What is a cookie?
A cookie is a small file that is sent to your computer or mobile phone which contains information that allows us to recognise that you have used our website before. A cookie typically contains:
- The name of the server the cookie was sent from
- The lifetime of the cookie
- A unique identifier (usually a number)
Our website server sends the cookie and uses this number to recognise you when you return to a site or browse from page to page. Only the server that sends a cookie can read it, and therefore use, that cookie. This file is stored on your computer’s (or phone’s) hard drive. All websites can send a cookie to your browser if your browser settings allow it. Many websites do this to track on-line traffic flow.
Cookies can be categorised from their life span:
- Session or temporary cookies: these cookies expire when you close your browser or when the session times out
- Persistent or permanent cookies: these are usually stored on your hard disk and survive across multiple sessions but have a longer expiration date
When you visit our website, the pages that you see, together with a cookie are downloaded to your device. This is a common practice on websites, because it allows website publishers to find out (amongst other things) whether the website has been visited before
The main cookies we use on our website are classed as ‘Strickly Necessary Cookies’. These cookies make our website function correctly e.g. online donations. These cookies do not need consent.
The website does use Google Analytics to store information about how well the website is performing. To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit – http://tools.google.com/dipage/gaoptout.
How to control or delete Cookies
If you do not want cookies to be stored on your PC it is possible to disable this function within your browser without affecting your navigation around the site.
In Internet Explorer, click on Tools, click on Settings, click on the Privacy tab and then use the slider bar to choose the level of privacy you want.
In Firefox, click on Tools, click on Options, click on Privacy, click on the Cookies tab and choose your level of privacy.
For other browsers, visit allaboutcookies.org.
Permission to Hold and Use Personal Data
Arthritis Action receives personal data from members, volunteers, other individuals, contractors and companies which may include details such as name, address, date of birth, occupation, illness and date of diagnosis. Arthritis Action does not hold personal data without the permission of the person concerned. In the case of a child (under 16 years of age), the parent/guardian has to sign on the child’s behalf.
How and Where Personal Data is Held within Arthritis Action
Personal data is held on the Arthritis Action computer network in Arthritis Action’s offices.
Arthritis Action Groups may hold a file record and/or information on an Organising Team member’s computer about Arthritis Action Group members who have agreed to their personal data being passed from the Arthritis Action Offices to a Group.
Arthritis Action has established security procedures to prevent unauthorised access to personal data in the Arthritis Action Offices or in a Volunteers’ home.
How Personal Data is used
In the Arthritis Action Offices, the personal data is used for:
Sending appropriate information; processing of membership subscriptions, donations and covenants; sending approved questionnaires; sending mailings related to the services and activities of Arthritis Action; Statistical purposes.
At Arthritis Action, the personal data is used for:
Contacting members; sending mailings relating to Group services or activities; sending approved questionnaires; statistical purposes; research opportunities; sending the Arthritis Action Magazine and e-news and general information about Arthritis Action.
Data and Other Organisations
Arthritis Action uses an external company to maintain its website and some personal data (name, address, age, etc.) may be held in a database on the computer which runs the Arthritis Action Website. Arthritis Action has a contract with the external company which governs how data is kept secure and confidential.
Occasionally the Arthritis Action database and Arthritis Action computer system require maintenance support from the supplier companies. Arthritis Action has contracts with both companies that impose confidentiality obligations on them and their staff in relation to Arthritis Action’s data.
Arthritis Action does not provide data to any other organisation and does not exchange mailing lists with other charities or companies.
Time for which Data is kept
Following cancellation of membership with Arthritis Action, the Charity will hold personal data for seven years for financial purposes. To conform to Financial Law requirements and comply with Insurance Company rules, medical records, where applicable, will be kept for 10 years.
Access to Records
Individuals can apply for a printed copy of their records held at Arthritis Action by writing to the Chief Executive. Arthritis Action may make a charge for supplying a copy of such information.
Data Protection Compliance Officer
The Data Protection Compliance Officer for Arthritis Action is the Chief Executive, who can be contacted by writing or telephoning:
The Chief Executive, 56 Buckingham Gate, 2nd Floor, SW1E 6AE
Tel: 0203 781 7120
This policy will be reviewed annually, and amendments will be agreed by the Board of Trustees.
This volunteering policy sets out the principles and practice by which Arthritis Action involves volunteers and is relevant to staff, volunteers and trustees within the organisation. It aims to create a common understanding and to clarify roles and responsibilities to ensure the highest standards are maintained in relation to the management of volunteers. The volunteer handbook gives further details about the support and procedures in place for volunteers.
Arthritis Action’s Commitments
We recognise volunteers as an integral part of the organisation. Their contribution supports our mission and strategic aims, and complements the role of paid staff. We aim to encourage and support volunteer involvement to ensure that volunteering benefits the organisation, the members, the public and the volunteers themselves. Appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that paid staff are clear about the role of volunteers, and to foster good working relationships between paid staff and volunteers. Volunteers will not be used to replace staff. We are committed to offering a flexible range of opportunities and to encouraging a diversity of people to volunteer with us, including those from under-represented groups such as youth, people with a disability, older people and people from black and minority ethnic communities.
We recognise that there are costs associated with volunteer involvement and will seek to ensure adequate financial and staffing resources are available for the development and support of volunteering. We recognise that people have a right to participate in the life of their communities through volunteering and can contribute in many ways. We recognise our responsibility to organise volunteering efficiently and sensitively so that the valuable gift of the volunteer’s time is best used to the mutual advantage of all concerned.
Who is a Volunteer?
- Volunteers are individuals who undertake activity on behalf of Arthritis Action, unpaid and of their own free choice. Volunteering as activity which is:
- undertaken freely, by choice
- undertaken to be of public/community benefit
- not undertaken for financial gain (work experience placements and internships are not the same as volunteering)
- Trustees are volunteers with responsibility for governance of the organisation
Volunteers may be involved on a one – off, short term or on a longer term, regular basis. They may be involved:
- in the direct delivery of services
- on our board of trustees
- in community engagement to raise awareness of our work
- in one-off events and promotional activities
- in our offices or in community venues
Volunteers are valued for:
- bringing additional skills and new perspectives to the organisation
- enabling us to be more responsive and flexible in our approach
- championing our cause within the wider community
- enhancing the quality of our work and member experience
- promoting the well-being of service users, staff, local communities and themselves
Standards of Good Practice
Our management practice is informed by the Code of Practice for organisations involving volunteers and the Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard for volunteer management.
Roles and Responsibilities
A designated staff member (The Director of Member Services and Operations) has responsibility for the development and co-ordination of voluntary activity within the organisation, including volunteering policies and procedures, and the welfare of volunteers.
All volunteers have a designated staff member/volunteer for guidance, support and supervision. Staff responsibilities for volunteers will be explicitly referred to in their job/role description.
The volunteer role is based on trust and mutual understanding. There is no enforceable obligation, contractual or otherwise, for the volunteer to attend or to undertake particular tasks or for the organisation to provide continuing opportunities for voluntary involvement, provision of training or benefits. However, there is a presumption of mutual support and reliability. Reciprocal expectations are acknowledged – both of what the organisation expects of volunteers and what volunteers expect of the organisation.
The organisation expects volunteers to:
- be reliable and honest
- uphold the organisation’s values and comply with organisational policies
- make the most of opportunities given, e.g. for training
- contribute positively to the aims of the organisation and avoid bringing the organisation into disrepute
- carry out tasks within agreed guidelines
Volunteers can expect to:
- have clear information about what is and is not expected of them
- receive adequate support and training
- be insured and to volunteer in a safe environment
- be treated with respect and in a non-discriminatory manner
- receive out of pocket expenses
- have opportunities for personal development
- be recognised and appreciated
- be able to say ‘no’ to anything which they consider to be unrealistic or unreasonable
- know what to do if something goes wrong
Recruitment and selection
- Equal opportunities principles will be adhered to in recruiting volunteers.
- Opportunities will be widely promoted so as to attract interest from different sectors of the community.
- Positive action to target recruitment may be used where appropriate.
- Online application is encouraged but non-digital methods of application are also available. Information will be made available to those enquiring about volunteering, including written role descriptions which set out the nature and purpose of the volunteering role, key tasks, skills required and benefits.
- A risk assessment will be undertaken on all volunteer roles.
- Recruitment will usually involve an informal interview, application form and the taking of references; the process will be defined and consistent for any given role – for example the recruitment process for trustees, regular volunteers and for volunteers for one off events will be tailored in each case and may differ from one another.
- Where applicants are not able to be placed in their preferred role, they will be provided with feedback and given the opportunity to discuss alternative volunteering roles, or signposted to the local volunteer centre.
- For roles which may involve sustained and direct contact with young people or adults at risk, where necessary, volunteers will be required to have a full DBS disclosure check which will be arranged by the organisation. DBS disclosures are dealt with in the strictest confidence. A criminal record is not necessarily a bar to volunteering.
- Volunteers will be given induction and training appropriate to the specific tasks to be undertaken.
Support and Supervision
Volunteers will be offered support and supervision as appropriate, and this is discussed during induction. Arrangements vary according to the volunteer and the role undertaken, and may include telephone support, group meetings or one to one reviews.
Volunteers will be given the opportunity, where relevant, to share their views and opinions with the organisation’s wider staff, at staff meetings etc. Formal recognition of the contribution of volunteers is expressed through annual reports, website articles, social media, and during Volunteers’ Week celebrations.
Dealing with Problems
- The organisation aims to treat all volunteers fairly, objectively and consistently.
- It seeks to ensure that volunteers’ views are heard, noted and acted upon promptly.
- We will attempt to deal with any problems informally and at the earliest opportunity.
- All volunteers will have a named person to whom they can turn in the case of any difficulty.
- Volunteers will be made aware of the organisation’s complaints policy and how to use it. They will also be made aware of how inappropriate behaviour by volunteers will be addressed by the organisation.
Volunteers will be given clear information about what expenses can be claimed and how to make a claim.
- When volunteers move on from volunteering with us, they will be asked to provide feedback on the volunteering experience by way of an exit questionnaire. They will also be given the opportunity to discuss their responses to the questionnaire more fully.
- Volunteers who have remained with the organisation for at least 3 months will have the right to request a reference.
- Volunteers will be supported to move on to other options.
Other Relevant Documents
The Volunteer Handbook includes detailed, useful information for volunteers, including template forms. Organisational policies relevant to volunteers include Health and Safety, Equal Opportunities, Confidentiality, Social Media, Safeguarding, and Complaints.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this sheet is intended for guidance only. It is not a substitute for professional advice and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting upon it.
Arthritis Action is committed to preventing the abuse and neglect of all people (adults, young people and children) who come into contact with the Charity’s services. We aim to adopt the highest possible standards and take all reasonable steps in relation to the safety and welfare of staff, volunteers, Members, Associated Practitioners, contractors and people who work directly with the Charity.
1 Policy Statement
1.1 Arthritis Action recognises that a significant number of older people are potentially at risk of abuse and neglect. Abuse and neglect can take place in a person’s own home, in the home of a carer, family member or friend, in a place where day care is provided and within any form of institution e.g. hospitals, residential care or nursing home.
1.2 Arthritis Action also recognises that abuse and neglect can be perpetrated by staff, volunteers, other users of services, relatives, friends and neighbours.
1.3 Arthritis Action recognises that the reasons for abuse and neglect occurring are not fully understood and vary with each incident, often dependent on risk factors. They can include poor quality long-term relationships, poor coping strategies, mental health issues, isolation, dependency and co-dependency as well as inadequate staff development, support and supervision.
1.4 Arthritis Action will not tolerate any form of abuse or neglect and believes that all people should be able and enabled to live in an environment which is safe from abuse and neglect.
1.5 Arthritis Action believes that everyone is entitled to: privacy; to be treated with dignity and respect; lead an independent life; choose how they live their lives; have their human and civil rights upheld regardless of ethnic origin, gender, sexuality, impairment or disability, age, religious or cultural background.
1.6 Where abuse or neglect is suspected, Arthritis Action will aim to respond to the situation in a way which is caring, effective and enabling.
1.7 Arthritis Action will monitor the implementation of this policy on a regular basis through its Executive Management Team.
2.1 This Policy and Procedure is written to empower the staff and volunteers of Arthritis Action to act appropriately whenever possible or actual abuse or neglect comes to their attention.
2.2 All staff and volunteers who act in accordance with this Policy will be supported by Arthritis Action.
2.3 Arthritis Action recognises that adults at risk, can be either the victim or the perpetrator of abuse.
2.4 Arthritis Action recognises that, through its day-to-day activities, its staff and volunteers may be in a position to be key in the identification, investigation and response to abuse and neglect of adults at risk.
2.5 Arthritis Action recognises that it has a responsibility to ensure that its staff and volunteers are appropriately trained and supported to implement this Policy, and will provide all its staff and volunteers with copies of it.
2.6 Arthritis Action recognises that adults have the right to make choices and retain control over their lives under the Human Rights Act 1998, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Care Act 2014. This can include the making of ‘unwise decisions’ and of placing themselves at risk of harm and neglect.
2.7 Arthritis Action will support the alleged victims and the alleged perpetrators of any abuse as well as any staff member or volunteer who becomes aware of the abuse in so far as this does not compromise any Safeguarding Enquiry or investigation into the allegation or place other adults at risk.
2.8 While Arthritis Action will make every effort to respect the confidentiality of any information that is disclosed under this Policy, this cannot be guaranteed. Information will be recorded and stored securely in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation 2018 but confidentiality is not absolute and information may have to be shared, on a ‘need-to-know’ basis only, to prevent:
- Danger to a person’s life
- Danger to a person’s health
- Danger to others
- Danger to the community
or to prevent or to facilitate the investigation of a serious crime.
2.9 This Policy, Procedure and Appendices will be reviewed every 3 years from their date of adoption. You can download the Safeguarding Appendices here (pdf).
2.10 Where necessary, Arthritis Action will conduct a DBS check on prospective employees where it is a designated role under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
3.1 All staff and volunteers of Arthritis Action who become aware of possible or actual abuse or neglect will make sure that the safety of the adult at risk is secured as a first priority. This may necessitate contacting the Emergency Services.
3.2 Guidance on how to respond to a disclosure of abuse is contained in Appendix 2 in the Safeguarding Policy Appendices (pdf).
3.3 Any member of staff or volunteer of Arthritis Action who becomes aware of possible or actual abuse will, as soon as possible, record the details of the abuse using SP01. This can be found in Appendix 3 in the Safeguarding Policy Appendices (pdf).
3.4 They will immediately advise their line manager or their deputy. If they are unavailable or are suspected of being implicated in the abuse then the Chief Executive shall be informed. If the CEO is unavailable or suspected of being implicated in the abuse then they will advise the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
3.5 The relevant manager will satisfy themselves that the adult at risk is safe, and that the alleged perpetrator, if known, does not pose a threat to any other adult at risk.
3.6 The relevant manager will decide whether or not to refer to the local authority and/or the Police. When a crime may have been committed, the Police must be contacted as soon as possible. If the decision is to not refer, the reasons for this must be recorded on form SP01.
3.7 As far as possible, the wishes of the adult at risk will be respected as to whether or not to refer any concerns to the local authority as a Safeguarding Enquiry under Section 42 of the Care Act 2014. However, it may be necessary to overrule these in the best interests of other adults at risk.
3.8 The contact details for the local authorities can be found online by searching for the relevant Council and “safeguarding”. In an emergency the Police are to be contacted on 999. Where there is suspicion that a crime has been committed, the non-emergency Police contact number is 101.
3.9 The relevant manager or equivalent then completes the second part of SP01.
3.10 Completed SP01s will be held in a designated file for a minimum of 2 years from the date of the last completed SP01 on the adult at risk.
3.11 Trustees will review all SP01 incidents and will determine whether there are lessons that can be learned both in the way we responded and the way they were recorded. Feedback from trustees will be provided to the EMT, who will also keep the safeguarding procedures under review to ensure that they remain appropriate. Every safeguarding incident will be considered separately to determine whether, in future, any further action or steps need to be taken in such cases.
3.12 The CEO and trustees will determine whether an incident reported on SP01 should also be reported to the Charity Commission as a “Serious Incident”, following the guidance and definitions provided by the Charity Commission.
3.13 In situations where the alleged abuser is a member of staff or a volunteer, the relevant manager or equivalent will decide on what action Arthritis Action will take to protect other adults at risk, the member of staff or volunteer themselves, and Arthritis Action. This may include the member of staff or volunteer being suspended from their position while the allegation is investigated.
- Does not enter into any commercial agreement that would allow its independence or credibility to be compromised.
- Should not recommend any specific product or service to members and should not encourage members to use a service or buy a product out of loyalty to the charity.
- Does not carry advertisements or accept payments or donations for goods or services referred to in its national newsletter, on its website or in its leaflets.
- May receive an income from companies who provide goods or services for people affected by arthritis, who request a link from the national Arthritis Action website. Approval for such links rests with the Chief Executive whose decision will be based on the potential benefit of the goods or services to people affected by arthritis rather than financial reward for the charity. The inclusion of a link from the national website does not imply an endorsement or recommendation, and a disclaimer to this effect will be included each time a link appears.
Arthritis Action Groups:
- Must not enter into any commercial agreement and if approached should inform the Arthritis Action office immediately.
- Should acknowledge donations and support given for Arthritis Action activities in a way that does not constitute advertising.
- Should not see any reference to goods or services as an implied endorsement or recommendation. A disclaimer to this effect must be included in any media where goods or services are mentioned.