Privacy policy

Children 1st (charity number SC016092) is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected whether you are a donor, volunteer, prospective employee, shopper or campaigner.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the European Commission Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications, Children 1st has a legal duty to protect any personal information you provide whether online, via phone, email, in letters or any other correspondence. We will ensure that such information is only used for the purpose for which it was requested and also to ensure that the data is held securely.

This privacy policy explains how Children 1st uses the information it collects about you and procedures that Children 1st has in place to safeguard your privacy. By using our website or any of our services, or providing us with any personal data, you agree to your personal data being used and disclosed in the manner set out in this policy.

Please remember that it is easy to check and update your details or preferences for how you want Children 1st to communicate with you or if you want to stop receiving information. Call 0345 1080111, email: or fill out our online form to say how you would prefer us to keep in touch.

We regularly review this privacy policy. If we make changes they’ll be updated here and we will place a prominent notice on our website.

This privacy policy was prepared to be as concise as possible so that you have an understanding of how your personal information will be stored and used. We are happy to provide additional information if you send a request to Children 1st, 83 Whitehouse Loan, Edinburgh, EH9 1AT.

The sections below provide further information about:

  1. Overall information collection and storage
  2. Under 18s
  3. Information collected if you are a donor or supporter
  4. Making a donation or payment
  5. Recruitment – applicants to volunteer and salaried posts
  6. Visitors to Children 1st websites
  7. Marketing
  8. Online surveys

We collect information in the following ways:

  • Information you give us. For example, when you engage with our social media, make a donation to us, register for an event or otherwise provide us with personal information.
  • Information we get from your use of our website and services. We collect anonymous information about the services people use and how they use them: for example when watching a video on YouTube, visiting our websites or viewing and interacting with our adverts and content.

When you connect to the Children 1st website online, like all companies, we are able to confirm what browser you are using, IP address and computer operating systems that are being used. This information may be used to improve the services and information we offer. Wherever possible we use aggregated or anonymous information which does not identify individual visitors to our websites. By submitting your details you enable us (and where applicable any suppliers we may use) to raise funds and to provide you with the goods, services, information, activities or online content you select and any other related services Children 1st may provide.

We do not usually collect ‘sensitive personal data’ about our supporters unless there is a clear reason for doing so, such as participation in a marathon or similar fundraising event or where we need this information to ensure that we provide appropriate facilities or support to enable you to participate in an event. We may collect health information if you tell us about your experiences; however we will make it clear to you when collecting this information as to what we are collecting and why.

How do we use personal information?

Personal Information is anything which enables us to identify you in some way, such as your name and an email address. We capture and use your personal information collected:

  • to process donations or payments we have received from you
  • to provide you with services, products or information you have requested or which we feel may interest you where you have consented to being contacted
  • to provide further information about our work, services, activities or products that you have agreed to receive
  • to invite you to participate in interactive features on our website when you choose to do so
  • to further our charitable aims, including for fundraising activities in accordance with our internal policies and procedures
  • to fulfil sales made online
  • to invite voluntary participation in research or surveys (although this is voluntary)
  • for administration purposes (for example to register and administer your participation in events for which you have registered)
  • for internal record keeping, including the management of any feedback or complaints
  • to analyse and improve our work, services, activities, products or information (including our website) to make it as user friendly as possible
  • to use IP addresses and monitor website use to identify your approximate location, to block disruptive use, to record website traffic or to personalise the way information is presented to you
  • for administration purposes (e.g. contact about an event you have registered for)
  • to process your application for a job or volunteer role with us, and
  • for fraud prevention, credit risk reduction or otherwise as required by law or regulation.

We may comply with requests where disclosure of personal information is required or permitted by law, for example to government bodies for tax purposes or law enforcement agencies for the prevention and detection of crime, subject to such bodies providing us with the relevant request in writing.

When you use our secure online donation or payment pages you will be directed to a specialist supplier company, who will receive your credit card number and contact information to process the transaction. We do not retain your credit or debit card details on any Children 1st data system.

Where we may store your information

For financial and technical reasons we may, on occasion need to use the services of a supplier outside the European Economic Area (EEA), however we will ensure that your information is held in compliance with the European data protection regulations. By submitting your personal information you agree to this transfer, storing or processing at a location outside the EEA. We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data us kept secure and in accordance with this privacy policy.

Keeping your records

We keep records for as long as required to operate the service in accordance with legal requirements and tax and accounting rules. Where your information is no longer required, we will ensure it is disposed of in a secure manner.

Do we provide information to other parties?

We will never sell, swap or rent your data to any third party. We will not share your details with other charities for marketing purposes.

We will only share information with other organisations where we have your permission to do so in accordance with this Privacy Policy, where it is necessary for a legitimate reason connected with the services we offer or where it is required by law or regulation.

We use service providers (such as fundraising agencies, payment processors, direct mailing companies, mobile marketing providers and software platform providers, among others) to help us provide you with our services. Where we use third parties, we require them to adhere to data protection controls to protect personal information. We give relevant persons working for some of these service providers access to your personal information, but only to the extent necessary for them to perform their services for us.

We are committed to protecting the safety and privacy of the young people that engage with us through our prevention and support services for young people on our website, at events and at schools.

If you are under 18 and would like to get involved in fundraising, please tell us your age and ensure that you have consent from a parent or guardian before giving us your personal information. When we collect data about a child or young person aged under 18 we will make it very clear as to the reasons for collecting this data and how it will be used.

If you support us, for example, by making a donation, registering to fundraise or by signing up to an event, we will usually collect your name and contact details.

Where it is appropriate we may ask for some other information such as date of birth, your motivation or personal experience in supporting us. We will use the information you provide to give you the services, products or information you asked for, to administer your donation including processing gift aid, to support your fundraising or manage your marketing preferences.

Where you give us your consent we will let you know about the work we carry out and update you with our latest fundraising activities that we carry out to help children and families. You decide how you want us to contact you, whether by mail, email or by phone or text message.

We may also send you service communications, for example confirming a direct debit instruction when you have made a donation to us.

Volunteer information may also include Children 1st Action Group volunteers and ad-hoc Volunteers which our action groups share with us for the purposes of keeping a register of current volunteers, and their supporters who have engaged via our website, by email, letter or in person to help deliver a Children 1st event. This personal information will be held and processed to enable us to contact you about future volunteering opportunities.

We’ll only hold the personal information we need depending on the nature of your volunteering and when we don’t need it we’ll delete in accordance with our retention policies.

To make an online donation or payment by direct debit or payment card, you will be directed to a payment gateway. Payment gateways use security features and encryption to ensure your data remains safe.

If you use your credit or debit card to donate to us, buy something or pay for a registration online or over the phone, we will ensure that this is done securely and in accordance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. Find out more information about PCI DSS standards.

We offer the use of PayPal to make a donation, and have a payment gateway operated on behalf of and under contract to us by service providers which looks similar to our main website. Further information about the collection and use of the data will be provided on the relevant payment gateway for you.

If you enter your details into one of our online forms and you don’t “send” or “submit” the form we may contact you to see if we can help you with any problems you may be experiencing with the form or our website.

We do not store your credit or debit card details at all, following the completion of your transaction. All card details and validation codes are securely destroyed once the payment or donation has been processed. Only staff authorised and trained to process payments will be able to see your card details.

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 or by calling Children 1st supporter team on 0345 1080111.

If you apply for a volunteer or salaried post at Children 1st, we will only use the information you give us to process your application and to monitor recruitment statistics. If we want to disclose information to someone outside Children 1st, for example, if we need a reference or to obtain a ‘disclosure’, we will make sure we tell you beforehand, unless we are required to disclose this information by law.

If you are unsuccessful in your job application, we may hold your personal information after we’ve finished recruiting for the post you applied for. We keep de-personalised statistical information about applicants to develop our recruitment processes however no individual applicant would be identifiable from this information.

If you commence employment with Children 1st, your data will be processed in accordance with your employment contract and other applicable policies.

When someone visits we use a third party service, Google Analytics, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site.

This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make, and do not allow Google Analytics to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website. If we do want to collect personal information through our website, we will make this clear and explain what we will do with it.

We use cookies to help us make our website better. Cookies mean that our website will remember you from visit to visit. A cookie is simply a small text file. It isn't a program and doesn't actively do anything on your computer. You can read more about the cookies we use and how to manage them on our cookies page.  

We ensure your data is kept secure by using up-to-date security features and procedures and we respect the privacy of all visitors to our website.

If you post or send any content that we believe to be inappropriate, offensive or in breach of any laws, such as defamatory content on our forums or social media pages, we may use your personal information to inform relevant third parties such as your internet provider or law enforcement agencies.

Our websites may also include links to other websites, not owned, associated or managed by Children 1st. While we try our best to only link to reputable websites we cannot be held responsible for the privacy of information collected by sites not managed by us, nor can we accept responsibility or liability for them.

For this reason you should consult the privacy policy on any external website you link to before you submit any personal information to those websites.


We may contact you for marketing purposes by email or text message if you have agreed to be contacted in this manner. By opting in to email communication from Children 1st, you grant us the right to use the email for email marketing purposes. We may also send you service communications via email or text.

If you have provided us with your postal address or telephone number we may send you direct mail or telephone you about our work if you have consented for us to do so. 
It is 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 want us to use your personal information in these ways please tick the relevant box situated on the form on which we collect your data. 

You may opt-out of our marketing emails at any time by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the end of our marketing emails, and can opt-out of receiving marketing texts by sending us an "opt-out" text message, following the instructions we provide you in our initial text.

You can also change any of your contact preferences at any time letting us know what types of information you wish to receive. When you contact us we will quickly recap the types of communications that we send out and tailor your record according to your preference. Please call 0345 1080111, email:, write to Children 1st, 83 Whitehouse Loan, Edinburgh, EH9 1AT or fill out our online form to say how you would prefer us to keep in touch.

We will not use your information for marketing purposes if you have indicated that you do not wish to be contacted for such purposes. However, we may retain your details in accordance with legal requirements and to help ensure that we do not continue to contact you.

From time to time we may run online surveys, to collect feedback about a range of topics related to our work. Our online surveys are powered by SurveyGizmo survey software.