website PNG blue StaffordshireNorth Stoke on Trent 

Privacy Policy

At Citizens Advice we collect and use your personal information to help solve your problems, improve our services and tackle wider issues in society that affect people’s lives.

We only ask for the information we need. We always let you decide what you’re comfortable telling us, explain why we need it and treat it as confidential.

When we record and use your personal information we:

  • only access it when we have a good reason

  • only share what is necessary and relevant

  • don’t sell it to commercial organisations

At times we might use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information:

  • to comply with the law - for example, if a court orders us to share information. This is called ‘legal obligation’

  • to protect someone’s life - for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a client was unwell at our office. This is called ‘vital interests’

  • to carry out our legitimate aims and goals as a charity - for example, to create statistics for our national research. This is called ‘legitimate interests’. Any information used in this way will not identify you, but be anonymous

  • for us to carry out a task where we’re meeting the aims of a public body in the public interest - for example, delivering a government or local authority service. This is called ‘public task’

  • to carry out a contract we have with you - for example, if you’re an employee we might need to store your bank details so we can pay you. This is called ‘contract’

  • to defend our legal rights - for example, sharing information with our legal advisors if there was a complaint that we gave the wrong advice

    We handle and store your personal information in line with the law - including the General Data Protection Regulation.

    You can check our main Citizens Advice policy for how we handle most of your personal information, including data collected and stored by us when advising you.

    This page covers how we, as a local charity, handle your information locally in our offices. We have only included information here where we handle data differently to how it is described in the main Citizens Advice policy.

    If you are a victim of crime and have been referred to or have contacted the Staffordshire Victim Gateway:

    We will receive your data in one of three ways:

  • Staffordshire Police or Action Fraud will refer you to us and will pass on your details so we can contact you and offer you support as is your right under the Victims’ Code. The information they pass to us will be what you have given them and what they are allowed to share. When we contact you we will check it is still all right to collect and store your details.

  • You have contacted us directly by phone or letter or email. When we answer your phone call or email we will get your permission to collect, store and use your data.

  • Another organisation you have approached for help refers you to us. Again they will only pass on the information you have allowed them to and when we contact you we will check it’s all right to store and use your data.

    We will receive limited data from the police and we may need to ask you for more details especially of how the crime has affected you. We will also collect some data about you so we understand who is affected by crime in Staffordshire and how they are affected.

    To find out how SVG uses your information, see our national Citizens Advice privacy policy.

    Your information will be stored on a separate system developed especially for the Victim Gateway. Only staff working for the Victim Gateway who have been vetted by Staffordshire Police will have access to that data.

    If you use CASNS’ websites:

    We do not use ‘cookies’ on our website so we will collect no data about who uses it or which pages they look at.

    This is the same for the websites we host for Potteries Moneywise, Challenge North Staffs and the Staffordshire Victim Gateway.

    If you use CASNS’ Facebook pages:

    On some pages there is a mailbox where messages can be left. This can only be accessed by the person posting the message and our staff.

    If these are requests for advice or information they will be transferred into our secure case management system. All messages are deleted after a month.

    If you receive a regular mailing or newsletter from us or any of our projects:

    We will have collected enough information to make sure we can send you the appropriate newsletter or mailing.

    This will usually be your name and contact details such as an address or email address.

    This information will be stored securely usually on a spreadsheet in our secure IT system and will only be shared with your permission.

    If you apply to CASNS to be a volunteer:

    We will collect only the information we need to help us decide whether or not you have the right skills for the role. This will usually be:

  • Contact details;
  • Details of relevant experience and skills;
  • Diversity information about you such as your gender, age, health issues, ethnic origin;
  • Details of any support needs you may have;
  • Details of any criminal convictions and in some rare cases, where the role requires it, the information we need to make a DBS check;
  • References.

If your application is unsuccessful this data will be destroyed. If your application is successful then the data will be kept in a confidential file that will be stored securely and in electronic systems that are also secure.

Any staff who have access to this information will have been trained to handle information securely and sensitively.

We will need to add further details once you are volunteering or working with us such as bank details, so travel expenses can be paid. These too will be stored securely.

If you apply to CASNS to work for us:

As well as the information mentioned above, if your application is successful we will need to ask you for:

  • Evidence of your right to work in the UK (such as a passport);
  • Your P45 and national insurance number
  • Your bank details so we can pay you

These will all be stored securely in secure electronic systems or a locked filing cabinet.

If you are working for us we will need to share your personal information with people such as the DWP, HMRC and our pension provider. We will do this on the basis that we have to do this by law.

Contact Citizens Advice Staffordshire North & Stoke-on-Trent about your information

If you have any questions about how your information is collected or used, you can contact our office.

Telephone: (01782) 201234, open Monday to Friday 9.00 am - 5.00 pm

Email: information@snscab.org.uk  

You can contact us to:

  • find out what personal information we hold about you

  • correct your information if it’s wrong, out of date or incomplete

  • request we delete your information

  • ask us to limit what we do with your data - for example, ask us not to share it or change who we share it with

  • ask us to give you a copy of the data we hold in a format you can use to transfer it to another service

  • ask us stop using your information

Who’s responsible for looking after your personal information?

The national Citizens Advice charity and this local Citizens Advice operate a system called Casebook to keep safe the personal information provided by our clients asking for advice. This means we are ‘joint data controllers’ for your personal information that is stored in our Casebook system.

Each local Citizens Advice is an independent charity, and a member of the national Citizens Advice charity. The Citizens Advice membership agreement also requires that the use of your information complies with data protection law.

You can find out more about your data rights on the Information Commissioner’s website