Privacy and Cookies Policy

At The Silver Line we are committed to protecting your personal data. The purpose of this statement is to explain how The Silver Line processes your data, whether you are using our services, interested in volunteering, making a donation or just browsing our website.

The Silver Line takes appropriate technical and organisational measures to keep your data safe.  We do use “cloud-based” applications to process some types of personal data. Where this happens we ask our suppliers to provide evidence that they have the appropriate measures in place to make sure that your data is secure.

As the service we provide changes, we may need to alter our privacy statement on the website. If you have any queries about this statement please contact the Data Protection Officer at The Silver Line, Trade Tower, Calico Row, London SW11 3YH or email us at [email protected]

If you use The Silver Line helpline

The Silver Line operates the only confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Our helpline service is designed so that the member of staff or volunteer can’t see your phone number when you contact us. However, some of this information is available on our telephony reports and can be accessed by staff.

We do record your phone calls to the helpline so we can listen to calls if for example you need to make a complaint, and so that volunteers and staff may from time to time review calls for training, support, or research purposes which will enable us to improve our service. These recordings are only kept for a month and then deleted.If we need to listen to a call or series of calls (for example if you need to make a complaint), we can listen to calls made to The Silver Line on our central system.

We also record some statistical information on each call, to report on and improve our service. This includes information such as gender, your age range, what the call was about e.g. just for a chat, a query. This information is not attributable to specific people.

Unlike the telephone helpline, your telephone number will be visible on the phone display if you contact The Silver Line head office.

From time to time we have to take decisions to limit an individual’s access to the service.  If this happens, we will make every effort to inform you as to the reason why we have restricted your access.  For example, we may ask you to give us a contact number so that a member of our team can call you to talk about your support needs.

If you contact us a lot in a short period of time we may use our system to limit the number of calls we will accept.  We do this to ensure that we can manage the capacity of our service.  The call limit is set bearing in mind that some callers need to contact us several times each day.  If this happens to you, you will receive a message that explains how to contact us to discuss your needs.

If we believe you are abusing our service or are abusive towards our staff or volunteers, we may use our system to block your calls or messages from getting through.  If you can’t get through by phone, you will hear a message that explains how to appeal the decision.  If you receive a message saying that we won’t respond to you, or you don’t receive an answer to an email, you can appeal our decision.

In either of the above circumstances, we may limit or withdraw access to the service, as abuse towards staff or volunteers is not acceptable and we cannot be in a position where your use of the service prevents The Silver Line services being used by other people.  In extreme situations we may also involve the police.

If you use The Silver Line’s Telephone Friends service

If you would like to be put in touch with a Silver Line Telephone Friend, we need information to be able to contact you and to send you more details about the service.  We also need to obtain more information about you so that we can match you to like-minded volunteers, based on your interests and preferences. This information is only available to staff at The Silver Line.  Telephone Friends will not meet or know the telephone numbers of the people they speak to.

We record all calls so we can listen to a call or calls if for example you need to make a complaint, and so that volunteers and staff may from time to time review calls for training, support, or research purposes which will enable us to improve our service.  These recordings are only kept for one month and then deleted.

If you use The Silver Line’s Silver Letters service

If you would like to be put in touch with a Silver Line Letter Friend, we need information to be able to contact you and to send you more details about the service.  We also need to obtain more information about you so that we can match you to like-minded people, based on your interests and preferences. This information is only available to staff at The Silver Line and Silver Line Letter Friends will not meet or know the address of the people they write to.

The Silver Line has a small number of trained volunteers who work from the head office to help process letters. These volunteers do have access to personal data through their use of our CRM database system, and have therefore been thoroughly trained, inducted and DBS checked. All our volunteers are managed and supported to ensure they are able to provide a quality service.

If you use The Silver Line’s Silver Circles service

Silver Circles are facilitated group telephone calls where people with shared interests can discuss topics that interest them with a wider group. If you would like to join a Silver Circle, we need information to be able to contact you and to send you more details about the service.  We also need to obtain more information about you so that we can find the right Circle for you, based on your interests and preferences. This information is only available to staff at The Silver Line.  Silver Circle members will not meet or know the telephone numbers of the people they speak to.

We record all calls so we can listen to a call or calls if for example you need to make a complaint, and so that volunteers and staff may from time to time review calls for training, support, or research purposes which will enable us to improve our service.  These calls are kept for two months and then deleted.

Volunteers may have different levels of access dependent on their role (facilitators or operators) but both receive adequate and appropriate training to perform their role.

If you use The Silver Line’s Silver Connects service

The Silver Connects team provides older people with more intensive support, advice, and help with connecting to local services.  If you would like help from this service, we need information to be able to contact you and to send you more details about the service.   We will also need information about your situation so we can help you, and if you wish us to contact another agency on your behalf, your consent to share your information with them.

We also have a small team of Connects volunteers that deliver our Connects Service. All telephone calls made by volunteers are recorded and kept for 1 month and then deleted. These volunteers do have access to personal data through their use of our CRM database system, and have therefore received adequate and appropriate training to perform their role.

If we are concerned about you and want to offer you extra support, we may keep information you’ve given us to help us know it’s you when you call again and so we’re up to date with your situation. We share this information within The Silver Line, because we work as a team to provide you with the best possible support.   An example of this is the setting up of assigned support; this is where we will arrange for volunteers to contact you at pre-arranged times.  This can be helpful if you find it difficult to go over previous conversations or if you are going through a particularly difficult time.   Assigned support is not open ended or long term, it is a temporary form of extra support and is only put in place with your input and agreement.

Any records about Silver Liners and Volunteers are kept for a limited amount of time.  This ranges from 30 days for caller emails and SMS messages to six months for letters to our Correspondence service.  The maximum length of time that we would keep information is one year.

We’ll never pass any of this information on to any other organisation, except in the following situations:

  • We receive a call about acts of terrorism or bomb warnings
  • We receive a court order requiring us to share information
  • We call an ambulance if during the course of a contact it appears that you are not able to make a decision for yourself
  • We are working in partnership with another organisation and you have given consent for your information to be shared
  • You directly ask us to pass on information about you to someone else
  • You threaten the safety of our volunteers or staff
  • You compromise the delivery of our service, for example by making it difficult for other people to get through, or by misusing telephony or other technology
  • You are in a situation which has or could cause you harm, you have given us information that identifies you and you are unable to make decisions for yourself. If we are worried about this situation, we will always talk to you about it first.
  • You provide information that identifies someone who has caused harm or says they are going to cause harm to a child or vulnerable adult

Referrals

We may contact you to offer our support if you are referred to us by another organisation or individual.  Once we have contacted you we will destroy your contact details, unless you agree to further contact – in which case we will, with your consent, keep the contact details.

If you wish to discuss your use of the services or appeal a decision, please contact our Head Office on telephone number 020 7224 2020, email [email protected] or write to us at: The Silver Line, Trade Tower, Calico Row, London SW11 3YH.   Please be aware that if you call our head office, your telephone number may be visible to the staff and may be logged for administrative purposes.

If you threaten our staff and volunteers and we bar you from our service, we may report your abuse to the police.

If you want to make a complaint

The Silver Line aims to support our callers, Silver Liners and Volunteers to the highest possible standard at all times. To help achieve this, we encourage anyone who is not completely happy with the service they have received to let us know immediately, either by contacting the helpline or our head office (contact details below). All complaints will be investigated fully.

It is important that you give as much information as possible in order to fully investigate your complaint. Your information will not be passed on to anyone outside of The Silver Line. So we can effectively handle a complaint, we will in most cases need to contact you and any member of staff or volunteer the complaint may involve.

It is our aim to resolve a complaint within 14 days of receiving it. In some cases, this isn’t possible but we will do our best to resolve it as soon as we can.

If you would like to volunteer with The Silver Line

The Silver Line head office volunteering team, with the helpline and hubs, works to support the recruitment and management of volunteers in varied roles across the UK. It processes data in the following ways:

If you are interested in volunteering with The Silver Line you will be asked to give us your personal details.  Most people contact us through our website (www.thesilverline.org.uk), however you can also enquire via the telephone, post, email, or at events. All volunteer application requests are handled centrally from our head office.

The Silver Line will also use the information you provide to allow us to monitor requests for volunteering, assist you with any queries you might have regarding your volunteering application and ask you about your experience of applying to volunteer with us.

We ask for information about age, disability, gender and ethnicity to help us with equal opportunities monitoring. You are not required to give us this information, but by choosing to do so you consent to the processing of this information by us.

The information provided will be used to make a decision about whether you will be invited to be interviewed and trained.

The Silver Line will hold your personal data internally, accessible by staff and a small number of trained and admin support volunteers.

If you do not complete the application process or choose to end your volunteering role, The Silver Line will hold your data for up to 12 months to cover instances where volunteers decide to start volunteering again. The exception to this would be where a volunteer asks for their details to be fully removed with immediate effect

Sharing information outside of The Silver Line

The Silver Line will keep your personal information confidential, unless we are required to disclose it in connection with a police investigation and/or we have reason to believe that you may present a risk of harm to others.

If you donate to The Silver Line 

When you donate money to The Silver Line, we may collect and process information about you. This information may include your financial details, name, email address, postal address, telephone or mobile number or date of birth. Some of this information may come from external sources.

When you make a donation via our website, the data is stored on a secure server. We also take appropriate measures to ensure the information disclosed to us is kept protected and up to date.  You can also donate to The Silver Line via a number of online providers such as PayPal, Virgin Money Giving or Just Giving websites (separate privacy statements apply).

We do not store credit or debit card details at all following the completion of a donation.  All card details and validation codes are securely destroyed once the donation has been processed.  If we receive an email containing any credit or debit card details, it will be immediately deleted, no payment will be taken and you will be notified about this.  All donations should be completed through the donation page on our website (www.thesilverline.org.uk/donate) or by calling our Fundraising Support Team on 020 3793 9182.

Marketing communications

We want to ensure you receive the right level of information about The Silver Line that is right for you.

 Email/text marketing

If you actively provide your consent to us along with your email address and/or mobile phone number, we may contact you for marketing purposes by email or text message.  By subscribing to Silver Line emails or opting in to email communication, you grant us the right to use the email for marketing purposes.

 Post

If you have provided us with your postal address we may send you direct mail you about our work unless you have told us that you prefer not to receive such information.

 Your choice

It is always your choice as to whether you want to receive information about our work, how we raise funds and the ways you can get involved.  If you do not want us to use your personal information in these ways, please indicate your preferences on the form on which we collect your data. You may opt-out of our marketing communications at any time by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the end of our marketing emails.  You may also change your contact preferences at any time  by contacting us on 020 3793 9182 or emailing [email protected]

Under 18s

We are committed to protecting the privacy of the young people that engage with us.  Our fundraising events request specific information about the age of participants. If you are under 18 and would like to get involved, please ensure that you have consent from a parent or guardian before giving us your personal information. When we collect information about a child or young person aged under 18 we will make it very clear as to the reasons for collecting this information and how it will be used.

Keeping your information up to date

If you have provided us with your details, but decide at a later date that you no longer want to receive information from us or your personal details have changed, simply let our Supporter Care Team know by contacting them at:

Supporter Care, The Silver Line, Trade Tower, Calico Row, London SW11 email [email protected] or telephone on: 0207 224 2020

Using our website

Our website uses cookies, as almost all websites do, to help provide you with the best experience we can. Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer or mobile phone when you browse websites.   Almost all websites use cookies to ensure that you can interact with our website successfully.

Our cookies help us:

  • Make our website work as you’d expect
  • Improve the speed/security of the site
  • Allow you to share pages with social networks like Facebook
  • Continuously improve our website for you
  • Make our services more efficient
  • Save you having to login every time you visit the site

We do not use cookies to:

  • Collect any personally identifiable information (without your express permission)
  • Collect any sensitive information (without your express permission)
  • Pass data to advertising networks
  • Pass personally identifiable data to third parties
  • Pay sales commission

Google Analytics cookies

These cookies help tell The Silver Line how many people have been to the site before, what time people visited the site and what pages were looked at. No personal information is stored.

For more information, see Google’s help pages and Google’s privacy policy here.

Removing cookies

If you want to prevent our cookies being stored on your computer in future, you may do so by referring to your internet browser’s instructions.

If you subscribe to The Silver Line emails

You can sign up to receive news about The Silver Line by email in a variety of ways including through our website, when making a donation, at events or via other methods. We will ask you to give us your name and email address and we may ask for other personal data depending on the context.

Your contact data is stored with our third party email service provider, MailChimp (separate privacy statement applies). If you are in touch with The Silver Line for other reasons such as volunteering or making a donation, you should also refer to the relevant section of this privacy statement.

We will only use your contact details to send you the information that you have requested from us.

How to notify us of a change in details

If your personal details change, please help us to keep your information up to date by calling 0207 224 2020.

Right of subject access

You have the right under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to ask for a copy of the information we hold about you and to have any inaccuracies in your information corrected.  If you wish to make a subject access request we will ask you to put the request in writing for the attention of Data Protection Officer, at The Silver Line, Trade Tower, Calico Row, London, SW11 3YH.

Please provide proof of identity including your name and postal address.  If you are using the helpline, we will ask you  for information about your contacts to The Silver Line and to provide a copy of the telephone bill for the number you use to make calls to The Silver Line.  For your information we will only send a response to a subject access request to you by registered mail at a postal address.  You should also note that if we are unable to verify your identity, for example if you contact the service anonymously or use a different name to do so, it may not be possible to provide you with the information requested.