Privacy Promise
This Privacy Promise explains when and why we collect personal information about you, how we use it, the conditions under which we may disclose it to others, this means any information that can directly or indirectly identify you. It also explains how we keep your data safe and secure and your rights and choices in relation to your information. This policy applies to our processing of your data where we act as a data controller according to UK data protection laws. On occasion we may also work with partner organisations where we act as a data processor and process your data under their instructions. Where this is the case, we will ensure you are informed.

If you have any questions regarding Birth Companions Privacy Promise and our privacy practises or would like to exercise any of your rights, please get in touch via the following information:

Email us: [email protected]
Telephone us: 0207 020 7117 2824 
Write to us: Data Protection Enquiry, Dalton House 60 Windsor Avenue, London, SW19 2RR

If you are unhappy with the way we process your data, you can also make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) which regulates the use of information in the UK. They can be contacted by;
Telephone 0303 123 1113
Or by going online to

If the organisation is based outside of the UK, the complaint should be directed to the relevant Data Protection Supervisory Authority in that Country.

Who are we?
How do we collect information for you?
What type of information is collected from you?
How and why is your information used?
How long is your information kept for?
Who has access to your information?
Lawful Processing
Fundraising and marketing communications
Your Choices
Your Rights
Keeping your information safe
Keeping your information up to date
Use of 'cookies'
Vulnerable circumstances
Transferring your information outside of the United Kingdom
Changes to this promise
Review of this promise

Who are we?

We are Birth Companions, founded in 1996 to support pregnant women and new mothers in Holloway Prison. Since then, Birth Companions have developed expertise in the needs of perinatal women in the most difficult and disadvantaged circumstances and have become the UK's leading organisation in this field.

In this policy, Birth Companions, 'we', 'us', 'our' means:

Birth Companions, Charity Registration Number 1120934 with a registered address at Dalton House 60 Windsor Avenue, London, SW19 2RR.

How do we collect information from you?

Information you give us directly

For example, we may obtain information about you when you take part in one of our events or make a donation, when you apply to volunteer with us or if you would like to gain access to the support services we provide.

When you visit this website

We only use essential cookies on our website which may automatically collect the technical information such as the type of device you're using, your IP address, browser and operating system being used to connect your computer to the internet. This information may be used to improve our services with you and make your experience better.
We collect and use your personal information by using cookies on our website - more information on cookies can be found under 'the use of cookies' section below.

Social Media

When you interact with us on social media platforms such as Instagram we may obtain information about you (for example, when you publicly tag us in an event photo). The information we receive will depend on the privacy preferences you have set on those types of platforms.

What type of information is collected from you?

The personal information we collect, store and use might include:

- Your name and contact details (including postal address, email address and telephone number)
- Your date of birth;
- Any other personal information that may be shared with us

Data protection laws recognise certain categories of personal information as sensitive or special categories of data and therefore requiring greater protection, for example, information about your health, religion, sex life, sexual orientation and criminal records.
If you volunteer or work for work with us, we may conduct a DBS check, the outcome of which may be retained. We only collect sensitive data about you when there is a clear and valid reason for doing so and data protection laws allow us to, for example, in order to provide support services to you we may need to collect data about your health. We may also ask for your ethnicity if we are providing you with support , when you work for us, or when you volunteer with us. We would need this information to reach the objectives of our charity and to help you with our full potential.

How and why is your information used?
We may use your information for a number of different purposes, which may include:
- Keeping a record of your relationship with us;
- Carrying out our obligations under any contracts entered into between you and us;
- Providing you with the services, or information you asked for;
- Seeking your views or comments on the services and information we provide;
- Notifying you of any changes to our charity;
- Sending you communications which you have requested and that may be of interest to you. These may include information about campaigns, fundraising activities and services Birth Companions provide;
- Processing job, grant applications and referral forms.

How long is your information kept for?
We keep your information for no longer than is necessary for the purposes it was collected for. The length of time we keep your information for is determined upon our legal and operational considerations. For example, we are legally required to hold certain types of information to fulfil our statutory and regulatory obligations (e.g. Health and safety and tax/accounting purposes)

We review our retention periods on a regular basis and update our Records of Processing Activities (RoPAs) accordingly. If you would like to know more about how long we hold your personal information for - please email [email protected].

Who has access to your information?   

We do not sell or rent your information to third parties. We do not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes. However, we may disclose your information to third parties in order to achieve the other purposes set out in this policy. In such circumstances, the suppliers have agreed to strict contractual arrangements and are bound by the same standards that we are in order to protect your personal information.    
These third parties may include: 
- Third parties working on our behalf
- Service providers, suppliers, subcontractors and other associated organisations for the purposes of completing tasks      and providing services to you on our behalf. In such circumstances, the suppliers have agreed to strict contractual   arrangements and are bound by the same standards that we are in order to protect your personal information.    

Lawful Processing
Data protection law requires us to rely on one or more lawful basis for processing your personal information. Please see the following lawful grounds Birth Companions use and believe are relevant and lawful under data protection laws:

Specific Consent

Where you have provided specific Consent to use your personal information in a certain way, such as to send you information through an email about our activities, or to contact you to provide you with support services.  You may withdraw your consent at any time and unless we have a compelling reason we will delete your personal data form our records.

Legitimate Interests
Where it is necessary to achieve our and others' objectives as an organisation with reason. (As long as what the information is used for is fair and does not duly impact your rights). A few examples of when Birth Companions uses Legitimate Interest as a charitable organisation in pursuit of our aims and objectives would be:
- To send you communications through the post which we believe might be of interest to you. For example, information about ours services or annual reports;
- To personalise, enhance or modify and improve our services and communications to you;
- Conducting research to better understand Birth Companions supporters and improve our services
- To understand how people interact with our website, the effectiveness of our services, and our campaigns.

Whenever we use Legitimate Interest to process data, we perform a Legitimate Interest Balancing Assessment (LIA) and consider the balance and any potential impact on you (both positive and negative), and your rights under data protection laws. Your information will not be processed if our interests as an organisation override your interests as an individual and if for any reason the processing overrides serious impact on you. For example, where Birth Companions would be excessively intrusive by sending multiple marketing campaigns on a regular basis.

When we process sensitive or special category information, we require an additional legal basis in order to process such information under data protection laws. We will either use your Explicit Consent or another lawful route available such as if we need to process employments, social security or social protection purposes, if it was for your vital interest or in some rare cases, if it is in the public interest for is to do so

Legal Obligation

We will use this condition to process personal information for example where we are ordered by the Charity Commission or Fundraising Regulator.

Performance of a contract

Where we are entering into a contract with you, for example where you are a staff member or volunteer with us we will process this data under contractual obligation.

Vital Interests

Where it is necessary to protect your life or health. An example would be in the case of a medical emergency by an individual attending one of our events).

Fundraising and Marketing Communications

If you have visited our website or contacted us by email or online form and you have given us permission, your contact details may be used to provide you with information about the vital work we do, our fundraising appeals and opportunities to support us, if we think this may be of interest to you. We may thank you for your donation. We may thank you whether you have opt-in or not as we do not need your consent.


We may from time to time send you a communication through the post. If you prefer not to hear from us this way, please get in contact and let us know by any of the contact details listed at the beginning of this privacy promise.


If you have contacted us about our support services either for yourself or on behalf of someone else, we may contact you by phone, email or test in order to respond to you. If you have provided your prior consent We may send you marketing and fundraising communications by email. You may opt-out of such communications at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the end of our marketing emails.

Your Choices
Here at Birth Companions, we respect and value your choices. You have a choice whether or not you wish to receive information from us. If you do not want to receive direct marketing communications from us about the charitable work we do, you can opt-out at any time by contacting a member of the team at any of the contact details listed in this section. 

Birth Companions are committed to putting you in control of your data and you are free to change your marketing preferences at any time, including if you do not want to receive further contact in regard to marketing purposes.

Please contact us and we will be sure to amend your preferences:
Email us:              [email protected]
Telephone us:       020 7117 2824
Write to us:           Dalton House, 60 Windsor Avenue, London SW19 2RR

Your Rights
Under data protection laws in the UK and EU, you have certain rights over the personal information that we hold about you. Here is a summary of the rights we think apply:

  • Right to be Informed
    You have the right to be informed as to how we use your data under what lawful basis we carry out any processing. This privacy promise sets this information out however if you would like further information or feel that your rights are not being respected please get in contact with any of the details listed above.
  • Right of Erasure
    You may ask us to delete some or all of your information we hold about you. Subject to certain exceptions, we will do so as far as we are required to. 
  • Right to Object
    You have the right to object to processing where we are using your personal information such as where it is based on legitimate interests or for direct marketing.
  • Inaccurate personal information corrected
    Inaccurate or incomplete information we hold about you can be corrected. The accuracy of your information is important to us and we are working on ways to make this easier for you to review and correct the information that we hold about you. We will also carry out an annual accuracy check and contact you to ensure your information is up to date. If any of your information is out of date or if you are unsure of this, please contact through any of the contact details listed in this section.
  • Right of restriction
    You have a right to restrict the processing of some or all of your personal information if there is a disagreement about its accuracy, or we are not lawfully allowed to use it.
  • Right to Access your information
    You have a right to request access to a copy of your personal information that we hold about you, along with the information on what personal information we use, why we use it, who we share it with, how long we keep it for and whenever it has been used for automated decision making. You can make a request for access free of charge and proof of identity is required.
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making
    Automated decision-making takes place when an electronic system uses personal information to make a decision without human intervention. You have the right not to be subject to automated decisions that will create legal effects or create a similar significant impact on you unless you have given us consent, it is necessary for a contract between you and us or is otherwise permitted by law. You also have certain rights to challenge decisions made about you. We do not currently carry out automated decision making.
  • Portability
    You can ask us to provide you or a third party with some of the personal information that we hold about you in a structured. commonly used, electronic form so it can be easily transferred.

Keeping your information safe
We take looking after your information very seriously. We have implemented appropriate physical, technical and organisational measures to ensure that your personal information is secure when under our control, both on and offline, from improper access, use, alteration, destruction and loss.

Any sensitive information (such as any information that is classed as sensitive or special category data) is encrypted and protected.
All debit and credit card details are passed securely to our payment processing partner, according to the Payment Card Industry Security Standards.
Non-sensitive details such as your email address etc., are transmitted normally over the internet, this cannot be guaranteed to be 100% secure, so as a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, we make our best effort to ensure its security on our systems.
Our website may contain links to other sites. While we try to link only to sites that share our high standards and respect for privacy, we are not responsible for the content or the privacy practises employed by other sites.

Keeping your information up to date
We take reasonable steps to ensure your information we hold of you is accurate and up to date. We review our data annually. We really appreciate it if you let us know when you contact details change to ensure we have the most up to date record of you.

Vulnerable circumstances
We are committed to protecting vulnerable supporters, beneficiaries, and volunteers and any other individual we hold data of and appreciate care may be needed when we use their personal information. In recognition of this, we observe good practice guidelines in our interactions with vulnerable people.

Transferring your information outside of the United Kingdom
When data is transferred outside of the UK, appropriate safeguards are in place to ensure adequate levels of security are in place and are in line with data protection laws. We do not currently transfer data outside of the UK and you will be notified if and when Birth Companions does.

Use of 'cookies' on our website

Like many other websites, our website uses 'cookies'. _'Cookie'_ is a name for a small file, usually of letters and numbers, which is downloaded onto your device, like your computer, mobile phone or tablet when you visit a website. They let websites recognise your device so that the sites can work more efficiently, and also gather information about how you use the site. A Cookie, by itself, can’t be used to identify you.

How do we use Cookies?

We use Cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you come to our website and also allows us to improve the user experience.

The Cookies we use

We use the categorisation set out by the International Chamber of Commerce in their UK Cookie Guide.  We use all four categories of Cookies:

  • Strictly necessary Cookies are essential for you to move around our website and use its features.
  • Performance Cookies collect anonymous information about how you use our site, like which pages are visited most.
  • Functionality Cookies collect anonymous information that remembers choices you make to improve your experience, like your text size or location. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. 
  • Targeting or Advertising Cookies collect information about your browsing habits in order to make advertising relevant to you and your interests. As such if you visit Birth Companions website you may then be more likely to see adverts about Birth Companions work on other websites as your browsing suggests that this is an area of interest.

No Cookies, please.

You can opt-out of all our cookies (except the strictly necessary ones). But, if you choose to refuse all Cookies, our website may not function for you as we would like it to. If you have any questions about how we use Cookies, please contact us

Changes to this policy

Any changes we may make to this policy in the future will be posted on this website so please check this page occasionally to ensure that you're happy with any changes. If we make any significant changes, we'll make this clear on our website.

Review of this policy
We keep this policy under regular review.
This policy was last updatedFebruary 2023

Birth Companions is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1120934 at Office 118, 372 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LT, England. We use cookies to improve your experience using this website.
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