Privacy Notice and Use of Cookies

At Arthritis Research UK and Arthritis Care your privacy and preferences matter.  We promise:

  • To respect your personal details and to keep them safe and secure;
  • Never to sell or exchange your information with another organisation for their own use;
  • To respond promptly to any request you make to change your details, or for us to stop using your information;
  • To be clear when we collect your details and not to do anything you wouldn’t reasonably expect.

By allowing us to use personal data to better understand our customers and supporters, you are helping us to make better decisions, improve our services for people with arthritis, fundraise more efficiently and, ultimately, achieve our goals of reaching, supporting and improving the lives of people affected by arthritis.

If you have any questions about how we store and use personal data or about this policy, please contact the supporter care team via or by calling 0300 790 0400.  You can also change your details or ask us to stop using data or sending marketing communications.

This privacy policy sets out how Arthritis Research UK, Arthritis Care and our trading company may collect and use personal information and data.  By using our site or any of our services or providing us with any personal information you are accepting and consenting to your personal information being used as described in this policy.

Who we are

In this policy, “we” means Arthritis Research UK, Arthritis Care and Arthritis Research UK Trading Limited. From 1 November 2017, Arthritis Research UK and Arthritis Care will be merging to form a single leading charity to better improve the lives of people affected by arthritis. This means that all data collected by or passed to Arthritis Care (both before and after that date) will transfer to Arthritis Research UK who will process such data as set out in this policy.

Arthritis Research UK is a charity registered in England and Wales (number 207711) and in Scotland (SC041156), and a company incorporated in England and wales (number 490500). Its registered address is Copeman House, St. Marys Court, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S41 7TD. We invest in breakthrough treatments, the best information and vital support for everyone affected by arthritis.

Arthritis Research UK Trading Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales (number 891517) with its registered office address at Copeman House, St. Marys Court, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S41 7TD. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arthritis Research UK which trades on behalf of Arthritis Research UK, to raise funds for it.

Arthritis Care was formally registered charity number 206563 in England and Wales, and SC038693 in Scotland.  The merged charity continues to offer information and support to everyone affected by arthritis, providing a number of online and face-to-face services to ensure that no one faces arthritis alone.

How we collect information about you

We collect information in the following ways:

  • When you give it to us DIRECTLY

You may give us your details when you sign up for one of our events, receive support from our Helplines or another service, volunteer with us, become a member or join one of our networks, enter our raffle or lottery, order an information booklet, tell us your story, make a donation, purchase our products or communicate with us. Sometimes your information is collected by an organisation working for us (e.g. a professional fundraising agency), but we are responsible for your data at all times.

We will collect and process all the information that you give us, as well as responses given to you by our staff or the Arthritis Virtual Assistant.  This may include sensitive personal data where you volunteer this information.

We may also collect and retain your information if you send feedback about our services or make a complaint.

  • When you use our websites:

When you visit our websites, information about your visit is recorded and stored on your own computer, using cookies.  Cookies are text files which identify your computer to our server. Cookies in themselves do not identify the individual user, just the computer used.  You can find more information on how we use cookies below.  Beyond this you will remain anonymous unless you log in.

When you log in and browse Arthritis Research UK’s site, including that of the online shop, you will remain logged in for 20 minutes from when you last access a page, or until you log out.  You can request that we keep a record of your favourite content and our online shop will keep information about your shopping cart and transaction so that we can process these and deal with future queries.

  • When you give it to us INDIRECTLY

Your information may be shared with us by independent event organisers, for example the London Marathon or fundraising sites like Just Giving or Virgin Money Giving.  These independent third parties will only do so when you have indicated that you wish to support Arthritis Care or Arthritis Research UK and with your consent. You should check their privacy policy when you provide your information to understand fully how they will process your data.

  • When you give permission to OTHER ORGANISATIONS to share your details

The information we get from other organisations may depend on your privacy settings or the responses you give, so you should regularly check them. This information comes from the following sources:

  • Third party organisations: You may have provided permission for a company or other organisation to share your data with third parties, including charities. This could be when you buy a product or service, register for an online competition or sign up with a comparison site.
  • Social Media: Depending on your settings or the privacy policies for social media and messaging services like Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter, you might give us permission to access information from those accounts or services.
  • Information available publicly

We may obtain and store information about you that is available publicly from third party sources such as from Companies House and information that has been published in articles/ newspapers.

What personal data we collect and how we use it

The type and quantity of information we collect and how we use it depends on why you are providing it.

  • Supporters

If you support us, for example make a donation, volunteer, register to fundraise, sign up for an event, lobby or campaign for us or buy something from us, we will usually collect:

  • Your name;
  • Your contact details;
  • Your date of birth;
  • Your bank or credit card details.

Where it is appropriate we may also ask for:

  • information about your experiences of living with arthritis (if relevant).  We will never make this question mandatory, and only want to know the answer if you are comfortable telling us;
  • Information relating to your health (for example if you are taking part in a high-risk event);
  • Why you have decided to support to us. We will never make this question mandatory, and only want to know the answer if you are comfortable telling us.

We will mainly use your data to:

  • Support you if you are affected by arthritis.  See below for information about our helplines, the Arthritis Care Online Community and the Arthritis Virtual Assistant.  Other programmes include local support sessions and other activities aimed at preventing and reducing isolation;
  • Provide you with the products or information you asked for;
  • Administer your donation or support your fundraising and participation in our activities, including processing gift aid;
  • Keep a record of your relationship with us;
  • Work with third parties to send you relevant marketing materials based on your preferences and our analysis of your interests, which includes building profiles of our supporters (see sections on Direct marketing and building profiles, below);
  • To share your story with fellow supporters, with your consent (see section on sharing your story, below);
  • Ensure we know how you prefer to be contacted;
  • Understand how we can improve our services, products or information.  We may combine information you provide to us with information available from external sources;
  • Manage feedback we receive from you.

We will not:

  • Contact you with or about information you have not requested;
  • Sell your data to another organisation.
  • Professionals and representatives of third party organisations

If you seek information from us in a professional capacity (for example if you are a healthcare professional, an employee of a company that supports us or a Trustee in a registered Trust) or join one of our professional networks, we may treat your details slightly differently from other customers and supporters.

As well as your contact details and any financial information we require to process transactions, we will also store details about your role and who you work for.  We may also ask for information about your experiences linked to arthritis.

We will mainly use your data to:

  • Manage participation in our professional networks;
  • Provide you with the information, services or products you asked for;
  • Administer your organisation’s donation or support fundraising and participation in our activities;
  • Keep a record of your organisation’s relationship with us and your role in this.
  • Send you relevant marketing materials (see section on Direct Marketing, below);
  • Understand how we can improve our services, products or information;
  • Manage feedback we receive from you.
  • Public figures and Arthritis Champions

We may obtain and store details about people who publicly express support or interest in arthritis-related issues.  We will also store details of public figures, such as MPs, who express an interest in our work and the reason for this interest.

We will use this information to contact people in order to better raise awareness of arthritis and our work, and to seek changes to public or other policies when this is appropriate.

  • Employees and job applicants

We will maintain detailed employee records to manage current staff and to make payments to current and past employees.

We may store their personal details alongside any other information provided by people who express an interest in working for us, whether via a formal application or expressed informally.

  • Researchers and suppliers

We will store contact details and financial details of researchers and suppliers in order to manage and process grants, contracts and payments.

We will retain a directory of researchers and suppliers in order to issue future offers.

  • Other

We will use information we collect about your internet browsing to identify your approximate location, to block disruptive or unauthorised use, to record or limit traffic, and to improve our site to ensure that content is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer.

If you enter your details onto one of our online forms, and you don’t ‘send’ or ‘submit’ the form, we may contact you to see if we can help with any problems you may be experiencing with the form on our websites. 

We may also use your personal information to comply with legal requirements to detect and reduce fraud, money-laundering and credit risk.

Where you request, we will maintain a record for the purpose of suppressing future communications with you or to stop other data processing.  This will be done following a direct request, or notification of registration with a dedicated preference service, such as the Fundraising Preference Service or Telephone Preference Service.

Children’s data

We sometimes collect and manage information from children, and aim to manage it in a way which is appropriate to the age of the child. Information is usually collected when children attend our events or fundraise for us. But it can also be sensitive personal data of children who are receiving support from our Young People and Families service.

Wherever possible and appropriate we will seek consent from a parent or guardian before collecting information about children and we will make sure advertising for those events is age appropriate.

How we keep your data and who has access

We ensure that there are appropriate technical controls in place to protect your personal details. For example our online forms are always encrypted and our network is protected and routinely monitored.

If you use a debit or credit card to donate to us or buy something online or over the phone, we will ensure that this is done securely in line with the PCI DSS standards by us or our contracted suppliers. All credit and debit card details are securely destroyed once the payment or donation has been processed.

We undertake regular reviews of who has access to information that we hold to ensure that your information is only accessible by appropriately trained staff, volunteers and contractors.

We use external companies to collect or process personal data on our behalf. We do comprehensive checks on these companies before we work with them, and put a contract in place that sets out our expectations and requirements, especially regarding how they manage the personal data they have collected or have access to.

Your personal information may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area ("EEA") and may be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. We will ensure that your information is held in compliance with the European data protection regulations. By giving us personal information, you agree to this transfer, storing or processing. We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

We will only share your details in exceptional circumstances if we are under a duty to disclose your personal information in order to comply with any legal obligation (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies), where we have good reason to believe that a person’s vital interests are at stake (for example where a child reports abuse, or someone reports serious self-harm or a serious intention of harming someone else) or in order to enforce or apply our rights (including in relation to our websites or other applicable terms and conditions), or to protect Arthritis Research UK and Arthritis Care.

We will only ever share your data in other circumstances if we have your explicit and informed consent.

We keep records for as long as is required in accordance with legal requirements and tax and accounting rules.  We retain contact details for marketing and suppression purposes until a request is made to remove information.  We may also keep internal records of any contact with you indefinitely.  Where your information is no longer required, we will ensure that it is disposed of in a secure manner.  For example, if you send us information in paper format, we may scan this and securely destroy the paper copy.

Keeping your information up to date

Where possible we use publicly available sources to keep your records up to date; for example, the Post Office’s National Change of Address database and information provided to us by other organisations as described above (see the “Where we collect information about you” section).

We would really appreciate it if you let us know if your contact details change.  On Arthritis Research UK’s site, you can edit your account information, including your address and contact details at any time through your account and you are requested to keep this information up-to-date. If you would like to change your preferences or update the details we hold about you other than online, please contact our supporter care team (, tel 0300 790 0400).

Your rights

You can request we delete or dispose of records (subject to legal and accounting requirements), ask us to stop processing your personal data subject to certain constraints or challenge the results of any decisions or profiling.  Alternatively you can request that we hold a record solely for the purpose of suppressing other uses.  If you remove your data completely, this may lead to our contacting you in future if we receive a valid consent to do so via other means.  Please contact our supporter care team (, tel. 0300 790 0400) to discuss any concerns.

You have a right to ask for a copy of the information we hold about you, although we may charge £10 to cover the costs involved.  You can also request a copy of your data in machine-readable format for transfer elsewhere.  To access your information, please send a description of the information you want to see and proof of your identity by post to Arthritis Research UK, Copeman House, St. Marys Court, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S41 7TD. We do not accept these requests by email so we can ensure that we only provide personal data to the right person.

If there are any legitimate and factual discrepancies in the information we provide, please let us know and we will correct them.

If you are not happy about how data is processed, and wish to make a complaint, then please contact our supporter care team (, tel 0300 790 0400).  If you are unhappy with how a complaint is handled then you should contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).  You may contact the ICO without first making a complaint to us.  You can find more information about the ICO and your rights on their website.

Changes to this policy

We may change this privacy policy from time to time. If we make any significant changes in the way we treat your personal information we will make this clear on the Arthritis Care and Arthritis Research UK websites or by contacting you directly.

Please note that this privacy policy will be updated to reflect the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (and any parallel UK legislation) which will become law on 25 May 2018.

Further Information about how we use data

  • Support for individuals affected by arthritis

We run services to provide support to individuals affected by arthritis, and collect personal data in order to provide those services, this includes our Helplines, online community, information provision, local support sessions, and other activities aimed at preventing and reducing isolation.


The Arthritis Care and Arthritis Research UK Helplines collect sensitive personal data about your health when you speak, email or send an instant message to them. We will use this information to answer your questions and give guidance and support. We will also use it for training, quality monitoring or evaluating the services we provide. Your data is kept for a maximum of 6 months which allows us to monitor and evaluate the service.

The Arthritis Research UK helpline team may pass your information to BUPA so their specialist clinicians can help us assess your query. We will inform you when we consult with BUPA clinicians. Where information, including sensitive data is passed to BUPA, they will store it for a period of 7 years, with limited access only to clinicians and appropriate persons.  BUPA’s privacy policy can be found here.

Arthritis Care Online Community

The Online Community on Arthritis Care’s website asks you to provide your email address when you register and may contact you about administrative issues and changes to the forum. With your consent, we may also use your email address to send you information about our work (see Direct Marketing, below). Posts to the forum are anonymous but are likely to contain sensitive information. We advise users to be careful not to post information which would allow them to be identified. To make the Online Community and our information as helpful as possible, we will sometimes use what's written to promote what we do to other people. We'll always do this anonymously, removing any names or identifiable details from what we use unless we gain your express permission (See also Sharing Your Story, below).

Arthritis Virtual Assistant

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant on Arthritis Research UK’s website is our interactive advisor which utilises the IBM Watson Cognitive Computing platform to answer your questions. It will use the information you give it to answer your questions and learn how to better answer questions in the future.  This is in line with the IBM privacy policy.

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant does not need your personal information and will only ask for your name. The Arthritis Virtual Assistant will not treat your conversations as personal data and you must not provide the Arthritis Virtual Assistant with any other personal information which may be used to identify you, for example your address, NHS number and bank details. Any information which you tell the Arthritis Virtual Assistant, including any personal information or sensitive personal information, will be transferred to the IBM Watson platform.

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant will store the information you give it on IBM servers for up to 30 days and Arthritis Research UK will retain it for up to 12 months so that we can analyse the conversations and improve answers.

At the end of the conversation with the Arthritis Virtual Assistant, you may have the option to provide us with personal information so that we can link your conversation to your profile. We will ask to do this only so that we can follow up your conversation and provide you with a better service overall. We will only create this link if you tell us that we can.

  • Direct Marketing

We only want to contact supporters who want to hear from us in the ways that they want to hear from us.  Our forms have clear marketing preference questions and we include information on how to opt out when we send you marketing.

If you have given us your consent to contact you by email, telephone and text message, we may contact you for marketing purposes by using that channel. If you subscribe to our regular emails or online magazine, you also allow us to email you other marketing and advertising materials. We may also contact you by email or telephone or text message for service delivery purposes (e.g. where you place an order on our site or where you make a donation).

If you have provided us with your postal address then we may send you direct mail for fundraising, campaigning or research unless you have told us that you would prefer not to hear from us in this way.

We may contact professionals directly, without opt-in consent.  However, we will always offer an opportunity to refuse marketing materials from us.

With your consent, we will contact you to let you know about the progress we are making and to ask for donations or other support. Occasionally, we may include information from partner organisations or organisations who support us in these communications. We make it easy for you to tell us how you want us to communicate, in a way that suits you.

If you don’t want to hear from us, that’s fine. Just let us know when you provide your details, click the “unsubscribe” link in any email we send or contact our supporter care team (, tel. 0300 790 0400).  We will retain your details on a suppression list to help ensure that we do not continue to contact you in future unless we receive a direct request otherwise.

We do not sell or share personal details to third parties for the purposes of marketing. But, if we run an event in partnership with another named organisation your details may need to be shared. We will be very clear what will happen to your data when you register.

  • Building profiles of supporters and targeting communications

We use profiling and screening techniques to ensure communications are relevant and timely, and to provide an improved experience for our supporters. Profiling also allows us to target our resources effectively, which donors consistently tell us is a key priority for them. We do this because it allows us to understand the background of the people who support us and helps us to make appropriate requests to supporters who may be able and willing to give more than they already do. Importantly, it enables us to raise more funds, sooner, and more cost-effectively, than we otherwise would.

When building a profile we may analyse geographic, demographic and other information relating to you in order to better understand your interests and preferences in order to contact you with the most relevant communications. In doing this, we may use additional information from third party sources when it is available. Such information is compiled using publicly available data about you, for example addresses, listed Directorships or typical earnings in a given area.

  • Sharing Your Story

Some people choose to tell us about their experiences with arthritis to help further our work by publicising the impact that arthritis can have. This may include them sharing sensitive information related to their health and family life in addition to their biographical and contact information.

We use some of the information provided, including gender, ethnicity or the type of arthritis people have experience with, to publicise our services, raise the profile of arthritis in the media, fundraise, or recruit volunteers and campaigners.

If we have the explicit and informed consent of the individuals, or their parent or guardian if they are under 18, this information may be made public by us at events, in materials promoting our campaigning and fundraising work, or in documents such as our annual report.

Information about our use of cookies

When you enter a site your computer or other device may automatically be issued with a cookie. Many sites do this whenever a user visits their site, in order to track traffic flows.

A cookie is a small text file that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer if you agree.  Cookies identify your computer to our server. Cookies in themselves do not identify the individual user, just the computer used

Our websites use cookies to distinguish you from other users of our websites. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our websites and also allows us to improve our sites. By continuing to browse the sites, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

  • What cookies we use
  • Strictly necessary cookies.
    These are cookies that are required for the operation of our websites. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our websites, use a shopping cart or make use of e-billing services.
  • Analytical/performance cookies.
    These collect anonymous information and allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our websites when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our websites work, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily. 
  • Functionality cookies.
    These are used to recognise you when you return to our websites. This enables us to personalise our content for you, greet you by name and remember your preferences (for example, your choice of language or region).
  • Targeting cookies.
    These cookies record your visit to our websites, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information to make our websites and the advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests. We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose.

Please note that third parties (including, for example, advertising networks and providers of external services like web traffic analysis services) may also use cookies, over which we have no control. These cookies are most likely to be analytical/performance cookies or targeting cookies.

You can find more information about the individual cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them in the table below:

 Cookies name


 Expiry period



 275 days


 Tracking Google analytics / Doubleclick campaign manager

 0 days


 Tracking Google analytics

 730 days


 Tracking Google analytics

 0 days


 Tracking Google analytics

 0 days


 Tracking Google analytics

 0 days


 Strictly Necessary Microsoft .NET. Used to identify logged in user

 0 days


 Performance/Tracking Sitecore web analytics. Tracks pages visited by a user in a session.

 Browser session


 Performance/Tracking Sitecore web analytics. Identify repeat visits.

 0 days

You block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our sites.

For more information about cookies generally we suggest you visit

  • Tracking and analysis of website traffic

We use tracking technologies and cookies to enable us to provide you with the best possible user experience and to ensure that we make the most out of our fundraising investments.  These technologies record information you or your computer provide to our website.  Arthritis Research UK’s site is built on a platform called Sitecore which has tracking and analytics built into it, this information will be used in line with our privacy policy.

Below is the list of our trusted services providers who use and deploy cookies and tracking technologies: