Your Privacy – We keep your information SAFE and PRIVATE
When you talk to us at Off The Record (OTR) it is always private (confidential) unless:
- You ask us to tell someone else
- We believe that your life, or someone else’s life, is in danger
- You are being seriously hurt by someone
- You are seriously harming someone else
We will always try to talk with you first about who we can tell.
If we need to tell someone urgently, we will only talk privately to the right person about information they need to keep everyone safe.
When you start counselling sessions, we will explain this and ask you to agree to it.
Any questions? Talk to us in the office or read our Confidentiality Policy.
What personal information do we keep and why?
We may have been given this information by you or someone who has contacted us about counselling for you (for example, a parent or guardian, teacher, GP, social worker).
|Your information||Why we keep it|
|Name||To contact you about counselling sessions|
|Address / Date of birth||To show you are local and the right age to have counselling at OTR|
|Phone number / Email address||To contact you about counselling sessions|
|School or College / GP Surgery / Ethnicity / Gender / How you heard about us||To help make sure we are offering our services to all young people across Richmond borough|
|Health issues or disability||To make sure we can keep you safe and offer you the best possible counselling service|
|If you know anyone at OTR||To make sure we don’t arrange counselling with someone you, or a friend/sibling, already know|
When we take this information, we will ask for permission to store it safely (if you are 13 or under, we may ask your parent/guardian).
You can ask us to stop storing your information at any time, and you don’t have to give us any information that you don’t want to.
We never use your personal information to contact you about anything other than counselling, unless you have asked us to.
More about how information may be used
Information from young people may be used in the following ways:
- To show our funders how the money they give is used to help young people
- To show how many local young people are having emotional difficulties
- To make sure we are helping local young people in the way they need
- To find out how we, and others, can do to more help.
We take out all information which might identify an individual, like name, phone number and address. This makes sure that no-one will know that you have been to OTR.
If you were referred to OTR through CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service), then we may tell them about you if you give us permission.
OTR is part of a national NHS programme covering young people’s mental health services. We don’t give any personal information, but in the future, they may ask us for a rough idea of where young people come from (e.g. TW1) and the month they were born. This information will never be attached to your name or address.
How we keep your information safe
- We keep all personal information in locked cabinets which only our staff can access
- We also use Microsoft 365, which means we store your personal information in a password-protected, encrypted file, that only a few members of our staff can access
- If your counsellor works with you online, they will store any personal information they have about you safely in their home
- We do not give personal information to anyone unless you ask us to, or we must by law
- We will not keep your information for longer than we need to. Legally we must shred it after six years, but you can ask us to shred it at any time
- Emails are encrypted, password protected and stored securely
- Information sent via our website is secured by website encryption (SSL padlock)
- We do our best to check external website links are safe. If you’re not sure ask us, and we will check for you
- We use Mighty Text for text messages on computers which are password protected. Text history automatically gets deleted from Mighty Text after 60 days.
- We use Google Analytics cookies to give us general information about how our website is working
- You can block cookies in your browser settings
- For more information see: www.aboutcookies.org.
Your legal rights
You can ask us to update your information, or you can ask us to stop storing your information by contacting the OTR office.
If you ask us to give your personal information to another organisation we can, if we protect your legal rights and our legal rights under Data Protection law.
We may be able to give you, or let you see, copies of the information we hold if you let us know who you are.
We are only allowed to hold your personal information for ‘legitimate use’. This meanswe must have a good and fair reason to store personal information in ways which do not hurt your legal rights, freedom and interests. As explained above, we only hold personal information to help us run our counselling and drop-in services.
Any questions? Please talk to us in the office.
If you are unhappy or unsure about any of the information in this document do talk to us. You can also get in touch with the Information Commissioner, contact details are given below.
Need to know more?
If you have any concerns about the privacy and safety of your personal information you can talk to OTR staff or one of the counselling team. Or please email our Data Protection Officer, OTR Manager Deborah Kerpner, at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 8744 1644.
If we make any changes to any OTR privacy policies, we will post an update on our website or talk to you about it.
OTR complies with the National Data Opt Out Policy. OTR is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office. Please see our Data Protection Policy for further information.
Off The Record Twickenham
2 Church Street
Tel: 020 8744 1644
Information Commissioner’s Office
SK9 5AF Tel: 0303 123 1113