Our Complaints Policy and Procedure

Updated September 2021

Our approach to complaints

HandsUp is committed to protecting, supporting and promoting the rights of girls who suffer discrimination. We believe that complaints are an opportunity for us to learn, listen and, hopefully, improve the way we operate and support our beneficiaries. Our policy is:

  • to provide a fair and transparent complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use
  • to publicise our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us if they wish to complain
  • to train and empower our volunteers to know what to do if a complaint is received
  • to ensure that complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way
  • to do our best to ensure that complaints are resolved in a satisfactory manner
  • to use the information we receive to improve how we operate and deliver our services and campaigns

What is a complaint?

A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of HandUp’s work. Regardless of how your complaint has arisen, we consider it to be the result of us having failed to meet your expectations.

This policy does not cover internal complaints from volunteers.


Confidentiality and privacy is of the utmost importance to us. All complaint information will be handled sensitively by the core HandsUp team. The information you share will only be made available to those who need to know and will be in accordance with all relevant data protection requirements.

Complaints Handling Procedure

We want to make it easy for you to contact us and to provide feedback or make a complaint. If you wish to make a complaint please email brightonsisters@gmail.com and the details will be sent on to the HandsUp core team.

We will aim to contact you within 72 hours of receiving your complaint. If you provide us with a telephone number and/or email address we will contact you by either of those means to discuss the matter further and to officially record all necessary details. Hopefully, we can resolve the matter immediately. However, if the issue is more complex and an investigation is required, we will do the following:

The person who receives a complaint will:

  • Record full details of your complaint.
  • Record the complaint in our Complaints Register.
  • Note down the relationship of the complainant to HandsUp, eg, donor, sponsor, website user.
  • Take all necessary steps to investigate the matter.
  • Contact you again within 14 working days of receiving the complaint to advise you of our findings or to give you an update on progress.
  • Continue to keep you informed until the matter is resolved to your satisfaction or until all appropriate and reasonable steps to resolve the matter have been taken.

Resolving complaints

We’re committed to addressing each complaint in a sensitive, fair, transparent, equitable, professional and unbiased manner through the process above. We believe that any person is entitled to express his or her views on our services and that those views should be taken seriously where this is warranted. We will not, however, tolerate any abusive or discriminatory language or behaviour towards any of our staff, and may decline to investigate a complaint further in such circumstances. We attempt to resolve complaints in the following way:

What will happen:

On receiving the complaint, if not already resolved, the Hands Up core team will investigate it and 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 five working days. The acknowledgement should say who is dealing with the complaint and when the person complaining can expect a reply. A copy of this complaints procedure should be attached. Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within 14 working days. 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 (subject to the terms our Privacy Policy) any action taken as a result of the complaint.

Review of this Policy and Complaints Received

This policy will be reviewed by the core HandUp team every 12 months.

Variation of the Complaints Procedure

The HandsUp team may vary the procedure for good reason. This may be necessary to avoid a conflict of interest, for example, a complaint about a member of the team should not also have that person involved as a person leading a review.