At Samaritans, privacy is at the heart of what we do.
We are committed to protecting your privacy and the personal information that we hold. We will do our best to use your personal information in accordance with data protection law, and not do anything with your information that you wouldn’t reasonably expect.
Worried someone will see that you've been on our site?
These are the steps you can take to remove signs that you've been on your site from your computer.
Select 'Private browsing'
Most browsers have a 'private' or 'incognito' browsing option. This means when you're on our site, you won’t leave any traces of your activity on your computer (no history, web cache or anything else) and so it’s a useful first step to take.
Chrome: Click on the 'Menu' button (it has three horizontal lines) – 'New Incognito Window'
Safari: Click on the 'File' button – 'New Private Window'
Internet Explorer: Click on 'Safety' – 'Tools' – 'In Private Browsing'
Firefox: Click on the 'Menu' button (it has three horizontal lines) – 'New Private Window'
Delete your browser 'History'
When you're not in 'private' mode, your browser will automatically keep a record (or 'History') of all the pages go on. You can remove Samaritans' pages from your history.
First, open your 'History':
Chrome: Click on the 'History' option on the menu bar.
Safari: Click on the 'History' option on the menu bar.
Internet Explorer: Press the Ctrl key and H at the same time.
Firefox: Press the Ctrl key and H at the same time.
Secondly, select all entries that say "www.samaritan.org.uk" and press delete or backspace on the keyboard. (Or select 'All in last hour' on Safari.)
Lastly, if you found us on Google or another search engine, delete your search results from your History too.
A cookie is a small file on your computer that records the sites you visit, cookies are mainly used by advertisers to track your interests and show you targeted content. You can delete all your cookies by doing the following:
Chrome: Click on 'Chrome' – 'Clear Browsing Data'
Safari: Clearing 'History' will clear cookies.
Internet Explorer: Click on: 'Tools' menu – Internet Options. On the General page, under Temporary Internet Files, click on Delete Cookies and then OK.
Click on Delete Files, put a tick in the box labelled Delete all offline content and click OK.
Now look at the top of the window and click on the Content tab, select AutoComplete and finally, Clear Forms.
Firefox: Click on Tools – Options – Privacy – select the Clear button (next to Cache and Saved Form Information)
Samaritans Central Charity Privacy Statement
Some of the Samaritans branches are independent charities and are separate data controllers for the purposes of the data protection laws. If you are in contact with a particular branch only, you should refer to the branch website to read their data privacy statement.
Changes to this Privacy Statement
As the service we provide changes, we may need to alter this Privacy Statement. Please check this page occasionally to see if we have included any updates or changes, and that you are happy with them.
If you have any queries about this statement please contact the Legal & Governance team at Samaritans, The Upper Mill, Kingston Road, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 2AF or email [email protected].
How Samaritans uses personal information
Summary of key processing
We may use your personal information for the purpose set out in the policy, which include:
To provide you with support
We support people in a number of ways, including by telephone, letter, email, webchat and face-to-face. When you talk to one of our volunteers, we may record certain information about your contact with us. See ‘Privacy Information for Callers’ for further information.
When you volunteer with us
When you apply to volunteer with us, we process your personal information for the purpose of assessing and progressing your application. This information will be shared with the relevant branch so that they can manage your application. Please see ‘Privacy Information for Volunteers and Potential Volunteers’ for further information.
When you donate to us
When you donate money to Samaritans Central Charity or one of our branches, we need to collect and use certain information about you in order to process your donation. Please see ‘Privacy Information for Donors and Supporters’ for further information.
To market to you
Where you have consented to this, we may send you emails and text messages about our services and opportunities to support us. We will not send you marketing if you have asked us not to. To withdraw your consent or opt-out from receiving marketing at any time, please contact us by emailing [email protected] or calling us on 03709 00 00 32.. Please see our section on ’Direct Marketing’ for further information.
To serve you with online advertising
We promote our aims and activities online, including via platforms such as Facebook. We may use online platforms to serve adverts to particular groups of individuals. We may also track when individuals click on our adverts. We never use special category data (e.g., health data) to target individuals. Please see our section on ‘Online Advertising’ for further information.
Privacy information for callers
Samaritans supports people in distress through its support service. Our service is available by telephone, email, letter, web chat, and face to face.
Our helplines are designed so that Samaritans volunteers can’t see your contact details, however, some information that could be used to identify you is stored on our central systems and can be accessed by Samaritans Central Charity staff. The following information may be recorded when you use our services and speak to a volunteer:
- Encrypted phone number (if contact is by phone)
- Email address (if contact is by email)
- Postal address (if contact is by written letter)
- IP address (if contact is by webchat)
- CCTV Images (if contact is face to face)
- Caller ID
- Time & date of call
- Caller gender (if given)
- Caller age (if given)
- Contact type (i.e. by phone, letter, email, webchat or face-to-face)
- Caller concerns
We also record some statistical information on each contact we receive, to report on and improve our service. This includes non-identifiable information, such as how distressed the individual was at the time of contact. This information is never used to report on specific people and cannot be used to identify anyone. Where we provide emotional support in locations outside of the branches, our volunteers will take steps to ensure that any notes taken for statistical purposes are kept secure and securely disposed of once the data has been entered into our central database.
- If we need to investigate a call or series of calls (e.g., if you make a complaint), we can use the encrypted telephone number shown on our central system to identify the specific calls, however this will not reveal your telephone number to us.
- If you contact [email protected], we do our best to mask your email address by replacing it with a caller ID and message ID before it reaches a volunteer. If you reply to the email we send you, your actual email address may be visible in the addressee line. This depends on how your computer is set up. If you would like to avoid this, you should review the whole of your email message (including any historic messages, usually shown below your current reply) and delete any mention of your email address before you press send.
- If you contact us by letter, the volunteer will be able to see your postal address if you have included that
- Unlike the telephone helpline, your telephone number will be visible if you contact Samaritans Central Charity
We try to keep as little information about you as possible. Volunteers may take notes when they talk to you to assist in the conversation. These notes are shredded at the end of the call. We don’t record your phone calls to the helpline but volunteers and staff may from time to time listen in to calls for training, quality, support, or research purposes.
Where contact is electronic (for example by email or webchat), we keep copies of this contact for 30 days only, for the purpose of providing you with support. After this time the electronic copies are deleted and only the log of the contact is retained.
When we are worried about your safety or that you are being hurt either by your own actions or by someone else, we want to help you find the best way to keep yourself safe.
We’ll do this by listening and by talking to you about what you want to do. Most of the time whatever you tell us will stay between you and Samaritans. However, if we feel that you are unable to make decisions for yourself sometimes we might need to tell someone else what you’ve told us to be able to help you.
This will apply to all children (those under the age of 18). Under some circumstances it may also apply to adults, if for example, if you are an adult at risk (you have additional health or care needs which prevent you from protecting yourself)
If you share information with us which identified a child or adult as risk who is suffering abuse or harm, after discussion with you, we may contact other relevant services.
We can only do this if we have information which identifies you.
We take your confidentiality very seriously and will only consider speaking to someone else if we are really worried about what you have told us and we feel that you are unable to make decisions.
Please see our Safeguarding Policy for further information.
In some circumstances, we may offer to call you back or for you to call us at an agreed time. In these cases, we will record information you’ve given us to complete the follow-up call. We may need to share this information internally, because we work as a team to provide you with the best possible support and we want to ensure that whoever you speak to is up to date with your situation.
We may contact you to offer our support if you are referred to us by another organisation or individual. Once we have contacted you, we will destroy your contact details, unless you agree to further contact – in which case we will, with your consent, keep your contact details.
Limiting or withdrawing access to our services
From time to time we may have to use the information collected about you when you contact us to make decisions about limiting access to our services. For example:
- If you contact us a lot in a short period of time we may need to manage your access to our service to ensure that others are able to get through to us. If this happens to you, you will get a message that explains how else you can contact us to discuss your support needs.
- If we believe you are abusing our service or are abusive towards volunteers, we will use our system to block your calls or messages from getting through. If you can’t get through by phone, you will hear a message that explains how to contact us to discuss our decision to block you from our system.
If we take the decision to limit your access to our systems, we will make every effort to inform you as to the reason why we have restricted your access. We may ask you to give us a contact number so that a member of our Caller Support Team can call you to talk about your support needs.
If you wish to discuss your use of the service or appeal a decision, please contact the Caller Support Team at Samaritans Central Charity on +44 20 8394 8300, by email or write to the Caller Support Team, Samaritans, The Upper Mill, Kingston Road, Ewell, Surrey KT17 2AF. Please be aware that if you call Samaritans Central Charity, your telephone number may be visible to the Caller Support Team and may be logged for administrative purposes.
If you are abusive or threaten our volunteers or staff we may report you to the police, provide them with what information we hold on you and, where available, circulate your CCTV image to local branches to ensure the safety of our volunteers.
Training and monitoring (‘listening in’)
While we never record your phone calls to our helpline, there are occasions when a second volunteer may be required to ‘listen-in’ to a live call being taken by another volunteer. We do this to:
- Train new Samaritans: in order to properly prepare our new volunteers to take calls, they will undertake a period of ‘listening in’ to an experienced volunteer. After a period of time, when the new Samaritan starts to take calls, the experienced volunteer will also listen in to their calls in order to provide guidance and support. This is purely for the purpose of training new Samaritans and there is no change in the information collected in the course of a usual call.
- To monitor the quality of our service: In 2021 we established the Quality hub. Volunteers at the quality hub monitor and assess telephone contacts and flag poor or exceptional service by ‘listening in’ to random contacts. This is for the purpose of monitoring the quality of calls taken by our volunteers, information may be recorded on the performance of the volunteer, but no additional information relating to the content of the contact is taken.
In each of these circumstances those ‘listening-in’ are trained and subject to the same policies as the primary listener.
Answering your queries and handling your complaints
Samaritans aims to provide support to the highest possible standard at all times. To help achieve this, we encourage anyone who is not completely happy with the service they have received to let us know immediately, by contacting Samaritans Central Charity Quality Team on 02083948313 or the branch involved.
When you contact us with a query or a complaint, we will collect personal information from you (including contact details and why you are calling). We use this information to provide you with advice and support, to find out the answer to your query, or to investigate your complaint (as appropriate), and also to create a record on our systems so that we have this available if you contact us again, and so we can follow up in relation to any outstanding issues.
Your information will not be passed on to anyone outside of Samaritans but in most cases, we will need to involve the Director of the relevant branch. With your prior consent, the Director will contact you directly to try to resolve your complaint.
We believe that we have a legitimate interest in ensuring that any queries and complaints are quickly and appropriately dealt with.
Worried that someone will see you’ve been on our webchat?
You can turn off notifications at any time by clicking on ‘Notification settings’ at the top of the web chat screen.
A push notification from our web chat service will only ever show the text: 'Your chat is ready', ‘Please click here to begin’ and ‘samaritans.org’ alongside a small picture of two speech bubbles. It won't ever display your messages or messages from us. An audio alert will make a generic notification sound.
Privacy information for supporters and donors
Making a donation
When you donate money to Samaritans Central Charity or one of our branches, we need to collect and use certain information about you in order to process your donation. This could include your name, email address, postal address, telephone or mobile number, bank details, taxpayer status (to understand if we can claim Gift Aid), date of birth and history of previous donations. We may also ask your permission at this time to add you to our marketing database so that we can keep in touch. Please see the section on direct marketing for further information.
When you make a donation via Samaritans Central Charity’s website or a branch website, your data is stored on a secure server and processed by our payment service providers. Our payment service providers use internationally recognised encryption standards and security methods to keep your data safe. Where you specify that a donation made through Samaritans Central Charity is for a branch, we will share your information with that branch to allow them to manage your donation.
Participating in a fundraising event
We ask supporters to fill out a webform on our website to let us know that they are planning a fundraiser. Your email address is uploaded into a MailChimp list, in order for email communications to be sent to you.
Fundraising and social media platforms
Third party marketing and fundraising
Samaritans works with various external companies, who may collect, store or process personal information on our behalf. When we do this, we:
- carry out checks on each company before we decide to work with them, to ensure that they have adequate safeguards in place to keep your data safe;
- do not give them any rights to use your personal information except in accordance with our instructions;
- require them to give us contractual assurances that they will comply with all data protection laws; and
- make sure that your data is transferred to them securely.
Here are some examples of third parties that we may share your data with or that may have access to your data for the purposes of providing services to Samaritans:
- Our website & database providers
- Our payroll giving, campaigning & fundraising partners
- Our payment system, direct debit and Gift Aid processing service providers
- Our printers & communications fulfilment partners
- Our research survey providers
- Our raffle & lottery services provider
- Our analytics partners
Some of the companies that we work with may be based outside of the European Economic Area. Where this is the case, we ask suppliers to provide additional evidence that they have the appropriate measures in place to ensure that your personal information is kept safe.
To claim Gift Aid
We rely on your consent to claim Gift Aid, and on our legitimate interest in raising funds for processing payments.
If you have made a Gift Aid declaration, we will need to disclose the information you have provided as part of our declaration to HMRC for the purpose of reclaiming Gift Aid.
From time to time we may send you communications about our work and how you can help us, for example, information about campaigns, volunteering, fundraising and how you can donate to us. Occasionally, we may include information from partner organisations or organisations who support us in these communications
- We will only send you marketing information electronically (e.g. by email or text/SMS) if you have specifically agreed to us doing so. We rely on consent for this processing and you can withdraw your consent at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link in any of our messages to you.
- We may send marketing information by post or call you for marketing purposes, unless you have previously opted out or said that you don’t want to be contacted. We rely on legitimate interest for this processing, as we consider that we have a legitimate interest to promote Samaritans to potential and actual supporters.
You can update your contact preferences or let us know that you don’t want to hear from us any more at any time by emailing [email protected] or calling us on 03709 00 00 32. If you tell us that you don’t want to receive our updates anymore, we will keep your details on a ‘suppression’ list to help ensure that we do not continue to send these to you. We may still need to contact you for administrative purposes, for example to process a donation you have made, or to give you information about an event you have registered for.
If you ask us to stop sending marketing information, we will update our records to stop further mailings as quickly as we can, however you may still receive mailings which were already in progress before you requested the stop.
You can tell us that you are not happy for your information to be used in this way by contacting us at [email protected]. We won’t be able to guarantee that you will never see one of our adverts again, as these may be generated from other sources on a randomised basis.
We will never sell your personal information to other organisations to use for their own marketing purposes.
Samaritans email subscriptions
If you sign up to receive news and updates from Samaritans by email, your name and contact details will be stored with our third party email service provider, MailChimp. You can read their privacy statement here.
When you interact with our emails
How to unsubscribe from receiving Samaritans emails
If you want to stop receiving emails from us, you can unsubscribe directly through the Unsubscribe link provided within every Samaritans email - it is usually located at the bottom of the email. By clicking this link, you will be automatically unsubscribed from all future emails. Please allow up to 10 working days for our records to update and for the unsubscribe to take effect.
How to notify us of a change in details
If your personal details change, please help us to keep your information up to date by clicking on the “Update my details” link provided within every Samaritans email. It is usually located at the bottom of the email.
Occasionally, Samaritans works with external companies who analyse our donor information to determine geographical and demographic trends. This helps us to send the most effective communications to potential and existing supporters. We only work with suppliers who we trust to keep the personal details of our donors safe. We require our partners to comply with data protection laws and to put appropriate safeguards in place.
If our research identifies that you may be willing and able to support us, we may gather additional information about you, such as professional history, affiliation with other charities and companies, trusteeships or club and livery membership, using publicly available sources. These sources could include Companies House, company websites, Who’s Who, Debretts, LinkedIn, Charity Commission website and recent press coverage. We will use this information to determine which areas of Samaritans work might be of greatest interest to you, in order to contact you with the most relevant information to see whether you are willing to support us.
We rely on our legitimate interest in identifying suitable donors for this processing activity.
We may use information from the same publicly available sources to identify who is responsible for a company’s or trust’s CSR, charitable giving and grant making policies and to identify an appropriate means of contact to enquire whether the organisation may consider supporting Samaritans.
We may also aggregate and anonymise personal data that we collect, for research purposes. This anonymous data can no longer be linked to any particular person and may be used for a variety of purposes, such as identifying trends and patterns within our existing supporter base.
Privacy information for volunteers and potential volunteers
Samaritans is made up of branches across the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, some of which are independent charities. The branches are coordinated by Samaritans Central Charity.
Samaritans Central Charity works with branches to support the recruitment and management of volunteers. Samaritans Central Charity and branches need to collect, use, store and share certain information about applicants and volunteers to manage their application and involvement with the organisation. This is collated through our Branch Management Tool. This tool manages and processes potential and successful volunteer applications. The need to use applicant and volunteer information in this way is known as a ‘legitimate interest’ of Samaritans and is the lawful basis upon which Samaritans handles personal data for these purposes.
We consider that it is within our legitimate interests to process your personal data in connection with your volunteering journey with us as described below, as this helps us to support our callers safely and effectively.
This section sets out how your personal data will be used by Samaritans Central Charity and the branches to administer and coordinate your application and volunteering with us.
Enquiring about volunteering opportunities
If you are interested in volunteering with Samaritans, you can contact us through our website, via the telephone, post, email, or at events. You can also contact branches directly.
You will be asked to give us your personal details so that we can contact you in relation to your enquiry. If you have contacted Samaritans Central Charity, we will pass this information on to your local Samaritans branch (or the branch you have requested), so that they can get in touch to discuss volunteering opportunities at the branch.
Samaritans Central Charity will also use the information you have provided to assist you with any queries you might have regarding your volunteering application and to ask you about your experience of applying to volunteer with us.
Applying to be a Samaritans volunteer
The information you provide on your application journey will be used to process your application and make a decision about whether you will be accepted on to a Samaritans training course. You may be asked for information about your age, disability, gender, employment status and ethnicity (known as ‘sensitive personal information’) to help Samaritans with equal opportunities monitoring. You are not required to give this information, but if you do, the relevant branch and Samaritans Central Charity will use it for the purposes of managing your application and involvement with Samaritans and equal opportunities monitoring only.
At this stage we will also ask your permission to add you to our marketing database so that we can keep in touch. Please see the section on ‘direct marketing’ for further information.
During the application process you will be asked to provide your location and select a branch where you would like to volunteer. Your application will automatically be shared with the selected branch using our Branch Management Tool, so that they can contact you about your application and invite you to interview if appropriate. Some of the branches that we will share you information with are separate charities and separate data controllers under data protection law. Where this is the case, we have agreements in place with these branches which cover the sharing of personal information. Please see the relevant branch Privacy Statement for more information.
Samaritans will keep the personal information you provide to us during the application process confidential, unless we are required to disclose it in connection with a police investigation and/or we have reason to believe that you may present a risk of harm to others.
If you withdraw your application or it is unsuccessful
Records relating to unsuccessful or withdrawn applications are automatically anonymised after 6 months. This means that all identifying details are removed and they will no longer be considered personal data.
There are a small number of exceptions where the six-month anonymisation rule will not apply, for example, where a potential volunteer’s application is declined due to risks identified during the criminal record check.
When you become a Samaritans volunteer
Samaritans Central Charity maintain control of the following personal information in relation to volunteers:
- Criminal record checks for volunteers alongside the Disclosure and Barring Service and Disclosure Scotland
- Referrals to the Disclosure & Referral Panel which determines whether a potential or existing volunteer with relevant offences is suitable to volunteer
- The list of volunteers permanently excluded from volunteering with Samaritans (excluded volunteers list) and referrals to the relevant safeguarding bodies
- The volunteer problem solving procedures if there is escalation following a branch investigation
- The online branch directory which contains contact details for all volunteers holding key organisational roles including branch directors, regional officers, trustees, functional leads and branch visitors as well as various committees
- The recruitment and selection process by the National Committee to certain key organisational roles
- Enquiries from potential volunteers received via the Samaritans Central Charity website, the recruitment line or other agencies, which are forwarded to the relevant branch
- The Samaritans e-learning site
- A database of all volunteers who have attended training events organised by SCC
- Details of volunteers who have been recognised for long service
Concerns or queries relating to the above categories of personal data should be directed to Samaritans Central Charity by emailing [email protected].
As part of your volunteering, you will be given access to central systems such as the eLog, which record every contact at Samaritans. The eLog creates a record for each inbound telephone call, using information drawn from Samaritans Connect and with additional information about the call which you will provide. Where this is not possible, and for face-to-face, email or outbound calls, you will use this system to log information manually.
Each contact in the eLog is linked to the Samaritans Accounts username of the volunteer who took the contact. The data in eLog may be used to support investigation of specific incidents and complaints. For example, it may be used to identify which volunteer handled a call that gives rise to a complaint from a caller.
The data contained in the eLog can only accessed by those who need to use it. A series of access levels have been defined according to the role held – from volunteers on shift to Branch Directors and Samaritans staff.
Monitoring training compliance
When we release mandatory training we believe it is within our Legitimate Interest to monitor the completion of that training and take action such as removing volunteers from shifts where this is not done. To do so we may use data from sources such as e-log, to identify when a volunteer has been on shift, and the Branch Management Tool to identify who has undertaken training, to identify when training has not been completed.
If you are subject to an investigation
There may be circumstances where we are required to investigate your conduct as a result of a complaint or allegation made against you. This will be dealt with under the Volunteer Problem Solving Policy.
As part of an investigation, we may collect information from yourself and others involved in the complaint for the purpose of assisting with our investigation of the matter.
If you are excluded from volunteering
Under Samaritans Problem Solving policy, all volunteers who have been dismissed or have resigned from their duties before or during investigation for serious misconduct are referred to the Criminal Records and Exclusions Panel, to consider whether their name should be included on the list of those who are unable to volunteer for Samaritans in the future.
If the decision is taken to permanently exclude you from volunteering your name and date of birth will be placed on a secure list which is accessible to a limited number of staff and all branch directors, to allow them to check for excluded volunteers during the recruitment process.
We consider it within our legitimate interest to maintain a list of those who are no longer able to volunteer for us.
Privacy information for research participants
Samaritans carries out research into suicide and self-harm, effective ways of providing support to people in distress and the needs and experiences of people using our services. We use this to help us develop our services and to inform our work in influencing government policy. This research may be carried out by Samaritans staff or volunteers, or external research teams that are supported or commissioned by Samaritans.
As well as the steps that we take to ensure your personal data is protected, Samaritans has a Research Ethics Policy which applies to all research that involves contacting and collecting information from current or past callers, volunteers and members of the general public.
The Research Ethics Policy requires informed consent from all individuals for all activities that involve contact between researchers (whether these are Samaritans staff, volunteers or staff from an external institution) and research participants. This means that participants must be fully informed about the project, including how any personal data provided will be used and the degree of anonymity and confidentiality provided, before agreeing to take part. Participants must provide positive consent (which may be written or verbal) that they are happy with the basis of the project and how their data will be used before proceeding.
All electronic and hard copy data collected during research is stored securely and is accessible only by the designated researchers and for the purposes of the research project. Data is stored for a duration of time specific to each research project but will not be kept longer than is necessary for the purposes of that project. Once the data is no longer needed, it is destroyed.
From time-to-time Samaritans researchers use externally hosted websites to conduct surveys. These websites may be hosted in countries or jurisdictions which do not provide the same level of data protection as the countries within the European Economic Area. Before you begin the survey, you will be told about the purpose of research and how your data will be used. You will also be provided with a link to the survey host’s privacy statement. All survey participants are required to indicate that they consent to take part before they proceed to complete the survey.
Sharing your story
Some of our service users and supporters choose to tell us about their experiences to help further our work. This may include sharing sensitive personal information relating to their health and emotional wellbeing.
If we have the explicit consent of the individual, or their parent or guardian if they are under 18, we may use this information in materials promoting our campaigning and fundraising work, or in documents such as our annual report.
Samaritans Lived Experience Panel
We host an online panel of people with lived experience of suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, self-harm, bereavement by suicide or Samaritans service use. The panel is hosted externally on a website called QuMind.
Upon registration, panel members will be asked to provide their name, contact details and some demographic information. This data will be kept for as long as the individual wishes to be part of the Lived Experience Panel.
We then send fortnightly surveys to panel members about a range of things. These survey results are pseudonymised, meaning that names, contact details and other pieces of identifiable information are removed. Only those with access to the platform (the Lived Experience Researcher and QuMind team) are able to search for panel member names and their contact details, and would only do so for specific purposes for which consent has been gained or where we have an overriding legitimate interest, such as to safeguard a panel member. .
Survey results are retained for 6 months.
Privacy information for contractors, partners and third parties
We respect the privacy of our partners and are committed to complying with applicable data protection law in all aspects of our operations.
When we work with a third party, we collect personal information directly from that third parties representative. This may include name, business email, business address, phone numbers and the type of service provided. We may also collect financial information such as bank details and tax details to comply with HMRC requirements.
We may use this information to conduct standard pre=contract due diligence, respond to enquiries, establish and renew contractual relationship or provide you with information. We will also use this information in order to facilitate the relationship and provide payment for services.
We will retain personal information only for as long as is necessary for these purposes or in order to comply with the law.
We will never share personal information about our third-party contacts unless they request or authorise it, it is a requirement of our agreement, or we are required to by law.
Other Samaritans services
School and college visits
Samaritans is made up of branches across the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, some of which are registered as independent charities. When we provide talks and workshops and any other type of visit to an educational establishment or youth setting, the relevant branch will record the visit on our secure database. This record will include:
- the name and address of the organisation
- the type of visit that we have carried out
- the number of young people we have talked to
This is used only within Samaritans and never shared externally. The Education Service team at Samaritans' Central Charity may use this information to monitor and improve the services that we offer. The team may also share statistical, anonymised data (such as the number of schools we have visited or the number of young people we have spoken to) externally for fundraising and awareness raising purposes.
Samaritans Self Help app
When you use the Samaritans self-help app, no one other than you will see what you write in it. Samaritans volunteers will not access to your responses, and can't check how much time you're spending on the app.
We collect your name, email and password to allow you to create an account. Having an account means you can save information from previous sessions, which is used in some interactive techniques, your safety plan, activities, and the mood tracker and mood logs.
We won't use your account information to find out what you have written in the app, or any other personal information.
We use Google Analytics and Hotjar to measure how this app is performing and to find out how different features are used so that we can improve them. This data is anonymous and can't be used to identify you.
DEAL: Developing Emotional Awareness and Listening
DEAL is part of PSHE’s Association Character Education toolkit. IT is intended to support the development of characteristic traits, attributed and behaviours within the context of planned PHSE lessons. DEAL includes lesson plans, activities, hand-outs, digital resources, teachers notes and staff training materials that can be accessed and downloaded for the Samaritans website.
If you register on our website, we store the information that you provide for Samaritans purposes only, as is stated on the registration form. This is not shared externally. Your information is kept for two years. We may contact you to ask you for feedback about the DEAL resources if you have given us permission to do so.
Step by Step
If you ask us for information or advice about Step by Step, our postvention service, or we offer you support, we keep a record of your organisation name, address and contact details on a secure database. This is so that we can keep a record of our activities and which schools we have worked with. This information is only for Samaritans' use. If you have given us permission to do so, we will use the email address that you provide to ask you for feedback on the service three months after we have first been in touch.
We will not pass your contact details to anyone else without your permission.
We keep an ongoing record of any visits or activities that we undertake as part of the service.
Some of Samaritans premises and branches operate CCTV systems, so you may be recorded when you visit them. CCTV is installed for security, to protect both you and Samaritans staff and volunteers. CCTV footage will only be viewed when necessary (for example to detect or prevent a crime) and is only stored on a temporary basis, other than where it has been flagged for review.
Links to third party websites
How Samaritans store personal information
Where we store your information
Samaritans operates across the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
We use ‘cloud-based’ applications provided by external suppliers to collect, store and handle some types of personal information. These suppliers (e.g., Microsoft) may be based outside of the UK or the EEA. Where this is the case, we ask suppliers to provide evidence that they have the appropriate measures in place to ensure that your personal information is kept safe, and we have taken steps to protect that data which is subject to transfer outside the UK and the EEA.
We will always seek to ensure that appropriate or suitable safeguards are in place to protect your personal information and that storage of your personal information in in compliance with applicable data protection laws.
Samaritans uses various technical and organisational measures to keep your data safe. Electronic data and databases are stored on secure computer systems and we control who has access to information, using both physical and electronic means. Our staff and volunteers receive data protection training and are provided with guidance that they are required to follow when handling personal information.
Although we do our best to keep your information safe, the transmission of information over the internet is never completely secure, so please bear this in mind when you share information with us via our website.
How long we keep your personal information for
We only keep your personal information for as long as required, depending on what it was collected for, and in accordance with legal requirements and tax and accounting rules.
If you have told us that you don’t want to be contacted by Samaritans, we will keep your details on a ‘suppression’ list to help ensure that we do not continue to contact you.
Keeping your information up to date
If your personal details have changed, let our Supporter Care Team know by contacting them at: Supporter Care Team, Samaritans, The Upper Mill, Ewell, Surrey KT17 2AF, emailing them at [email protected] or telephone on 03709 00 00 32.
Alternatively, contact the branch that you support directly.
The data protection laws give you certain rights over your personal information and how we use it. These include:
- the right of access to a copy of the information that we hold about you;
- the right to ask us to correct inaccurate information that we hold about you;
- the right, in certain circumstances, to object to specific uses of your data; and
- the right, in certain circumstances, to request the information that we hold about you to be deleted.
- The right, in certain circumstances not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling.
If you wish to exercise any of these rights, please:
- Put your request in writing and email it to [email protected] or send it for the attention of the Legal & Governance team at Samaritans, The Upper Mill, Kingston Road, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 2AF. If you are only in contact with a single branch, you can put your request in writing to that branch.
Help us to respond to you as quickly as possible by being specific about which information you would like to receive a copy of or that you would like is to amend/delete. Please note:
- If we are unable to verify your identity, for example if you contact the service anonymously or use a different name to do so, it may not be possible to provide you with the information requested.
- Samaritans is not a ‘public authority’ as defined under the Freedom of Information Act and we will therefore not respond to requests for information made under this Act
The laws governing how your personal data can be used are:
- General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (UK GDPR)
- Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA)
- The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR)
We also follow the best practice code set out by the Fundraising Regulator: Code of Fundraising Practice.
You can also contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at www.ico.org.uk to find out more or report a concern. The ICO is UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. We work with them to make sure that we collect, store, and use your information appropriately and not do anything you would not reasonably expect us to do with your data.
Making a complaint
If you require further information about the way your personal data will be used, or if you are unhappy with the way we have handled your personal data and wish to contact us please submit your concerns to: [email protected].
You also have the right to lodge a complaint to the UK Data Protection Regulator (the "ICO") about how we have used your personal data. To contact the ICO please use the following details:
Telephone: 0303 123 1113