Your personal information is just that; yours. We understand the value we all put on our personal data, which is why we’re careful to protect the information we hold and keep check to ensure we only hold the data we need.

What follows is an overview of how we look after your information and why. We're more than happy to have a chat about data protection or answer specific questions you may have. Please email us on data@bipolaruk.org.

Privacy Principles

When will we ask you for information?

How do we collecting information about you

What information we collect

Cookies

If we support you

If you support us

Getting to know you

Sharing your story

What we do to protect your data

Your choice

Changes to our privacy notice

Privacy Principles

  • We have never sold nor swapped your data – and we won’t do this in the future.
  • Your data is protected within the charity - only team members who need your information can access your information.
  • With every newsletter and fundraising appeal, we make sure you can change your communication preferences or opt out altogether.
  • We’re especially sensitive when engaging vulnerable adults through our services and through our fundraising.
  • We work hard to safeguard your information through security policies and protocols.
  • We understand that data protection is an ongoing commitment, not a static policy.

When will we ask you for information?

We may collect personal information (e.g. your name, contact number or address) from you when you:

  • Join our eCommunity
  • Use one of our bipolar support services
  • Make a donation or commit to making a future donation
  • Make a purchase from our online shop
  • Enquire about or sign up for a fundraising event
  • Request bipolar support materials from us
  • Apply to volunteer or work with us

How do we collect information about you?

Almost all of the information we collect about you comes directly from you. This means that you are able to determine what we do with your data from the very start. You’re most likely to have been in touch via our website or email first, but we also start the data collection process if we speak on the phone or even face to face.

We use third-party companies, such as JustGiving and CAF Donate to collect and process personal data on our behalf. Third party companies only provide us with your data if you have given them permission to do so. Otherwise, your information is anonymised before it is passed to us.

What information we collect

We try to record what you’re interested in and what moved you to get in touch. For example, if you got in touch to discuss a local Support Group, the relevant service team will ask your permission to keep your information on record, so that they can keep you updated on groups.

We keep track of any correspondence and link it to future and past communication. We make note of what we’ve previously discussed with you (whether by phone, post or email) so that we don’t repeat the same message. We can tailor our conversations and communications based on what has been said before and the topics that interest you.

If you contact our services, they may collect health information, such as your experiences of bipolar. If you contact the fundraising team, they only record that you have bipolar if you freely offer such information. The fundraising team cannot see the services teams’ records and vice versa.

Both services and fundraising teams may take note of where you work if you tell us. The Employment Support team can only deliver their most effective advice if they have a clear view of your workplace. The fundraising team are hoping to increase the number of corporate supporters of Bipolar UK and know the most effective way to do so is by galvanising internal champions.

If you make a donation, the fundraising team collects financial information, such as debit/credit card details and/or bank details for Direct Debits. The moment debit/credit card information is input into our third party site for payment, it is shielded from us – we cannot recall the data. Bank details for Direct Debits are securely stored with our processing partners and on our internal, separately secured database.

If you’re taking part in an event for us, we may ask for your next of kin contact details in the case of emergency. We will never contact that individual for any other reason without their express permission.

If the fundraising team understand that you have the ability to make a large donation, they will run a search on sites like Google, Companies House and LinkedIn for publicly available information to get a better view of your capacity and propensity to make a donation, your interest in mental health and bipolar, as well as your networks. The fundraising team also try to make sure that there isn’t anything they should be aware of that may harm the reputation of the charity by association. The resulting profile is kept on record.

More generally, we look at information on our website, including which pages people visit the most or which link in our eNewsletter was most popular. We use services like Google Analytics to help us better understand how our website is used. This means we can look at aggregate data to see any patterns or trends (like a spike in FAQs following Stacey’s story on EastEnders) that can help us measure the success of an activity and better prepare for similar activities in the future. We use anonymised aggregate data, but Google Analytics does offer information on IP addresses

Cookies

Cookies are used in some areas of the Bipolar UK website to identify your computer to our server and help us to track how many visitors we get. This information is anonymous and cannot be used to track exactly who is viewing what. We use this information to monitor traffic trends and plan development of our website.

We use Google Analytics to help us understand how people use our website, see how our visitors find us and identify ways to improve visitor experience. We do not sell this information to third parties.

Our website cannot operate effectively without these cookies and by using this website you are agreeing to their use. The only way to avoid using cookies is to either not use this site or to change the settings on your computer to refuse them. However, this may mean some sections of the site will not work properly for you.

For information on how to turn off cookies, please see your browser's Help menu or visit www.allaboutcookies.org 

If we support you

The data we collect in order to provide you with bipolar support is managed separately from marketing or fundraising data.

Collecting and holding sensitive information is necessary for us to provide you with valuable advice, support and guidance. We also use service data for training, quality monitoring or evaluating the services we provide. 

When you sign up for our eCommunity we ask you to provide contact and demographic information, so we can reach you if we’re concerned about a post and so we can analyse and understand our service impact. Your posts are not publicly identifiable.

When you attend a Support Group, you will be invited to complete a contact consent form. If you chose to complete this form, your volunteer co-facilitator will keep you updated on Support Group news in general and your Support Group in particular.

We analyse service user contact across the charity, looking at whether individuals use more than one service and your journey within the organisation. This is particularly useful for us to be able to monitor our impact.

Bipolar UK services are confidential services. We will, however, share what you tell us with someone if:

  • You ask us to get you help because you can't do this yourself.
  • We believe your life and wellbeing is at immediate risk.
  • We believe another person's life and wellbeing is at immediate risk.
  • We are told about acts of terrorism or bomb warnings.
  • We are told about criminal acts or the intention to undertake a criminal act.

We always want to give you as much control as possible and will explain our policy to you and tell you if we feel we might need to contact emergency services to help you access support.

General and service telephone conversations are automatically and securely recorded. If you contact us by phone we will be able to see your phone number and might use this in the case of any of the above situations. If you contact us by email, we will be able to see your email address and your IP address.

If you support us

Volunteers

Depending on your volunteer role, volunteers are likely to be asked to undergo a DBS check (previously CRB check), renewable every three years. We process DBS checks through Mayflower Disclosure Services Ltd. The DBS check process is set out by the Disclosure and Barring Service, a government body. This process includes specifying what proof of ID and address information is required. We complete the form and authenticate the IDs to Mayflower. Once a DBS check has been cleared and received, we shred and/or delete any personal information.

For many of our volunteer roles, we will ask you to complete a form and references. Both documents, along with your volunteer application form are retained for the lifespan of your engagement within Bipolar UK. Only nominated ‘volunteer coordinators’ within directly relevant services will have access to the otherwise restricted files.

Emergency contact information will be asked of you, should you be travelling as part of your volunteer work for Bipolar UK or should you be working alone. For example, if you are travelling to a workplace to give an awareness talk on bipolar. Such contact information is stored for an agreed period and then destroyed. We do not add emergency contact information to our contact database.

All service user data is held securely and can only be accessed by the relevant service team.

Supporters

We store information on our donor database. The secure database is only accessible by the fundraising team and (as necessary) IT support. At a base level, we aim to collect your name and address. This is because we cannot match past or future donation to the same person by name alone and because, should you complete a Gift Aid declaration, HMRC requires full name and address details for a claim to be valid.

We also ask for email addresses because it’s a cost-effective way for us to keep in touch. We try to complement postal communication with email communication, but only if you have told us you’re happy for us to email you.

If you make a donation by credit/debit card, whether over the phone or online, payment details are sent directly to Stripe, our card payment processing partner. Once the card details are entered, we cannot see or retrieve the information and it is not held on our systems.

We do not automatically record and store fundraising calls because of the financial information that may be shared in the course of the conversation.

If you set up a Direct Debit, we securely store your details as it is a recurring payment and we need to be able to match future changes (cancellations, upgrades) against account information. Our Direct Debit partners are Go Cardless and Smart Debit.

When posting appeals, we hire a mailing house, which combines printing, packing and posting the letters. Mailing houses are contracted on a campaign basis. The mailing house receives the name and address information needed to do their job (via secure transfer) but, by contract, they do not have permission to hold or use the data beyond the lifespan of each job.

Please remember to let us know if you move house, even if you have opted out of receiving letters. This is because your Gift Aid declaration is only valid if matched against a current address and we do not currently use Royal Mail’s National Change of Address service.

Getting to know you

We know people support our work for a variety of reasons. It helps us in the fundraising team to understand what those reasons are so we can communicate with you in an appropriate way. For example, if you support our work because you have direct experience of bipolar, you probably won’t get much value from a letter explaining to you what bipolar is – you already know.

For us to communicate with you the right way, we do need to have an accurate picture of who you are. This means we may ask you to let us know what motivated you to donate or how you feel about our work. The information you provide offers insight that we analyse to plan our activities.

If someone has provided an address in writing we can’t decipher, we’ll use Royal Mail’s address finder service. When we’re sending planned appeals, we’ll use a screening company to check that no one on the list has recently passed away. The last thing we want to do is send an appeal bearing the name of a lost loved one only for their next of kin to receive it.

We also analyse email results, such as open rate and click-through. We don’t want to waste anyone’s time on emails that no one is reading, so it’s important to be able to see what messaging people are interested in.

We may also look at publicly held information through the charity commission, companies’ house and Google, to better understand you and your philanthropic priorities so that we can be measured in who we approach for substantial support. Research of this kind is important because there is a risk to the charity if we unwittingly align ourselves with someone that would undermine the trust we have built with our service users or damage our reputation.

We also don’t wish to waste prospective donors’ time by making uninformed approaches. For instance, there is no point in us writing a letter to someone who has publicly declared that they are solely committed to supporting international development charities. We can only know that by researching the person using publicly held information and storing it against their record so that we don’t have to repeat the research in the future.

Sharing your story

Case studies, quotes and stories bring bipolar to life for people who may not otherwise understand the illness. Sharing your story is a powerful communication tool but we respect the privacy of our service users.

Service user case studies and quotes are anonymised, with names and identifying information changed unless you have consented for us to use your real name. We do not otherwise alter the facts of any story, nor do we produce composite service user case studies.

Fundraising case studies are not anonymous, so we seek express permission to use a supporter’s story before publishing.

Wherever practical, service user and fundraising stories are shown to the subject for prior approval.

Your image (photo/video) would only ever be used with your express consent for use in online and offline publications

What we do to protect your data

We ensure there are clear standard operating procedures in place for handling data. This includes limiting access to personal data to individuals who must log in with a unique username for access.

In the interest of security, we do not publicly state our internal technical and operational measures for protecting your data. We will state however that we challenge and review our processes on a regular basis to keep step with changing technology and expectations.

We may need to disclose details if we are required to by authorities including the police, HMRC and regulatory bodies.

Your choice

You can ask us to stop processing your personal data for fundraising and marketing and, if we don’t need your information to process a parallel request (e.g. registering for an event), we will stop.

You have a right of access to a copy of the information comprised in their personal data. We may request £10 to do this so that we can cover costs. You can make a request by writing to Data Protection, Bipolar UK, 11 Belgrave Road, SW1V 1RB. You must include proof of identity in your request. It is for this reason that we will only accept information requests via post.

If you are aware of any inaccuracies with the data we hold (e.g. we’re addressing you by your maiden name), you can let us know and we will correct it and, if required, delete the inaccurate data.

You can opt out of fundraising or marketing communications at any time. Please contact us on fundraising@bipolaruk.org or 0333 323 3780 to request that we update your preferences. It’s important to note that we may still have to contact you for administrative purposes. For instance, if your Direct Debit is amended or cancelled, we will write you a letter or email to confirm the action.

Changes to our Privacy Notice

We may update this notice from time to time as regulation or our internal processes change.

If we make a significant change to this notice, we will advertise the amendment on the Bipolar UK website. If you wish to be contacted directly in the event of significant changes to the Privacy Notice, please send your contact details and request to data@bipolaruk.org

If you have any question, comment or suggestions about how we look after your personal data, please contact us by writing to data@bipolaruk.org or Data Protection, Bipolar UK, 11 Belgrave Road, London, SW1V 1RB.