What is a privacy policy?

We are committed to keeping your trust and confidence.  It is important that you know we record your personal data when you do things like visit our website, donate, use our services or work for us. We want you to trust us with that information.

This privacy policy explains all you need to know about:

  • Why we collect it
  • What information we collect
  • How we collect it
  • How we use it
  • When we might share it with others
  • How you can access and update your information.

Why do we collect your personal data?

We collect personal data because we want to improve the way we communicate and work with you.  Sometimes we also have to collect it for legal reasons.All personal information obtained about members of the public, people with learning disabilities we support and volunteers and employees is only used to ensure we provide a service which is consistent with our mission.  It will not be disclosed or shared for any other purpose.

What information we collect

This depends on your relationship with us.  If you have signed up to receive email updates we will have your email addresss.  If you have given us a donation we will have some financial information and perhaps a gift aid declaration; we need both for for legal reasons.  If you are a person with learning disabilities we may have personal information about you.  If you are an employee we will have details like your address and bank details and information we had to collect in order to request a DBS.

How we collect information

Members of the public:we collect information about you if:

  • You have signed- up to receive our updates through our website
  • Opted-in to recieve our updates in other ways
  • If we believe it is in our legitimate interest to do so and you have not chosen to opt-out
  • You fundraise on our behalf
  • Donate to us
  • Complete a L’Arche survey

People with learning disabilities receiving a service from L’Arche:we continue to build on the information provided in enquiries and referral forms, e.g. by carrying out needs assessments and updating care and support plans.

Employees and vounteers:We seek applicants’ explicit consent to obtain all the information needed for us to decide to employ them. The main source of this information is through form filling manually and electronically. Personal information may also include data such as references and DBS/PVG checks that are obtained from third parties.  

All personal information obtained to meet regulatory requirements will always be treated in line with data protection and confidentiality policies.

Our websites and databases are regularly checked by expertsto ensure they meet all privacy standards and comply with our general data protection and security policies.

How we use your information

Members of the public:

  • To keep you updated about our work in whatever way you prefer; by post, email or SMS
    • We will only send you updates by emails if you opt in to receiving them
    • We will only send you updates by post if you have:
      • given us your consent to do so
      • or if we have judged it is in our legitimate interest to do so and you have been given the opportunity to opt-out from receiving updates in the past.
      • To process donations, including gift aid with HMRC if this is relevant.
      • To keep a record of our interaction with you, including phone calls.

L’Arche will not share, sell or rent your information to third party organisations for marketing or fundraising. 

People with learning disabilities receiving a service from L’Arche:As a registered care provider, we collect some personal information about the people we support, including financial information. This is essential for provision of effective care and support. This information is contained in individual files (paper and electronic), all of which are subject to strict security and authorised access only. Personal information that becomes inactive or that we no longer require is also kept securely for as long as needed, before being disposed of safely.

Occasionally, personal information about Third Parties will be collected which is associated with the delivery of care, including contractors and visitors. This information will be protected and stored securely.

Employees and volunteers:L’Arche operates a safe recruitment policy to comply with the regulations in which all personal information obtained, including CV’s and references is securely kept, retained and disposed of in line with data protection requirements.  All employees and volunteers are aware of their right to access any information about them.

All individuals have the right to access any information held about them.

Sensitive information

Sometimes we may ask you for more sensitive information: for example about your health or what has motivated you to choose L’Arche.  We will only collect this information with your permission and will take great care of it.

When we share information with others

Members of the public:We often use a mailing house to send out our updates by post or electronic softwear such as Mailchimp to send out emails. We may also use our website or softwear such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey to help us conduct surveys.  We only provide these companies with the information they need to deliver the relevant service and we make sure that your data is treated with the same level of care as if we were handling it directly.

People with learning disabilities receiving a service from L’Arche: We only share the personal information  on a “need to know” basis, observing strict protocols in doing so and obtaining consent if appropriate. Most information sharing is with other professionals and agencies involved in care and treatment. We pay particular attention to what information is shared with family members and friends, and ensure the people we support are central to the decisions about what will be shared and what will be held in confidence. We support many people who do not have capacity to give or withhold consent to the sharing of data, and in these instances we use a Best Interests Process to ensure decisions are made on their behalf by the relevant people. 

Employees and volunteers: We would not disclose information about our employees without their clear agreement, e.g. when providing a reference.

The only circumstances in which we would disclose personal information about any individual without their consent is where we are required to do so by law or for regulatory purposes. We do this on the basis that the relevant Care Regulators, police forces  and local authority safeguarding teams have their information-sharing protocols and confidentiality procedures in place.

Legal reasons for storing and sharing information

We must keep records of donations, employment records and records regarding people with learning disabilities we support for legal reasons.  We will only share personal information with companies, organisations or individuals if we strongly believe that access, use, storing or sharing of the information is reasonably necessary to:

  • meet any relevant law, regulation, legal process or lawful governmental request
  • put in force relevant terms of service, including investigation of potential violations
  • detect, prevent or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues
  • protect against harm to the rights, property or safety of L’Arche, the people we support or the public, as required or permitted by law.

If you have given us consent to send you updates, we will contact you to renew that consent every two years.  If we believe it is in our legitimate interest to send you updates we will evaluate this decision every two years.

How we keep your information safe

L’Arche has a range of policies that enable us to comply with data protection requirements. Relevant policies are available on request. If appropriate these are also available in an Easy Read format for people with disabilities. These are:

  • Individuals’ rights
  • Consent, capacity and decision-making (SC05)Human Rights (Scotland)) policy (SC101)
  • Adult Safeguarding (England and Wales) and Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) SC01a and b
  • Confidentiality policy (A1)
  • Complaints policy (A2) SC06
  • Computer Security
  • Social media policy (A5)
  • Data protection and access policy (A8)
  • Public interest disclosure policy (A19)
  • Recruitment policy (B3)
  • Declaration of any cautions, convictions or offences (B8)
  • Document retention policy

How we store your information

We ensure there are appropriate technical controls in place to protect your personal details, for example our online forms are always encrypted (this prevents other people accessing them) and our network is protected and checked often.

We regularly review who has access to information that we hold to ensure it is only accessible by trained staff, volunteers and contractors.

We regularly review the information that we hold, and delete anything that is no longer required.

Updating your information, preferences and unsubscribing

If your personal details change, please help us to keep this information up to date by getting in touch and telling us:


You are in control of how we contact you, for example by post or email.  L’Arche UK and each Community has their own Mailchimp account.  You can be on as many email lists as you want.  If you want to stop receiving emails, click the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of any of our emails. If you want to stop receiving post you can contact us at:


6 Barlow Moor Road


M20 6TR

Or you can call 0161 438 2832 or email [email protected]

How can personal information held by L’Arche be accessed

The guidance on Individuals’ rights (referred to above) sets out your rights to the data we hold. To access your personal data, contact L’Arche’s Registered Office: 10 Briggate, Silsden, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD20 9JT; phone 01535 656186; email [email protected];

How we keep our privacy policies up to date

The employees appointed to control and process personal information in our localities are delegated to assess all privacy risks continuously and to carry out comprehensive reviews of our data protection policies, procedures and protocols at least annually.

Following links to third party websites

Our website contains links to websites owned by other people. L’Arche will not pass on any personal information about you to any other website.

About L’Arche

Registered Office:10 Briggate, Silsden, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD20 9JT

L’Arche is a company limited by guarantee (registration no 1055041) and a charity providing person-centred support for adults with learning disabilities in ten communities and two projects in England, Scotland and Wales. Our registered charity numbers are 264166 in England and Wales and SC038493 in Scotland. We are a member of the International Federation of L’Arche Communities, where people with and without learning disabilities share life together.

A typical community may consist of supported living and housing, residential care, and possibly day services. Each community has an administrative office and is supported by centralised financial and fundraising offices.

We are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England, the Care Inspectorate (CI) in Scotland, and the Care Inspectorate (Wales). We are registered with and follow the Code of Practice issued by the Fundraising regulator.