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Our policy on vulnerable adults and fundraising

This policy covers BBC Children in Need’s commitment to fair treatment of adult supporters that demonstrate vulnerable circumstances.

It is applicable to all staff, volunteers, trustees and anyone acting on behalf of or in partnership with BBC Children in Need.

It’s important to have a vulnerable adults policy to ensure that all BBC Children in Need fundraising is conducted in a fair and ethically responsible way.

This policy will also detail what BBC Children in Need considers to be indications of vulnerability with the aim that, in practice, those acting on behalf of BBC Children in Need can easily recognise vulnerability and respond to it in a way that is best for the supporter.

In addition, we have:

  • a Fundraising Policy to set out the standards we expect Professional Fundraisers & Commercial Participators that work with us to adhere to – this already sets out many of the standards that we expect people to meet to protect vulnerable people; and
  • a public-facing Fundraising Promise.

Definitions

Vulnerable Supporter – an individual that finds it difficult to immediately make an informed decision about the choices offered to them. A vulnerable supporter may experience all or none of the following:

  • a diagnosed condition such as dementia
  • a recent bereavement
  • an undiagnosed or temporary mental health condition such as severe anxiety
  • learning difficulties
  • difficulty understanding the language

Fundraising Regulator – The independent regulator of charitable fundraising and body responsible for holding the Code of Fundraising Practice for the UK.

Our commitment to our supporters

BBC Children in Need is compassionate towards its supporters and will never exploit vulnerability.

It will do everything it can in order to assist its supporters to make an informed decision about the support they choose to give to BBC Children in Need.

We will conduct our fundraising according to the Fundraising Code of Practice and all of our fundraising material will carry the Fundraising Regulator badge to show that we are committed to good fundraising practice.

BBC Children in Need does not accept donations where it has reason to believe that the donor may be experiencing vulnerable circumstances and accepting the donation would be ethically wrong and/or harmful to the donor.

Should a situation arise where BBC Children in Need becomes aware that it has unknowingly accepted donations from an individual during a time that he or she was experiencing vulnerable circumstances, it will endeavour to return all donations accepted during this period, as long as we have confirmation that the income was received in the first place.

Should BBC Children in Need receive information regarding a supporter’s vulnerability from a third party, it will not act on any request to alter the supporter’s preferences unless the third party can provide evidence that he or she has the authority to act on behalf of the supporter.

If BBC Children in Need becomes aware of a situation where a third party agency acting on its behalf has not acted in accordance with this policy, it may stop working with the agency.

BBC Children in Need does not identify vulnerable adults based on disability or age or any other social indicator, it deals with each donor on a case-by-case scenario.

BBC Children in Need seeks to ensure that a donor is equipped with the appropriate information in order to make an informed decision about giving to it. It recognises that in some circumstances it may be necessary to adapt the way in which it communicates with the donor i.e. using braille or a translation service. Staff should be responsive to the needs of an individual and adapt his or her approach to suit those needs and the context.

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