Our complaints policy and procedure

Introduction

The My Body Back Project is committed to creating safe and supportive environment for women who have experienced sexual violence in which to reclaim their bodies through medical care, emotional support, community and information. We recognise that, in order to provide this care safely, we must provide appropriate avenues for feedback and complaints to be acknowledged and responded to. We recognise that ensuring a professional, sensitive, responsive and responsible service across all of our work is essential for both the efficacy of our services and the safety of our beneficiaries, trustees and volunteers.

Aims and Scope

This policy defines the practice and procedures for trustees and volunteers of the My Body Back Project regarding complaints. The My Body Back Project 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. The aims of the policy are:

  • to provide a fair complaints procedure, which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint;
  • to make sure everyone at the Charity knows what to do if a complaint is received;
  • to make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely manner;
  • to make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships

are repaired; and

  • to gather information that helps us to improve what we do.

Definitions

A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of the Charity.

Complaints may come from donors and other individuals who we contact about our work, or any other person or organisation with an interest in the Charity and its activities.

A complaint can be received verbally, by phone, by email or in writing.

Confidentiality

All complaint information will be handled sensitively, telling only those who need to know and following any relevant data protection requirements.

Responsibility

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

Review

This policy is reviewed regularly and updated as required.

Complaints procedure

Written complaints may be sent to the Charity at My Body Back Project, P.O. Box 74794, London, N14 9FD or by email to info@mybodybackproject.org.

Verbal complaints may be made by phone or in person to any of the Charity’s volunteers or Trustees.

Complaints can also be made directly to the Charity Commission or, if the complaint relates to the use of the complainant’s personal information by the Charity, to the Information

Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

If complainants contact volunteers or trustees through social media or to their (non-MBB) personal accounts, the complainant should be encouraged to direct their complaint directly to the charity, through the written or verbal complaints procedure above.

Receiving complaints

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

  • write down the facts of the complaint;
  • take the complainant’s name, address and telephone number;
  • note the relationship of the complainant to the Charity (e.g. donor, mailing list
  • member);
  • 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.

Resolving complaints

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 the CEO and Chair within one week. If it has not already been resolved, they delegate an appropriate person to investigate it and to take appropriate action.

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

Complaints should be acknowledged by the person handling the complaint within a week. The acknowledgement should say who is dealing with the complaint and when the complainant 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.

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

Variation of the complaints procedure

The Board may vary this procedure if it has good reason for doing so, such as a conflict of

interest. For example, if the complaint is about the Chair, it would not be appropriate for the Chair to conduct a review.

Complaints to a regulator

A complainant can complain to the Charity Commission at any stage. Information about the

kind of complaints the Commission can involve itself in can be found on its website.

If the complaint relates to the use of the complainant’s personal information by My Body Back Project the complainant may complain to the ICO. Information about the kind of complaints the ICO can involve itself in and how it deals with complaints can be found on its website.

In the event a regulator receives a complaint in relation to the Charity, the Charity will cooperate with that regulator as appropriate.

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