Some key take outs: 

  • We get information from you in order to provide a service to you. That could include mailing you out an order, or providing you with support in a workshop setting. 
  • We gather this information when you make a purchase from us, or when you access our services like workshops.
  • We also use cookies and tools like Google Analytics to better understand who uses this website. We use this data to continually improve the work of HATW and make sure we’re giving you the most useful and relevant information possible.
  • You’ve got the right to know what of your personal information we hold and what we do with it, and if you want us to know what information we have, or want us to get rid of it you can let us know any time by emailing 
  • Any personal information we have is stored securely – including password protecting all information stored digitally, and locking away any personal information shared physically. 
  • We’ll only store your personal information for as long as is necessary, and it will be securely destroyed or deleted once we’ve provided the service to you that you shared that information with us for. 

Our promise:

We promise to respect all personal information. That includes any personal information you share with us, or that is shared with us by other organisations. We will keep your data safe and secure and not use it for any purpose you would not reasonably expect us to. 

What is personal information? 

Personal information means any information that may be used to identify you, such as your name, title, telephone number, email address, or mailing address, etc. 

Given the work that we do, we may also ask you about sensitive information (special category data) such as details about mental health issues, diagnoses, etc. 

You may also choose to share photos, videos or stories with us, which also count as personal information.

Why we collect your personal information and how we use it

As with all of our activities, the aim of us collecting and retaining data is to be able to provide a service of the the greatest benefit to the Heads Above The Waves community. We only retain data where there is a legitimate interest and lawful basis to do so. The lawful basis on which we process your data is that of a contract – e.g. to provide a service to you, at your request.

Listed below are examples of the ways in which we may use your personal data. The list is not exhaustive but is aimed to give you an overview of the types of ways we may use your data.

  • To be able to send you items you’ve ordered from us online
  • Contact you about any issues with items you’ve purchased from us 
  • Keep a record of any communications between us and you, for example emails and phone calls in relation to our website, in relation to fundraising activities you are involved in, or other services (for example: design work, or sharing your story)
  • keeping a record of other interactions too, such as requests for leaflets or attending an event
  • contacting you to keep you up to date with the organisation’s activities, and information that might relate to mental health support for you.
  • processing financial transactions such as purchases, donations, or entering a paid event.
  • Contact you about volunteering activities if you’ve expressed an interest in volunteering with us.
  • Managing and improving how we communicate with you – how you prefer to be contacted, and what information you want to receive. We might contact you about our campaigns, events, appeals, volunteering, news, information and advice. 
  • Researching the interests, behaviours, demographics (for example: age, gender identity, location) and trends of the people who are using our services. 

We will always check with you that you are happy with us retaining and using any data about you before we do so.

You have the option to say no to us retaining your information or for us to remove the information that you have shared with us, though please bear in mind that if you choose not to agree to this, it may affect our ability to carry out the tasks above for your benefit, or the work of Heads Above The Waves.


Where we get your information from:

You have the right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal information. Before we collect personal information from you, we will always give you the opportunity to confirm you are happy for us to do so, and provide you with privacy information.

There are two main ways in which we collect personal information about you: directly or indirectly (including the use of third parties).


You may give us your information in order to:

  • purchase our products
  • seek information or support from us (such as via our Helpline)
  • sign up for one of our events
  • share your story on our website
  • in relation to fundraising (for instance: fundraise on our behalf, make a donation
  • offer to support us through volunteering
  • or otherwise communicate with us.



Your information may be shared with us by other organisations, when you have consented for them to do so. You should check the privacy information for these organisations when providing consent to understand how they may use your data. These organisations may include third party organisations such as:

  • Schools, colleges, universities, youth groups, etc. 
  • Fundraising sites (such as Givey)
  • Transaction websites such as PayPal 


We will also ensure that organisations are complying with the relevant legislation when sharing your information with us. We may also use publicly available information. For example, we are subject to many legal and regulatory obligations and standards. 

We may ethically screen supporters to minimise the risk of associating ourselves with an individual or organisation that conflicts with our values.

How we store your data, and how long for

We are committed to storing your data securely, and ensuring that it is accessible only by those working on behalf of the Heads Above The Waves, who have agreed to work with data responsibly and securely according to our policies. We ensure that all locations in which your data are stored are secure and compliant with the relevant legislation.

We only store information as long as it is required for the purpose it was originally obtained for. Therefore, the length of time we store your information for depends upon what the information is and what purpose it is retained for. We regularly review the information that we hold and will ensure that any data no longer required is securely deleted or disposed of.

How we keep your data safe

We ensure that the appropriate safe guards are in place to ensure that the information you share with us is kept safe, and only accessed by those who have permission to do so. We check that all places where we store data are compliant with the latest legislation (GDPR), and in keeping with our high standards.  For example, all digital information is password protected through trusted services that are compliant with the latest legislation, and any physical information is securely locked away, and only accessed by those working on behalf of Heads Above The Waves who have agreed to work with data responsibly and securely according to our policies.

We never have, and never will share data with other organisations for marketing purposes. There are only very specific situations in which we may share your information. We may share your information, with your consent, to other professionals we work with as part of our service to you. 

For instance, with your permission, we may contact a parent, teacher or a professional working with you, as part of our workshops. This will always be with your explicit agreement. The exceptions to this are if there is a safeguarding concern or we are bound by law and in these circumstances we will still seek to gain your consent first, but if you choose not to consent we must follow our safeguarding policy or legal obligations. A copy of our safeguarding policy can be provided on request.

Sometimes if you are sharing a photo or story with us, we will ask whether you are happy for us to share this publicly via ‘all media’. We use all media sources available to us as a charitable organisation to inform, raise understanding of mental health issues and to generally raise the profile of the work of the Heads Above The Waves.

We will always make this clear to you where we are asking whether you are happy for us to share information in this way.

Use of our website

We use Google Analytics to gain usage information about our website, so that we can better understand the need for our services and improve the site. We also collect domain information (e.g. IP address) as part of our analysis of the use of the website. This data enables us to become more familiar with how people visit our site, how often they visit and what parts of the site they visit most often. This information is collected automatically and requires no action on your part. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make, and do not allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website.

We also collect demographics information, such as age, gender, and location to better understand who is using our site and ensure that what we do is going to be helpful & relevant to you. We obtain this information via pixels, tags, cookies or by services that are offered by websites and social media networks.

We don’t currently use this data for adverts or remarketing purposes, but the tools we use to collect them (namely: Google Analytics) may be used for such purposes.

You should also check the settings on your browser, devices and/or operating systems to check what information you are giving permission to share when you browse the internet.

Use of Children’s Data

Where we are providing an information and advice service to children and young people, or they otherwise wish to be involved in our charitable activities, we will only process their personal information if we have written parental consent and if we need the data in order to provide a service to them. In relation to fundraising, we will always take the appropriate precautions if young people are interested in supporting us, and seek guidance from best practice organisations (such as the Institute of Fundraising).

In addition to this, schools, youth groups, colleges etc, may share information with us in order to provide support to a student. If it’s still relevant, prior to the child turning 16, we will contact them to find out if they would like us to retain this information and stay in touch with them. If they do not opt-in, then we will delete this information accordingly. 

Your Legal Rights

You have the right to be in control of your information. Outlined below are your legal rights and information on how you can act upon them. If you would like to speak to us about any of these issues, you can contact us on 

The right to access your personal information

You have the right to request a copy of the personal data we hold on you. We will fulfil any requests within one month.

The right to edit and update your personal information

The accuracy of your personal information is important to us, if the information we hold is inaccurate or incomplete, please let us know and we will update it as soon as possible.

The right to be forgotten

You do have the right to request the deletion or removal of your personal information where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing. We will review each request on a case by case basis.

We will endeavour to comply with your request without delay and in any event, within one month of receiving your request.


The right to complain to a supervisory authority if you believe we have not handled your personal information in accordance with the data protection laws

You can always speak to us about issues relating to data protection. This includes if you wish to ask a question, make a complaint or raise a concern about how we process your personal information. You can contact us on

If you are not happy with how we have handled your complaint, or you believe that your data protection or privacy rights have been infringed, or for other reasons would rather not contact us, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Officer (ICO), which oversees the protection of personal data in the UK.

Updating your preferences or unsubscribing

You can change your contact preferences by contacting us. You can also change your preferences through links in the bottom of emails we send to you.

Updates and changes to our policy

We reserve the right to update this policy and will review it regularly. You should check this policy which will always be available on our website or by request. If there are any major changes to our policy, if appropriate we will add a notice on our website or contact you.

This privacy policy was last updated in September 2020.

Inappropriate content

If you post or send any content that we believe to be in breach of any laws or otherwise inappropriate, such as defamatory content, we may use your personal information to inform relevant third parties such as the police.

Controller of personal information

We are Heads Above The Waves – a non-profit Community Interest Company, based in Cardiff. We exist to raise awareness of self-harm and mental health issues in young people, and promote positive, creative alternative coping techniques. 

Our registered office is Unit 3, Douglas Buildings, Royal Stuart Lane, Cardiff, CF10 5EL. 

We are registered as a CIC in England and Wales with company number 9534155

If you have any questions about this privacy policy or data protection, you can contact us on

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