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Privacy policy

Our privacy policy

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction and general terms
  2. About us
  3. The information we collect about you
  4. How we use the information we collect
  5. When we will contact you
  6. Contacting you for marketing and fundraising purposes
  7. Sharing your personal information with others
  8. Our legal basis for processing your data
  9. How we analyse and combine information
  10. How long we keep your information
  11. Deleting your personal data
  12. Your rights
  13. Changes to this policy
  14. Contact us

1. Introduction and general terms

Foothold is committed to protecting your personal information and being transparent about the information we hold; whether you are a service user, supporter, donor or volunteer. This privacy and cookies policy relates to our use of personal information we collect from you via the following;

  • The Foothold website or other digital content that links to this privacy and cookies policy;
  • Social media or official Foothold content on other websites;
  • Any personal information you provide by telephone, by e-mail, in letters, in other correspondence and in person;
  • Any information received from third parties.

This privacy and cookies policy explains the following:

  • What information Foothold may collect about you;
  • How Foothold will use information we collect about you;
  • When Foothold may use your details to contact you;
  • Whether Foothold will disclose your details to anyone else;
  • Your choices regarding the personal information you provide to us;
  • The use of cookies on the Foothold website and how you can reject cookies.

When you provide personal information, we are legally obliged to use it in line with all applicable laws concerning the protection of personal information, including the 2018 Data Protection Act, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). These laws are referred to collectively in this privacy and cookies policy as the "data protection laws".

We will ensure that personal data is:

  • Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner;
  • Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes;
  • Adequate, relevant and limited to use for the purpose for which it is gathered;
  • Accurate and where necessary kept up to date;
  • Only retained for the purpose for which it was collected and for a reasonable period thereafter, where there is a legitimate need or legal obligation to do so. (For our retention policy contact our data protection officer on [email protected])
  • Kept securely and protected against unauthorised or unlawful processing and accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.

The Foothold website contains hyperlinks to websites owned and operated by third parties. These third-party websites have their own privacy policies, and are also likely to use cookies, so we urge you to review them. They will govern the use of personal information you submit when visiting these websites, which may also be collected by cookies. We cannot accept responsibility or liability for the privacy practices of such third-party websites and your use of such websites is at your own risk.

2. About us

We are Foothold. We may not know much about engineering, but we do know engineers. We’ve been supporting IET (Institution of Engineering & Technology) members and their families since 1890.

We’re here so engineers and their families never have to face life’s challenges without support. Funded for engineers, by engineers, Foothold is here for you and the people who matter to you the most. Whatever the problem big or small.

Foothold is a network of skilled individuals who’ll listen to your problems in confidence. It’s a source of options to help you meet your needs, emotionally, physically and financially.

We are registered company number: 00441284 and registered charity number: 208925.

Our website is run by us with technical support from a digital agency and is available both within the UK and internationally.

Other companies might run Foothold supported services on our behalf. These companies must operate to Foothold standards but please check the privacy policy of the websites you use so you know who runs the site and how they will use your data.

When we say ‘we’ or ‘our’ we are referring to Foothold, The Institution of Engineering and Technology Benevolent Fund.

3. The information we collect about you

Information you give us

When you participate in, access or sign up to any of our services, activities or online content such as newsletters, web and mobile notifications, donations, or phone or text communication, we may receive personal information about you. This can consist of information such as your name, e-mail address, postal address, telephone or mobile number, gender or date of birth.

If you make a donation or fundraise for Foothold, we will record additional personal information. For example, financial details such as the details of your donation and Gift Aid status. We use a specialist payment processor to process credit/debit card payments securely; currently we use GoCardless and Stripe.

Please note that we may sometimes ask you to provide extra personal information, occasionally of a sensitive nature. This may be because you are accessing some of our support services, or you are sharing your story for marketing purposes. When we do, we will provide further information about why we are collecting your information and how we will use it.

Information from your use of our services and website

We collect information about our online content that you use and how you use it; like when you visit our website or interact with our digital adverts. We, like all organisations are able to confirm your IP address, geographical location and computer operating system. We work with our trusted partners Google Analytics and Hotjar to assist us with this. We use this information to help us improve the services we offer and personalise the experience for our users. More information can be found in section 11 of this policy.

Information from third parties

Sometimes we will receive personal information about you from third parties like Just Giving or Virgin Money Giving for example. You can choose to opt-out of your personal details being shared directly with these organisations.

Information available publicly

We may include information that is available publicly such as LinkedIn, Companies House or articles in newspapers.

Wherever possible we will use anonymous or aggregated information that does not disclose individuals by name.

4. How we use the information we collect

Foothold protects the privacy of your data using secure servers. The information that you provide will be kept confidential and used to support our relationship with you.

Foothold will use your personal information for a number of purposes, including:

  • To provide our services, activities or online content, to provide you with information about them and to deal with your requests and enquiries;
  • For ‘administration purposes’, for example, Foothold may contact you about a donation you have made;
  • To contact you about a submission you have made, including any information that you provide;
  • For analysis and research purposes so that we may improve the services offered by Foothold;
  • To fundraise in a manner you would reasonably expect;
  • To provide information about our work, activities, volunteering or events, although this will only be where you have consented to being contacted for those purposes, unless Foothold is in a position to rely on the Legitimate Interest basis for contacting you;
  • To use IP addresses to identify your approximate location, to report website traffic or to personalise the way our information appears to you;
  • Other specific circumstances that you may agree to from time to time;
  • Where there is a legal requirement;
  • We may also use information you supply us with combined with information from publicly available sources to build a profile of our supporters so we may contact you with relevant information
  • We may also use and disclose information in aggregate (so that no individuals are identified) for marketing, fundraising and strategic development purposes.

5. When we will contact you

We may contact you:

  • In relation to any service, activity or online content you have signed up for in order to ensure that Foothold can deliver the services to you;
  • In relation to correspondence we receive from you, or comments or complaints you make about Foothold products or services;
  • In relation to personalized services you are using;
  • In relation to any contribution you have submitted to Foothold, e.g. on Foothold message boards or via text or voicemail message;
  • To invite you to participate in surveys about Foothold services (participation is always voluntary);
  • To update you on any material changes to Foothold’s policies and practices;
  • For marketing purposes, as set out in section 6;
  • For fundraising purposes, as set out in section 6 and regarding donations you have made;
  • For legal reasons.

6. Contacting you for marketing & fundraising purposes

Foothold may contact you to provide information about our services, activities, volunteering or events, although this will only be where you have consented to being contacted for those purposes, unless Foothold is in a position to rely on the Legitimate Interest basis for contacting you.

You can opt out of receiving contacts from Foothold at any time by emailing us on [email protected] or calling 020 7344 5498.

7. Sharing your personal information with others

We do not rent or sell your information to third parties for marketing purposes.

Generally, we will only use your information within Foothold and will only share it outside Foothold where you have requested it or given your consent. However, we may disclose your personal information in the following circumstances;

  • To other Foothold service providers, to provide the products or services you have requested from us. For example, we may use a separate company to deliver goods to you.
  • To third parties who support our operations and services under our instructions. The legal phrase used to describe these types of third parties is ‘data processor’. For example, these third parties include our trusted partners Beacon CRM, Go Cardless, Stripe, Mailchimp an Hotjar who work with us to assist us in achieving our charitable aims and objectives. We require these third parties to act lawfully in accordance with our instructions and ensure that appropriate controls are in place to keep your information secure. We regularly monitor the activities of these companies to ensure they are complying with data protection law.
  • Where disclosure is required or permitted by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies, including for child protection reasons).

8. Our legal basis for processing your data

Data protection law requires us to set out the grounds on which we collect and process your personal information. Depending on the purposes for which we use your data, one or more of the following grounds apply;

In most instances we rely on your explicit consent to process your data. For example, we will ask you to give your explicit consent to sending your certain information.

Legitimate Interest
We rely on the ‘legitimate interest’ ground for processing where we believe it is in the legitimate interests of you, or of Foothold, to process your data. When we use this legal ground we balance carefully the potential impact (both positive and negative) of you and your rights under data protection laws.

Legal Obligation
We may need to process your data for legal reasons, for example, a court order or as required by a regulatory authority.

Performance of a contract
We may need to process your data in order to perform a contract, for example, if you choose to work or volunteer with us.

9. How we analyse and combine information

Before we contact you, we may use data analysis to determine the likelihood of you being interested in a particular service or campaign. This helps us to improve the services we offer and ensure you receive the most relevant information.

We may combine information you have provided us along with information freely available from public sources, for example the electoral role, companies house or LinkedIn. From time to time we may work with trusted specialist agencies who collate information freely available from public registers alongside other socio-economic data, for example CACI Acorn or Experian.

10. How long we keep your information

We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity, or as long as is set out in any relevant agreement you hold with Foothold. For full details of our data retention policy you can email our data protection officer on [email protected]

Personal information that we no longer need is disposed of securely and/or anonymized so you can no longer be identified by it.

11. Deleting your personal data

You can request Foothold to delete all the data that we hold about you at [email protected]. Foothold will carry out your request as far as we don’t have an overriding legitimate reason for holding on to it, for example to comply with a legal obligation.

  • 13. Your rights

Under data protection laws you have the right to request a copy of the personal information Foothold holds about you and to have any inaccuracies corrected. We will use reasonable efforts consistent with our legal duty to supply, correct or delete personal information about you on our files. Please address requests and questions about this to our data protection officer at [email protected]

If we do not already hold identification for you, we will need two copies of any of the following:

  • Passport;
  • Driving license;
  • Birth certificate;
  • Utility bill (from last 3 months);
  • Current vehicle registration document;
  • Bank statement (from last 3 months);
  • Rent book (from last 3 months).

In respect of the personal data we process, you have the following rights:

  • The right to be informed about how we use your personal data (this document);
  • The right to access the personal data we hold. In most cases this will be free of charge and must be provided within one month of receipt.
  • The right to rectification where data is inaccurate or incomplete. In such cases we shall make any amendments or additions within one month of your request;
  • The right to erase personal data in very specific circumstances, typically where the personal data is no longer necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was originally collected or processed; or, in certain cases where we have relied on consent to process the data and consent is withdrawn, leaving no legitimate reason for continuing to process the data; or if you object to the processing and there is no overriding legitimate interest for continuing it.
  • The right to restrict processing, for example while we review the accuracy or completeness of data, or decide whether a request for erasure is valid. In such cases we shall continue to store the data but will not process it until we have resolved the issue.
  • The right to object in cases where the Foothold requirement to process the data is overridden by your concerns; or for the purposes of direct marketing (including profiling); or for processing for purposes of scientific / historical research and statistics, unless this is for necessary for the performance of a public interest task.

For more information about the GDPR and your rights under data protection law in relation to our services, contact our data protection officer.

If you have a complaint about data protection, contact our data protection officer at [email protected]. Alternatively you can contact the Foothold’s supervisory authority for GDPR compliance at, or call them on:

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate).

14. Changes to this policy

This privacy and cookies policy will be updated from time to time so we recommend you check it each time you submit personal information to Foothold. We also recommend you regularly visit the privacy page on our website. The date of the most recent revisions will appear on this document. If you do not agree to these changes then please contact us.

15. Contact us

If you any questions or comments about this policy, please contact our data protection officer at [email protected] or call +447923257087