Who We Are

Release International is a Christian ministry that helps you engage with your persecuted brothers and sisters by praying with them, by responding to their practical needs and by learning lessons of true Christian discipleship with them.

Our Mission

Helping Christians in the UK and Ireland actively engage with their persecuted brothers and sisters to pray with them, stand with them and learn lessons of true Christian discipleship with them.

Our Vision 

To see a world in which the whole Body of Christ understands persecution and responds prayerfully, pastorally and practically every time a Christian is persecuted.

Our Charity Status

We are a registered charity in the UK, and also in Scotland. We are registered with the Fundraising Regulator and the Information Commissioner’s Office. We are regulated by the Charity Commission in the UK and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in Scotland.

You can contact us at any time:

Release International

PO Box 54



Email: info@releaseinternational.org

Telephone: 01689 823491

Web: www.releaseinternational.org

Our Chair of Trustees is Mr Robert Ashurst and our CEO is Mr Paul Robinson.

Our Data Controller lead is Mrs Laura Hayes, Director of Engagement UK and Ireland. You can contact her on lhayes@releaseinternational.org or by post/telephone as outlined above. If you have any questions about how we process your data or you would like to make a complaint, please contact Laura.

Why We Process Personal Data

Release International is committed to complying with the Data Protection Act 1998, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018 and will comply with the new Data Protection Act 2018 when it enters into British law at the end of 2018. We are committed to following best practice and process ‘personal data’ and/or ‘special categories of personal data’ as defined in the legislation appropriately.

Release International is the ‘Data Controller’ for all personal data and special categories of personal data held by Release International; and as defined in law.

Part of the compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 is the ‘Notification’ (Registration) of the purposes for which we process data with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The Notification is available on the ICO website, www.ico.org.uk, registration number Z5869621.

We process personal data, such as name, surname, address and other contact information, to fulfil our Christian mission and charitable objects, as agreed in our Strategic Plan. This includes, but is not limited to, communicating with you to share our ministry, raise funds, invite you to events and to inform you about other engagement activity.

We hold personal data on staff, volunteers, Trustees, supporters, donors, friends, charitable organisations, church organisations, suppliers and other statutory bodies. We also hold personal data on persecuted Christians and our overseas partners.

‘Special categories of personal data’ are shared with your knowledge and consent; and/or to prevent harm. Special categories of personal data includes: race, ethnic origin, politics, religion, trade union membership, genetics, biometrics (including fingerprint or iris recognition), health, sex life or sexual orientation.

We process personal data including special categories of personal data, under the following lawful conditions for processing.

  • Consent – we always ask for your consent and you can withdraw consent;
  • Legitimate Interest – we will rely upon legitimate interest where we source personal data from Christian organisations and information already in the public domain;
  • Contract – necessary for the performance of contract, for example staff and suppliers;
  • Vital Interest – to prevent harm.

We do not share your personal data with any third parties without your express written permission, unless we are under a legal obligation to do so. For example, we share data with our mailing house, outsourced payroll and church event partners.

Use of ‘Cookies’

We utilise ‘cookies’ (electronic markers to identify you) on the Release International website as part of using Google Analytics web browsing software, for our online e-store and security of the members’ area, to ensure that we provide the most user-friendly website possible. Our social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn, may also use our website to put cookies onto your system – we cannot accept responsibility for any usage of these cookies. You can opt out of using cookies, although this will limit your usage of our website.

Our Lawful Basis for Processing

Consent Our current supporters have given their formal written consent to lawfully process their data. From 25 May 2018, we will process any new supporters’ personal data based on the consent you have given us. We use a range of communications to stay in contact with you and you can opt out at any time.

Based on the consent you have given us, you will receive post, email and/or telephone calls from us. We will contact you if you have made a donation or updated us with new information. This will help us send you the right communications for your needs. If you have previously asked us not to contact you, we will continue to respect your wishes.

Legitimate Interest for Potential Supporters We may rely on legitimate interest:

  • Where we source data from Christian organisations;
  • If you publicly share information about your interests and concerns that overlap with an area or activity of Release International’s work;
  • If we identify you as a match to our work during our research to locate new supporters, through our use of publicly available information.

We will use any information we gather to help us plan an appropriate approach to you, such as a meeting or an event invitation, where we will share further information about Release International; and explore your interest and opportunities for support. You can opt out at any time.

Contract Where we employ staff, engage consultants or work with external suppliers to provide goods and services, we hold data on those individuals to fulfil our contractual obligations under law.

Vital Interest We may process your personal data in the event of a life threatening incident.

Retention Periods

We will hold personal data for as long as is necessary under our obligations under UK law. For donors, volunteers and supporters, where we have no legal obligation to hold your data, we will hold your personal data no longer than 7 years.

Your Rights

Right to be Informed You have the right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal data. We will provide you with ‘privacy information’ including:

  • Our purposes for processing your personal data;
  • Our retention periods for holding your personal data;
  • Who we will share your personal data with.

Release International will be setting up a web-based Consent Portal in June 2018, to give you easy access to your data consent settings which can be changed at any time. We will send you information on how to access the Consent Portal when it goes live.

Right of Access You have the right to access your personal data and supplementary information. This allows you to be aware of and verify the lawfulness of processing. Release International will provide you with access to your data within one month of the request being received by us. We may ask you to provide ID to verify who you are.

Requesting Information If you wish to request a copy of your personal data or special categories of personal data that we may hold on you, please make such a request in writing.  Email is acceptable. This request should be directed to the Data Controller lead via Release International. Please contact Mrs Laura Hayes, Director of Engagement UK and Ireland by post or telephone as outlined above, or by email to: lhayes@releaseinternational.org.

Right to Rectification You have the right to have inaccurate personal data rectified, or completed if it is incomplete. Release will provide you with confirmation that your data has been rectified within one month of the request being received by us. We may ask you to provide ID to verify who you are.

Right to Erasure You may have the right to have your personal data erased. This is the ‘right to be forgotten’.

You do not have the right to have your data erased if the processing of the data is necessary to Release International to comply with a legal obligation.

Release will erase your data where appropriate within one month of the request being received by us. We may ask you to provide ID to verify who you are.

Right to Restrict Processing You have the right to withdraw consent at any time.

You may have the right to request the restriction of your personal data.

You can do this, if you are currently challenging the accuracy of your data or you have asked for your data to be rectified. You can also do this if you object to your data being processed and request this restriction while the matter is under investigation.

We will respond to a request to restrict processing within one month of the request being received by us. We may ask you to provide ID to verify who you are.

Right to Data Portability The right to data portability allows you to obtain and reuse your personal data for your own purposes across different services. You have the right to have your data transferred to you, or to a named organisation. We may ask you to provide ID to verify who you are.

Right to Object You have the right to object to processing of your personal data for direct marketing (by post, email or telephone) at any time. If you have a complaint, you have the right to complain to the ICO at any time.

Rights Related to Automated Decision-making including Profiling Release International can only use automated decision-making with your explicit consent, unless this type of decision-making is necessary for the entry into or performance of a contract.

We do not carry out profiling of supporters, volunteers or donors.

You have the right to withdraw consent at any time.

Supporters’ Complaints Procedure

Release International has a formal Supporters’ Complaints Procedure which includes the right to make a complaint to UK regulatory authorities. You can contact the Fundraising Regulator, The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, The Information Commissioner’s Office and the Charity Commission for further details.

Our Supporters’ Complaints Procedure is published online here.

Sharing of Personal Data

Release International will sometimes work with partner organisations in the pursuit of our Christian ministry. We either have your consent to share to personal data, or if we use legitimate interest, we will contact you to let you know. Where we have shared or plan to share personal data with external Christian organisations, we will contact you before we do that.

We occasionally share data with our international partners. We always ensure that the personal data shared is kept secure.

Data Security

All personal data and special categories of personal data are processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security. Our paper-based systems, filing systems, IT systems, servers, Cloud storage, database, laptops and mobile phones are properly secured.

Our HQ premises are properly maintained, secure and alarmed. All home-based IT is properly secured and password protected.

We will ensure that we have data privacy agreements with all our third party suppliers and data processors.

All personal data and special categories of personal data are transmitted using high secure data transfer protocols including password protection.

We have an Information Security Policy which can be accessed here.

Data Breach Notification

In the unlikely event of a personal data breach taking place, Release International will inform you and ICO within 72 hours after becoming aware of it. A personal data breach means a breach of security leading to the destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored, or otherwise processed.

Laura Hayes                                                                                          May 2018

Review                                                                                                    May 2020


A pdf version of this Privacy Statement is available here.

None of the above affects the individual’s rights of access under the Act. If you wish to request a copy of the personal data/sensitive personal data that we may hold on you, please make such a request in writing – email is acceptable. This request should be directed to the Data Protection Officer via the organisation. Please note that we reserve the right to charge an administrative fee of £10 for this service. Please note that the fee is payable in advance and non-refundable.

If you have any questions concerning this privacy policy please contact us.