Privacy Policy


Citizens Advice Surrey Heath Privacy Policy

Last updated 28 January 2021

At Citizens Advice we collect and use your personal information to help solve your problems, improve our services and tackle wider issues in society that affect people’s lives.

We only ask for the information we need. We always let you decide what you’re comfortable telling us, explain why we need it and treat it as confidential.

When we record and use your personal information we:

  • only access it when we have a good reason.
  • only share what is necessary and relevant.
  • don’t sell it to commercial organisations.

At times we might use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information:

  • to comply with the law – for example, if a court orders us to share information. This is called ‘legal obligation’.
  • to protect someone’s life – for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a client was unwell at our office. This is called ‘vital interests’.
  • to carry out our legitimate aims and goals as a charity – for example, to create statistics for our national research. This is called ‘legitimate interests’.
  • for us to carry out a task where we’re meeting the aims of a public body in the public interest – for example, delivering a government or local authority service. This is called ‘public task’.
  • to carry out a contract we have with you – for example, if you’re an employee we might need to store your bank details so we can pay you. This is called ‘contract’.
  • to defend our legal rights – for example, sharing information with our legal advisors if there was a complaint that we gave the wrong advice.

We handle and store your personal information in line with the law – including the General Data Protection Regulation.

You can check our National Citizens Advice policy for how we handle most of your personal information.

This page covers how we, as your local charity, handle your information locally in our offices.


How Citizens Advice Surrey Heath collects your data

We may collect your personal data:

–       in person on a registration form, we will ask you to provide written consent at your initial visit and then at intervals thereafter.

–      in a web-form on our website when you register your interest in a vacancy, ask us to contact you or you provide feedback, in which case we will ask for your permission before the form is submitted.

–      over the telephone if you call us for advice, we will request your permission verbally to record your information on our case management system, Casebook.

–      if you have been referred to us by a third party, for example Surrey Heath Borough Council, they may share information with us as long as you have given them your consent.

–     if you ask us for a food bag, we will need to record your name, address and contact details plus the number of people in your household since this is a requirement from our supplier Besom.

–     if you have been referred or are self-referring to our social prescribing service, we will ask for your consent to record personal information in order to provide you with options to engage with appropriate community groups, activities and other services.

–     we may also collect data relating to your personal experience here at Citizens Advice Surrey Heath in the form of a survey if you are happy to participate. We will request your written consent before the survey is processed.


What Citizens Advice Surrey Heath asks for

To find out what information we ask for, see our National Citizens Advice privacy policy.


How Citizens Advice Surrey Heath uses your information

To find out how we use your information, see our National Citizens Advice privacy policy.

We may also use your information in relation to the following services:

–      When you give us authority to act on your behalf, for example to help you with a Universal Credit claim, we’ll need to share information with that third party.

–     We may, with your consent, use your anonymised data for Healthwatch in order for them to identify issues with health and social care.

–     If you require assistance from our solicitors, we will ask for your consent to share your information with them so that they can prepare for your appointment.

–     If you require help in completing an application form to Frimley Fuel Allotments for assistance we will ask for your consent to speak to this charity about your circumstances if they contact us.

–     If you are taking part in social prescribing, your information may be shared with Surrey Heath Borough Council, Surrey Heath Primary Care Network and Surrey Heath GP Federation with whom we deliver the Social Prescribing Service in partnership.  Please refer to the Full Privacy Notice for Social Prescribing.


How Citizens Advice Surrey Heath stores your information

We may store your information securely on our national Casebook system, our internal server or Google Drive.

Social prescribing client information will  be stored on Voluntary Support North Surrey’s Salesforce system.

Paper files of client paperwork are kept within the office in a secure cabinet locked with a key. This cabinet is only accessible to volunteers and staff within Citizens Advice Surrey Heath.

In general, we retain data for 6 years with the exception of high risk cases where data may be kept for longer. For staff and volunteers, the following retention policy apply:

  • Successful candidate: 6 years after end of employment
  • Unsuccessful candidates: 6 months after position has been filled

We store off site backups with our IT support supplier ProjectFive.

We store voicemail temporarily with our phone system supplier Splicecom.


How Citizens Advice Surrey Heath shares your information

When you give us authority to do so, we may share your personal information with our partner organisations. Our partner organisations include but are not limited to:

  • Surrey Heath Borough Council
  • Healthwatch
  • Besom
  • Solicitors:
    • Heald Nickinson
    • Constantine & Summers
    • Robert Simmons
    • Herrington Carmichael
    • Brooks & Partners
    • LCL Solicitors
  • Local Housing Associations
  • Voluntary Support North Surrey
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • HMRC
  • Department of Health and Social Care

When you speak to an advisor, we will record your verbal consent in the Casebook system if giving telephone advice or ask you to sign your consent to share information and scan this to the Casebook system.

We may occasionally share client information with funders for reporting purposes although this will either be with your specific consent or the data will be anonymised.


Contact Citizens Advice Surrey Heath about your information

If you have any questions about how your information is collected or used, you can contact our office.

Telephone:01276 417 900 Monday-Thursday 10:00-16:00

You can contact us to:

  • find out what personal information we hold about you
  • correct your information if it’s wrong, out of date or incomplete
  • request we delete your information
  • ask us to limit what we do with your data – for example, ask us not to share it if you haven’t asked us already
  • ask us to give you a copy of the data we hold in a format you can use to transfer it to another service
  • ask us stop using your information


Who’s responsible for looking after your personal information

The national Citizens Advice charity and your local Citizens Advice operate a system called Casebook to keep your personal information safe. This means they’re a ‘joint data controller’ for your personal information that’s stored in our Casebook system.

Each local Citizens Advice is an independent charity, and a member of the national Citizens Advice charity. The Citizens Advice membership agreement also requires that the use of your information complies with data protection law.

You can find out more about your data rights on the Information Commissioner’s website.



If you have registered with us to be notified of or take part in one of our fundraising events, we will collect personal data that enables us to send you relevant information.

If you have made a donation using the BT MyDonate website, we will collect personal details to enable us to send you a thank you note.

We do not share your information with anyone and review this data annually. You can ask to be removed at any time by emailing

For further information, please refer to our Local Citizens Advice privacy policy.


Volunteer and Job Applicants

If you contact us with regards to volunteering or working here, we will collect personal details that are required to proceed with your application.

We may also contact the referees you have provided for a reference and we may do a Criminal Records Bureau Check depending on the position you applied for.

We store data for successful candidates for 6 years after end of employment and for unsuccessful candidates 6 months after the position has been filled.

Your contact details may be shared with other volunteers for the purposes of remote working.

For further information, please refer to our Local Citizens Advice privacy policy.


Website contact

If you contacted us via our website, we use Mailchimp to process your data but not for storage.