Policies

helpwildlife.co.uk provides a directory of around 400 wildlife rescues in the UK who can help with wildlife casualties

Use the tabs below to view our various policies

Privacy Notice

Helpwildlife.co.uk, as part of the Starlight Trust is committed to maintaining the trust and confidence of our partners, supporters and visitors to our website. We will only ever collect information about you as necessary to carry out our day to day operations and meet our objectives. We won’t be plaguing you with donation requests or selling your info to marketers. The Privacy Policy below sets out in more detail what we’ll collect and why but if you have any questions not answered here, please feel free to get in touch and ask.

What information is being collected and how?

We collect information about wildlife rescue(r)s in the UK either through our submission forms or by web based research. This includes contact information, information about opening times and policies, and any comments made via our feedback facility. When we receive sensitive information about rescue behaviour, such as concerns raised about their conduct or advice, this is stored in a private database but not published on the website.

Through our helpdesk, some information is collected about those who contact us such as email addresses, Facebook user accounts and approximate location. We do not usually request a full address or phone number but this is sometimes submitted. In these cases our volunteers will usually delete unnecessary information.

Very limited information is collected about those who donate towards our work. This is generally restricted to the information you share when you make a PayPal contribution for example. Such information is handled in accordance with the policies of our parent charity the Starlight Trust. You can view these policies at starlighttrust.org.uk/about-us/privacy-and-data-protection/

Why is it being collected and how will it be used?

Information about wildlife rescue(r)s is collected in order to provide a directory of wildlife rescue(r)s in the UK. This information will be published on our web pages with some information removed if we have reason to believe the rescue is temporarily or permanently closed, the organisation is deemed not suitable to be included in our directory, or the rescue requests its removal. Where a rescue(r) signs up to the Community Heroes level of our directory, details will only be available to our volunteers and not visible to the public.

Information provided may also be used by our volunteers to make contact with rescuer(s) to check that the information held is correct and they are still able to help with sick and injured wildlife.

In exceptional circumstances, we may use the information gathered to form a mailing list to issue a group communication to wildlife rescuers where doing so would further the aims of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in the UK. An ‘unsubscribe’ option will always be included.

The legal basis for this processing is our legitimate interests in forming and publishing a database of wildlife rescuer(r)s in the UK.

Information gathered about those who contact our helpdesk will be used only to provide advice and support to them in finding help with their situation. Anonymised stories and pictures may be shared on our social media but will never include any identifying information. We will never use the contact information of those who contact our helpdesk to solicit donations.

Will information be shared with anyone else?

Information about wildlife rescue(r)s in our main directory will be published on the web. It will not be shared in other formats e.g. as a bulk mailing list. Information about ‘Community Heroes’ will only be shared with individual members of the public where specific consent has been given to do so.

Information about those who contact our helpdesk will only ever be shared, with explicit consent, with rescue(r)s who may be able to provide additional help and support with their situation.

Donor information will never be shared with anyone outside of the Starlight Trust other than with HMRC to claim back Gift Aid where appropriate.

Retaining Information

Some information about rescue(r) is generally held indefinitely e.g. within the change history of our webpages, even when a listing is removed from our directory. This is to enable listings to be edited and reinstated quickly.

We do not have a deletion policy for donors and those who contact our helpdesk and will generally retain this information indefinitely but will delete it on request.

Your rights

You are entitled to
• Access the personal data we hold
• Have any inaccurate data about you rectified
• Have your data erased in some circumstances
• Lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority if you consider that our processing of your data infringes data protection laws.

If you wish to have data published in our directory changed, please visit the rescue area to learn how to claim and edit a listing. For other data types please email info@helpwildlife.co.uk

Data Protection Policy

Helpwildlife.co.uk is committed to ensuring any personal data is handled in compliance with the law. Personal information will:

• Be obtained fairly and lawfully and shall not be processed unless certain conditions are met
• Be obtained for a specific and lawful purpose
• Be adequate, relevant but not excessive
• Be accurate and kept up to date
• Not be held longer than necessary
• Be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects
• Be subject to appropriate security measures
• Not to be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA)

Helpwildlife.co.uk will take steps to ensure that personal data is kept secure at all times against unauthorised or unlawful loss or disclosure.

Volunteer Agreement

In order to meet our objectives, the following agreement sets out what we expect from our volunteers and what you can, in turn expect from us.

We will

  • consider all volunteer applications fairly without regard for gender, sexuality, race, nationality, religion, social background or disability
  • be clear about what is required of you and provide adequate information and assistance to enable you to meet your responsibilities
  • respect your skills, contribution, individual wishes and needs and be receptive to any feedback you have on your role
  • reimburse any expenses incurred in a timely manner
  • consult with you and keep you informed of possible changes

You, the volunteer, agree to

  • carry out your role to the best of your abilities
  • always act in a professional manner and treat those you come into contact with during your voluntary work with respect, consideration and appreciation
  • keep in touch, notifying us promptly of any change of contact details
  • let us know, with as much notice as possible, if you are unable to complete a task or no longer wish to be involved with a project

Volunteers accessing data held regarding those using our services, supporters and other volunteers further agree to

  • regard all information you have access to or are given as a result of your volunteering as confidential unless advised otherwise
  • in no way divulge, copy, release, sell, loan, review, alter or destroy any such information except as properly authorised within the scope of your volunteer position
  • as required by law, comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act of 1998
  • not retain any copies of confidential information accessed as part of your volunteer role should you cease at any time for be a volunteer of the trust.

Cookie Policy

This site uses cookies – small text files that are placed on your machine to help the site provide a better user experience. In general, cookies are used to retain user preferences, store information for things like shopping carts, and provide anonymised tracking data to third party applications like Google Analytics. As a rule, cookies will make your browsing experience better. However, you may prefer to disable cookies on this site and on others. The most effective way to do this is to disable cookies in your browser. We suggest consulting the Help section of your browser or taking a look at the About Cookies website which offers guidance for all modern browsers.

Community Standards

Our intention in providing a directory of wildlife rescues, is simply to link finders of casualties with a wildlife rescue in their area. We have no wish or capability to say which rescue is best or what the right answer is to any of the debates which regularly occur in wildlife rescue. That said, we, obviously, don’t want to be directing people towards rescues which are objectively unsuitable. It’s a dilemma we have been wrestling with for some time. So, we have decided to put together some ‘Community Standards’. These are things which we believe are, objectively, standards all rescues should be meeting. We’re absolutely open to feedback on these so do get in touch if you have suggestions. We ask that any rescue in our directory adheres to these standards and, if we see evidence that isn’t happening, we may take the difficult decision to remove the rescue’s listing. It is our view that rescues should…

1. Operate without prejudice
Rescues should treat all human beings equally and not engage in any racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise prejudiced behaviour. Whilst they may not have facilities for all species, they should not act in a way that is detrimental to the welfare of any wild bird or animal.

2. Keep casualty records
Records should be kept of the casualties admitted, including finders’ details, where the casualty was found, any treatment the casualty receives, and the outcome for the casualty. This is important to enable casualties to return ‘home’ and in order to learn lessons about treatment protocols.

3. Keep financial records
Regardless of charitable status, anyone taking in donations from the public should keep records of money received and how it is spent, and ensure rescue funds are kept separate from personal money.

4. Seek veterinary advice and assistance
Rescuers often build up a wealth of medical knowledge so it is unlikely that every casualty will need to see a vet. But rescuers do need to have a relationship with a suitable vet and access to medications which are used when needed to ensure casualties have the best chance of survival and highest welfare.

5. Be willing to euthanase when necessary
Exactly when euthanasia is needed will always be a matter of personal opinion but a willingness to end suffering is, sadly, a fundamental part of ensuring the welfare of animals in the care of rescuers.

6. Not end life other than to relieve suffering
Any organisation which ‘culls’ i.e. ends the life of an animal to reduce numbers, will not be included in our directory. Regrettably, there are some species for which UK law mandates that they are killed rather than cared for and released. The fault here lies with the legislation, not the rescue, so rescues adhering to this requirement will not be excluded.

7. Give sound, evidence-based advice
Wildlife rescue is full of grey areas and there will always be disagreements and different interpretations. But the information and advice given to the public should be based on the latest knowledge and understanding, and backed by evidence. Rescuers should always be open to discussion, sharing experience, and expanding their knowledge.

8. Be open and honest
Rescues should operate openly and be willing to share information about their work, how they spend donations, the outcomes for their patients etc, responding positively and professionally to questions and criticisms.

Rescues which are not able to sign up to these standards are invited to register for our ‘Community Heroes’ scheme instead. Contact details for individuals and organisations in this scheme are not listed publicly but may be given out by one of our volunteers if a suitable rescue cannot be located in the main directory.