Complaints Procedure

1. Introduction

We aim to maintain high standards in all that we do but recognise that our operations will not always run perfectly, despite our best intentions.

Care4Calais views a complaint as an opportunity to put things right for the person making the complaint, and to improve the activities of the charity. We would not be able to do so or learn for the future if we did not receive feedback. Therefore, we value and take seriously any feedback we receive.

Generally, the purpose of this Complaints Procedure is to resolve disputes informally without resorting to formal investigation or legal proceedings. We will try to explore every reasonable option to resolve complaints by working with the person making the complaint to agree an outcome which is satisfactory to them and to Care4Calais.

Whether your complaint is ultimately found to be substantiated or not, our reply to you will describe the action we have taken to investigate the complaint, conclusions we have reached as a result of the investigation, and any action we have taken or are taking as a result of your complaint.

We will ensure that all information received and produced in connection with a complaint is treated as confidential and handled sensitively, that only those who need to know have access to that information, and that relevant data protection requirements are all met.

All complaint information is passed promptly to our trustees within seven days, other than in exceptional circumstances.

The information below sets out our Complaints Procedure.

2. Complaint

A ‘complaint’ in this Procedure means any expression of dissatisfaction in relation to Care4Calais, its personnel and/or operations that requires a response from Care4Calais.

3. Where complaints may come from

Complaints may come from beneficiaries of Care4Calais’ services, volunteers, donors, members of the public, partner organisations or any other person who has a legitimate interest in or connection with Care4Calais.

4. Complaints which cannot be dealt with under this Procedure

This Procedure is for the above type of complaint, not for complaints or grievances from staff.

Whilst complainants should generally expect to receive responses to a complaint and to challenge any responses received from Care4Calais, it will not deal with complaints or challenges where in the reasonable opinion of the trustees they amount to persistent, habitual or vexatious complaints or challenges.

Care4Calais expects any complainant to be polite and courteous. It will not tolerate aggressive, abusive or unreasonable behaviour or demands.

5. How to make a complaint

It is hoped that most complaints or concerns about Care4Calais’s work or behaviour can and will be dealt with informally. However, it is recognised that not all issues can be resolved in this way and that a formal complaints mechanism is required for those occasions when an individual or organisation wishes to make their complaint a matter of record and to receive a formal response.

First Stage

If you have a complaint, you can contact us by email or letter using the contact details in this document.

To help us investigate and address all complaints, we ask you to provide us with as much information as possible. This should cover:

  • The reason for your complaint
  • Where, when and what you are complaining about
  • The name(s) of anyone involved (if known)
  • What outcome you are hoping for (but we are not obliged to resolve the complaint in that way)
  • Your contact details (name, address, daytime telephone number and/or email address)

Who you should contact within Care4Calais will depend on how you decide to make contact, and on who you wish to make a complaint about. We have indicated below who you can contact.

Lodging your complaint

Please send your complaint to us as follows:

Either by letter addressed as follows:

The Trustees
5 Brayford Square
E1 0SG

or by email to [email protected]

Once that person has initially received your complaint, we will normally deal with it as follows:

Who the complaint is about Who will investigate, deal with, and respond to you about it
Any member of staff or any volunteer Senior Member of Staff/External Consultant
Chief Executive Chair of trustees
Any trustee Chair of trustees
Chair of trustess Trustee Sub Committee

In the event that an individual is conflicted, or it is appropriate and/or necessary to do so, Care4Calais will arrange for an independent person to investigate the complaint and make recommendations to the individuals named above for the purposes of responding to you.

Timescales for all First Stage complaints made by phone, in person or in writing.

We will try to resolve the problem as quickly as possible but if we cannot do this (for example, if we need to investigate further), we will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days.

Our acknowledgement will inform you of when we will next contact you either with a proposed resolution or update. It will also inform you of the name of the person dealing with your complaint. That person will then investigate and deal with it and then respond to you with their definitive reply.

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

Second stage

If, for any reason, you are not happy with the resolution of your complaint under the First Stage procedure outlined above, you can bring this to our attention as follows.

Please address a letter to:

Chair of Trustees
5 Brayford Square
E1 0SG

Please set out clearly the details of the complaint, explaining why you were not satisfied with our response under the First Stage and what you would like us to do to put things right.

An acknowledgement will be sent within 5 working days and we will arrange for the Chair of trustees to investigate your complaint and respond with a definitive reply within a further 20 working days.

6. Taking your complaint outside Care4Calais

 The Fundraising Regulator

If your complaint is about our fundraising work or activities and you are not satisfied with our response, you are entitled to take it to the Fundraising Regulator. This is the regulator for fundraising across the charitable sector in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their contact details are:

Fundraising Regulator, 2nd Floor CAN Mezzanine Building, 49-51 East Road, London N1 6AH

Tel: 0300 999 3407


Charity Commission

If your complaint is about any other aspect of our charitable work you may wish to raise your concerns with the Charity Commission. However, we suggest that, before you do so, you consider whether it is appropriate to contact the Commission in the first instance rather than ourselves. The Commission has guidance on its website as to when to direct complaints to a charity and not to the Commission. Their contact details are:

Charity Commission, PO Box 211, Bootle, L20 7YX Tel: 0300 066 9197

Website: and

Other Authorities

The Charity Commission guidance to the public states that if you believe there is criminal activity within a charity, you should inform the police.

If a complaint relates to your personal data, it may be appropriate to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

A complaint could be directed to another regulator where it properly falls under its jurisdiction or remit. For example, a complaint could be made to the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) where appropriate.

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