HYCS' Data Protection & Privacy Policy
HYCS regards the privacy of users and staff as very important.

Any personal data which you provide to us through any means (verbal, written, in electronic form, or by your use of our website) will be held and processed in accordance with the data protection principles set out in the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 for the purposes for which you have given consent, to provide the services you have requested from us, and to meet the legitimate interests of the charity.

HYCS is committed to protecting your privacy. Please read the following in order to learn more about privacy policy and our information collection and use practices. This policy only applies to data collected by HYCS staff and volunteers, and via our own forms and website. Third party agents (e.g. in schools, prison) and websites which are linked to ours, are not covered by this policy. If you have any queries concerning your personal information or any questions on our use of the information, please contact the HYCS Data Controller, 78 St John’s Road, Isleworth, Middlesex TW& 6RU. When you request counselling with HYCS, become an employee or volunteer with HYCS, or otherwise provide your personal details to us, you will be asked to consent to our processing of your data under the terms of this policy.

What Information do we collect?

Counselling Requests – Registering with us or being referred to our counselling service can be done via email, on paper, telephone or in person. Our request process can involve providing us with your name, address, telephone numbers and email address and other personal details such as: ethnicity, sexuality. We will also request information on your availability, therapeutic issues, and other details which we deem relevant to processing your

Initial Assessment Appointments – At an initial appointment or via a referral form in school or HM Feltham YOI, we ask about your current personal, social, and medical circumstances. We may also ask about your background and family history, as well as the issues which are affecting you now. We require this information so that we can decide about our offer of counselling to you, to assign you to a counsellor, and to manage the service we provide to you.

Staff – Counsellors, Administrative staff, Supervisors, Trustees and other staff paid or unpaid may apply to work at HYCS by form, letter, telephone or email. They will be interviewed and depending on the position and go through a recruitment and selection programme. We will ask you to complete: an application form and CV about your background, qualifications, experience, and professional memberships, name, address, telephone numbers, email address, and details for referees and people we may need to contact for you in emergencies. We will ask for details (DBS) to ensure you do not have a criminal record. This information is only processed for the purpose of considering your application for volunteer or paid position, making any offer of employment, administering an agreement of accountability or contract of employment.

Donors – The information you give us when making a donation may include your name, postal address, email address, phone number, amount donated, Gift Aid status, and messages. 

Website – The website is designed and managed by Rubbaglove and Web Genie manage HYCS' email accounts.  We use Google Analytics and Web Genie to collect anonymous data relating to user behaviour and ‘web traffic’ statistics. The collection and use of this data by Google Analytics and Web Genie is subject to their own Privacy Policies.  

Other Forms – The information you give us on other forms are coded and anonymous such as HYCS evaluation forms, Clinical outcome evaluation forms.

What do we use your information for

We use information held about you in the following ways:

• To provide clients with the professional counselling service requested from us.

• To enable us to offer appropriate opportunities and support to our counsellors, administrative staff and other volunteers.

• To offer suitable counselling appointments, and to allocate clients and counsellors for counselling. 

• To evaluate the counselling process and difference made. 

• To notify you about changes to your appointments and other changes to our services.

• To seek feedback from you on your experience of counselling with us. 

• To improve our service to ensure that it is provided in the most effective manner for you and for us. 

• To administer our service, including the arrangement of appointments, the handling of donations, and for financial control, data analysis, research, statistical and survey purposes. 

• To complete reports to ensure accountability of the service and as a legal requirement. 

• To keep in touch with those who consent to this, for the purposes of organisational, service and professional development.

• To fulfil our administrative, legal and contractual obligations.

What information do we share?
We will not share any information about you with other organisations or people, except in the following situations:

• Consent – HYCS may share your information with professional carers or others whom you have requested or agreed we should contact or in accordance with HYCS' policy and procedures on: Safeguarding; Confidentiality; Information sharing.

• Serious harm – HYCS may share your information with the relevant authorities if we have reason to believe that this may prevent serious harm being caused to you or another person.

• Compliance with law – HYCS may share your information where we are required to by law or by the regulations and other rules to which we are subject, e.g. terrorism, drug money laundering; or via court order for disclosure.

• Employment - It is necessary to provide your employee details to our payroll management company.

• Other - As part of the backups of encrypted data processed and held by professional IT security companies.

How do we keep your information safe?
All information you provide to us is stored as securely as possible.

• All paper forms and correspondence are kept in locked filing cabinets in locked and alarmed room on our premises.

• All electronic records are stored on our own on-site computer server, all access to which requires password-protected authentication.

The HYCS IT consultants and data base companies are Capital Consultants and Clear Point. They maintain the safety and security of all of HYCS data and each company has their own Privacy Policy. Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is never completely secure. Although HYCS will do our best to protect your information using industry-standard protocols and encryption, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to us via email, including forms completed on our website which are transmitted by email; any transmission is at your own risk.

Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Personal information, appointments and other documentation are destroyed 6 years after the end of counselling.

Introductory appointment log is destroyed at the end of the financial year when unidentifiable statistical information is used for reports.

Non identifiable information used for statistical purposes and reports is retained as part of the HYCS documentation.

Emails, telephone messages and texts are kept no longer than 3 months.

Personnel records/application forms are deleted 6 years after the end of staff contract. Personal data about unsuccessful candidates who have applied for jobs or volunteer positions at HYCS will be kept for six months after the recruitment process is completed, at which point it will be disposed of securely.

Payroll information is securely kept by Payroll Bureau under finance laws.

Your rights
• To access a copy and explanation of your personal data.

• To request correction or erasure, in certain circumstances.

• To request limiting or ceasing data processing, where applicable.

• To withdraw your consent for us to hold and process your data at any time. You can withdraw your consent by contacting the HYCS Data Controller, 78 St John’s Road, Isleworth, Middlesex TW7 6RU.

Changes to this policy
HYCS may edit this policy from time to time. If HYCS make any substantial changes we will notify you by posting a prominent announcement on our website.