Vision Aid Overseas' Privacy Policy


1. About Vision Aid Overseas

Vision Aid Overseas is a registered charity in England and Wales (charity number: 1081695). We are also a company limited by guarantee (company number: 4027804).

This Privacy Policy applies to all the above entities.

Vision Aid Overseas’ registered address is 12 The Bell Centre, Newton Road, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9FZ

This Privacy Policy relates to information which is obtained by Vision Aid Overseas and for which Vision Aid Overseas is the Data Controller.

2. Vision Aid Overseas’ Mission

Vision Aid Overseas’ overall mission is to enable people living in poverty to access affordable eye care services and prescription glasses.

Our supporters help us to achieve this in a variety of ways, primarily by:

  1. Fundraising, donating money, or donating second-hand glasses for recycling

  2. Volunteering overseas in our partner countries, head office or at events

We take active steps to make sure that our supporters are aware of the ways in which they can help us achieve our overall mission.

3. Why do we hold and process supporters’ personal data?

We hold and process supporters' personal data for a number of reasons:

  • To keep a record of donations made and actions taken by our supporters and our communications with them

  • To claim Gift Aid on donations

  • To send our supporters marketing information about our programme work, fundraising activities and appeals where we have their consent or are otherwise allowed to

  • To fulfil contractual obligations entered into with supporters e.g. Membership and regular donations

  • To support volunteers

  • To support community based fundraising

  • To ensure we do not send unwanted information to supporters or members of the public who have informed us that they do not wish to be contacted

4. When and why we will send you personalised marketing communications

Vision Aid Overseas will only contact you for marketing purposes - for example keep you up to date about our work, or let you know of ways in which you can support that work - where we have your consent or we are otherwise allowed to do so (see section 5 for details). 

We will make it easy for you to tell us if you would like to receive marketing communications from us and hear more about our work and the ways in which you would like to receive this information (post, email, SMS and phone).  We will not send you marketing material if you tell us that you do not wish to receive it.  There are a variety of ways you can do this, please see section 10 for details.

Where you give us your consent to send marketing information, we will wherever possible let you know how long this consent will last. Unless we have grounds for believing that a longer period is reasonable and have explained this to you, we will understand your consent to last for 24 months. After this time, in order for us to continue to update you, we will need your refreshed consent. You can update or withdraw your consent at any time, for individual channels of communication, or for all channels. See section 10 for details on how to do this.

5. Consent lasting more than 24 months

We will generally treat any marketing consent you give us as lasting for 24 months, but will apply the following exceptions (but only where we inform you of this at the time you give consent):

  • Where you have committed to giving us a regular donation (usually monthly).

In this situation, and unless you withdraw your consent, we will treat consent as enduring until you cancel your donation, at which point your consent will expire 24 months after the last donation. This is to enable us to keep you up to date with the impact of your gifts, and to ask whether alternative means of support would be of interest.

  • Where you have notified us that you will be leaving a legacy to Vision Aid Overseas.

This is a lifetime commitment and although we will provide you with regular opportunities to shape and control your communication from Vision Aid Overseas we will treat your consent as ongoing.

6. How and when we collect information about you

Vision Aid Overseas may collect your personal data in the following circumstances: 

  • When you give it to us directly

You may give us your personal data directly when you make a donation, sign up for one of our events and when you communicate with us.

  • When you give it to us indirectly

You may give us your information indirectly when you contribute to Vision Aid Overseas via fundraising sites like Just Giving or Virgin Money Giving.  These independent third parties will pass your data to Vision Aid Overseas where you have indicated that you wish to support Vision Aid Overseas and have given your consent or it is a necessary part of completing a contract with you.

Sometimes your personal data is collected by an organisation working on our behalf (for example a professional fundraising agency) but as they are acting on our behalf we are the "data controller" and responsible for the security and proper processing of that data.

  • When you access Vision Aid Overseas’ Social Media

We might also obtain your personal data through your use of social media such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter or LinkedIn, depending on your settings or the privacy policies of these social media and messaging services. To change your settings on these services, please refer to their privacy notices, which will tell you how to do this.

  • When the information is publicly available

We might also obtain personal data about individuals who may be interested in giving major gifts to charities like Vision Aid Overseas.  In this scenario, Vision Aid Overseas may seek to find out more about these individuals, their interests and motivations for giving through publicly available information. This information may include newspaper or other media coverage, open postings on social media sites such as LinkedIn, and data from Companies House. Vision Aid Overseas will not retain publicly available data relating to major donors without their consent, which will be sought at the earliest practical opportunity. 

  • When we use cookies

Cookies are a useful way for us to understand how supporters use our web site. When you visit our web site we will collect data from your computer or other devices such as a smart phone or tablet through the use of "cookies".  Cookies are created by your web browser when you visit our website. Every time you go back to the Vision Aid Overseas’ website, your browser will send the cookie file back to the website's server. They improve your experience of using our website, for example, by remembering your preference settings so that you are presented with information likely to be most relevant to you, and by measuring your use of the website to enable us to continuously improve our website to ensure that it meets your needs.

Cookies can also be used to show you relevant Vision Aid Overseas content on social media services such as Facebook - these are known as 'retargeting' or 'advertising' cookies.

If you visit our website as an anonymous visitor (e.g. you switch off cookies), Vision Aid Overseas may still collect certain information from your browser, such as the IP address (an IP address is a number that can uniquely identify a computer or other internet device).

The Vision Aid Overseas’ website contains hyperlinks to websites owned and operated by other organisations. These third-party websites have their own privacy policies, including policies on their use of cookies, and we urge you to review them. They will govern the use of personal information you submit or which is collected by cookies whilst visiting these websites. We cannot accept any responsibility or liability for the privacy practices of such third-party websites and your use of such websites is at your own risk.

 7. What information might Vision Aid Overseas collect about you?

We only collect personal data relevant to the type of transactions you have with Vision Aid Overseas.

For example, when you contact Vision Aid Overseas to make a donation, register for an event, take a campaign action, or sign up to any of Vision Aid Overseas’ activities or online content, such as newsletters, competitions, or message boards, or you telephone, email, write to or text Vision Aid Overseas, or engage with Vision Aid Overseas via social media channels, we may receive and retain personal information about you.

The information we collect is relevant to the type of transaction you are entering into with details such as your name, email address, postal address, telephone or mobile number, bank account details to process donations and whether or not you are a tax payer so that we can claim Gift Aid. 

  • Sensitive Personal Data

We do not collect "sensitive personal data" about our supporters, e.g. health status, unless there is a clear reason for doing so - such as participation in an overseas assignment or fundraising event where we need this to ensure that we provide appropriate facilities or support to enable you to participate in the event. Clear notices will be provided on application forms for such events so that it is clear what information we need and why we need it.

Should you support Vision Aid Overseas in a substantial way, we may provide an account manager to help you tailor your relationship to suit your interests. If this is the case we may collect sensitive personal data where relevant to our relationship, such as your political or religious views. Should you disclose information to us about your health or your family, this may also be recorded, so that we can communicate with you in a considerate and appropriate manner.

All sensitive personal data is stored on a secure database, to which only a limited number of relevant staff have access. It is deleted when no longer relevant, is never shared with third parties, and is available to you at any point should you wish to see it.

8. How will Vision Aid Overseas use your personal data?

Vision Aid Overseas will use your personal information for the following purposes:

For administrative reasons, including:

  • "service administration", which means that Vision Aid Overseas may contact you for reasons related to administering any donations you have made, your tax status with regard to Gift Aid if claimed, the completion of commercial or other transactions you have entered into with Vision Aid Overseas or the activity or online content you have signed up for;

  • to confirm receipt of donations (unless you have asked us not to do this), and to say thank you and provide details of how your donation might be used.

  • in relation to correspondence you have entered into with us whether by letter, email, text, social media, message board or any other means, and to contact you about any content you provide;

  • for internal record keeping so as to keep a record of your relationship with us;

  • to implement any instructions, you give us to with regard to withdrawing consent to send marketing information or informing us through the Fundraising Preference Service that you do not wish to receive any marketing information;

  • to use IP addresses to identify the location of users, to block disruptive use and to establish the number of visits from different countries.

For marketing and fundraising reasons (see section 4 for details).

For market research

  • to invite you to participate in surveys or research about Vision Aid Overseas or our work (participation is always voluntary);

  • to analyse and improve the activities and content offered by the Vision Aid Overseas website to provide you with the most user-friendly navigation experience. We may also use and disclose information in aggregate (so that no individuals are identified) for marketing and strategic development purposes.

9. Will Vision Aid Overseas share your personal information with anyone?

We will only use your information within Vision Aid Overseas for the purposes for which it was obtained. Vision Aid Overseas will not, under any circumstances, share or sell your personal data with any third party for their own marketing purposes, and you will not receive marketing from any other companies, charities or other organisations as a result of giving your details to us.

Facebook and other Social Media Sites

We may also use your email address and phone number to match to your account on Facebook or other social media sites in order to show you Vision Aid Overseas content while using these services. We only do this where you have opted in to marketing emails or phone calls and we keep your data secure by encrypting it. No data we hold about you is retained by the third party.

In addition, we may also use your email address and phone number to link to Facebook or other social media sites in order to identify other users of these sites whom we believe would be interested in Vision Aid Overseas, and we may then show them Vision Aid Overseas content. No data we hold about you is retained by the third party.

There are two ways to prevent this use of your data, you can either update your preferences at Vision Aid Overseas by opting out of the relevant channel of communication or you can do this via the social media site:


Updating your preferences with Vision Aid Overseas will not guarantee that you never see Vision Aid Overseas’ content on social media, since the social media site may select you based on other criteria and without your data having been provided by Vision Aid Overseas.

Where legally required

We will also comply with legal requests where disclosure 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 a relevant request in writing).

10. How long will Vision Aid Overseas keep your personal information?

We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity, for example we will keep a record of donations subject to Gift Aid for at least seven years to comply with HMRC rules. 

If you request that we stop sending you marketing materials we will keep a record of your contact details and appropriate information to enable us to comply with your request not to be contacted by us. 

Legacy income is vital to the running of the charity. We may keep data you provide to us indefinitely, to carry out legacy administration and communicate effectively with the families of people leaving us legacies. This also enables us to identify and analyse the source of legacy income we receive.

Where you contribute material to us, e.g. user generated content or in response to a particular campaign we will only keep your content for as long as is reasonably required for the purpose(s) for which it was submitted unless otherwise stated at the point of generation.

11. How to control what we send you or request update your information?

The accuracy of your information is really important to us. We want to ensure that we are able to communicate with you in ways that you are happy with, and to provide you with information that is of interest.

If you wish to change how we communicate with you, or update the information we hold, then please contact us:

  • amend your preferences on our website here: 

  • email us at [email protected]

  • write to us at: 12 The Bell Centre, Newton Road, Crawley, West Sussex

  • call us on 01293 535 016 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)

Additionally, you can opt out of email separately:

  • Email -  You can opt out of marketing emails at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in any marketing email from Vision Aid Overseas.

12. How long will it take for these changes to be effective?

We endeavour to meet the following service levels where supporters request we do not send them marketing information:

  • Email - 48 hours from receipt of email

  • Telephone - 48 hours from receipt of request to opt out

  • Mail - 28 days from receipt of 'do not mail' request. This period is longer than for other channels due to the production times for mailing campaigns, and in most cases we would expect the change to be effective much more quickly.

Under the Data Protection Act you have the right to request a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to have any inaccuracies corrected.

Please address requests and questions about this Privacy Policy to Vision Aid Overseas, 12 The Bell Centre, Newton Road, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 0FZ

13. How Vision Aid Overseas keeps your data safe?

We ensure that there are appropriate technical controls in place to protect your personal details.  For example, our online forms are always encrypted and our network is protected and routinely monitored. 

We undertake regular reviews of who has access to information that we hold to ensure that your information is only accessible by appropriately trained staff and volunteers.

We use external companies to collect or process personal data on our behalf. We do comprehensive checks on these companies before we work with them, and put a contract in place that sets out our expectations and requirements, especially regarding how they manage the personal data they collect on our behalf, or have access to.  We have a robust partner monitoring framework to ensure these contractual obligations are met.

14. How to complain about this policy and raise policy concerns

If you would like more information, or have any questions about this policy, please contact us by:

  • Emailing [email protected]

  • Writing to us at: Vision Aid Overseas, 12 The Bell Centre, Newton Road, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9FZ

  • Calling us on 01293 535 016 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).


To make a formal complaint about Vision Aid Overseas’ approach to data protection or raise privacy concerns directly with our team, please contact:

Vision Aid Overseas

12 The Bell Centre

Newton Road


West Sussex

RH10 9FZ

15. Changes to Vision Aid Overseas’ Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy may be updated from time to time so you may wish to check it each time you submit personal information to Vision Aid Overseas. The date of the most recent revisions will appear on this page. If you do not agree to these changes, please do not continue to use the Vision Aid Overseas’ website to submit personal information to Vision Aid Overseas. If material changes are made to the Privacy Policy we will notify you by placing a prominent notice on the website.


15th March 2018