Privacy policy

At Refugee Action, we’re committed to treating everyone with respect. Which is why we take protecting your data seriously and are committed to being transparent about how we collect, use and store your data.

You will find details about how we do this below. This page does not outline the terms and conditions for use of our website, SMS and social media channels – please read Terms and Conditions: Website and Social Media.

If you have any queries about the information in our privacy policy, please contact:

The Data Protection Manager,
Refugee Action,
Society Building, Regent Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL

If you wish to change the information we hold about you, or change how we communicate with you, please contact our Supporter Care team:

Supporter Care,
Refugee Action,
Society Building, Regent Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL

Phone: 0800 141 2426

What information do we collect?

Refugee Action collects personal and statistical information from you when you take part in particular activities, request information from us and look at our websites or social media profiles.

The information we collect includes (but is not limited to):

  • Title
  • Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Credit card information when making a donation
  • Bank account details when setting up a direct debit
  • Contact consents i.e. whether you’ve said you’d like to hear from us by email
  • Taxpayer status for collecting Gift Aid
  • Date of birth, age, gender etc (where necessary for providing support or training in our services)

The information we collect depends on how you are engaging with us. For example, if you are making a donation and want to include Gift Aid, we need to collect your title and full postal address in order to provide that information to HMRC to process your Gift Aid. If you are being supported by one of our services, we may need to collect your date of birth and other personal information in order to help us work on your case.

In general, we collect information from you when you:

  • make a donation to support our work
  • sign up to support our work by fundraising for us, including via Third Party sites such as JustGiving, where you give your consent for your information to be shared with us
  • sign a petition or take part in a similar campaign action to support us
  • sign up to receive our emails
  • apply for a staff or volunteer opportunity with us
  • register to attend an event, training course or workshop with us
  • access our services via telephone or face to face interview

We also collect information about your engagement with us including the ways you have supported us in the past, for example, through donating, taking campaign actions, taking part in training or utilising our services.

We collect statistical data about how you’ve engaged with us via our website, social media channels and email. This data is anonymised and accessed through Google Analytics, Engaging Networks, Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics. You will find more information about this in the Cookies and Third Party partners sections of this policy.

We may collect information about existing or potential supporters via surveys or through publicly available information, which may be provided by Third Party partners. Publicly available sources we may collect information from include Companies House, the Electoral Register and the media. This information is used to better understand those who might support our work, and tailor communications and requests appropriately. The information we collect may include demographic information associated with your address, as well as estimates of your age, interests and lifestyle.

We sometimes ask people to complete surveys find out more about their opinions on the work we’re doing or issues related to our work. This includes feedback about services and training that we have provided.

Why do we collect this information?

Personal data:

We collect personal data to allow us to process:

  • donations (including processing Gift Aid, where people have elected to contribute Gift Aid)
  • campaign actions that involve communicating with Government and other relevant policy positions
  • information about fundraising events people are running for us
  • information about people who have signed up for training, workshop or other events with us
  • process job and volunteer applications

We collect personal data so that we can contact:

  • people who have opted-in to hear from us by email, phone or SMS (consent based contact)
  • people for whom we have a postal address and who we think might be interested in hearing about our work (legitimate interest based contact)
  • people who we are working with in our services (legitimate interest based contact)
  • people who have applied for job or volunteer positions with us (legitimate interest based contact)
  • people who have told us they are fundraising for us, for example by running a marathon or holding a bake sale (legitimate interest based contact)

We rely on legitimate interest as the legal basis for undertaking outbound postal direct marketing. Occasionally, for charity appeals we may obtain postal lists of potential customers from external companies. We will only deal with reputable companies that take privacy and data protection as seriously as we do, and we will always let you choose not to receive further communications from us.

Statistical data:

We collect statistical information about how our website, social media and email updates are being used. This information helps us improve the services and information we offer you, by providing us with insights into what content, activities and communications styles are most popular or relevant to our supporters.

We use Google Analytics, and the analytical tools of our Third Party partners (Engaging Networks) and Social Media accounts (including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram) to collect this information, which is anonymised.

Survey/ Feedback data:

We collect this data to understand and improve the services we provide and for use in evaluation of different areas of work as well as the design and planning for future work.

Sensitive personal data:

Under data protection law, certain categories of personal information are recognised as sensitive, including health information and information regarding race, religious beliefs, and political opinions (‘sensitive personal data’). We collect this data for a number of reasons:

  • where it is necessary to the provision of a service or facilitates us to support you with specific needs. This might relate to support we are providing to you in relation to your asylum case or in helping you to access relevant services
  • where it is necessary within the remit of our HR team so that adjustments can be made to accommodate your needs if you are volunteering or working for Refugee Action
  • where supporters have shared such information with us over the phone or in writing. In such cases, we may use this information to tailor our communications to individuals in line with the consent provided for how we should communicate with them and as outlined in our Protecting Vulnerable People: Fundraising and Supporter Care Policy.

Sensitive personal data is held securely in our databases and only accessed by relevant staff and volunteers as relevant to their role and the exercise of their duties.

How do we use the information we collect?

We use the personal information you provide to us in a number of ways:

  • to continue to support people who work with us in our services
  • in the administration of any training we provide
  • to send updates about our work to our supporters, including information about our services and campaigns that we think might be of interest by post, and where we have consent, by email and telephone
  • to send you information about how you can join us in helping refugees and people seeking asylum by donating, fundraising for us, taking part in our campaigns, volunteering and other ways you can get involved
  • to process donations we receive from you
  • to process Gift Aid where you have indicated you would like us to do so
  • to process campaign actions, such as petitions or actions asking you to email your MP
  • to process any changes to your details as requested by you
  • for record keeping and administrative purposes relating to donations, feedback or complaints
  • to contact representatives of an organisation or company who has expressed interest in working with us
  • to understand the different ways people support us and the patterns that help to inform our work. For example, we might look the information we have about the ways you’ve supported us in the past through donations or signing petitions to help us understand what kind of support people are most interested in providing to us and to help us plan future content and communications
  • to tailor advertising to people on the internet based on their interests, preferences and their similarity to people who already support us. We do this on Facebook using the Facebook ads audience function, including custom audiences
  • to exclude people who already support us from internet advertising where possible.

Read more about the data protocols governing the sharing of information with Facebook in the last two points above.

Read more about how to manage your privacy settings and what marketing/ ad information Facebook stores for you.

We use the statistical data we collect in a number of ways:

  • to understand what information and content is of interest to you
  • to analyse how our communications are doing and to help us change things that aren’t working
  • to help us prioritise our communications so we can focus on the channels and methods of communication that are most effective for engaging you and others in our work

We also use Google analytics cookies (__utma, __utmb, __utmc, __utmz), which are used to measure how people use our website. We look at reports to make sure that our website is providing the best possible service for our users. Google analytics does not identify you personally – it just collects data about your visit to our website.

How to contact us about your information

You can find out what information we hold about you, or request any changes to your personal details by contacting our Supporter Care Team:

Supporter Care,
Refugee Action,

Society Building, Regent Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL
Phone: 0800 141 2426

How can you unsubscribe from our emails, SMS, mail or phone updates?

You can request to stop receiving our direct mail, email updates, SMS or phone calls from Refugee Action by contacting us directly:

Supporter Care Team
Refugee Action,
Society Building, Regent Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL.
Phone: 0800 141 2426

Please note we may have to contact you to confirm we have your correct details.

You can also unsubscribe yourself from our email updates by selecting the unsubscribe link at the bottom of all update emails and following the instructions.

You can also unsubscribe yourself to stop receiving SMS from Refugee Action, by replying STOP to any SMS we send you.

You can also stop receiving email, addressed post, phone calls and/ or text communications from specific charities by registering with the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS). This is run by the Fundraising Regulator – read more on their website. If you would like to use this service to stop receiving communication from Refugee Action, you will need our charity number: 283660.

Please note: If you donate, take part in a campaign activity or request information you will receive a once-off transactional email about that activity for your records.


If you have any complaints about the way in which we have used your personal information, please get in touch with us. We will be happy to discuss your concerns. In addition, you are also entitled to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office or to the Fundraising Regulator.

How do we protect your personal information?

Our data management takes all appropriate measures to keep your data safe both physically and electronically and to keep your data up to date and only hold your details for as along as is reasonable and necessary.

If you have expressed an interest in volunteering with us, we will keep your personal data for a year from the date you submitted your application if your application was not progressed.

On our website, all of our donations and campaign pages (petitions, email your MP actions and similar) are managed through a Third Party platform called Engaging Networks. Our WordPress website including those pages hosted in Engaging Networks use Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption. TLS is an encryption protocol that protects data while it is travelling from one server to another. TLS provides the most up to date security for the transmission of data. Our website is regularly updated with the latest security upgrades.

All donations made to us online via Engaging Networks pages are processed using PayPal. Any credit or debit card donations made to us via post or over the telephone are processed using PayPal Virtual Terminal.

Please note that while we have taken every appropriate measure to secure your data, transmission of information over the Internet is never one hundred per cent secure so while we take all possible precautions, we can’t guarantee the security of any information you submit to us via our website.

We also take all appropriate measures to ensure that any personal information we receive is kept on secured servers. Access to our servers is restricted to a small team of trained staff, who require a special login account to access the data.

Do we store your payment details?

We do not keep the card payment details of any donations from our website (via Engaging Networks), SMS or our profiles on the JustGiving, VirginGiving or CAF fundraising platforms.

If you make a donation with a credit or debit card via post or phone, we process this payment via our PayPal Virtual Terminal account and do not keep a record of your card details once we have processed the donation.

We do keep a record of how much you donated, the date it was donated, your name and contact details so that we can send you a receipt and make sure we have your correct donation amount, in case you have an enquiry about your donations at a later date. We also keep a record of the PayPal authorisation code for your payment.

If you make a regular gift to us via Direct Debit, we store your bank account number and sort code to process your gift monthly. You will receive a receipt confirming the information we have collected for this when you set up your Direct Debit.

We also keep physical details of donations where Gift Aid has been included, in line with HMRC requirements. All credit card information for these donations is redacted and the records are kept securely in locked cabinets only for as long as required by HMRC.

Do we disclose the information we collect about you to other parties, including Third Party partners?

We will never share your data with anyone for marketing purposes. The only occasions when we will share your data are:

  • with Third Party partners who supply our donation, registration and campaign pages (Engaging Networks)
  • with some social media companies to either exclude you from receiving ads related to our work (suppression) or to tailor ads to people who have similar interests to you i.e. for Facebook custom audiences
  • with Third Party partners who provide acquisition services to help us recruit new supporters, such as Care2, who we share your data with so that you are not included in the communications they send about our work even if you’re signed up to receive communications from them (suppression)
  • with Third Party partners who are undertaking research for us in relation to our audiences and supporting the development of our marketing communications
  • with Government or policy makers where you have added your name to a petition or sent an email to your MP in relation to one of our campaigns

When we share your data with Third Party partners, we use the File Transfer Protocol Secure (FTPS), a secure way to transfer data using encryption, wherever possible. Where necessary we may use the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or services such as WeTransfer to share data with Third Party partners for project based work. If we use these methods for data sharing then the data is also encrypted, password protected and the files are zipped.

We stipulate the protection of your data in our contracts with Third Party partners.

The only other occasions when we might disclose your data are:

  • if required to do so by law or in response to a court order or law enforcement agency
  • in an emergency, for example where we think someone is at serious risk of being harmed or in immediate danger, we may contact the police, a local health or relevant safeguarding team to intervene.

Getting your consent for sharing your data

Other than in an emergency or in response to a court order or law enforcement agency, we will only share your data with another organisation for their use outside of a service they are providing to us (for example, payment processing) if you have actively indicated to us that you are willing for us to do so. This might relate to a service we cannot provide to our clients that another provider can help with. You will be asked by the member of staff or volunteer working with you if you consent for us to share your information or there will be a question about this on a form that staff will provide to you.

Your right of access to your data

You have the right to ask for a copy of the personal or casework information we hold about you as well as the erasure, restriction, objection and data portability of your individual information.

If you wish to exercise these rights, please contact:

The Data Protection Manager,
Refugee Action,
Society Building, Regent Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL

Cookies Policy

Like most websites, Refugee Action uses cookies on our website. A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is downloaded on to your computer when you visit a website. Cookies are used by many websites and can do a number of things, e.g. remembering your preferences, recording what you have put in your shopping basket, and counting the number of people looking at a website. Read more about cookies on the ICO website.

We use the following cookies on and related subdomains:

Google Analytics:

We use Google Analytics on our WordPress website (including our Engaging Networks pages). It allows us to review information such as which pages were the most visited on our site, how long users stayed on a page or how many pages they visited in one session. The data is anonymous and helps to give us an overall picture of how our website is performing.

Google analytics also collects information such as:

  • which countries or cities people who visited our site are in
  • the age ranges and gender of people who visit our site
  • the type of browser or device you used to access our site

Read more about what data Google collects, how they use it and how to change your privacy settings on google.

If you want to know more about protecting your browser, the ICO website has instructions about how to change your cookie settings across different browsers.

You can also find out more about safeguarding your data on Google.

Civic UK Cookie Control:

We use Civic UK Cookie Control on our website to help you better understand and manage your cookie preferences and settings. Read more about how this works.

Other tracking:

We use what’s known as tagged, or tracked, links which is code or text added to an internet address (URL) to show us whether someone has come to our website from a link that we sent or provided to a referring website. For example, we add tracking information to the links in our emails to tell us if an email resulted in people taking a campaign action, donating or reading a specific page on our website. This data helps gives us an insight into the effectiveness of our marketing and whether what we send out is of interest to people.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

We keep this privacy policy under regular review. This policy was last updated on 31 October 2019.