We are responsible for the protection of information about the people we deal with and their privacy. This document explains explains how we do that and your rights.
We need information about you to provide you with services. Any information that can be used to identify you is known as ‘personal information’.
Always when dealing with personal information, we:
- Collect it from you in a transparent manner
- Use it fairly
- Store it securely
- Delete it when it is no longer required
- Handle any complaints thoroughly.
What kind of information
Information we ask you for may include your name, address, email address and phone number. If you approach us as a member of an organisation, we may ask you for information including the organisation’s name, address, telephone number and website. If we need to make a payment to you, we will need your bank account details.
We process this kind of personal information on the basis of what the law calls ‘legitimate interests’. This means it helps us achieve our mission and objectives, including: ‘A thriving Merton community where people’s lives are enriched by voluntary and community action’ by ‘inspiring and developing an excellent voluntary and community sector’.
If you do not wish to provide this information, please let us know. In some cases, we may not be able to provide you with the service you seek we will tell you this at the time.
What we do with your information
Some examples of why how we process information about you are to:
- Help us deliver the right service to you
- Help us improve our services and better fulfil our mission and objectives
- Ensure efficient and accurate administration of any requests you have
- Process any payments you are entitled to from us
- Take any payments that we are entitled from you
- Manage any complaint you may have
- Prevent and tackle fraud and ensure all our volunteers and partner organisations are legitimate
- Conduct market research, either ourselves or through reputable agencies
- Send you communications you wish to receive and invite you to meetings
- Fulfil legal duties: for example, complying with Charity Commission regulations
- Carry out anonymous statistical analysis which enables us to provide better services to the wider community, and support funding applications.
We are bound by law not to discriminate against people for reasons such as age, ethnic origin, religion and disability. We may ask you additional questions about yourself to monitor our services, and ensure they tackle discrimination and inequality. This is called ‘protected characteristics’ information.
You do not have to give us this type of information. We need your consent. This consent must be in writing (except in defined circumstances in which you have asked us to speak about your health urgently on the phone).
How long do we keep information
We will keep your personal information only as long as is required in law, by our funders or to serve you. We will destroy it securely after a pre-determined period.
How we ensure your information is safe
We take security measures to protect your information including:
- Limiting access to our building to those entitled to be there (by use of receptionist and locks on all doors)
- Implementing access controls to our information technology, such as firewalls, individual IDs and passwords, and logical segmentation and/or physical separation of our systems and information
- Sending personal information only in password-protected formats
- Not permitting sharing of passwords
- Transferring paper-based records to secure IT systems as soon as possible and then destroying the paper record
- Limiting access to paper-based information to only those who need to see it.
Who do we share information with?
We do not share information about protected characteristics with anyone except in statistical form in which no individual can be identified. And this is only for the purposes of accounting for the performance of our services and improving patterns of services delivered.
We may share information such as your name and address with organisations that are likely to deliver a service to you referred by us. This is carried out under our instruction. When we enter into contracts with service providers, we require them to comply with data protection laws and ensure that they have appropriate controls in place to secure personal information.
You have the right not to receive mass electronic communications, such as electronic newsletters, from us unless you want to. You will always be asked whether you do want to receive these before we send them.
A cookie is information downloaded onto your computer when you visit a website. Cookies can do a number of things, such as remembering your preferences, recording what you have put in a shopping basket, and counting the number of people looking at a website and usage.
Access to your information and correction
You have the right to a copy of the information that we hold about you, and to ask us to make corrections. If you would like to do this, contact our Data Protection Officer using the details at the end of this policy.
If you have a complaint about how we have processed your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer using the details at the end of this policy. If you wish to make a complaint to the UK’s external regulator of data protection the Information Commissioner's Office. In the first instance, call its helpline on 0303 123 1113.
For further information on this policy and our implementation of it, contact us at or write to us at:
Data Protection Officer
The Vestry Hall
336-8 London Road
Phone: 020 8685 1771
Review of this policy
Merton Connected is a trading name of Merton Voluntary Service Council.