Privacy Policy

OPAL Services (Rural West Cheshire) Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice

How we collect, store, protect and use your information.

About us

We are OPAL Services (Rural West Cheshire).  We run OPAL Services for older people in the rural areas of west Cheshire. We are committed to giving you a service that meets your needs and at the same time protecting your data privacy.

About this privacy policy

This privacy policy tells you how OPAL Services uses your personal information. It explains how we collect, store and process your personal information and use it to provide your OPAL services. Any questions about this privacy policy should be sent by email to contactus@opalservices.org.uk.

When you first get in touch

We will use the contact details you give to us to get in touch and discuss your requirements. If you decide to become a user of one of our services, we will ask you for the personal information relevant to the service you would like us to provide. We do not usually collect any data about you unless there is a clear and valid reason for doing so and data protection laws allow us to. For example, we will ask for relevant health information if you are taking part in one of our OPAL Clubs. We will then ask you to complete and sign a consent form giving us permission to use your personal information. We are required by law to do this and you will be able to withdraw your consent at any time.

We may need to store your emergency contact and next of kin information. This is  on the understanding that you have told those contacts that you have shared their information with us and they have agreed to us storing their contact details for use in an emergency. 

Data protection principles

We will comply with data protection law. This says the information we hold about you must be:

  • Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.
  • Collected only for valid purposes that have been clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes. 
  • Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes. 
  • Accurate and kept up to date.
  • Kept only as long as is necessary for the purposes we have told you about. 
  • Kept securely.

How we will use your information. 

We may use your information to:

  • Provide the services to you.
  • Help run and improve our services– ones we’ve provided before, now or in the future.
  • Create statistics that we may share with the organisations who provide funding for our services.
  • Train our staff.
  • Get in touch with you about events that we think may be of interest to you. That could be by email, phone, text, multimedia message or another form of electronic communication if you have given us permission to do so. You can withdraw your consent at any time.
  • We may keep a record of the communications we have with you, such as phone conversations and emails. This is just to make sure we are providing a good service and we are meeting our regulatory and legal responsibilities.
  • With your prior consent we may use photos we take of you and others to promote our services, for example in our annual report, on our website and on our social media pages. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
  • Deal with entries in a competition.
  • Seek your views on our services.
  • Process a donation from you.
  • Notify you of a change to our services.

How long we will keep your information.

We will keep your information for as long as we are providing you with an OPAL service. After that we will keep it for the length of time specified in our records retention schedule and in line with legal or contractual requirements.

How we will get in touch

We’ll use the contact information you’ve given us when we need to get in touch. One of our organisers may visit you at home but they will call you first to confirm that it is convenient. We might email you, give you a ring, send a text or use another form of electronic communication. 

Our legal basis for processing personal information

We require your consent to process your personal information unless:

  • there is a legal or regulatory obligation on us to do so, for example if we are required by the Charity Commission or Fundraising Regulator. 
  • It is necessary to protect your vital interests, for example in a case of medical emergency.
  • It is in our legitimate interests to do so, for example if you contact us and request a service or when we send you our newsletter by post or by email.    If you apply to work for us we will also need to process personal information for employment purposes.

You may withdraw consent at any time.

Sharing your information with others

OPAL Services will not share your personal information with others without your consent, except in the event of an emergency or if there are strong concerns about your safety or wellbeing. We will not release your information to 3rd parties and we will not sell your data to others for marketing purposes.

In order to provide OPAL services, we may need your consent to share your information with our commissioners who are the people who provide us with funding. Why? This is to meet our contractual obligations and to enable commissioners to monitor the delivery of services across the whole of west Cheshire. In some cases, our commissioner may be acting as the organisation with legal responsibility for the information (known as the data controller). In this case we would advise you to read the commissioner’s privacy policy in addition to this privacy notice. Further details about each service are below.

For BreakTime clients

We are funded by Cheshire West and Chester (CWaC) Council and monitored by Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust (C&WCT) to provide the OPAL Breaktime service. We are required to store information about you on the Upshot computer system. This means that CWaC and C&WCT can access some of your information in order to see how the service is running. For this reason you are advised to read the C&WCT and CWaC’s data protection policies to see how they use and store your personal information.

For Branching Out participants

Until 2019, we were funded by Brightlife to provide the New Horizon’s and What’s Cooking services. Up to this time we were required to supply some members’ personal data to Brightlfe and members’ information is stored for 7 years following the end of the contract. New Horizon and What’s Cooking participants may have elected to take part in a research project for Brightlife that had a separate consent process. From 2019, OPAL Services became the data controller for the Branching Out OPAL service, including What’s Cooking, and no information is shared with external bodies. 

For Carers Connect members

OPAL Services is commissioned by Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust (C&WCT) to provide the OPAL Carers Connect service. Under this contract both C&WCT and Cheshire West and Chester (CW&C) Council are the data controllers. We are required to store information about you on the Upshot computer system. This means that C&WCT and CWaC can access some of your information to see how the service is running. For this reason you are advised to read C&WCT’s and CWaC’s data protection policies to see how they use and store your personal information.

For OPAL Club members

OPAL Services is part-funded by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) via Cheshire Community Action (CCA) to provide OPAL Club services, including services provided during the pandemic when Clubs are not physically able to meet.  Under this contract we share data controller responsibilities with CCA and we are required to store information about you on the Upshot computer system. This means that CCA can access some of your information in order to see how the service is running. For this reason you are advised to read CCA’s and CWaC’s data protection policies to see how they use and store your personal information.

For participants of services not subject to a contract

OPAL Services is the data controller for the services such as the OPAL GoOnLine service which is not subject to a contract. In this instance, OPAL Services is the data controller and your information is held by your us. It is not shared with anyone outside of OPAL Services. 

For staff and volunteers

For staff and volunteers we have a privacy notice that is available from our organisers and by emailing contactus@opalservices.org.uk

Your rights

  • You have a right to be informed about how we use your personal information. This information is in this privacy notice. If you have any questions after reading this notice, please contact us at OPAL Services (Rural West Cheshire), P.O. Box 161, Whitchurch, SY13 9BG or email contactus@opalservices.org.uk
  • You have the right to a copy of the personal information we hold on you. Please put any requests in writing. We will not charge you for providing a copy of your information. Please contact your local Organiser or contact our Data Protection Officer at OPAL Services (Rural West Cheshire), P.O. Box 161, Whitchurch, SY13 9BG or email contactus@opalservices.org.uk
  • If any information we have about you is inaccurate or incomplete you can ask us to put this right. 
  • You have a right to ask us to erase the information we have about you. This is known as the right to be forgotten. You can do this by withdrawing your consent. 
  • If you feel that we and/or our partner organisations are processing your data in a way you don’t like, you have the right to restrict processing of your data. This may limit our ability to deliver you with your OPAL service and you should discuss this with your organiser.
  • You have a right to request that your personal data be provided to you electronically.
  • You have the right to object to your data being processed by us or any of our partners. 
  • You have the right for your information not to be subject to automated decision making. We do not make decisions about you using automated methods.

We will not use your personal information for marketing purposes if you have indicated that you do not wish to be contacted. We will retain your details on a suppression list to help ensure that we do not continue to contact you. However, with your consent we may still contact you for administrative purposes.

Protecting your information

We have procedures in place to protect the security of your personal information. Your paper records may be stored securely in locked cabinets or your data may be held electronically. Any information containing personal information that is required by our funders and commissioners is transferred to them electronically by internet network connections. 

We limit access to your personal information to those employees and volunteers who have a business need to know. They are subject to a duty of confidentiality. We offer training and provide guidance for staff and volunteers to help them understand their obligations under the data protection regulations.

We have procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.

We use data processors who are third parties who provide elements of services for us. We have contracts in place with our data processors. This means that they cannot do anything with your personal information unless we have instructed them to do it. They will not share your personal information with any organisation apart from us. They will hold it securely and retain it for the period we instruct. 

If you are 16 or under.

We are concerned to protect the privacy of individuals aged 16 or under. If you are aged 16 or under‚ please get your parent/guardian’s permission beforehand whenever you provide us with personal information.

If you have a complaint about the way we use personal information

You have a right to complain if you feel we are not using your information correctly or if you feel that we have not responded properly to your concerns about the way we use your personal information. You can complain by speaking to an Organiser or by writing to the OPAL Services Data Protection Officer at: OPAL Services (Rural West Cheshire), P.O. Box 161, Whitchurch, SY13 9BG.  

If you make a complaint to us and not satisfied with our response, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. 

Further Information

If you’d like any more information, or you have comments or questions about our data protection or privacy procedures, please write to us at: OPAL Services (Rural West Cheshire), P.O. Box 161, Whitchurch, SY13 9BG. 

Or phone our Administrator on 07851 214 163
Or email us at:  contactus@opalservices.org.uk

We may amend our data protection policy from time to time. You can email or write to us at any time to ask for a copy.