Privacy Policy 

1. About this Notice 

This Privacy Notice relates to the activities of Help Musicians — an independent UK charity for professional musicians of all genres, from starting out through to retirement.

At Help Musicians we are committed to protecting any personal data you share with us and will only ever use it in a legal and responsible way. We recognise the trust you place in us when you share your personal information and we are committed to operating with openness, honesty and transparency.

This Privacy Notice will detail how we use and look after your personal information, your data privacy rights and how the law protects you.

In this notice you’ and your’ means you, the individual whose personal information we collect and process, including musicians, supporters and volunteers. For the purpose of this Notice we refer to all our beneficiaries as musicians”, including beneficiaries who may be music industry professionals. We’, Us’ and Our’ refers to the charity Help Musicians and Music Minds Matter — a separate charity legally managed by Help Musicians. 

2. Who we are 

Help Musicians is the working name of the Musicians Benevolent Fund, a registered charity in England and Wales (charity number: 228089). We are also a registered company limited in England and Wales, with registration number 252783, incorporating the Scottish Musicians Benevolent Fund. Help Musicians also runs a separate mental health charity called Music Minds Matter; Help Musicians legally controls the activities of Music Minds Matter and manages that charity. This notice applies to the activities of both Help Musicians and Music Minds Matter.

3. Data Controller 

Help Musicians is the Data Controller for personal information collected and processed about you under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA18) as part of your engagement with Help Musicians. Our Registration Number in the Data Protection Public Register is Z5889840.

All of our data processing is to help us fulfil our charitable objectives. Data protection sets out different reasons for collecting and processing personal data, these are called the legal bases’. When collecting your personal data, we will make clear to you what legal basis we are using for what purpose. 

The types of legal basis we use at Help Musicians are:

  • Legitimate interest: in specific situations, we process your data to pursue our legitimate interests in ways which might reasonably be expected by you and which do not materially impact your rights, freedom or interests.
  • Consent: there are certain types of data processing we will only undertake with your explicit consent. This is always made clear. Marketing communication from Help Musicians will always be undertaken on the basis of consent.
  • Contractual Obligation: where we need to process your personal data to fulfil a contract with you, for example if you purchase something from our online shop 
  • Legal Compliance: If the law requires us to, we may need to collect and process your data. In these cases your data will be processed anonymously and if that is not possible for reasons of legal compliance then we will inform you about how your data is being used.
  • Public interest: In limited situations we may use data in the public interest. It is likely to be in the public interest to collect data to prevent crime or dishonesty, ensure that we are fair in our practices by carrying out equality and diversity monitoring, or safeguard the wellbeing of people with whom we work.
  • Vital interest: In rare cases we will use the legal basis Vital Interest where we have concerns about the health, wellbeing, or risk to an individual who has communicated with us in order to contact the relevant services to provide additional support or aid i.e., ambulance or police

The following sections outline: the different purposes we process data for; what data we process for each purpose and the legal basis on which we process data for that purpose.

a) Musicians’ Services 

Help Musicians delivers a range of services to musicians. This includes financial support, support to access health care, mental health support and creative and career development support. Through the charity Music Minds Matter, we provide mental health support to anyone working in the music industry. This section applies to services delivered by Help Musicians and Music Minds Matter. 

Purposes of data processing in Musicians’ Services 

We process personal data about musicians applying to and accessing our services to:

  • assess your eligibility for services to ensure we are using our resources in line with our charitable objects 
  • provide feedback about the outcome of your application and signpost you to other support as relevant 
  • manage our relationship and communications with musicians we are supporting and undertake casework as needed to provide you with support you have asked for 
  • monitor and improve musicians’ services: we may use your data to help us understand who accesses our services and what impact our services have. Your data is used anonymously for these purposes
  • contact you with any important information about the services you are accessing from us
  • providing reports to funders and supporters: we may use your data to help us compile data to show our funders and supporters the impact we are having. Your data is used anonymously for these purposes
  • enable you to engage with the service you have requested: for example to send you joining instructions for workshops, schedule and deliver advice sessions, provide you with information resources or other activities that are part of the service you have requested
  • make referrals to contracted partners: this means sharing information with our contracted partners to help you access a service they deliver on our behalf. Help Musicians has Data Sharing Agreements in place with all contracted partners setting out the legal responsibilities of each party for protecting your data. Where a service is provided by a contracted partner we will provide a service specific Privacy Notice at the point of access so you can see clearly how your data is used when you access that service
  • make referrals to third parties: sometimes your needs may be best met by a third party without a formal contractual relationship with Help Musicians, such as another charity or statutory service like the NHS. In these cases, we will only make a referral with your consent unless we believe you or others may be at significant risk of harm when we use the basis of Vital Interest if we cannot gain your consent

What personal data we collect and use in Musician’s Services 

To provide you with musician’s services, personal data we may collect from you and use includes:

Full name; any professional name; pronouns; email address; postal address; phone number; any demographic data you are willing to provide including your ethnicity, gender and details of any disabilities you wish to disclose; date of birth; promotional photos you share; records of correspondence between you and us; records of correspondence with any contracted partners or third party agencies we have made on your behalf; information about your music career. 

Additionally for some specific services, other information is required to deliver the service. This includes:

  • For health and welfare services: information about your financial status and needs; bank account details and bank statements (and partner bank statements when cohabiting); information about your past and current health needs; records of health care funded through Help Musicians.

Legal Basis for processing personal data in Musicians’ Services 

In the delivery of Musicians’ Services, our legal basis for processing your personal information under the GDPR is Legitimate Interests: the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party, unless there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides those legitimate interests — GDPR Article 6 (1) (f).

Additionally, there are specific situations where the following legal basis applies: Consent: the data subject has given consent to the processing of their personal data for one or more specific purposes — GDPR Article 6 (1) (a). In Musicians’ Services, the specific processing activities that we seek consent for are:

  • sharing personal information with third parties (except where required to prevent significant harm as outlined above)
  • sharing special category data with any third party
  • sending you marketing communications 
  • using any information you have shared with us, your name or images of you in any public materials to raise awareness or funds for Help Musicians work

b) Fundraising 

Help Musicians are supported in our charitable objectives by individuals who make donations of money (‘supporters’) and/​or time (‘volunteers’) and other individuals interested in our work who may reach out to us by phone, email, letter or social media. 

Purposes of data processing in Fundraising

We hold and process data on supporters and volunteers to: 

  • process donations including processing gift aid, undertaking any anti-fraud security checks that may be required, acknowledge receipt of your payment and where relevant allocate your payment to specific charitable activities as part of our fulfilment of any contract with you 
  • communicate with volunteers and community fundraisers– to support you in your chosen role and activities
  • provide practical information to you if you are taking part in a fundraising event on our behalf
  • communicate effectively with you by keeping a record of any communication you have entered into with us by any channel
  • fulfil contractual obligations entered into with supporters e.g. online purchases
  • comply with legal obligations for example, where we are required by law to share your personal details with HMRC or financial regulatory bodies
  • monitor the effectiveness of our activities – we will only use your anonymised data for this purpose 
  • keep you updated on our work, fundraising activities, appeals and volunteering activities. We will only do this where we have reason to believe that this information will be of interest and will always provide an option for you to opt out
  • invite you to participate in research activities about Help Musicians or our work — participation is always voluntary and we will always provide an option for you to opt out
  • carry out prospect research and wealth screening to ensure that you are contacted with the most appropriate communication. We may do this ourselves or work with a contracted third party to carry out wealth screening or gather information about our supporters from publicly available sources. If you do not wish your data to be processed in this way for profiling purposes, please contact data@​helpmusicians.​org.​uk to opt out

What personal data we collect and use in Fundraising 

To undertake the above purposes personal information we may collect and process about you includes:

Full name, email, postal address, telephone number, records of correspondence with you

In the case of supporters we will collect and process your bank account details and keep records of your previous donations, purchases and communications

In the above cases, this personal information is directly gained from you. 

In some limited instances we may collect and use personal data about you which is in the public domain. In the case of major donors this may include your name, contact details, views and positions you have expressed, and details regarding your circumstances and interests.

Additionally, to help identify businesses who may wish to support the charity, we use information in public domain to identify and contact individuals where relevant to their job, for instance people working in Corporate Social Responsibility.

Legal Basis for processing personal data in Fundraising 

Our legal basis for processing your personal information for fundraising and volunteering purposes under the GDPR is Legitimate Interests: the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party, unless there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides those legitimate interests — GDPR Article 6 (1) (f).

Additionally, there are specific situations where the following legal basis applies: Consent: the data subject has given consent to the processing of their personal data for one or more specific purposes — GDPR Article 6 (1) (a). In Fundraising, the specific processing activities that we seek consent for are:

  • sending you marketing communications 
  • using any information you have shared with us, your name or images of you in any public materials to raise awareness or funds for Help Musicians work
  • using any images of you from Help Musicians events or from any interviews you may participate in during your engagement with Help Musicians

c) Marketing Communications 

Any marketing communications we send will generally include updates about our work and information on how to support that work. We will only send such communications where:

  • We have your consent


  • We believe there is a legitimate interest for doing so

We will always make it easy for you to tell us if you would like to receive marketing communications from us and how you would like to receive these communications. 

There will always be an opt-out option included with any marketing communications. 

We will never send you marketing communications if you have told us that you do not wish to receive these. 

d) Recruitment 

As part of any recruitment process, Help Musicians collects and processes personal data relating to job applicants. We need to process your data to enter into a contract with you. 

Purposes of data processing in Recruitment

We need to process your data prior to entering a contract with you and to enable us to enter a contract with you. In some cases, we need to process data to ensure that we are complying with our legal obligations. For example, we are required to check a successful applicant’s eligibility to work in the UK before employment starts.

We process your personal data during recruitment to manage the recruitment process, assess and confirm a candidate’s suitability for employment and decide to whom to offer a job. We may also need to process data from job applicants to respond to and defend against legal claims.

We process health information in order to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process for candidates who have a disability. This is to carry out our legal obligations and protect your rights in relation to employment.

For some roles, Help Musicians is obliged to seek information about criminal convictions and offences because it is necessary to enable us to carry out our obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to employment/​comply with a regulatory requirement to establish whether or not an individual has committed an unlawful act or been involved in dishonesty or other improper conduct.

We will not use your data for any purpose other than the recruitment exercise for which you have applied.

What personal data we collect and use for Recruitment

To undertake our recruitment processes, the personal data we may collect and process about you includes:

  • your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number;
  • details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history;
  • whether or not you have a disability for which we need to make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process;
  • information about your eligibility to work in the UK
  • equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your age, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, and religion or belief.

Help Musicians collects this information in a variety of ways. For example, data might be contained in application forms, CVs or resumes, obtained from your passport or other identity documents, or collected through interviews or other forms of assessment, including online tests.

We may also collect personal data about you from third parties, including references supplied by former employers, information from employment background check providers and criminal records checks from the Disclosure and Barring Service where we require such a check for the role you have been offered. We will seek information from third parties only once a job offer to you has been made and will inform you that we are doing so.

Your information will be shared internally for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. This includes members of the HR and recruitment team, interviewers involved in the recruitment process, managers in the business area with a vacancy and IT staff if access to the data is necessary for the performance of their roles.

Legal Basis for processing personal data in Recruitment

Our legal basis for processing your personal information for recruitment purposes under the GDPR is Legitimate Interests: the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party, unless there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides those legitimate interests — GDPR Article 6 (1) (f).

5. Special category data 

Special category data is more private personal information which is subject to extra legal protections. Special category data which we may collect from you includes your ethnicity and information about your health.

Our legal basis for processing the information you provide us about your health and ethnicity under GDPR is Article 9 (2) (d) Not-for-profit bodies.

We collect and process special category data to:

  • Monitor who accesses our services to ensure it is accessible to all musicians. Your data is used anonymously for this purpose.
  • Assess applications to ensure that the delivery of our services fulfils our charitable objects
  • Enable the provision of health services by contracted partners as described under Musicians Services’ above
  • Where requested by you to provide you with a service tailored to your needs and experiences 
  • Undertake equal opportunities monitoring purposes within recruitment

We will never disclose your special category data with any third-party organisations without your explicit consent.

With regards to recruitment, you are under no obligation to provide information for equal opportunities monitoring purposes and there are no consequences for your application if you choose not to provide such information.

6. Sharing your personal data 

Help Musicians will not, under any circumstances, share or sell your personal data with any third party for their own marketing purposes. 

Information sharing with our partners 

In order to deliver our charitable objectives we may need to share your personal data with other organisations and individuals. In these instances, we put in place a Data Sharing Agreement with every entity that sets out the legal basis for sharing personal data, what the purpose of sharing personal data is, and the protections each party will put in place to protect personal data. In these situations, non-special category data is shared under the legal basis of Legitimate Interests. If you access a service which requires that we share your personal data with a partner, this will always be made clear to you at the point of accessing the service.

The partners we share information with are:

  • contractual partners (including but not exclusively British Association of Performing Arts Medicine, Care First and Harley Street Hearing) who deliver services for us through a contractual arrangement 
  • membership bodies (including but not exclusively: PRS Members Fund, Royal Society of Musicians, Independent Society of Musicians and the Musicians Union) to inform them which of their members have accessed our services to coordinate support 
  • consultants and industry professionals who are contributing to the delivery of our services including award panellists

Information sharing with third parties 

To enable musicians to access the right support, Help Musicians may make referrals to third party agencies with whom it has no existing contractual relationship on behalf of a musician. In these instances, referrals will only be made with your consent. 

Suppliers and service providers 

We may need to share your information with service providers who assist with our operations (e.g. fundraising appeals). We have a contractual agreement in place for all such service providers and we do not allow these parties to use your data for their own purposes.

7. Retention of your personal data 

We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity:

Recruitment: if your application for employment is unsuccessful, we will hold your data on file for 6 months after the end of the relevant recruitment process. At the end of that period, your data is deleted or destroyed. If your application for employment is successful, personal data gathered during the recruitment process will be transferred to your personnel file and retained during your employment. 

Services: If you access one of our services or receive any financial grant from us in relation to creative activities, skills development or health and welfare, we will create and keep your personal data for four years after the last date we were in contact with you. After that time your identifiable data will be removed from all records and your other information will be kept in an anonymous format so that we can provide long term records about our activities for funders, regulatory bodies or others who may require this information. With regards to any grant or payment you receive from us, we will retain a record of all financial payments made for 6 years after the last payment was made. After six years, the record is anonymised. 

Donors: we keep information you provide to us when making donations indefinitely or until you ask us to delete this data. This is so that we have a record of your relationship with us and can manage this with you effectively and so that we can provide you with information about your donation history on request. 

Legacy income: Legacy income is vital to Help Musicians. So that we can manage legacies effectively and stay in touch with the families of legacy donors we may keep information you provide to us about legacy income indefinitely. 

Supporters: If you have shared your personal details to attend a supporter event or subscribed to receive fundraising or other marketing communications from us we will only use that data in line with the consent you have given. If you withdraw your consent to receive fundraising communications or other marketing materials or unsubscribe from such communications, we will usually keep a record of your personal details so that we can comply with your request. You can additionally ask us to delete your personal details under your data subject rights. 

8. How we keep your data safe 

We ensure your personal information is stored securely at all times. Personal information is stored on secure databases and only shared outside of these through encrypted files. Access to personal information is controlled through user security profiles and password protections. 

All our employees, contractors and volunteers with access to personal data have to be trained in data protection at least annually and sign a contract to say that they will keep your information confidential. We undertake regular reviews of who has access to personal data that we hold to ensure that your information is only accessible by appropriately trained staff, volunteers and contractors with a legitimate reason to access it. 

Where we use external companies to collect or process personal data on our behalf, we undertake checks on these companies before we work with them, and put a Data Sharing Agreement in place that sets out our requirements regarding how they manage the personal data they collect or have access to on our behalf.

9. Your data privacy rights 

You have a number of rights regarding the personal data that we hold about you, these are:

  • The right to be informed that we are processing your personal information (for more details about this please see access to personal information’ below)
  • The right to access your information (see access to personal information’ below)
  • The right to correct the personal data we hold on you if it is incomplete or inaccurate
  • The right to have your personal data deleted where we have no other legal basis for processing it. There may be exceptions to the right to erasure, if this is the case we will explain this in our response to your request
  • The right to restrict the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances. There may be exceptions to the right to restrict processing, if this is the case we will explain this in our response to your request
  • The right to object to certain processing including the right to object where we are processing your information on the basis of our legitimate interest
  • Where you have provided your consent to the processing, you have the right to withdraw consent at any time
  • The right to ask us not to process your personal data for marketing purposes

If you wish to request a copy of the personal information that we hold about you or to exercise any of your data privacy rights, please contact us via email: data@​helpmusicians.​org.​uk .

For more information on your personal data rights please visit the Information Commissioner’s website.

10. Use of Cookies 

You can read more about how we use cookies in our Cookies Policy.

Where the legal basis for processing your personal information is your consent, you have the right to withdraw this consent at any time. For example, you may wish to withdraw consent for us to share your personal information with third party services that are also supporting you. All requests to withdraw consent can be done at any time by contacting data@​helpmusicians.​org.​uk.

12. Keeping your information up to date 

If your personal details change, please help us to keep your information up to date by notifying your Help Musicians contact or emailing data@​helpmusicians.​org.​uk.

13. Changes to this Privacy Notice 

We keep our Privacy Notice under regular review. Any changes to this notice will be reflected on this page and we recommend that you check back throughout your engagement with Help Musicians to see the latest version. Where we make any significant changes we will also endeavour inform you about this by email, if we have this on record.

This privacy notice was last updated on 19 July 2023.

14. Contact Us 

If you have any questions which you feel have not been covered by this Privacy Notice or concerns about how we process our personal data, please do not hesitate to contact us:


Data Protection Officer,
Help Musicians,
7 – 11 Britannia Street,
London, WC1X 9JS

15. Contact the Information Commissioner 

If you are unhappy with the way in which we use and process your personal data you can complain to the Information Commissioners Office (the supervisory authority that enforces data protection regulations in the UK).

The ICO can be contacted on 0303 123 1113 or refer their website at https://​ico​.org​.uk.

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