Please note our website is currently undergoing a significant refurbishment due to be completed in December 2020.
If you can’t find the page or information you are looking for, please contact us at We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Skip navigation

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy


VSA (“we”) is committed to protecting any personal information you share with us and will always ensure you are happy with the way we handle it.

In order to help support the development of VSA’s voluntary income, our Fundraising department uses a dedicated database to store personal information collected by VSA over the course of our relationship with our members, volunteers, donors, sponsors, employees and suppliers.

VSA only collects personal information that you have provided directly to us or have made publically available (for example on social media, blogs, websites, etc.).

N.B.: This privacy statement does not apply to the information VSA collects from people who are registered in our services. Their information is handled independently and according to the nature of each service and our regulators’ requirements.

What personal information we collect 

When you support VSA, whether it is by becoming a member, making a donation, volunteering, taking part in an event to fundraise for us, we will usually collect: 

  • Your name and title
  • Your contact details (phone number, home address, email address)
  • Your date of birth (where appropriate)
  • Donation history (including gift amount, purpose, date and how you donated)
  • Gift aid declaration (including your tax status)
  • Your communications preferences

We do not store any debit/credit card details.

Where appropriate, we may also record the following:

  • Information relating to health issues we need to be aware of when you take part in one of our events (including an emergency contact)
  • Dietary requirements when attending our events
  • Personal areas of interest and philanthropic interests
  • Your photo only if it was taken with your consent during an event; this is just to put a face to your name

We use cookies on our website, for more details please see the Cookies section on page 4 of this privacy statement and our cookies policy.

How we use your personal information 

VSA will use personal information for the following:

  • Processing donations or other payments, and verify financial transactions
  • Fulfilling membership requests
  • Fulfilling requests to “Adopt an animal” or “Befriend a baby animal” at Easter Anguston Farm
  • Registering you for our events
  • Registering you for fundraising challenges
  • Contacting you to promote events, campaigns and appeals, or make you aware of volunteering opportunities
  • Processing requests for corporate volunteering or support
  • Fulfilling requests to leave a gift in your will
  • Sending updates and / or newsletters that we think would be of interest to you
  • Sending our annual report and invitations to our AGM
  • Recording any contact we have with you (phone calls, face to face meetings, etc.)
  • Identifying our visitors and supporters
  • Preventing or detecting fraud or abuses of our website and enable third parties to carry out technical, logistical or other functions on our behalf
  • Where you have given us your express consent, we will use photos and videos in which you appear on our social media sites, website, annual report, promotional and campaigning publications – we will always offer you a clear opt-in option for this on our registration forms

Our direct marketing

We hope to develop a strong relationship with you and ensure we know how you want to be contacted and for what purpose, so we also record your communication preferences. This is why we have moved to an “opt-in only” marketing communication policy; this means that you choose what you want to receive and how. You will find opt-in options on all our registration forms and you can also update them at any time by contacting our Fundraising department on or our Reception 01224 212021 (Mon-Fri 9.00-17.00).

VSA will keep you posted on our progress, events, opportunities to support us in different ways or may ask for donations according to your preferences only.

VSA will never sell or share your personal information with third party organisations for marketing purposes. We will always be clear about how your information will be used and what will happen to it on our registration forms.

Building your profile

In order to get to know you better, VSA may also collect personal information when it is already publically available from social media sites, for example Facebook and Twitter, or has been published in articles/newspapers. We may also collect information related to your professional career on sites such as Companies House or LinkedIn as well as business publications. This information helps us to better understand your interests and target our communications with you accordingly.

Sharing your personal information

VSA will only share your information if: 

  • We are legally required to do so, e.g. by a law enforcement agency legitimately exercising a power or if compelled by an order of the Court
  • We believe it is necessary in order to protect or defend our rights, property or the personal safety of our staff or visitors to our premises, at our events or websites
  • We are working with a carefully selected partner that is carrying out work on our behalf. These partners may include photographers and film companies. The kind of work we may ask them to do includes taking photos and videos at our events, promotional and campaigning events, rehearsals, etc.

VSA only chooses partners we can trust and will only pass personal data to them if they have signed a contract that requires them to abide by the requirements of the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018, treat information as carefully as we do, only use the information for the purposes it was supplied (not their own purpose or the purposes of any other organisation) and allow us to carry out checks to ensure they are doing all these things.

How we store your personal information

The information we collect is stored by us on computers located in the UK. We may transfer the information to other departments within VSA and to other reputable third party organisations, as explained above, and we will always check where they are situated (inside or outside the EEA) prior to any arrangements being made. We also store paper files.

VSA places a great importance on the security of all personally identifiable information associated with our members, volunteers, donors, sponsors, employees and suppliers. We have security measures in place to attempt to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of personal information under our control. For example, only authorised personnel are authorised to access user information and we use secure server software (SSL) to encrypt financial and personal information you input before it is sent to us. While we cannot ensure or guarantee that loss, misuse or alteration of information will not occur while it is under our control, we use our best efforts to try to prevent this.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information across the internet is not completely secure and whilst we do our best to try to protect the security of your information, we cannot ensure or guarantee that loss, misuse or alteration of information will not occur whilst information is being transferred.

Where you or we have provided a password enabling you to access parts of our website, it is your responsibility to keep this password confidential. Please do not share your password with anyone.

We will keep your personal information only for as long as we need it to provide you with the information you have required, to administer your membership, regular donations and sponsorships, or administer your marketing preferences to comply with the law. We do not communicate with people who have asked us not to.

When we no longer need the information, we will always dispose of it securely, using specialist companies if necessary to do this work for us. Some personal information we hold is retained to fulfil statutory obligations; for instance, HMRC requires us to retain Gift Aid declarations for a set period of 6 years from the end of the accounting period they relate to.

What we do not do with your personal information

VSA will never sell or share your personal information with other organisations to use for their own purposes.    

Your rights

The GDPR gives you certain rights over your personal information and how we use it. These include the right to:

  • Access to the personal information we hold about you, called a subject access request
  • Object to our processing of your personal information
  • Object to your personal information being used for marketing purposes
  • Restrict the processing of your personal information
  • obtain a copy of your personal information in a portable format so that you can reuse it with a third party
  • Rectify your personal information if you believe it is incorrect; we want to ensure that your personal information is accurate and kept up to date so please let us know of any changes
  • Request the erasure of your personal information. Please note that in certain circumstances, we may need to retain your personal information for a set period to comply with our legal obligation (for instance, Gift Aid declarations)

If you wish to exercise any of those rights, please contact the Data Protection Department in writing to VSA, 38 Castle Street, Aberdeen, AB11 5YU or by emailing  

For more information about your rights under the Data Protection Act, visit the Information Commissioner’s website.


VSA uses cookies on its website. Cookies are text files that contain two pieces of information: a site name and a unique user ID (your IP address). When you visit our website and accept our cookies, they are downloaded onto your device. They help enhance your experience on our website and we collect this information in a way that does not identify you.

You can find our cookies policy and instructions on how to control and delete them here.

Other useful information

Children’s personal information

It is our policy not to request donations, subscriptions or membership, or accept orders (such as subscription to our newsletter, request to sponsor one of our animals and baby animals, registering for an event or a fundraising challenge) from children under the age of 18.

Links to third party websites

Our website contains links to various third party websites which we believe may be of interest to our website visitors. There are also links to some of our sponsors (when they support a section of our website). This privacy statement only governs VSA’s website; we are not responsible for third party websites, please check their privacy policy before sharing any personal or financial information on their website.

Social media websites

VSA operates a number of social media pages such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Although this privacy statement covers how VSA will use your personal information from those pages, it does not cover or govern how social media websites will use it. Please ensure you read their privacy policies before sharing any information and make sure you familiarise yourself and use their privacy settings and reporting mechanisms to control how your personal information is used.

Other people’s data

Before providing someone else’s personal information, please ensure they are happy for you to do so (for example when you tag someone in a photo on social media or share their story with us, etc.). Under no circumstances should you make public someone else’s home address, email address or phone number.

Changes to this privacy statement

We may make changes to this privacy statement from time to time and when we do so, they will apply from the time we publish them. If there are significant changes to the way we handle your personal information, we will make this clear on the website or we may contact you directly.

This privacy statement was last changed on 25th May 2018


Please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Data Protection Department if you have any questions about this policy or how we use your personal information by writing to VSA, 38 Castle Street, Aberdeen, AB11 5YU or by emailing

This policy is available to print here.

Connect with VSA or get in touch...

Back to top