Privacy Policy


Adfam wants everyone, who either uses us for support or who supports us, to feel safe with how any personal data they share with us will be processed and used. This Privacy Policy sets out how we collect, process and store your personal data. At Adfam, we are committed to protecting your personal data and making every effort to ensure that it is processed in a fair, open and transparent way.


Adfam is the national UK charity improving support for those affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use, or problem gambling. Drug and alcohol use, and problem gambling, can threaten and ultimately destroy family relationships and wellbeing. We empower family members and carers, support frontline workers and influence decision-makers to stop this happening.

Adfam is registered with the Information Commissioners Office (number Z5350448), is a registered charity (1067428) and registered company limited by guarantee (3328628) in England and Wales.

For further information, please contact our Data Protection Officer, Omar Amin:


We collect data from you only when this is necessary to provide you with the service or information that you have requested, or to enable you to interact with us e.g. on our website or by making a donation. We will not collect additional information which does not fulfil the purposes specified in this policy.

We collect data from you in the following ways:

When you interact with us directly: This could be if you sign up to receive information such as our newsletter; contact one of our services for support; register for an event with us, such as training, a conference, or our carol concert; make a donation to us; apply for a job or volunteering opportunity or otherwise provide us with your personal information. This includes when you phone us, email us, visit our website, get in touch through the post or in person.

When you interact with us through third parties: This could be if you provide a donation through a third party such as Just Giving; if you register for an event through a service such as Eventbrite, or complete a survey via a platform such as Survey Monkey; it could also be if you have signed up for newsletters which we administer via ‘Mail Chimp’ or if you are referred to one of our services by a partner organisation who provides us with your details (with your consent). These are examples and there may be other third parties not named here who we work with in similar ways, who may pass on your details. They will have their own privacy policies which mean that they have committed not pass on your details unless that is permitted under their own policies, or if you give consent.

When you visit our website: Via your computer ‘IP address’, we gather general information which might include which pages you visit most often and which services, events or information is of most interest to you. We do not analyse this data on an individual basis; it is collated with that of other visitors to provide us with statistical data about our site. We may also track which pages you visit when you click on links in emails from us. We also use “cookies” to help our site run effectively.

We use this information to improve our website and to ensure we provide the best service and experience for you. Wherever possible we use anonymous information which does not identify individual visitors to our website.


Personal data

Personal data we collect may include details such as your name, date of birth, email address, postal address, telephone number, GP details (if you are using an Adfam support service) and credit/debit card details (if you are making a donation), as well as other information you provide in any communications between us. We will only have this information if you (or someone else, as above) provides it to us whilst making a donation, registering for an event, placing an order on our or a third party website, speaking with our staff, or any of the other ways you may interact with us.

Sensitive Personal Data (also called ‘special category data’)

Data Protection Law recognises that some categories of personal information are more sensitive and must be specially protected. Sensitive Personal Information can include information about a person’s health, race, ethnic origin, political opinions, sex life, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.

We will only use this information:

  • For the purposes of providing you with support if you are accessing one of our services, training and quality monitoring or evaluating the services we provide.
  • We will not pass on your details to anyone else without your express permission except in exceptional circumstances. Examples of this might include anyone reporting serious self-harm or posing a threat to others or children sharing serious issues such as physical abuse or exploitation.
  • Where you have given us your express consent or otherwise clearly indicated to us that you are happy for us to share your story (for example by submitting it to us through our website ‘tell your story’ function), then we may publish it on our blog or in other media.

We take particular care with the storage and processing of sensitive personal data.


We will mainly use this information:

  • To provide the services, information or goods that you have requested.
  • To comply with the Charities Act 2016 and the Charity Commission.
  • To process your donations or other payments, to claim Gift Aid on your donations and verify any financial transactions.
  • To update you with important updates about your support, involvement, events, services or goods you have requested, or about your donation.
  • To invite you to participate in surveys, competitions, research, campaigning, activities or events (if you have provided consent to receive these invitations).
  • To keep a record of your relationship with us.
  • Where you volunteer with us, to administer the volunteering arrangement.

If you do not provide this information, we will not be able to provide you with the information or service you have asked for, process your donation or sign you up for an event.


Data Protection law requires us to have a reason or justification, also known as a ‘lawful basis’, for using any of your personal data:


This is where we’ve asked for your permission to use your personal data in a specific way, and you’ve agreed. For example to send you information via email or SMS. In most instances we will process personal information under this legal basis.


If you enter into a contract with us, this is the legal basis for our use of your personal data.

Legal obligation

We may collect or share your personal data where we are required to do so by law. For example to fulfil a regulatory requirement or for fraud detection.

Vital Interests

Where there’s an immediate risk to your health we may use your personal data. For example if we’re concerned for your health or safety at one of our events.

Public task

Some activities are undertaken in the public interest. For example collecting personal information to enable us to take action on concerns raised with us about someone’s wellbeing.

Legitimate interests

We rely on legitimate interests when we have an interest in processing your personal data, which is not outweighed by your own rights and freedoms. Whenever we use this justification we’ll always conduct a balancing exercise to ensure that we consider the impact on you as an individual. Activities relying on legitimate interests might include conducting research in order to improve the services we offer to families.


The personal information we collect about you will mainly be used by our staff (and volunteers) at Adfam so that they can support you.

We will never sell or share your personal information with organisations so that they can contact you for any marketing activities. Nor do we sell any information about your web browsing activity.

Adfam may however share your information with our trusted partners and suppliers who work with us on or on our behalf to deliver our services, but processing of this information is always carried out under our instruction. We make sure that they store the data securely, delete it when they no longer need it and never use it for any other purposes.

We enter into contracts with these service providers that require them to comply with Data Protection Laws and ensure that they have appropriate controls in place to secure your information.


We take looking after your information very seriously. We’ve implemented appropriate physical, technical and organisational measures to protect the personal information we have under our control, both on and off-line, from improper access, use, alteration, destruction and loss.

Unfortunately the transmission of information using the internet is not completely secure. Although we do our best to protect your personal information sent to us this way, we cannot guarantee the security of data transmitted to our site or sent to us by email.

Our websites may contain links to other sites. While we try to link only to sites that share our high standards and respect for privacy, we are not responsible for the content or the privacy practices employed by other sites. Please be aware that web sites that have links on our site may collect personally identifiable information about you. This privacy statement does not cover the information practices of those websites or advertisers.


We keep information only as long as is reasonable and necessary for the relevant activity. This may be to fulfil financial legal obligations, to report on projects or to retain records in keeping with statutory obligations e.g. if we have delivered a service to a child in care, these records must be kept until the child is an adult. For more information, or to request a copy of our data retention policy, please contact our Data Protection team at


You have various rights, as below, in respect of the personal data we hold about you.

If you wish to exercise any of these rights or make a complaint, you can do so by contacting our DPO at Adfam, 120 Cromer Street, London WC1H 8BS, by email at and by phone on 02038179410. You can also make a complaint to the data protection supervisory authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office.

a. Right to access your personal information

You have the right to access the personal information that we hold about you in many circumstances, by making a request. This is sometimes termed ‘Subject Access Request’. If we agree that we are obliged to provide personal information to you (or someone else on your behalf), we will provide it to you or them and aim to do so within 30 days from when your identity has been confirmed. No administration fee will be charged for considering and/or complying with such a request unless the request is deemed to be excessive in nature.

We would ask for proof of identity and sufficient information about your interactions with us that we can locate your personal information.

b. Right to correct your personal data

If any of the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate or out of date, you may ask us to correct it.

c. Right to be forgotten

As long as we are not legally obliged to retain your data for any reason, you can request that we delete it and not longer use it.

Please note, some of these rights only apply in certain circumstances and we may not be able to fulfil every request.


‘Cookie’ is a name for a small file, usually of letters and numbers, which is downloaded onto your device, like your computer, mobile phone or tablet when you visit a website.

They let websites recognise your device, so that the sites can work more effectively, and also gather information about how you use the site. A cookie, by itself, can’t be used to identify you.

How do we use cookies?

We use cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you come to our website and also allows us to improve the user experience.

The cookies we use

We use all four categories of cookies:

  • Strictly necessary cookies are essential for you to move around our website and to use its features, like our shopping basket and your account.
  • Performance cookies collect anonymous information about how you use our site, like which pages are visited most.
  • Functionality cookies collect anonymous information that remember choices you make to improve your experience, like your text size or location. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog.
  • Targeting or advertising cookies collect information about your browsing habits in order to make advertising relevant to you and your interests. As such if you visit the Mind website you may then be more likely to see adverts about Mind’s work on other websites as your browsing suggests that this is an area of interest.

No cookies, please

You can opt out of all our cookies (except the strictly necessary ones), but if you choose to refuse all cookies, our website may not function for you as we would like it to.