Privacy policy

Your privacy is important to us at Sense. The information below sets out how we use and protect any information that you give to us.

The ways we collect personal information

When you give us the information

This personal information could include details such as your name, postal address, phone number, email address, date of birth, etc. We collect this for a variety of reasons, including:

  • To process a donation you make
  • To respond to your enquiry
  • To provide support or a service
  • When you fill in a form on a Sense website
  • When you use our social media pages
  • When you donate goods to our charity shops and fill in a gift aid form

Sometimes, when you support us, your information is collected by an organisation working for us, but we are responsible for your data at all times.

If you give us personal information about a third party (for example if you are asking for advice about a family member), we will assume that you have their consent to do so.

When you support us via a third party

Your information may be shared with us by independent event organisers, for example the London Marathon or fundraising sites like Just Giving or Virgin Money Giving.  These independent third parties will only do so when you have indicated that you wish to support Sense and with your consent. You should check their Privacy Policy when you provide your information to understand fully how they will process your data.

When you have given permission to another organisation to share your information

You may have provided permission for a company or other organisation to share your data with third parties, including charities.  This could be when you buy a product, receive a service from Sense, register for an online competition or sign up with a comparison site.

When you have given permission using social media

Depending on your settings or the privacy policies for social media and messaging services like Facebook, WhatsApp or Twitter, you might give us permission to access information from those accounts or services.

When you use our website

Like most websites, we use “cookies” to help us make our site – and the way you use it – better. Cookies mean that a website will remember you. They’re small text files that sites transfer to your internet-enabled device. They make interacting with a website faster and easier. There are more details in our Cookie Policy. Our website contains forms that you can complete. We only ask for the information we need. Forms submitted online are automatically turned into an email and sent directly to a member of staff. However, we cannot guarantee it will be confidential whilst in transit to us. Alternatively, you can print out and send us the form

Publicly available information

This may include information found in places such as Companies House and information that has been published in articles/ newspapers. We may combine information you provide to us with information available from external sources in order to gain a better understanding of our supporters to improve our fundraising methods, products and services. The information we get from other organisations may depend on your privacy settings or the responses you give, so you should regularly check them.

What we do with your information

The type and quantity of information we collect and how we use it depends on why you are providing it. We will use the information you provide to:

  • Provide information, which you have requested, about ways to support Sense and Sense International, our services and our campaigns
  • Provide a service to you
  • Record any contact we have with you
  • Prevent or detect fraud or abuses of our website and enable third parties to carry out technical, logistical or other functions on our behalf
  • Analyse and report on the number and nature of contacts with the organisation
  • Carry out research on the demographics, interests and behaviour of our users and supporters to help us gain a better understanding of them and to enable us to improve our service. This research may be carried out internally by our employees or we may ask another company to do this work for us
  • Provide you with information that we think may be of interest to you if you’ve agreed to receive it

Sending targeted communications

We use profiling techniques to ensure communications are relevant and timely, and to provide an improved experience for our supporters.  Profiling also allows us to target our resources effectively, which donors consistently tell us is a key priority for them.  We do this because it allows us to understand the background of the people who support us and helps us to make appropriate requests to supporters.  Importantly, it enables us to raise more funds, sooner, and more cost-effectively meaning more donations end up helping Sense continue delivering services for people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs.

Direct marketing

With your consent, we will contact you to let you know about the progress we are making and to ask for donations or other support (adding your voice to a campaign, or giving your time, for example). Occasionally, we may include information from partner organisations or organisations who support us in these communications. For example, information from Sense International partner organisations. We make it easy for you to tell us how you want us to communicate, in a way that suits you. Our forms have clear marketing preference questions and we include information on how to opt out when we send you marketing. If you don’t want to hear from us, that’s fine. Just let us know when you provide your data or email us at or call 0300 330 9257.

Sharing your information

Sense does not sell lists of personal details to other organisations. If you are registered on the Mailing or Telephone Preference Services, we will only contact you with your explicit permission.

We will share your information only if:

  • We have been asked by a local authority to provide a service for you, it is likely that we will need to provide your information to them. Regulators such as CQC may also need to see personal data in some circumstances. This is likely to involve sensitive personal data which we need to have your consent to share.
  • Sense is working with partner organisations, including some who may work on our behalf. This will include organisations which send mail, process financial transactions, contact people on our behalf, or analyse personal data. We also send gift aid data to HMRC. We will only pass personal data to these organisations if they have signed a contract that requires them to:
    • Abide by the requirements of the Data Protection Act
    • Treat your information as carefully as we would
    • Only use the information for the purposes it was supplied
  • We believe it is necessary to protect or defend our rights, property or the personal safety of our people or visitors to our premises or websites
  • We are legally required to do so, e.g. by a law enforcement agency legitimately exercising a power or if compelled by an order of the Court

We may want to use some of the information provided, including gender, age or the type of sensory impairment that people experience, to publicise Sense’s work. We will only make this information publicly available if we have the explicit and informed consent of the individuals concerned, or their parent or guardian if they are under 18.

How we look after your data

We ensure that there are appropriate technical controls in place to protect your personal details in accordance with current data protection legislation.  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, volunteers and contractors.

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.

Some of our suppliers run their operations outside the European Economic Area (EEA).  Although they may not be subject to same data protection laws as companies based in the UK, we will take steps to make sure they provide an adequate level of protection in accordance with UK data protection law. By submitting your personal information to us you agree to this transfer, storing or processing at a location outside the EEA.

If you use one of our services, we may also hold data in paper files. We will also collect and retain your information if you send feedback about our services or make a complaint.

Keeping your information up to date

Where possible we use publicly available sources to keep your records up to date; for example, the Post Office’s National Change of Address database and information provided to us by other organisations as described above.

We will hold your information for as long as you have an active relationship with Sense. If you have not been in contact for some time, we will contact you to make sure that you want us to continue to hold your personal data and that the details which we hold are correct.

You have a right to ask us to stop processing your personal data, and if it’s not necessary for the purpose you provided it to us for we will do so. You have a right to ask for a copy of the information we hold about you, although we may charge £10 to cover the costs involved.  If there are any discrepancies in the information we provide, please let us know and we will correct them.

Useful contacts

Membership Team

Email: or call 0300 330 9256

Information, Advice and Support

Email: or call 0300 330 9256

Supporter Services Team

Email: or call 0300 330 9257

Website Team

Email: or call 0300 330 9250

If you want to access your information, send a description of the information you want to see and proof of your identity by post to Sense, 101 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9LG. If you have any questions please send these to, and for further information see the Information Commissioner’s guidance here.

We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time.  If we make any significant changes in the way we treat your personal information we will make this clear on the Sense website or by contacting you directly.

Who we are

Sense is a national charity that supports people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs, to enjoy more independent lives. Our formal name is Sense, The National Deafblind and Rubella Association. We are a registered charity (289868) and a company limited by guarantee (1825301).

Sense International is a leading global charity supporting deafblind people in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Kenya, Peru, Romania, Tanzania and Uganda. We are a registered charity (1076497) and a company limited by guarantee (number: 03742986).

Our registered office for both Sense and Sense International is: 101 Pentonville Road, London N1 9LG and we have offices, services and shops throughout England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

We have a sister organisation in Scotland and two other subsidiary companies; Helping Sense Limited (company number 02214430) and Sense4Enterprise Limited (company number 08112973) whose registered offices are at the address above. They run our shops and undertake other trading activities for Sense. Profits which they make are gift-aided back to Sense.

In this document the terms ‘Sense’, or ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’ refer to Sense, Sense International, Helping Sense or Sense4 Enterprise.