Privacy Policy


Berkshire Family History Society and its wholly owned subsidiary, Berkshire Family History Enterprises Ltd, are committed to the protection of your rights and your privacy. The society takes your privacy seriously and treats all information that you share with it with great care.

The society’s Privacy Policy explains the collection of personal information, its storage and use. Should you have any questions on any aspect of this, contact the Secretary of the society at the address below.

At any time, society members can update how they wish the society to contact them by writing or sending an email, including their membership number, to the Membership Secretary (at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), by using the allotted section of the membership renewal or similar form, or by completing a membership or customer profile online.

Non-members of the society should address any changes in their contact preferences to the Society Secretary (at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

The society is recorded as a data controlleron the ICO Data Protection Register under registration number Z6777187. Its Enterprises subsidiary is registered at Companies House (Number 4733795).

Berkshire Family History Society
The Centre for Heritage and Family History
2nd Floor, Reading Central Library
Abbey Square
Registered Charity Number 283010


  • To explain the personal information about you that the society holds;
  • To explain why the society holds your information, and the purposes for which the society may use it;
  • To make it easy for you to tell the society how you would like it to keep in touch with you;
  • To collect only sufficient information to ensure that, at all times, the society operates as efficiently as possible in delivering products and services of the highest quality;
  • Never to share your personal information with anyone else outside the society to use for independent purposes;
  • Always to take good care of your personal information, and ensure that it is kept up to date, kept safely and, when indicated, disposed of securely; and
  • To ensure that any individuals and organisations (for example, partners, suppliers and contractors) that carry out work on the society’s behalf observe and adhere to the same high standards that the society itself meets when handling your personal information.


The society collects personal information from:

  • members;
  • users of the society website;
  • those attending meetings and events;
  • supporters of the society;
  • customers who make purchases from the online Shop and, in certain situations, from those who make a purchase or booking at The Centre for Heritage and Family History;
  • those making Gift Aided donations to the charity; and
  • others whom the society may contact, or who may contact the society themselves.

The society uses a mix of electronic and paper formats to collect this information.

The society collects anonymised details about visits to pages visited on its website — see the section in the Privacy Policy on Cookies and Links to other websites for more information.

In choosing to share your personal information with the society, you will be agreeing to collection and use of your information as described in this Policy.

Should you no longer wish the society to process your personal information under the currently published terms of its Privacy Policy, you can ask it to stop at any time by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (society members only) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (all other cases).

Personal information that you share with the society is used in a number of ways, depending on whether or not you are a society member:

  • For members, to ensure that you receive your quarterly magazine, renewal reminders, and notices of general meetings of the society, and to effect administration of your annual membership — all of which form the basic membership package;
  • For members, to ensure that you receive products, services, access to data and other information that you have registered to receive, have specifically requested or have bought from the society;
  • For members and non-members, to carry out necessary administration of your orders, donations, bookings, volunteering duties and tasks, and other services;
  • For members and non-members, to keep you informed on society news and developments in the preferred way or ways that you have asked the society to follow; and
  • For members and non-members, to better understand those who support the society, so that the products and services it offers can be personalised, enhanced and improved.

For details of how the society does these things, please read the full Privacy Policy below.
The society will make changes to its Privacy Policy from time to time, to ensure that it continues to provide you with up-to-date details on the ways in which your personal information is used. This Policy is overseen, approved and regularly reviewed by the Trustees of the charity, who will amend its provisions when and where necessary.


The society collects personal information about you that helps in the delivery and improvement of its products and services, and in its charitable activities for public benefit. Personal information may include any or all of the following:

  • • Your name, address and postcode;
  • • Your email address and phone number(s);
  • Your contact permissions and preferences, and dates when you gave these to the society;
  • Details of your membership and membership history, dates of joining and membership renewal, your Gift Aid Declarations and donations, and any advice given by you of any legacy or gift in your will;
  • Where you choose to share them with the society, those personal and family details you supply in registering for access to the Members’ Area, and in any birth briefs, pedigree charts and members’ interests that you choose to provide to the society as a member;
  • In the case of a family membership, the society also holds details of the second family member that you include in that membership;
  • If you provide details of a third party when purchasing a gift membership for them, the society will not contact that person before they return a completed gift membership activation form to the society, that confirms their personal details and contact permissions;
  • Your date of birth (only in the case of a Young person’s membership, 18-25 only);
  • Your contact details, as you advise them, for local events and meetings, which may differ from information supplied to and held centrally by the society;
  • With your prior permission, your image(s) in group and individual photographs;
  • Electronic copies of any orders you place with the Shop. These contain your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address but do not contain details of credit/debit cards;
  • Payment information, specifically bank details, where you make payments by standing order, by cheque, by direct debit or by BACS transfer;
  • Where you choose to share them with the society, educational details, current or previous occupation(s), specific skill sets and other competences — essential for establishing and maintaining a core group of effective volunteers;
  • Details of your volunteering activities, where undertaken;
  • Details of your attendances at meetings and events organised by the society;
  • Enquiries and complaints you may submit to the society,and feedback provided by the society in response to them;
  • Interactions with the society’s discussion list and social media pages, for example Twitter and Facebook, and your associated social profiles;
  • Where you contact the society on behalf of an organisation, for example when booking for an event or a Centre tour, the society will also hold details of that organisation;
  • When you visit the society website, details are collected about your IP address and web pages that you visit. This helps the society to understand which website elements are most useful to users, and to make improvements to them. This does not tell the society who you are, nor where you live — unless you choose to provide that information. See the section on Cookies within this Privacy Policy for more information; and
  • For events, the society’s booking process asks you to notify any allergies or food intolerances, and any specific disabilities that must be taken into account. The society seeks to ensure inclusive access to all of its facilities and services at all times wherever possible.


The lawful bases for Berkshire Family History Society to process personal information are those of consent, contract and legitimate interests.

The charity provides voluntary services for public benefit, as set out in its constitution and processes information in order to:

  • deliver a range of benefits, products and services to both members and non-members;
  • fulfil orders for products and services placed with its trading subsidiary, Berkshire Family History Enterprises;
  • raise funds and to promote the interests of the charity;
  • manage its volunteers and their work; and
  • maintain necessary accounts and records.


The society will ensure that you receive products and services that you have requested, process any payments that may be due, and send you relevant information aboutthe society, its products and services in accordance with your most recently returned contact preferences.

For members, processing will include sending you confirmation of your membership, including an annual membership card, information on how to make best use of that membership, your quarterly magazines, formal society notices and, where you have first agreed to receive them, email newsletters and news in other formats. The society will also send you information annually about renewing your membership.

For customers of Berkshire Family History Enterprises, sufficient personal information will be held in order to receive, process and despatch orders placed with the company.

You have a responsibility to advise the society should any of your details or preferences change. The society will also use its best endeavours to keep your information up to date.


The society is run by volunteers. Most, but not all, are also society members. It follows that in the management, direction and carrying out of society activities, some personal details in the form of membership numbers, addresses, contact details and preferences, will be appropriately shared and processed across that volunteer group.

With your explicit and prior permission, and for the purposes of family history research only, the society may forward email and correspondence to other current members of the society, so providing your name and contact details to the final addressee.


Beyond the core membership package outlined under ‘Processing’ above, it will always be your choice whether to receive marketing information from Berkshire Family History Society. You will be encouraged to express your preferences for how you would like to receive such information from the society, and to revise those preferences should you wish.

You can change your preferences at any time, and the society undertakes to keep preferences up to date.

Society members may register to access the Members’ Area of the website, and to join the online discussion list. Registrations may be amended at any time.

Members and non-members may choose to engage with the society through social media.

From time to time, the society may invite you to attend specific educational and other events, to join in fundraising or other initiatives, or ask you if you are able to provide volunteer support to its activities, but only if appropriate to do so, and in line with the principles set out in this Privacy Policy.

The society will contact you using only those communication methods (email, phone and post) for which you have recently confirmed your preference or preferences, and have told the society that it can use them.


As well as respecting your communication preferences, the society must always use its resources responsibly and cost effectively in accordance with its charitable objectives. For this reason, from time to time the society may use profiling and targeting to help it better to understand its members and supporters and their family history interests, and to ensure that:

  • Communications, products and services remain relevant, personalised and interesting;
  • Communications, products and services meet the needs of members and non-members alike;
  • Further support and help is only sought from you if it is appropriate; and
  • Society resources are always used responsibly, and costs are sensibly contained

The society may analyse how you interact with it, and may use available geographic and demographic information to let you know of activities happening in your local area.


Your information is accessible only to those trained society volunteers, who need appropriate access to it in order to carry out their society duties and responsibilities and, in a few cases, to contractors working on the society’s behalf as data processors. Any such contractor is required to agree to the terms of the society’s Data Protection Policy, and to treat your personal information as respectfully as the society itself would do.

The society will never share your personal information with anyone else to use for independent purposes.

The society will otherwise only share your personal information where it is legally required to do so, or in response to a lawful request by a governmental or law enforcement authority.

The society website contains links to external websites that are outside the society’s control. The society’s Privacy Policy does not cover these. If you access other websites using links provided by the society, the operators of those sites may collect information from you for use by them in accordance with their privacy policies, which may differ from this one.


Security of your personal information is paramount. The society establishes and maintains suitable standards, systems and processes to keep personal information safe within its operations, to include:

  • data accuracy, structuring, indexing and access;
  • secure storage;
  • secure transfer of data where indicated, using passwords and encryption;
  • regular network checks and monitoring to ensure that they remain secure;
  • agreed data retention periods; and
  • secure disposal.

All standards, systems and processes are regularly reviewed.

The society offers ‘best practice’ guidance for volunteers involved in its day to day operations, and helps them to implement that guidance by providing briefing and training in data protection and data handling. Volunteers are encouraged to set robust passwords, to keep passwords safe, and not share them with anyone else.

The Members’ Area of the society website and the Discussion List are accessible to registered users only. The Members’ Area requires a password for access. Some Members’ Area content and Discussion List posts and archives may contain email addresses of other society members and limited personal information.

Information sent via the internet or in an email, can never be 100 per cent secure. In a global environment, in some cases transmission of data to the society may take place outside the European Economic Area.

Any information that you transmit to the society is at your own risk. Once received, the society will use its best efforts to ensure that information’s safety within its network, which sits within the European Economic Area.

The society holds your personal information only for as long as reasonably necessary to carry out applicable services and to administer your ongoing relationship with the society.

Personal data is generally held for up to two years after your last interaction with the society, unless governing legislation and regulations require it to be held for longer, for example for legal or taxation reasons.

Details of orders to the online Shop are retained on a secure server for 6 years following the end of the relevant financial year. They do contain customers’ names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses but hold no details about credit or debit cards.
When indicated, the society securely disposes of all personal information supplied to it.


You have the right to request a copy of the information that the society holds about you. This is called a subject access request.

You have further rights to request correction, rectification, blocking or erasure of incorrect information, and the right to object to processing of your personal information for direct marketing purposes.

You have the ‘right to be forgotten’ — the right to have your personal data erased. This is not an absolute right and only applies in particular situations, including:

  • If your data is no longer needed for the original purpose for which it was collected or processed;
  • If you withdraw consent for use of your data, and the society is reliant upon consent as the sole lawful basis for holding that data;
  • If you object to processing of your data, and where the society is reliant upon legitimate interest as the lawful basis for processing and has no overriding legitimate interest to continue to process it; and
  • If the society is using your personal data for direct marketing purposes and you object to it doing so;

This right to erasure does not apply if the society is processing your personal data:

  • to comply with a legal obligation; or
  • for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific research, historical research or for statistical purposes where erasure is likely to render impossible or seriously impair the achievement of that processing.


If you need help, or have any questions about this Privacy Policy and your rights regarding the processing of your personal information, contact:

The Secretary
Berkshire Family History Society
The Centre for Heritage and Family History
2nd Floor, Reading Central Library
Abbey Square

Contact should be in writing. Include your full name and contact details, your relationship with the society, and any other relevant information. The society reserves its right to seek proof of identity (for example, passport or photographic driving licence) before releasing any information. When a subject access request is sought, the society may levy a discretionary £10 charge as a contribution towards administrative costs incurred by the charity in providing that information, which diverts resources from meeting charitable objectives.

Enquiries on the society’s handling of personal data will be actioned courteously and promptly, within 28 calendar days of receipt of a formal written request, as described above.

For broader advice and guidance, you may contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) — the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625-545745 Fax: 01625 524 510



Cookies are small, often encrypted text files that the society website asks your web browser to store for a time, so that the website can deliver the right information for you, in the right format, and work smoothly and efficiently to enhance your online experience, whatever device you may be using. These cookies perform core functions. If you disable or restrict them, you may affect the website’s functionality.

Cookie Purpose Expiry
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The society adds no further cookies during the Shop checkout process.

Occasionally, an editorial change to a publicly accessible web page may introduce an additional cookie or cookies. An example would be inclusion of a Creative Commons license badge or icon.

Those volunteers who administer, author, or edit society website content may also find that additional cookies are stored on their device while that work is in progress. These cookies expire at the end of each administrative session.


When you close your web browser, any cookies placed on your device are generally deleted automatically. If you use a browser (for example, Firefox) that has the capability to restore an earlier session, how you have set up your browser will determine whether cookies are removed when a session is ended.

If you are unhappy with the society’s use of cookies, you can use your browser’s menu and tools to change settings and to remove or control cookies. Most web browsers allow you to do this but, if you do it, you are likely to affect website functionality.

You can find out more about cookies at the Information Commissioner’s Office website or at including how to see any cookies that have been set on your device, how to manage them and, should you wish, how to delete them.


The society website contains hyperlinks to numerous external third-party websites. These may also place cookies, web beacons and other similar technology on your device. The society is not responsible for either the content or the functionality of these (but please let the society know should such a link fail to work correctly). To do this, go to the ‘Society’ section of the main menu at the side of the Home Page and use the 'Contact us' link to send an email to the webmaster.

If an external website requests your personal information (linked to an order for goods or services, for example), Berkshire Family History Society’s Privacy Policy does not cover any information you may provide in response. Always read the privacy policy of any website before entering any of your personal details.

If you purchase products or services from an organisation to which the society website links, your contract is with that organisation (and governed by its terms and conditions), and not with Berkshire Family History Society.


The society’s Trustees regularly review its policies and procedures. The Privacy Policy is reviewed at least annually, to ensure that it remains up-to-date and fully and properly reflects how and why your personal data is used by the society. The current version of the Privacy Policy will always be available on the society website

This policy was reviewed and approved by the Trustees of the charity on 11 May 2018
It will be reviewed again on or before 11 May 2019

Additional information