Privacy notice for service users

What we do with the personal information of people who access our services.

Perennial (Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society) is the UK’s only charity dedicated to helping people who work in horticulture and their families. 

We recognise and understand that privacy is very important.  We want all of the people who access our services to be confident that we will handle their personal information with care and respect. 

To prevent unauthorised access to your personal and sensitive information, maintain data accuracy and ensure the correct use of information in accordance with this privacy policy, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic and operational? procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect. 


Perennial is the controller for the personal information we process. Our registration number on the Data Protection Register run by the Information Commissioner’s Office is Z8659551. 

You can contact us by phone, email and post:

  • Telephone:01372373962
  • Email:
  • Address: Perennial, 115-117 Kingston Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 7SU


Most of the personal information we process is provided to us directly by you for one of the following reasons:

  • You have contacted our helpline
  • You have been referred to or accessed debt advice, casework services , training, employment support or physiotherapy services
  • Our services team are helping you and you supply them with the information required to progress your case.
  • When photographers give us copies of photographs/videos in which you can be identified, they also give us your personal details to confirm that you have consented to us using the image.

We also receive personal information indirectly, in the following scenarios:

  • Another person or organisation contacts us on your behalf and provides us with background information. In these cases, we will always ask a third party to have sought your consent. We will contact you in this case and take additional information to help us provide you with the help, advice and information required.
  • We have contacted another person or organisation with your consent, this may be to verify your horticultural background , in order to carry out advice or casework e.g. we have contacted your GP for medical evidence to help with a benefit claim, or to refer you to another services that may be able to offer specialist or additional support.


We use your information for the following purposes:

  • To communicate with you – by post, email, text, WhatsApp, video call or telephone – to provide you with information relating to the service/s that you are accessing
  • To provide our services to you
  • Some personal information – such as National Insurance Numbers – may be used for security purposes so that we can verify your identity
  • On occasion, we may also use your personal information for internal administration purposes to statistically analyse our operations of conduct service reviews.
  • We may use photographs/videos of you in our promotional and marketing materials, if you have given us consent to do so.
  • We will not use your information for direct marketing or to ask for donations.


Calls are recorded for Quality Assurance purposes and monitored periodically in line with the Financial Conduct Authority rules.

Recording of calls helps to protect the interests of you, our staff or both.

When a call is recorded, we collect:

  • A recording of the conversation
  • Your phone number

Call recordings will be used:

  • To assist and monitor the quality of the service we provide.
  • To help us improve and develop our services.
  • To assist with identifying training needs.
  • To investigate and resolve a complaint.

Personal data revealed during a telephone call will be digitally recorded for example name and contact details to deliver appropriate services.

Occasionally ‘special category’ personal information may be recorded where an individual discloses health, religious, ethnicity or criminal information to support their request for advice and/or services.

We may share a call recording with an Investigating Officer in order for them to respond to a complaint or concern.

Sometimes, calls may not be recorded if:

  • there is a technical fault with the telephony system
  • a call handler is using equipment which does not let calls be recorded

Recordings are kept securely for seven years and can be accessed only by relevant Perennial employees. After seven years they will be destroyed.


Perennial will only share your information with third parties if it is needed to progress your case, if it is in your best interests and/or when we have explicit consent from you to do so. Perennial may need to disclose information, if required to do so by law. More information on this is contained in our Privacy Policy.

We use data processors who are third parties who provide services for us, with whom we have contracts in place. This means that they cannot do anything with your personal information unless we have instructed them to do it. They will not share your personal information with any organisation apart from us. They will hold it securely and retain it for the period we instruct. Where individual’s sign up to third party services, individuals will be asked by the third party to agree to their privacy notices separately.

Your personal information will never be sold or passed to any third party for any other purpose.


Personal and other information (including any information provided but not limited to your family, relationships, housing, personal finances, health and wellbeing and any medical information) is stored securely on a database that can only be accessed by staff of Perennial and its database managers, with whom we hold data contracts.

Call recordings will be stored on a secure server hosted by our phone provider which will only be accessible by those who require access for specific purposes. We may be required or permitted, under Data Protection legislation, to disclose a call recording including your personal data without your explicit consent, for example if we have a legal obligation to do so.

If a third party contacts us on your behalf, and after contacting you, you tell us that you do not wish to access our services, we will hold the information in line with our retention period of 15 years.

When your case is closed, the database file will be closed. After 15 years (or occasionally longer if necessary for business purposes), your case on the database will be archived (put out of use but still retrievable if you apply to use our service again). Any historic paper files will be destroyed.