YWCS Data Protection and Privacy Policy

This privacy statement sets out how York Womens Counselling Service uses and protects any information that you give. Whether you are a service user, a supporter, a volunteer, or a staff member, it’s important you know as much as possible about your data and how it is used. So this policy is designed to:

  • explain what data we hold, what we do with your data and why we do it
  • help you take control of your data and make informed decisions
  • show how your data is safeguarded

Important information about who we are:

The York Womens Counselling Service is an independent non-profit organisation (Registered Charity Number 1086078) providing support to women living in York and the surrounding areas who are experiencing emotional and mental health difficulties.

Our address is: The Priory St Centre, 15 Priory St,York, YO1 6ET.

York Women’s Counselling Service is committed to protecting your personal privacy and ensures that all personal data is held in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.

Compliance is managed by the YWCS Operations Manager (the data Controller) with support from Trustees with responsibility for Data Protection.

YWCS Data Protection Officer, Polly Griffiths is responsible for answering any questions that you may have about this privacy notice. Polly may be contacted at the above address, by email: enquiries@yorkwomenscounselling.org or by phone: 01904 652706.

This statement covers data collected via the website, through social media and through our general charitable activities when you interact with us. Where our work with you as a client requires us to elicit and keep sensitive information, we always seek your further permission to collect and store such details, as required.

What data we collect:

Data that we collect is mostly provided by you and will contain:

  • Your name and preferred contact information, gender, and your business details if given
  • A record of your interactions with us including your donations

For people who use our services additional information will include

  • Initial assessment data from phone and face to face interactions
  • Notes relating to counselling sessions and review sessions as required by the BACP
  • Progress review data collected at 6 and 12 weeks which is anonymised
  • Further identity data including ethnicity and whether you have a disability – which is also anonymised to ensure equal opportunities access to services.

How we use the data:

We use your records to provide you with services and to keep you in touch with YWCS where you have agreed that we can do so. In so doing we will only use your personal data when the law allows us to.  Most commonly this is in the following circumstances:

  • To perform the contract that we are about to or have entered into with you, for example to inform and facilitate ongoing counselling, or to process a donation.
  • Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) eg for overall statistical monitoring of the service or to comply with the ethical framework of British Association of Counselling and Pyschotherapy (BACP) or the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) under which all our Counsellors operate.
  • Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation eg as required by BACP or collection of gift aid.

We never pass information on to other people or bodies unless there is a legal requirement to do so.  Nor do we we share your information with other organisations for marketing purposes.

How we store the data

We are committed to keeping your information secure. To prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure information collected online and in person. 

Access to records are restricted to a need to know basis and security arrangements are regularly reviewed to ensure their continued suitability.

How we use cookies

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer’s hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies are very common and used by many leading websites. They allow websites and web applications to tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences. YWCS use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. The data collected is not shared with any third party. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system. Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us. You can choose to accept or decline cookies installed by the site for more details, see www.allaboutcookies.org. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer.  However, some services and functionalities may not work.

By using this site, you agree that we can place these cookies on your device.

Other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites that are outside our control and are not covered by this privacy notice. If you access other sites using the links provided, the operators of these sites may collect information from you that will be used by them in accordance with their privacy notice which may differ from ours

Your rights to your data:

Under the GDPR, you have a right of access to your data, a right to rectification, erasure (in certain circumstances) restriction, objection or portability (in certain circumstances). You also have the right to withdraw any consent you have given.

You may request details of the personal information we hold for you by submitting a Subject Access Request to enquiries@yorkwomenscounselling.org YWCS agrees to provide the information requested within 30 working days of the request, once we have verified your identity.

If you inform YWCS of a correction required to your data, YWCS agrees to make this amendment within 10 working days of the request.

Data relating to counselling is treated in accordance with BACP requirements and is kept for a period of 6 years only. At this point your counselling data will be irrevocably and securely destroyed.

You can also update your communications preferences at any time by emailing enquiries@yorkwomenscounselling.org

You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s supervisory authority for data protection issues (www.ico.org.uk). We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with any concerns you may have before you approach the ICO, so please feel free to contact us first.

Changes to the privacy notice and your duty to inform us of changes

It’s important that the personal data that we hold about you is accurate and up to date. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during the duration of your relationship with us

We may revise this privacy policy from time to time.  The most up to date version is at www.yorkwomenscounselling.org.  If we make a change that we believe to be significant we will notify you by email you.

Policy reviews

This privacy policy was last reviewed in February 2020, and alongside the procedures for Data Management and Security is reviewed annually.

Next review date:  14 February 2021.