At Sparks, we take the issues surrounding privacy and data protection very seriously. This statement outlines our data protection policy and aims to answer any questions you may have about how we collect and use personal or confidential information.

Personal information about our supporters is very important to us as a charity. It can help us understand who our supporters are, what they need from us as a charity and how they would like to interact with us. We value the relationship we have with our supporters and strongly believe that the protection of personal data is central to this.

All personal information is stored on a secure database. If, at any time, you wish to have your personal details removed from our system, check, amend or change any information we have stored about you or discuss any of the points made in this statement, please contact Sparks on 0207 091 7750 or in the first instance.

For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller is Sparks Charity registered in England No. 2634037 (“Sparks”). For more details please see

Collecting and recording information

Whenever a supporter makes contact with us, whether via telephone, email or the website, we will obtain personal information. This might include name, email address, postal address, telephone or mobile number, date of birth or credit/debit card details.

We may also record any details of your personal history, health or life experience, which you choose to share. Some of this information is classed as ‘sensitive data’ under the Data Protection Act (1988) and we will therefore ask your specific permission to store this.

In the course of our work, we may record, collate and analyse any data or information you provide us with in order to create a personal record on our supporter database. This may include details of other supporters you are connected or related to, as well as any details you have provided about how you wish to be contacted. This helps to ensure that any communications you receive are appropriate and relevant.

Your details may also be passed to us by a third party, for example through a research team we have funded or from a friend who wants to introduce you to the work that we do.

Using information

We use personal information to; respond to enquiries, provide you with specific information you have requested or keep you up to date with news or about activities which you might find of interest. We may also use the information internally for administrative purposes and, when relevant, to inform our work. You can let us know if you have specific preferences for how we use your data.

In order to ensure that our communications are as effective as they can be, we gather statistical information about the use of our website and e-newsletters. This includes tracking details such as the number of site visits and page views, and monitoring how people come to our site (eg. directly or via search engines) This type of information can help us improve our website and provide the best experience for our site users.

In certain circumstances, we may be obliged to pass on your details to third parties (such as when there is a legal requirement to do so, or a concern for an individual’s safety, rights or welfare or in order to enforce or apply our terms of use). If there is no legal obligation to pass on your details, but a third party has asked for us to supply supporter information for a relevant purpose, then we will ask your permission before doing so. We may disclose your personal information to third parties in the event that the activities of Sparks are merged with any other charity or organisation or if we sell or buy a business, in which case we may disclose your personal data to the prospective seller, buyer or merger partner (and their advisors).

Cookies and other tracking technologies

We may obtain information about your general internet usage by using cookie files which are small pieces of information that are stored by your browser or on your computer’s hard drive.  These cookies contain information which is transferred to your computer’s hard drive to enable Sparks to provide features such as personalisation. Cookies are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

Web beacons are a type of tracking device and are a transparent image file. Web beacons enable Sparks to track website usage information, such as the number of times a given web page has been viewed. Web beacons are invisible to you and (unlike cookies) are not placed on your computer. Web beacons may be used in association with cookies to understand how visitors interact with the pages and content on the pages of the Sparks website. Sparks may use web beacons to track usage information and to compile information about how our website users use different products and services and when they click through to offers shown on the website. Web beacons may also be used to track whether you have opened an HTML email. When the email is opened a part of the code that makes up the HTML page calls a web server to load the web beacon which then generates a record showing that the email has been viewed. Web Beacons may also recognise when the email was opened, how many times it was forwarded and which URL’s (links within the email) were clicked.

For the purposes of this privacy policy “Cookies” shall mean cookies and all other tracking devices including web beacons.

Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually change your browser to limit or prevent cookies. Cookies in themselves do not identify the individual user, but rather the computer used. Users may have the opportunity to set their computers to accept all cookies, to notify them when a cookie is issued, or to not receive cookies at any time. Different browsers may address cookies differently. If you set the browser to not accept cookies, it may result in certain personalised services not being provided to users of that computer. Unless you have adjusted your browser settings so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue Cookies as soon as you visit the Sparks website.

This website also uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses cookies. The information generated by the Google Analytic cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States of America. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

Protecting personal information

Personal data and information held by Sparks is stored on a secure database. You have the right to check and/or amend this information, whenever you feel the need to do so.

We are careful to ensure that personal information passed onto us, is kept secure and up to date, and only stored for as long as necessary for the purposes for which it is required. Credit card details are destroyed after payment has been taken, and online donations are made through a secure server. Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. While we make every reasonable effort to ensure that information sent to us is transferred as securely as reasonably possible, we cannot take responsibility for any potential breaches of these security measures (this includes lost of information in the post or online interception). When you submit personal information to us, you therefore do so at your own risk.

Your rights

You have certain rights under the Data Protection Act in relation to the information that we hold about you. These rights include the rights set out below:

You are entitled to have access to your personal data. You may request by writing to Sparks (at the address given below) details of your information which we hold and the purposes for which it is held. We will provide this information within 40 days of your request, subject to any routine processing continuing between that time and the time of response. You may be charged a reasonable fee (as permitted by the Data Protection Act 1998) for this information.

You are entitled, by writing to Sparks, to require that Sparks stop using information about you for the purpose of direct marketing i.e. the communication to you (by whatever means) of any advertising or marketing material; and

You are entitled to require us to ensure that no decision taken by or on behalf of us and which significantly affects you is based solely on the automated processing of your information, for the purpose of evaluating such matters as, for example, your creditworthiness, reliability or conduct; and

You are entitled to require a correction of errors in the personal information held about you. If we disagree that information is inaccurate you are entitled to apply to ask the court for an order that such erroneous information be rectified, blocked, destroyed or erased.


By providing us with your personal details and information, you consent to the collection and use of this information, as outlined in this statement and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988. On occasion this privacy statement might be updated, this will not be deemed to affect your consent, unless you specifically contact us to say otherwise.

Contact details

If you would like to contact us with any queries or comments regarding our privacy policy, please send an email to or write to:

40 Bernard Street,
London, WC1N 1LE