Privacy Policy


Manchester Refugee Support Network (MRSN) is a grassroots charity working to support refugees to access services and opportunities on an equal basis, in order to prevent all forms of poverty and allow individuals to fulfil their potential. To find out more about us, see the ‘About us’ section of our website.

The law on data protection changed in May 2018, when the new EU-wide General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force and was supported by the UK DPA 2018. We are currently in the brexit transition phase to following only the DPA 2018. This new regulation gives you greater control over how information about you is stored and used by organisations like MRSN. This policy outlines how we hold and use that information and will be continually reviewed in order to stay up to date.

If you have any queries about our privacy policy please email or call us on 0161 868 0777. 

Who are we?

Manchester Refugee Support Network is a grassroots charity serving refugees and asylum seekers in Greater Manchester by providing advice and support on immigration processes, training through our shared routes project and additional support through our destitute project and Check in and Chat Scheme. We are a charity registered in England and Wales (Number 1109990). Our registered office is at the Manchester Refugee Support Network, 129 Princess Road, Moss side, Manchester, M14 4RB.

For the purposes of this Policy, ‘us’, ‘we’ and ‘our’ refer to Manchester Refugee Support Network.

What is this policy about?

MRSN is committed to protecting your privacy and the personal information you provide us with. In line with our values, we want to treat you – and your personal information – with respect and dignity. It is important to us that you have confidence in us as an organisation, and that you trust us to look after your information. This policy explains how we collect, use and store your personal information, and also explains the rights you have under the 2018 regulations.

At MRSN, we have relationships with different people, including beneficiaries and supporters to volunteers and staff. For each type of relationship, we collect different personal information and this data might be used and stored in different ways. We have created specific privacy notices providing more detailed information as to how we process your information, depending on the particular connection or relationship you have with MRSN. These privacy notices are all in the appendix at the end of this policy.

Your rights

 Under GDPR, you have 8 specific rights when it comes to your personal information.

1) The right to be informed– meaning you should be given clear information about what personal information we keep, why we keep it and how it is used and stored.

2) The right of access– meaning you can ask us for a copy of all the personal information we hold about you and you can ask us questions to make sure that we are processing your information legally.

3) The right to rectification– meaning that if the personal information we have is wrong or incomplete, you can tell us so that we only keep accurate information that you have chosen to share with us.

4) The right to erasure– meaning that you can ask us to erase all your personal information. This is sometimes known as ‘the right to be forgotten’. There are some occasions when we may have a legal obligation or legitimate interest to keep certain information about you, even if you no longer want to be on our records, for example in terms of processing financial information, or keeping records in case of a future claim.

5) The right to restrict processing– meaning that you can ask us to keep your information but only use it for certain purposes, for example you may want to only receive certain types of information from us.

6) The right to data portability– meaning that you can ask for your data to be transferred to another system. This is not something that is currently relevant to our work at MRSN, but an example would be if you use a price comparison website to compare different bank accounts, you have the right to tell your current bank to share relevant information with another account provider.

7) The right to object– meaning that if you are unhappy with the way we have processed your data, for example if we keep writing to you when you have asked us not to, you can tell us and we must respond. If you wish to exercise this right please email your request to

8) Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling– meaning that we need to tell you if we use any systems which automatically use your personal information without human involvement. There is more information about this and all the other rights on the Information Commissioners Office website here.

What information do we collect?

We collect personal information, or data, each time you interact with us. For example when you are referred in to our service for extra support through any of our projects, when you make a donation, request information, apply to be involved in our Shared Routes Project, apply to work or volunteer with us, provide feedback or otherwise provide your personal details.

We collect information from third parties, for example fundraising sites like or from referral agencies, where you have given your consent. You may wish to check the privacy policies of these organisations to find out more information on how they will process your data.

When you visit our website, we collect non-personal data such as details of pages visited and time and location data. Website usage information is collected using cookies (see the section on Cookies below).

We may collect publicly available information, for example from Companies House, Charity Commission, or information published in newspapers.

What do we do with your information?

Please note that more detailed information is given in the privacy notices at the end of this policy.

Beneficiaries – we may use the personal information we collect from you (and / or the organisation who referred you) to:

  • make initial contact with you to understand your situation and find out whether we are able to offer you support
  • provide you with any services we have agreed with you
  • share information with other organisations, for example with your original referrer, or with legal or medical services

Our use of your information is always subject to our confidentiality policy and your support worker will explain this to you.

Supporters – we may use the personal data we collect from you to:

  • keep you up to date with news and stories about our work
  • process any donations you give to us including claiming gift aid on your donations if authorised by you to do so
  • thank you for your donations and invite you to continue to support us financially and non-financially, for example through volunteering or donating
  • provide you with any information you have requested
  • keep a record of your relationship with us
  • analyse the personal information we collect about you and use publicly available information to aid our understanding of our supporters to help provide the right information at the right time to the right supporters
  • conduct research to aid our understanding of our supporters and their views so that we can improve and develop our services, which may include contacting you to ask for your comments and opinions

Volunteers and Job applicants – we may use the personal information we collect from you to:

  • process and consider your application for a role at MRSN. Your information will only be shared with any of our staff, trustees and panel members involved in the recruitment process
  • share specific and appropriate elements of your personal data, for example, your contact details, with other staff team members that you will be working with or our IT support team in order to setup an account for you, should your application be successful.
  • provide references at the request of volunteers, after 6 months of working with us.

Employees – we may use the personal information we collect from you to:

  • fulfil our contractual obligations to you, such as paying you
  • ensure we are treating you as we’ve committed to, for example under our policies set out in our staff handbook.
  • provide references at your request should you move on.

Organisations – we may use the data we collect from you to:

  • refer or signpost beneficiaries to your services through your preferred methods.
  • keep you up to date with our monthly newsletters, if you have requested to receive them.
  • contact you with any enquiries we have about your services.
  • share beneficiary information with you when we have the beneficiary’s written consent.

Sharing your information

Sometimes we may need to share your information, with your consent. We may also have to share information if it is required by a law enforcement agency or by a regulatory body, for example the HMRC for processing gift aid on donations. We do not share your information with any other organisations for their marketing purposes.

We may use other organisations to carry out tasks on our behalf, including processing donations (for example we receive online donations from Local Giving) and sending emails (such as using Mailchimp to send newsletters). We will provide these organisations with only the information needed to deliver these services, and they are not permitted to use or store your data for any other purpose.

We may share your information internally, within the MRSN team, for the purpose of safeguarding, or for example if a staff member needs to query something with you.

 Where and how do we store your personal information?

We take appropriate steps to ensure your personal information is managed securely. We store and process most of our information using cloud based systems and secured servers. Internally, this is accessed only by appropriate staff and volunteers who are trained suitably. We restrict access to certain computer drives and files, for example information relating to health and medical information or financial giving.

Some of your information may be stored in hard copy (on paper), for example if you have completed an AIMS form on arrival for a drop in session or given us a photocopy of any personal documentation, or signed copies of formal paperwork. We store hard copies of these documents in locked filing cabinets with restricted access.

In some cases, third parties may have access to your personal information, and where this is the case we ensure that they are GDPR compliant. Our IT system is managed and supported by a company called Bytesize Computers (NW) LLP, who have administrator rights across our IT system. They have their own privacy policy and are fully compliant with GDPR.

We may use external companies to collect or process personal data on our behalf, for example Mailchimp or AIMS (our database system). While we take appropriate steps to ensure that information is secure, for example by using encrypted forms, we cannot guarantee that transmission of information over the internet is 100% secure and therefore you submit data at your own risk.

Data in cloud based systems may be processed outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing of your information.


Cookies are text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. You can find more information about cookies here ( Most browsers allow you to turn off the use of cookies function, should you wish to.

Cookies may be used to collect information about your visit to our website, for example: the pages that you visit, the time and date of your visit, location and traffic data.

We may collect and use this data for the following reasons:

  • To understand the interests and needs of those who visit our website
  • To estimate our audience size and patterns
  • To support the processing of forms, applications or requests you send to us
  • To help us improve and update our website

MRSN uses third party suppliers such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and they may use cookies. We do not control these, and we would advise you to check with these third parties for information about their cookies and how to manage them.

Some of these third parties may be located outside of the UK and the European Union, and therefore they may not fall under the jurisdiction of UK courts. If this is a concern to you, you can change your cookie settings and you can find out more about this from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) (

Links/Other Websites

This privacy policy only applies to MRSN. The MRSN website contains links to other websites, which are run by other organisations. MRSN is not responsible for the privacy practices of other organisations, and as a result of this you should read their privacy policies with care.

How long do we keep your information?

How long information is kept for is sometimes called ‘data retention’. We will keep your personal information only for as long as we consider it necessary. We have to take into account legal obligations, for example we are obliged to keep details of anyone making a financial donation for 7 years after the gift (and share those details to the HMRC if this is gift aided), accounting and tax considerations and also consider what is reasonable for the activity in question. If you have any questions about this, please contact us in writing using the contact details at the bottom of this Privacy Policy.

Updating your details and preferences with us

Please keep your details up to date with us, for example if you change address or telephone number. When you provide us with personal information, we may use the Royal Mail’s Postcode Finder or other available sources to confirm this, for example if we are unsure of what you have written on a form. We do not use these sources to access data that you have chosen not to provide to us.

You can change your preferences for which communications you receive from us, and how we contact you, by getting in touch with us at any time.

By email:

By phone: 0161 868 0777

By post: Manchester Refugee Support Network, 129 Princess Road, Moss side, Manchester, M14 4RB

Accessing and amending your information and preferences

At any time, you can do the following:

  • ask for a copy of the personal information we hold about you (this is also known as a Subject Access Request – please contact us at to request a copy of our Data Protection policy or Subject Access Request form)
  • ask us to erase or remove all your personal information
  • ask us to restrict how we use your personal information
  • object to our use of your personal information

Your request does not need to be in writing but we will ask you to complete a form (either on paper or in an email is fine) as this will help us deal with your request. The more detail you are able to include the better we’ll be able to respond.

To do any of these, please write to us at:
By email:

By post: FAO Belay Kahsay, Manchester Refugee Support Network, 129 Princess Road, Moss side, Manchester, M14 4RB

We will allow 3 months in order to act on any of the above requests. We may extend this deadline by another two months for complex or numerous requests (in which case we must inform the individual and give an explanation). We must verify the identity of the person making the request using “reasonable means”, therefore if a request has been sent by email, we will ask for a scanned copy of identification.

Vulnerable persons and children

MRSN takes seriously the importance of identifying and supporting people who are known to us and who may be in vulnerable circumstances. MRSN staff are trained to do this appropriately in accordance with our Safeguarding policy. If you wish to view a copy of these documents, please contact us.

We only directly support adults aged over 18, however this may include indirectly supporting other family members who are below 18. We do not actively seek to collect children’s data, however when working with families, we may need to process some data regarding children. If you are a MRSN supporter and are aged 16 or under we would ask you to please gain the permission of a parent or guardian before you provide MRSN with any personal information.

How to contact us

Please contact us if you have any questions about our privacy policy or information we hold about you.

By email:

By phone: 0161 868 0777

By post: Manchester Refugee Support Network, 129 Princess Road, Moss side, Manchester, M14 4RB

For more information about your rights in relation to the information we hold about you, you can visit the ICO website (

About this Policy

Our Privacy Policy may be amended and updated, and so you may wish to check it whenever you share personal information with us. If we do amend this privacy policy, the most recent version of it will always be available on our website. We may not explicitly inform our users of these changes. Updates are listed below.