Complaints Policy

Complaints Policy 

KEY

INFORMATION

  • Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person or organisation that has made the complaint.
  • A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of WWTW's activities.
  • There is a resolving complaints procedure which must be followed with all complaints.

      Stage one: Head of Department, if unresolved

      Stage two: CEO, if unresolved;

      Stage three: Board

  • WWTW is registered with the Fundraising Regulator (FR). If you feel that we have not satisfactorily resolved a fundraising complaint, the FR can be contacted.

Overview

Walking With The Wounded views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person or organisation that has made the complaint.

WWTW will:

  • Provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint;
  • Publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint;
  • Ensure everyone knows what to do if a complaint is received;
  • Ensure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way;
  • Ensure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired;
  • Gather information which helps us to improve what we do

What is a complaint? 

A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of WWTW's activities. Complaints may come from any person or organisation.  A complaint can be received verbally, by phone, by email or in writing. This policy does not cover complaints from employees, who should use WWTW’s disciplinary and grievance policies.

Confidentiality

All complaint information will be handled sensitively in line with data protection requirements and information will be limited to those who are authorised to see it as part of their duties

Responsibility

Overall responsibility for this policy and its implementation lies with the Board of Trustees at WWTW.

Contact details for complaints

Written complaints may be sent to anyone at WWTW. In absence of another known contact you should address to: WWTW at Stody Hall Barns, Stody, Melton Constable, Norfolk NR24 2ED or by e-mail to Complaints@wwtw.org.uk

Verbal complaints should be made by calling the Operations Administration Assistant, on 01263 863903 or in person to the event leader should the complaint arise at a WWTW event. 

Receiving complaints

Complaints may arrive through channels publicised for that purpose or through any other contact details or opportunities the complainant may have.

Complaints received by telephone or in person need to be recorded.  The person who receives a phone or in person complaint should:

Write down the facts of the complaint;

  • Take the complainant's name, address and telephone number;
  • Note down the relationship of the complainant to WWTW;
  • Tell the complainant that we have a complaints procedure;
  • Tell the complainant what will happen next and how long it will take; and
  • Where appropriate, ask the complainant to send a written account by post or by email so that the complaint is recorded in the complainant’s own words.

Practical guidance for handling verbal complaints

  • Remain calm and respectful throughout the conversation
  • Listen - allow the person to talk about the complaint in their own words.  Sometimes a person just wants to "let off steam"
  • Don't debate the facts in the first instance, especially if the person is angry
  • Show an interest in what is being said
  • Obtain details about the complaint before any personal details
  • Ask for clarification wherever necessary
  • Show that you have understood the complaint by reflecting back what you have noted down
  • Acknowledge the person's feelings (even if you feel that they are being unreasonable) – you can do this without making a comment on the complaint itself or making any admission of fault on behalf of the organisation e.g. "I understand that this situation is frustrating for you
  • If you feel that an apology is deserved for something that was the responsibility of your organisation, then apologise
  • Ask the person what they would like done to resolve the issue
  • Be clear about what you can do, how long it will take and what it will involve.
  • Don’t promise things you can’t deliver
  • Give clear and valid reasons why requests cannot be met
  • Make sure that the person understands what they have been told
  • Wherever appropriate, inform the person about the available avenues of review or appeal

All complaints are summarised and present to the WWTW Trustees at quarterly Board meetings.

Complaints are retained for at least seven years from the date on which the complaint is made, except where Data Protection law requires that the information be deleted earlier than this (for example, where, within this timeframe, you request that your information be destroyed).

Resolving complaints procedure

Stage One

In many cases, a complaint is best resolved by the person responsible for the issue being complained about.  If the complaint has been received by that person, they may be able to resolve it swiftly and should do so if possible and appropriate. Whether or not the complaint has been resolved, the complaint information should be passed to Head of Department within one week.

On receiving the complaint, Head of Department records it in the complaints log.

Complaints should be acknowledged by the Head of Department within one week. The acknowledgement should say who is dealing with the complaint and when the person complaining can expect a reply.  A copy of this complaints procedure should be attached.

Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within four weeks.  If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.

Whether the complaint is justified or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.

Stage Two

If the complainant feels that the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved at Stage One, they can request that the complaint is reviewed by CEO. The CEO will acknowledge the complaint within one week.

The CEO will investigate the complaint, record the findings and respond to the compliant within four weeks. This may involve reviewing the paperwork of the case and speaking with the person who dealt with the complaint at Stage One. The person who dealt with the original complaint at Stage One should be kept informed of what is happening.

Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within four weeks.  If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.

Whether the complaint is justified or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.

Stage Three

If the complainant feels that the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved at Stage One or Two, they can request that the complaint is reviewed by the Trustees members of the Board.

The request for Board level review should be acknowledged within a week of receiving it.  The acknowledgement should say who will deal with the case and when the complainant can expect a reply.

The Trustees may investigate the facts of the case themselves or delegate a suitably senior person to do so.  This may involve reviewing the paperwork of the case and speaking with the person who dealt with the complaint at Stage One.

If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a further opportunity to respond.

The person who dealt with the original complaint at Stage One should be kept informed of what is happening.

Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within four weeks. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.

Whether the complaint is upheld or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.

The decision taken at this stage is final, unless the Board decides it is appropriate to seek external assistance with resolution. 

Variation of the Resolving complaints procedure

WWTW and the Board may vary the procedure for good reason.  This may be necessary to avoid a conflict of interest, for example, a complaint about the CEO should not also have the CEO as the person leading a Stage Two review

Monitoring and learning from complaints

Complaints are reviewed annually to identify any trends which may indicate a need to take further action. 

Fundraising regulator

WWTW is registered with the Fundraising Regulator (FR). If your complaint was to do with a Fundraising Activity and you feel that we have not satisfactorily resolved your complaint, you can contact the Fundraising Regulator via:

http://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/make-a-complaint/complaints/

Please see Appendix A for details of our Fundraising Promise to the Fundraising Regulator

REVIEW

Policy Details

Version

V3

Date Ratified:

21/01/2020

Implementation Date:

27/01/2020

Responsible Director:

Chief Executive

Review Date:

24 months (21/01/2022


Appendix A


FUNDRAISING PROMISE

This promise outlines the commitment made to donors and the public by fundraising organisations which register with the Fundraising Regulator. Those who register with the regulator agree to ensure their fundraising is legal, open, honest and respectful.

The standards for fundraising are set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice.

WE WILL COMMIT TO HIGH STANDARDS

  • We will adhere to the Fundraising Code of Practice.
  • We will monitor fundraisers, volunteers and third parties working with us to raise funds, to ensure that they comply with the Code of Fundraising Practice and with this Promise.
  • We will comply with the law as it applies to charities and fundraising.
  • We will display the Fundraising Regulator badge on our fundraising material to show we are committed to good practice.

WE WILL BE CLEAR, HONEST & OPEN

  • We will tell the truth and we will not exaggerate.
  • We will do what we say we are going to do with donations we receive.
  • We will be clear about who we are and what we do
  • We will give a clear explanation of how you can make a gift and change a regular donation.
  • Where we ask a third party to fundraise on our behalf, we will make this relationship and the financial arrangement transparent.
  • We will be able to explain our fundraising costs and show how they are in the best interests of our cause if challenged.
  • We will ensure our complaints process is clear and easily accessible.
  • We will provide clear and evidence based reasons for our decisions on complaints.

WE WILL BE RESPECTFUL

  • We will respect your rights and privacy.
  • We will not put undue pressure on you to make a gift. If you do not want to give or wish to cease giving, we will respect your decision.
  • We will have a procedure for dealing with people in vulnerable circumstances and it will be available on request.
  • Where the law requires, we will get your consent before we contact you to fundraise.
  • If you tell us that you don’t want us to contact you in a particular way we will not do so. We will work with the Telephone, Mail and Fundraising Preference Services to ensure that those who choose not to receive specific types of communication don’t have to.

WE WILL BE FAIR & REASONABLE

  • We will treat donors and the public fairly, showing sensitivity and adapting our approach depending on your needs.
  • We will take care not to use any images or words that intentionally cause distress or anxiety.
  • We will take care not to cause nuisance or disruption to the public.

WE WILL BE ACCOUNTABLE & RESPONSIBLE

  • We will manage our resources responsibly and consider the impact of our fundraising on our donors, supporters and the wider public.
  • If you are unhappy with anything we’ve done whilst fundraising, you can contact us to make a complaint. We will listen to feedback and respond appropriately to compliments and criticism we receive.
  • We will have a complaints procedure, a copy of which will be available on our website or available on request.
  • Our complaints procedure will let you know how to contact the Fundraising Regulator in the event that you feel our response is unsatisfactory.
  • We will monitor and record the number of complaints we receive each year and share this data with the Fundraising Regulator on request.