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Privacy Policy and Cookies

This privacy policy sets out how we look after people’s personal information. It was last updated 10 August 2021.

Who we are

Shaping Our Lives is a national, user-led organization supporting a network of user-led organisations and service users. We work with people, especially those facing the biggest barriers, to build better, more inclusive services and support. We work towards a society in which everyone has equal life chances and support for independent living. A society which prioritises inclusion.

Visit our About page on our website to find out more.

Our commitment to you

Shaping our Lives takes your privacy very seriously and we are committed to taking great care with your personal information.

We will:
• Carefully look after any personal data that we hold or use.
• Comply with our legal obligations on data protection.
• Be open and transparent about how we do this.

Data and our website


Like most websites, Shaping our Lives uses cookies to collect information. Cookies are small data files which are placed on your computer or other devices (such as smartphones or tablets) as you browse this website. They are used to ‘remember’ when your computer or device accesses our website. Some cookies are essential for using the website effectively, for example finding your way round. The web site cannon function properly without these cookies, and can only be disabled by changing your browser preferences.

Some other services that we use that place their own cookies on our site, for example Google uses cookies in anti-spam measures we have in place on our contact and newsletter subscription forms.

We use a service called Plausible to monitor data around usage of our website because it prioritises privacy. All the site measurement is carried out anonymously and no personal data is collected.


As part of the registration process for our newsletters, we only collect your name and email address. We use Mailchimp to send out the newsletter, and your details will be held on Mailchimp’s servers in the USA. Our agreement with Mailchimp is based on one of the approved means of protecting the data of UK citizens (it uses what are called the Standard Contractual Clauses, and you can see them here). We only send you our newsletter to you with your consent.

The email address that you submit will not be stored within this website’s own database or in any of our internal computer systems. We don’t rent or trade email lists with other organisations and businesses.

We gather statistics around newsletter opening and clicks using industry standard technologies to help us monitor and improve our newsletter.

You can unsubscribe from our newsletter at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any of our newsletter.


We keep very limited information about our individual donors (enough to enable us to thank them and to comply with money laundering obligations). We currently use PayPal to process donations.

Data we collect elsewhere

Using our services

If you use our services, we will ask you for some basic personal information so that we can contact you. We will never share your information with a third party without your knowledge or consent.

My Involvement Profile is a tool to help you get involved with your local health and social service and have a say in things that affect your life. It will help you to communicate your expertise, skills and access requirements to involvement organisers.

When you ask us to send you the My Involvement Profile template to complete, we will ask for your consent to record some basic personal information about you to keep in touch with you to ask how it’s going and offer support.

It is also helpful for us to know if the My Involvement Profile was useful and had an impact on your involvement and how the inclusive and meaningful involvement activities were. This helps us monitor and improve the tools we use and services we provide.

Research and projects

If we are working with you on a project we will give you full details about how we will use and look after your personal information. We normally do this by giving you a consent form. That form will also clearly set out the lawful basis for processing your data, and it will explain your legal rights.
Professional networks and subcontractors

Like many organisations, we keep contact details of people in our professional networks, for example people from organisations that we collaborate with, people we subcontract to, people we meet at conferences, etc. Our professional networks are very important to us, as they enable us to build alliances. We have decided that we have a legitimate interest in holding this information, and that is the lawful basis we are using to process this data.

We store this data either in Excel or in Dropbox. Just as with Mailchimp, our agreements with all of these databases and apps use the Standard Contractual Clauses to protect the data of UK citizens.

You can ask us to delete any data we hold about you by emailing and we will action this request within 10 days. We also clean up our contacts database at least once a year by deleting out of date contact information or by updating records, for example where people have moved into different roles.

Job applicants

If you apply for a job at Shaping our Lives, we look after the information that you send us and we store it securely. For unsuccessful candidates, we delete this information after 6 months, unless you’ve asked us to keep your CV on file.

Data Protection Policy

We have a comprehensive data protection policy to ensure that we comply with the UK’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. We’ve undertaken a data audit, so that we know what personal information we hold and process, and we’ve documented our lawful bases for processing personal data. We have also checked that our online systems and databases are GDPR-compliant, and we’ve reviewed the security of our different storage systems. We review these arrangements regularly.

If you need further information or if you have a complaint

If you have any questions about how we look after people’s personal information, or if you have a complaint about how we are handling your data, please get in touch with us at or call our office on 0345 241 0383. We will try our best to answer your questions or resolve your complaint.

You can also make a complaint to the Information Commissioner, who is the official data protection regulator in the UK. Their contact information can be found on their website at

Changes to this Privacy Notice

This privacy policy may change from time to time in line with legislation or industry developments. We will not explicitly inform our clients or website users of these changes. We recommend that you check this page occasionally for any policy changes.