Privacy notice

Privacy Statement


Helping Hands Essex is committed to protecting and respecting all personal data that we hold.


This Privacy Notice explains why we collect and use personal data, how we keep it safe and provides information about individuals’ rights. Personal data is any information relating to an identified or identifiable living person. When collecting and using data, our policy is to be transparent about why and how we process data. We have a Data Protection Officer who is responsible for ensuring we respect your rights and follow the law.


Why we use your personal information?


Where we can, we’ll only collect and use personal information if we need to deliver a service or meet a requirement. We may need to use some information about you to:


  • Deliver support services
  • Train and manage the engagement of our workers/volunteers who deliver those services
  • Investigate any worries or complaints you may have about our services
  • Manage and check the quality of the services we provide
  • Keep track of spending for the provision of services


What personal information do we hold?


The data that is processed is dependent on the service that is being provided and the recipient of this service.  Given the scope of our services to individuals, personal data may include the following:


  • Name and contact details
  • Details about your health and wellbeing
  • Details about the problem we are helping you with, such as substance misuse
  • Legal information
  • Financial information
  • Letters, emails and text messages
  • Reports that we send and or receive from other people
  • Notes of conversations


Where you don’t provide information that we need to deliver a service, we will inform you about how that affects what we can do.


Who do we share your information with?


Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential.  However, our service is required to provide specific information for monitoring and service planning purposes. We will only share information with other agencies which is relevant to your health and care needs and with your permission.


We have a duty to share information relevant to safeguarding concerns or serious crime, in line with legislation, Local Safeguarding Boards and Helping Hands Essex’s policies and procedures.


How we keep your information safe?


We take the security of all the data we hold seriously. All staff are trained on data protection, confidentiality and security, and we maintain a culture of confidentiality.  We have a framework of policies and procedures which ensures that we keep the data we hold secure.


All information you provide to us is stored on our secure computer systems.  Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to prevent unauthorised access.


Your rights and your personal data


Where we can, we will only collect and use personal information if we need to deliver a service or meet a requirement.  Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), European based individuals have been given a set of “Individual Rights:” 


  • Right to be informed – you will be told about the collection and use of your data for the purposes of transparency. 
  • Right to access – to request data held about you via a ‘Subject Access Request’.
  • Right to rectification – if data held about you is incorrect, you have the right to get it changed.
  • Right to erasure – your data can be destroyed at your request if certain criteria are met.
  • Right to restrict processing – your data can be stored, and not processed in certain circumstances.
  • Right to data portability – allowing you to transfer your data from Helping Hands Essex to another service
  • Right to object – you can refuse for your data to be processed in certain circumstances.
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling – organisations can only automatically process some data if certain criteria is met. 

For more information on your rights under the GDPR visit:  


How long do we keep your personal Information?


We retain the personal data processed by us for as long as is considered necessary for the purpose(s) for which it was collected.  In this regard, there’s often a legal reason for keeping your personal information for a set period of time.  Our data retention schedule reflects data retention legal requirements and best practice. This can range from months for some records to decades for more sensitive records. This document will be available on our website together with all our data protection policies and information.


Where can I get advice?


The administration of personal data is managed at the Helping Hands Essex office.  If you have any questions about how your personal information is handled, please contact our Data Protection Officer at  Alternatively, you can call and ask to speak to the Data Protection Officer on 01245 356169. 


For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at:


Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, 


Alternatively visit  or call 0303 123 1113 (local rate)