Asthma and Lung UK (formerly known as Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership) is working to change the lives of everyone affected by asthma, bronchiectasis, COPD, ILD, mesothelioma, pulmonary fibrosis and all other lung conditions.
Our support helps people who struggle to breathe manage their lung condition and live well.
Our world-leading research finds new ways to prevent, treat and cure lung disease.
Our campaigns help make vital, lasting changes.
This notice tells you:
- Who we are
- The type of personal information we collect
- What we do with your information
- The legal basis for processing your information
- How we share information with other organisations
- How we protect your information
- How long we keep your information
- Your rights
- How to contact us
- Other information
By providing us with personal information, you consent to its collection and use as set out in this Privacy Notice. We aim to be clear, transparent and only to use your information in a way that you would reasonably expect us to. We may update this Privacy Notice from time to time so please check it regularly.
1. Who we are
Asthma and Lung UK comprises a charity with registered charity number 326730 in England and Wales, SC038415 in Scotland, and 1177 in the Isle of Man, and two trading companies: Asthma Enterprises Limited with company number 02355314 and BLF Services Limited with company number 02341027. In this Notice wherever you see the words ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’, it refers to both the charity and the trading companies.
Our trading companies are wholly owned and controlled by our charity. Any information we collect may be used by any of our entities. Our trading companies exist to support our charitable objectives.
Our principal office is located at:
Asthma and Lung UK, 4th Floor, 18 Mansell Street, London E1 8AA
Asthma and Lung UK is registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office under the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 and Data Protection Act 2018. Our registration is:
Asthma and Lung UK Z6901318
2. The type of personal information we collect
The types of personal information that we collect may include:
- Your title, name, gender and date of birth
- Your contact details (address, email, phone number and social media contact details)
- Your preferred way of being contacted by us
- Your current interests and activities
- Gift Aid status and records of donations
- Your IP address, location, browser type and information on how you interact on our website
- Any other information provided by you on our request
In some circumstances the personal information we collect about you may include “sensitive data”. This includes personal information relating to your health, racial or ethnic origins and living conditions. Where we request such sensitive data, we will explain to you why we need it.
If you are under the age of 13 you should ask permission of a parent or guardian before sending personal information to anyone online.
3. What we do with your information
We will use your personal information to:
- Provide you with the services or information that you asked for
- Provide you with information with other services or information we think might interest you, where you have consented to being contacted
- Administer your donation or support your fundraising, including processing Gift Aid
- Send you surveys to help us improve our operations
- Invite you to events
- Keep a record of your relationship to us and record the contact we have had with you
- Confirm your preferred methods for communicating with us
We may also use personal information to carry out due diligence on prospective research grant recipients and potential donors to ensure that we are following our internal policies and procedures and the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Best Practice.
4. The legal basis for processing your information
Under the UK GDPR and the DPA, we must have a legal reason to collect, keep and use your personal information. We rely on the following legal basis for processing your data:
- Legitimate Interests
We process your personal information for our legitimate interests to allow us to run, fund and evaluate Asthma and Lung UK as a charitable entity and in pursuit of our objectives. When we process your personal information for our legitimate interests, we make sure to consider and balance any potential impact on you and your rights under data protection laws. We will always ensure that your personal information will not be used where our interests are overridden by the impact on you. The following are some examples of the instances where we process your data for our legitimate interests:
- Direct marketing: We will send postal marketing and fundraising requests which further the aims and objectives of Asthma and Lung UK and don’t unduly impact the rights of the individual
- Profiling and analysing information: We carry out limited profiling and research to help us understand our donors and potential donors, grant recipients and potential grant recipients, including gathering information from publicly available resources to give an insight into your philanthropic and research interests
5. How we share information with other organisations
We are committed to protecting your information and therefore it will never be sold to external organisations and will only be disclosed to those acting as agents and data processors carrying out work on our behalf. Where we enter into an agreement with an external party, such arrangements will be subject to a formal agreement between Asthma and Lung UK and that organisation to protect your information. These parties may include:
- Suppliers who send out communications on our behalf
- Fulfilment organisations to process payments received as donations
- Other partners engaged in the Taskforce for Lung Health
6. How we protect your information
We aim to ensure that there are appropriate physical, technical and managerial controls in place to protect any personal information you may provide to us, for example our online forms are always encrypted, and our network is protected and monitored. All Asthma and Lung UK staff members are required to complete training on handling data securely.
Where we use external companies to collect or process personal information on our behalf, we carry out comprehensive checks on them before we work with them and ensure that contracts are in place that set out our expectations and requirements. We may work with external companies that transfer personal information outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) to allow them to perform services on our behalf. In doing so your information may be stored and processed outside of the EEA. Where this happens, we will endeavour to ensure your information is processes in accordance with the appropriate security requirements to meet all our legal responsibilities.
Despite all our precautions no information transmission through the internet, email, the post or by telephone can ever be guaranteed to be 100% secure. The transmission of information to us is at your own risk.
7. How long we keep your information
We will hold your information on our systems for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity. If you request that stop sending you materials, then we will hold a record of that request indefinitely. All our regular communications offer you an option not to receive any further communication.
8. Your rights
You are entitled to know what personal information we hold about you and you may ask us to make any changes to ensure that it is accurate and up to date. This includes:
- You may request a copy of the personal information we hold about you at any time
- You may request us to cease sending you any correspondence, email updates and newsletters at any time by notifying us in writing or following any “unsubscribe” instructions included in any email sent to you
- If you have received unwanted, unsolicited emails sent via our system or purporting to be sent via our system, please forward a copy of that email to us with your comments
- Please let us know if any of the information which we hold about you needs to be corrected or updated at any time.
Any such request should be sent to email@example.com, we will review your request and respond to let you know when we have made the requested changes.
9. How to contact us
For any comments or complaints about this Notice or how we have used personal information, please contact us by post at:
Asthma and Lung UK, 4th Floor, 18 Mansell Street, London E1 8AA
Or by email at:
10. Further information
The laws governing how your personal information 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 by the Fundraising Regulator: Code of Fundraising Practice.
You can also contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at ico.org.uk for further information. You can raise a complaint or concern about data protection compliance with the ICO through their website, by calling their helpline on 0303 123 1113, or by post to:
The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.
This policy outlines the complaints procedure for Asthma and Lung UK. The policy covers all complaints made to the organisation, including fundraising complaints, and is available publicly as required by the Fundraising Regulator. The policy complies with legislation and guidelines from the Charity Commission, the Fundraising Regulator and the Institute of Fundraising. The policy applies to all staff and volunteers of Asthma and Lung UK. All staff are responsible for knowing the complaints policy and being able to explain to supporters about how to file a complaint.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction with the organisation. This could be because of something we have done or failed to do including dissatisfaction with any service or information we provide, the behaviour of any member of staff, our methods of fundraising or services we are unable to provide such as financial aid.
As the organisation is a charity with limited resources, we must use these effectively and efficiently, therefore, on rare occasions, we will acknowledge a complaint but may chose not to respond to it. This may occur when:
- the complaint does not relate directly to Asthma and Lung UK, (formerly operating as Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership, Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation)
- the complaint related to a topic we are not in a position to comment on
- the complaint is unreasonably pursued after having been investigated in line with our complaints procedures [in this case we may choose not to reply again]
- the complaint is incoherent or illegible
- The complaint has been sent to us and other similar organisations i.e. a bulk mailing. In this instance we will decide whether it is appropriate to reply
- the complainant is abusive, prejudiced or offensive
- the complainant is harassing a staff member
How to complain
If a supporter feels something has gone wrong or they are are unhappy with an aspect of the organisation’s work, their first course of action should be to raise their complaint informally with the person or service concerned.
If the supporter is not satisfied with the outcome of the initial investigation into their complaint and they feel the matter has not been resolved, then they can make a more formal complaint.
The Supporter Care Team have responsibility for ensuring that complaints about the organisation are recorded and handled appropriately. The following should be included in the complaint recording:
- what went wrong
- when and where it happened
- whether the complaint applies to Asthma and Lung UK, including its previous names
- who was involved
- what the supporter wants from their complaint
- the supporter’s name, address and contact details: telephone and/or email
Complaints made to the Supporter Care Team should be received through one of the following routes:
- Through post
Supporter Care Team
Asthma and Lung UK
18 Mansell Street
- On the phone
0300 222 5800 (option 2)
- Via email
The Supporter Care Team, or the person allocated to investigate the complaint, will follow the organisation agreed procedure to make sure that it is dealt with effectively.
If a complaint is made by telephone, employees should be able to resolve it during the call. If this is not possible, then they should let the supporter know how long it will take us to resolve it.
If the complaint is made by email or post, employees should resolve it or acknowledge receipt of it within 5 working days. If the complaint is more complex, employees should contact the supporter again with a resolution within 20 working days of receipt.
If the employee thinks the investigation will take longer they should let the supporter know and provide updates every 20 working days. This may be necessary if the complaint is complex or requires statements from multiple people.
If the supporter is not satisfied with the response, then their complaint should be escalated to a member of the Executive Team. They will lead an investigation and contact the supporter with a resolution within 20 working days.
If the supporter feels that their complaint has been unresolved by the organisation, then they should contact the relevant regulator. This includes the Fundraising Regulator, Charity Commission and Advertising Standards Authority.
Details for who to contact for different types of complaints can be found on the UK Government website here: https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-charity
We treat all comments and complaints as an opportunity to improve. We are happy to acknowledge the mistakes that we have made, sincerely apologise for them and then try to prevent them from happening again in the future.
Thank you for helping us to provide a better service.
The purpose of the Safeguarding Policy is to ensure that in all of Asthma and Lung UK’s activities that the safety and wellbeing of individuals and groups is considered and appropriately acted upon at times to protect those individuals or groups to maintain and protect the trust and reputation of Asthma and Lung UK and its employees.
2.1 As a registered charity Asthma and Lung UK has a position of trust for people with lung diseases and in society in general. It will therefore have interactions with many people including people affected by lung disease. This may include people who are vulnerable due to social, economic or health circumstances. Although the services provided by Asthma and Lung UK may be individually tailored, it does not constitute the provision of a healthcare service and does not (currently) seek personal information to provide that advice. In this regard Asthma and Lung UK staff do not have a responsibility for medical care, but does have a moral and ethical responsibility to help protect people from harm.
2.2 Asthma and Lung UK will endeavour to provide a robust series of policies, procedures and a supportive, learning environment to create an effective safeguarding culture.
2.3 This policy sets out the foundations for effective Safeguarding practice within Asthma and Lung UK and throughout all activities. These areas include but are not limited to:
- digital support including WhatsApp and email support for people with lung disease and other projects involving digital media.
- Supporter Care Team
- Research and Policy
- Insight and patient involvement
- Media team including social media and forums.
- Advice and content team
- Public events, meetings
- Support Group Network
- Any other contact with members of public
2.4 This policy is unable to cover every potential situation but is intended to clearly outline the principles of good safeguarding practice within Asthma and Lung UK so that every employee, volunteer, representative or partner is confident and competent to contribute to a safe environment for the people it works with and interacts with, and can take appropriate action when required.
3.1 Safeguarding is a term used in the United Kingdom and Ireland to denote measures to protect the health, well-being and human rights of individuals, which allow people — especially children, young people and vulnerable adults — to live free from abuse, harm and neglect. “Safeguarding people”. Care Quality Commission. 18 June 2014.
3.2 Safeguarding children and promoting their welfare includes:
Protecting them from maltreatment or things that are bad for their health or development.
Making sure they grow up in circumstances that allow safe and effective care.
3.3 Safeguarding adults and children includes:
Protecting their rights to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
People and organisations working together to prevent the risk of abuse or neglect, and to stop them from happening.
Making sure people’s wellbeing is promoted, taking their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs into account.
Vulnerable people (whether adult or child) can be neglected or abused. Abuse can take the form of:
Vulnerable people might also be subject to risk of trafficking, exploitation, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, radicalisation.
Online vulnerability may be in the form of cyberbullying, grooming, losing control of personal data (including financial data, pictures, videos), overuse and addiction to digital devices, risk to personal reputation (e.g. by sharing opinions, views and feelings) and accessing inappropriate sites.
3.4 Asthma and Lung UK and its employees need to consider all possible scenarios where vulnerable people might be identified:
- Employees are in face-to-face contact with someone they believe may be vulnerable
- Employees are in telephone contact with someone they believe who be vulnerable
- Employees are in digital contact (WhatsApp, social media messaging, email) with someone they believe may be vulnerable
- Employees believe that a dependant of a contact (e.g. children of a caller) may be vulnerable
- Employees witness (either in person or online) someone being made vulnerable
- Employees believe that the actions of Asthma and Lung UK, an employee or representative, or a partner or associate may put, or is putting an individual or group at risk of vulnerability.
- Any individual or group may be considered as vulnerable or in need of safeguarding. This may include employees, volunteers, associates and partners
4.1 The following principles should form constant safeguarding themes through the culture, aims, policies and behaviours of all Asthma and Lung UK activities.
Asthma and Lung UK will have policies and procedures in place to ensure that employees, volunteers, associates or partners have had the appropriate checks so that any prior history or behaviours that constitute a potential safeguarding risk can be identified and mitigated as appropriate.
All Asthma and Lung UK employees, volunteers, associates or partners are aware of their safeguarding responsibilities as well as policies and procedures so that they may highlight areas of potential safeguarding risk to mitigate that risk.
To have an open and reflective culture that encourages continual learning and appreciation of safeguarding risks throughout the organisation. The protection of vulnerable people from harm is a team effort and of paramount importance.
Policies and procedures will encourage the accurate documentation of safeguarding assessments, concerns, incidents and actions. This will allow audit and learning for the organisation.
Safeguarding policies and procedures will be easily accessible to all employees, volunteers, associates and partners. Internally they will be available on the SharePoint site.
4.3 Risk assessment
Projects and plans should have clear and documented consideration of potential safeguarding issues where there is potential risk. This should be documented and suitable mitigation should be put in place and clear and documented escalation procedures.
All Asthma and Lung UK employees should consider potential safeguarding impact of any role they are providing on behalf of Asthma and Lung UK.
Through training, all employees, volunteers, associates and partners are aware of potential safeguarding concerns to look for and consider.
All employees, volunteers, associates and partners are aware of the importance to escalate suspected safeguarding issues urgently and to the appropriate people externally and within Asthma and Lung UK.
4.5 Escalation and reporting – internally
All employees, volunteers, associates and partners are aware of who they should inform of any potential safeguarding incident. This should also be done in writing where possible so there is a clear audit trail.
4.6 Sharing and reporting – externally
All employees, volunteers, associates and partners can quickly identify the correct procedures for which authorities (for example police, local authority) should be informed of safeguarding concerns.
All employees, volunteers, associates and partners are aware of their responsibilities where safeguarding concerns are identified. This includes sharing the concerns internally and externally as appropriate and accurate documentation.
All employees, volunteers, associates and partners should be able and feel comfortable to raise safeguarding concerns about Asthma and Lung UK employees, volunteers, associates and partners. This should be done internally in the first instance but may be appropriate to inform external agencies (e.g. police, local authorities) should the safeguarding concern be deemed serious or urgent enough.
All employees to report concerns to who they feel comfortable to report to, first instance the line manager, or director or chief executive.
Asthma and Lung UK will continue to review its safeguarding policies and procedures on a regular basis and considering specific incidents or perceived risks. New areas of work by Asthma and Lung UK, including new types of relationships with individuals or organisations, should prompt a review of all relevant policies and procedures.
Asthma and Lung UK will have processes in place to review all safeguarding incidents and concerns raised to see where additional action is required or where policies and procedures need updating.
Asthma and Lung UK will seek external safeguarding advice where it is appropriate to do so following a specific incident or concerns, or if there is a specific event or project which carries a significant or new safeguarding risks.
5.0 Roles and responsibilities
5.1 Safeguarding Lead
The Safeguarding Lead for Asthma and Lung UK is the Chief Operating Officer. S/he may delegate roles to other members of the team eg Clinical Lead, Head of People and Organisation Development.
The Safeguarding Lead is the Responsible Officer required to implement the Safeguarding Policy, producing specific assessments and reports for the Chief Executive and Trustees as required. S/he is supported in the implementation of the policy by the Clinical Lead and the Leadership team.
The Safeguarding Lead is responsible for maintaining and updating this policy considering feedback, events and new activities undertaken by Asthma and Lung UK, and for reviewing the policy every two years to ensure it remains relevant for the organisation’s activities and risks.
New safeguarding concerns or incidents should be shared with the Safeguarding Lead at the earliest opportunity. The Safeguarding Lead should maintain a log of all incidents.
5.2 Heads of teams
Heads of teams will have responsibility for safeguarding within their teams.
The Safeguarding Lead is the main point of contact for the Heads of teams regarding safeguarding matters. They will be responsible for implementing, maintaining and updating safeguarding procedure for their relevant team(s). They should work with team members and relevant members of the Leadership team to consider, identify and mitigate against potential safeguarding issues.
Any safeguarding incidents should be shared with the Safeguarding Lead at the earliest opportunity and communicated in writing as soon as practicable. Where this not possible (due to the Safeguarding Lead being absent) or not desired (due to the Safeguarding Lead being potentially implicated) then another member of the Executive Team or Chief Executive should be informed. The Chief Executive (or Senior Responsible Officer) in their absence will escalate to the Chair of Trustees if deemed to be of sufficient gravity.
Heads should establish a culture within their teams that promotes the wellbeing and protection of all vulnerable adults and children. This culture will be supported through ensuring safeguarding risk assessments are carried out for all events and services and regular reviews are carried out to identify potential risks and learning from any incidents. Heads should consider the potential for actual and spurious claims being made against individuals working for or on behalf of Asthma and Lung UK.
The Safeguarding Lead will support Heads, teams and individuals to consider safeguarding risks in advance of events and new services. They should also encourage a culture of considering where potential safeguarding issues may have arisen and use these insights to inform the updating of Safeguarding policies and organisational learning.
5.3 Chief Executive, Executive Team and Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for safeguarding within Asthma and Lung UK and as such Trustees are responsible for approving the Safeguarding Policies, with policy scrutiny on a regular basis by the Remuneration and Nominations Committee.
The Chief Executive is responsible for overseeing the performance of the Safeguarding Lead and Heads in their implementation of the policy.
The Chief Executive or Trustees may request written or verbal updates at any time should the need arise due to concerns around the implementation of the policy or an incident or to pre-empt a specific event or risk. Incidents are also reported quarterly through the CEO report to Board.
5.4 People and Organisation Development Team
As part of standard employment checks, Asthma and Lung UK only offers employment conditional on receipt of suitable references.
For roles where a potential employee’s primary duties relate to contact with potentially vulnerable adults or children (currently our Helpline Nurses) Asthma and Lung UK undertakes a standard Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check in addition.
As part of core induction processes colleagues are provided with information relating to safeguarding principles and are required to read all policies relating to HR practices including this Safeguarding Policy. In addition, managers provide colleagues with orientation and training in relation to the safeguarding procedures that must be followed for their duties. The People and Organisational Development Team will keep documentary evidence of training having taken place.
Team Heads will be responsible for identifying emerging learning needs and will work with the Safeguarding Lead to ensure that these needs are met.
Asthma and Lung UK only provide basic references for people leaving the organisation, this would cover the role and dates employed within the organisation. If the new employer requested further information about the employee then this would be assessed on a case by case basis.
5.5 Staff, Volunteers, Representatives
As set out above, as part of their induction all staff will be made aware of the Safeguarding Policy and the People and Organisational Development team will check that staff are aware of their responsibilities in the HR induction meeting. Line managers highlight to the employee the practices and procedures that operate in relation to safeguarding in their teams. Staff have a responsibility to read and understand the policies as they apply to them and their role. If they are assisting another team or member of staff beyond their usual role, they should familiarise themselves with the relevant policies.
As part of the employment process, prospective employees will be asked to disclose any previous criminal convictions or pending investigations.
It is the responsibility of individual members of staff to complete appropriate safeguarding training and assessments as appropriate to their role and responsibilities.
Issues that prevent implementation of this policy and related policies must be highlighted to the Safeguarding Leads.
Where volunteers, representatives or partners acting as agents of Asthma and Lung UK or who may, by implication, be associated with the organisation, it is essential that our standards and values are not compromised. In these circumstances the highest level of safeguarding culture and behaviour should be maintained. This may require due diligence processes and/or sharing of the safeguarding policies.
Asthma and Lung UK may require a request of partners to disclose their safeguarding policies and address any specific concerns re members of staff in the employ of that partner. Documentation of any processes taken to maintain Asthma and Lung UK safeguarding processes and inclusion within contracts is recommended.
5.6 Partners and Associates
Where Asthma and Lung UK has a contract, relationship or is providing support (including financial) to an individual or organisation a clear understanding of the organisation’s safeguarding values and policies should be shared where relevant included in a contract. Organisations will be directed to the Asthma and Lung UK Safeguarding Policy.
6.0 Training and implementation
Asthma and Lung UK has a robust and auditable safeguarding training process. All staff will receive training thorough a workshop and for new staff joining Asthma and Lung UK this will be incorporated into the induction programme. Training is proportional to the safeguarding risks that an individual role may present. Opportunity for further training will be provided where appropriate.
6.1 Breaches of the policy
Employees will be given regular feedback on their performance including the identification of any learning and development needs. This feedback will highlight any areas that need addressing including in relation to safeguarding awareness. Employees will be supported to ensure that they can undertake their duties in line with our quality standards. Any issues will be managed in line with the Capability Procedure. Where employees fail to follow procedures, disciplinary action may result as set out in our Grievance and Disciplinary Policy.
Registered with the Fundraising Regulator
Asthma and Lung UK is proud to be registered with the Fundraising Regulator, the independent regulator of charitable fundraising.
Being registered to the Fundraising Regulator means we are committed to its Fundraising Promise which outlines our commitment to donors and the public. This means we ensure that our fundraising is legal, open, honest and respectful. The standards for fundraising are set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice.
We will commit to high standards
- We will adhere to the Fundraising Code of Practice.
- We will monitor fundraisers, volunteers and third parties working with us to raise funds, to ensure that they comply with the Code of Fundraising Practice and with this Promise.
- We will comply with the law as it applies to charities and fundraising.
- We will display the Fundraising Regulator badge on our fundraising material to show we are committed to good practice.
We will be clear, honest and open
- We will tell the truth and we will not exaggerate.
- We will do what we say we are going to do with donations we receive.
- We will be clear about who we are and what we do.
- We will give a clear explanation of how you can make a gift and change a regular donation.
- Where we ask a third party to fundraise on our behalf, we will make this relationship and the financial arrangement transparent.
- We will be able to explain our fundraising costs and show how they are in the best interests of our cause if challenged.
- We will ensure our complaints process is clear and easily accessible.
- We will provide clear and evidence based reasons for our decisions on complaints.
We will be respectful
- We will respect your rights and privacy.
- We will not put undue pressure on you to make a gift. If you do not want to give or wish to cease giving, we will respect your decision.
- We will have a procedure for dealing with people in vulnerable circumstances and it will be available on request.
- Where the law requires, we will get your consent before we contact you to fundraise.
- If you tell us that you don’t want us to contact you in a particular way we will not do so. We will work with the Telephone, Mail and Fundraising Preference Services to ensure that those who choose not to receive specific types of communication don’t have to.
We will be fair and reasonable
- We will treat donors and the public fairly, showing sensitivity and adapting our approach depending on your needs.
- We will take care not to use any images or words that intentionally cause distress or anxiety.
- We will take care not to cause nuisance or disruption to the public.
We will be accountable and responsible
- We will manage our resources responsibly and consider the impact of our fundraising on our donors, supporters and the wider public.
- If you are unhappy with anything we’ve done whilst fundraising, you can contact us to make a complaint. We will listen to feedback and respond appropriately to compliments and criticism we receive.
- We will have a complaints procedure, a copy of which will be available on our website or available on request.
- Our complaints procedure will let you know how to contact the Fundraising Regulator in the event that you feel our response is unsatisfactory.
- We will monitor and record the number of complaints we receive each year and share this data with the Fundraising Regulator on request.
If you have any questions or concerns you can call us on 0300 222 5800 (press Option 2).
Policy for fundraising communications with vulnerable supporters
To ensure that we take all reasonable care to protect vulnerable adults, Asthma and Lung UK complies with the Institute of Fundraising guidance set out in the document called “Treating Donors Fairly: Responding To The Needs Of People In Vulnerable Circumstances And Helping Donors Make Informed Decisions”.
Asthma and Lung UK requires its staff and any agencies contacting members of the public on our behalf to comply with guidelines provided by the Direct Marketing Association and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association. These guidelines do not cover children and young people under the age of 18, and we do not actively seek donations from them.
Asthma and Lung UK relies entirely on donations from individuals and grants from organisations to fund our work – without our donors we could not carry out our vital work supporting people with asthma and funding research to find new treatments and ultimately a cure. We aim to communicate with supporters in the ways in which they are most comfortable and this includes mail, email, SMS, phone and in person.
Every donor is an individual with a unique background, experiences and circumstances – and every interaction between a fundraiser and donor is different. Asthma and Lung UK does not identify vulnerable adults based on broad personal characteristics such as disability or age. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to donate if they are willing and able to do so, and that denying people the chance to give based on appearance, age or behaviour may be considered discriminatory.
It is inevitable that we will come into contact with people who are vulnerable and not able to make informed decisions about their giving. This can happen either through our own communications or through communications from the agencies who work on our behalf. This document outlines how we take all reasonable care to identify supporters who may be vulnerable, and what action we take if we suspect a person is vulnerable.
Complying with regulation and best practice
The Institute of Fundraising General Principles clause 1.2 e) states that: “Fundraisers MUST take all reasonable steps to treat a donor fairly, enabling them to make an informed decision about any donation. This MUST include taking into account the needs of any potential donor who may be in a vulnerable circumstance or require additional care and support to make an informed decision. ii) Fundraisers MUST NOT exploit the credulity, lack of knowledge, apparent need for care and support or vulnerable circumstance of any donor at any point in time.”
Asthma and Lung UK fundraising abides by the four key principles of the Institute of Fundraising’s “Treating Donors Fairly” policy, which are:
“Respect – treating all members of the public respectfully. This means being mindful of, and sensitive to, any particular need that a donor may have. It also means striving to respect the wishes and preferences of the donor, whatever they may be.
Fairness – all donors should be treated fairly. This includes not discriminating against any group or individual based on their appearance or any personal characteristic.
Responsive – this means responding appropriately to the different needs that a donor may have. The onus should be on the fundraiser to adapt his or her approach (tone, language, communication technique) to suit the needs and requirements of the donor.
Accountable – it is up to fundraisers and charities to take responsibility and care to ensure that their fundraising is happening to a high standard. When thinking about ways of communicating with different people and fundraising appropriately, different charities should consider what processes and procedures they may need in place. Charities may want to develop their own internal guidance on this area and consider how to ensure that their fundraisers are appropriately trained and supported.”
Identifying vulnerable people
By ‘a vulnerable adult’, we mean those people who are lacking the ability, either temporarily or permanently, to make an informed decision about donating money to Asthma and Lung UK. There are a number of factors which can contribute to vulnerability. Examples of indicators which could mean that an individual is in a vulnerable circumstance or needs additional support could include:
- Mental illness and mental capacity concerns (both permanent and temporary conditions), including dementia and personality disorders
- Significant physical illness
- Physical and sensory disability
- Learning difficulties
- Times of stress or anxiety (e.g. bereavement, redundancy)
- Financial vulnerability (where a gift from a donor may impact on their ability to sufficiently care for themselves or leave them in financial hardship)
- Language barriers
- Influence of alcohol or drugs
- Where people live (for example, in supported housing).
It is not feasible to provide a comprehensive set of factors or characteristics which would enable fundraisers to always identify an individual who is in vulnerable circumstances. We therefore follow the guidance on indicators of vulnerability, laid down by the Institute of Fundraising. This guidance includes:
Indicators that an individual appears confused, such as:
- Asking irrelevant and unrelated questions
- Responding in an irrational way to questions
- Saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ at times when it is clear they haven’t understood the meaning of what is being discussed.
Indicators that the individual may have physical difficulties, such as:
- Unable to hear and understand what is being said
- Unable to read and understand the information they are provided with
- Displaying signs of ill-health like breathlessness or signs of exasperation or discontent.
Indicative statements that suggest a lack of mental capacity, such as:
- Saying ‘I don’t usually do things like this, my husband/wife son/daughter takes care of it for me’
- Having trouble remembering relevant information, for example forgetting that they are already a regular donor to that charity (e.g. have an existing Direct Debit), or have recently donated.
We can at times identify vulnerable adults through written communications:
- A supporter who has emailed or written to us to tell us they are permanently vulnerable (see earlier definitions)
- Letters we receive from people where their thoughts and wishes are not clear or consistent.
Family members / carers
We may also be alerted to a supporter being vulnerable by a family member or carer. Where we have been given this information we act upon this, by asking the supporter what kind of communication, if any, is acceptable.
What we do if we suspect a supporter is vulnerable
We follow the Institute of Fundraising guidance if we suspect that a donor lacks the capacity to make a decision about the donation which states that “a donation should not be taken. If after the donation is taken the charity receives evidence that the person lacked capacity to make the decision to donate, then the charity can and should return the donation because the original donation was invalid. … If a donor is found to lack capacity, the organisation should put in place measures to ensure that donations are not solicited from them in the future.
Our social media channels – House Rules
On our social media channels you can find out about the latest news on lung health and the work of Asthma + Lung UK: how we fight for your right to breathe, fund world-class research that changes the lives of millions of people; and help people with our expert advice and support. You can also speak to other people who live with a lung condition or who support a family member, friend or colleague – you are not alone as 1 in 5 people will develop a lung condition in the UK in their lifetime.
To ensure everyone has a positive experience, we need your help in keeping our social media channels safe, informative and enjoyable spaces. These are our House Rules:
- Stay safe
It’s all too easy to share personal information about yourself or other people on social media. So please remember not to share personal details such as your address or phone number and don’t share details with anyone you don’t know. If you need to share personal information with us (e.g. your name, address, phone number or health information), you are welcome to send us a private message or contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org instead.
If you have a medical question you can speak to our nurses and healthcare advisors on our helpline on 0300 222 5800 (lines open 9am to 5pm GMT, Monday to Friday, excluding national holidays).
We’re not responsible for the privacy or security practices of social media platforms or users.
- Be respectful
We have thousands of followers and everyone will have different opinions and experiences of lung conditions. We ask that any comments or discussions on our social media channels are respectful to other members, as well as our staff and volunteers.
- We will not tolerate provocation, abuse, discrimination, harassment, obscene, violent, unlawful or threatening language or imagery directed at us, our members, staff and volunteers.
- We will not allow spamming (including repeated links to other websites), product advertisements, defamatory comments, fraudulent or misleading content, or statements that claim to be cures for lung disease or any other conditions.
- We will not accept deliberately controversial comments or persistent inflammatory comments that have been posted to provoke reaction.
If you think we have not addressed any concerns you may have, we would invite you to share them or any complaint through the correct channel by emailing email@example.com.
Users who don’t adhere to our House Rules may have their comments hidden or removed, will not receive a response to direct messages and may be blocked. For anyone posting abusive, discriminatory, harassing, obscene, violent, unlawful or threatening content we reserve the right to report their behaviour to the associated social media platform. Please do let us know if you think any of the comments on our social media channels violate these House Rules by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, sending us a message or reporting them to the relevant platform directly.
Help us create a safe space on our social media channels for everyone with a lung condition.
- Know what to expect
Our core office hours are between 9am and 5pm GMT, Monday to Friday, excluding national holidays. Our social media channels are actively managed during these core hours. Outside of these hours, our channels are only monitored for urgent enquiries. We aim to respond to direct enquiries as quickly as we can (usually within five working days).
We cannot offer in-depth health or medical advice over social media. The Asthma + Lung UK helpline offers advice, information and support by phone on 0300 222 5800 during our core office hours.
We may sometimes post links to relevant non-Asthma + Lung UK content and we will do our best to only post content we believe to be accurate. However, we are not responsible for the content of external websites.
Unfortunately, we’re only able to respond to enquiries in English.
- Get expert advice
The advice we provide will always have been checked by an in-house expert and if we feel you need more tailored support, such as help on a medical issue, we will refer you to our helpline team.
Please be mindful that people may post about certain tips that they have found helpful to manage their lung condition, before you act on any advice you see or read, speak to your GP or nurse (or our helpline), as what works for one person may not work for another.
- Be original
We love it when you share videos, photos and more with us on social media – but you must own the rights or have permission to share something. That means only posting content you’ve created and using images you own. You are responsible for the content that you choose to share – don’t share content with us that infringes someone else’s rights.
We might share the content you post on the same social media platform with our followers – so if you tweet, we might retweet it on our Twitter channels.
If we want to share your content on a different social media platform or through other means such as on our website or blog, we will always ask your permission first. In these situations, we can give credit by giving your name if you give us permission to.
Asthma + Lung UK has the right to change or update these House Rules at any time. We’ll clearly state the date that these rules were updated below.
Our approach to cookies
- To measure how people use our website. This helps us understand how well different sections of our website are performing. It also helps us track numbers of visitors and helps us ensure our website is robust and works well for every single one of the millions of people who use it.
- We also record actions so we can reach people more effectively. This works by using a cookie to remember what pages you have visited so we can tailor our marketing messages based on your interests.
We use Google Analytics to help us understand how our users interact with the website. It includes information about how users arrive at our site, where they are from and the pages they visit.
We use a Cookie Consent application (One Trust) which allows you to adjust your cookie preference. You can also disable cookies by changing your settings in your web browser or you can use the incognito option on Google Chrome. To find out more about your browser settings, visit the relevant support page below:
- Google Chrome – how to disable cookies
- Internet Explorer – delete and manage cookies
- Firefox – how to enable or disable cookies
- Safari – how to disable cookies
This may negatively impact on your experience of our websites but the choice is entirely down to you. You can also opt out of Google Analytics.
Third party websites
This Policy may be updated to reflect changes to guidance or regulations or to incorporate new cookies that have been introduced.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
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