely on consent as well as Legitimate interest and contract as the lawful basis on which we collect and use your personal data. We only collect personal information for the purposes of carrying out our activities.

What information do we collect?
The types of information collected might include names, date of birth, e-mail address, postal address, telephone number, mobile number; the organisation you work for and your job title and, with consent, some other personal data such as medical history, healthcare provider, details of family members. The information we gather will only be that which is relevant and required in to carry out the specific activity the information has been collected in relation to.

How do we collect information?
We obtain personal information from individuals in the following ways:

Data we collect and store where Legitimate interest is the legal basis
(i.e it is necessary for us to store your personal details so that we can respond in the way that you would expect)

  • when individuals correspond with us by email, phone or letter for any reason we may keep a record of that correspondence which will include their name, contact details, place of work or any other information included with in that correspondence.
  • when individuals refer women to our services by contacting us via emailing or phone and /or complete our referral forms where they will provide us with their personal details such as their name, contact details and place of work
  • when individuals contact us about a woman we are supporting by email, phone or letter we will have their name and contact details such as email address, phone number, place of work
  • when individuals request/accept our support services we will have all the personal details they provide us with when completing our registration process - this may include their full name, address, other contact details, information about their medical history, caregivers and family members
  • when individuals make a donation to us we will have their full name and contact details
  • when individuals apply for a volunteering role with us we will have all the personal details they have provided to us when completing an application form. We may also have some financial data for the purposes of processing and repaying their expenses. We will also hold information that we have gained as a result of Disclosure and Barring Service

Data we collect and store where Contract is the legal basis
  • when individuals apply for a paid role with us we will have all the personal details they have provided to us when completing an application form. We may also have some financial data for the purposes of processing their salaries. We will hold information that we have gained as a result of Disclosure and Barring Service

Data we collect and store where Consent is the legal basis
  • when individuals sign up to our online mailing list via our website they will provide us with their name, contact details and place of work
  • When we are gathering information for research purposes that we will share with external organisations, consent will always be secured from any individual participating in the research for us to share their data with any partner organisations who are working with us on the specific research. 
 

How do we use personal information?

We will use your personal information in the following ways

  • to provide you with the information as requested by you either through direct contact or by signing up to our email newsletter. Your IP address is also recorded by our mailing list provider, MailChimp
  • to offer our support services as requested by you or a referring agency with your permission
  • to make contact with you about a woman you have referred to us
  • for administration purposes such as employment, training and service delivery
  • fundraising activities only if you have previously made a donation to us and given us your concern to contact you in the future
  • Maintaining our records and producing statistical information about our activities
  • To ensure that we comply with all legal requirements related to our activities

Keeping your personal information secure
We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

Will we disclose the information we collect to outside parties?
We will never disclose the information you give to us to outside parties unless required to do so by law or we have secured your consent in advance.

How long your personal data will be kept

  • We will hold your email address on our mailing list until you decide to unsubscribe. We will delete your details if you unsubscribe. If you would like to unsubscribe from any email updates you can also click on the ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of the email pr contact as directly at info@birthcompanions.org.uk
  • We will hold personal information about our service users and referrers for as long as we are actively supporting an individual woman and for 12 months after our last contact with her.
  • We will retain personal information about staff, volunteers and applicants for these roles according to the legal requirements to do so.
  • In the case of unsuccessful applicants for staff and volunteering roles, we keep your information for no more than 6 month after you have made your application.
  • For employed staff and volunteers – information may be kept for up to 6 years after leaving the organisation; this may include financial information relating to the payment of salaries and expenses.

Your rights
Under the General Data Protection Regulation you have a number of important rights

  • Where data processing is based on consent, you may revoke this consent at any time and we will make it as easy as possible for you to do this (for example by putting ‘unsubscribe’ links at the bottom of all our marketing emails).
  • You have the right to ask for rectification and/or deletion of your information.
  • You have the right of access to your information.
  • You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner if you feel your rights have been infringed.

A full summary of your legal rights over your data can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website here: https://ico.org.uk/

If you would like to access the rights listed above, or any other legal rights you have over your data under current legislation, please get in touch with us.

Please note that relying on some of these rights, such as the right to deleting your data, will make it impossible for us to continue to deliver some services to you. However, where possible we will always try to allow the maximum access to your rights while continuing to deliver as many services to you as possible.

For further information on each of those rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the Guidance from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under the General Data Protection Regulation.

If you would like to exercise any of those rights, please:

  • email us at info@birthcompanions.org.uk or write to us at Birth Companions, Dalton House, 60 Windsor Avenue, London SW19 2RR;
  • let us have enough information to identify you (e.g. your name and email address);
  • let us know the information to which your request relates

How to complain
We hope that we can resolve any query or concern you raise about our use of your information.

The General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular in the European Union (or European Economic Area) state where you work, normally live or where any alleged infringement of data protection laws occurred. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted at  https://ico.org.uk/concerns/ or telephone: 0303 123 1113.

Changes to this privacy notice
This privacy notice was updated and published on 10th May 2018.  We may change this privacy notice from time to time. You should check this policy occasionally to ensure you are aware of the most recent version.

How to contact us
Please contact us if you have any questions about this privacy notice or the information we hold about you. 

If you wish to contact us, please send an email to info@birthcompanions.org.uk  or write to Birth Companions, Dalton House, 60 Windsor Avenue, London SW19 2RR.