Privacy Notice

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The Belfast Masonic Charity Fund is a Data Controller and in the execution of our legitimate administration interest we may hold and process personal information about you or from which we can identify you.

We strive to be transparent about how we collect and use your information, to keep your information secure and to provide you with meaningful choices.  This Privacy Policy is intended to help you understand what information we hold, why we collect it and what we do with it.

Who we are

BMCF (founded 1862) is a registered charity (No. NIC101945). Most of the assistance we provide takes the form of financial grants to individuals who are Freemasons or are related dependants of Freemasons to assisting with daily living expenses, although grants and singular benefit awards can also be provided to supply specific items or services in necessitous circumstances. 

A range of health, medical, social, domestic needs including provisions of respite, counselling and mobility aids or home adaptations may also be supported.

We work closely in the delivery of these particular services with our sister charity The Belfast Masonic Widows Fund (Charity reg. NIC102661) also The Masonic Orphans’ Welfare Fund in addition to Companies and Professional Services in delivery of their specialized expertise to our beneficiaries on behalf of the Fund. 

How to contact us

Our Data Protection Officer can be contacted at any time should you have any queries or concerns relevant to this Policy Notice or wish to exercise any rights contained in it. 

William A Beattie - Secretary
Data Protection Officer
Belfast Masonic Charity Fund
Charity Office
49 Main Street
Ballyclare, Co Antrim.

BT39 9AA

Telephone number: 02890 451020 / Email 


What is our legal basis for processing your information?

Data protection law require us to explain what legal grounds justify us in possessing your information (this includes sharing it with other organisations).  For some, processing on more than one legal ground may be relevant, these include:

Processes necessary to perform our primary activity as a charity

  • To determine eligibility on applications for support and administer grant payments or special awards.
  • To answer any queries or concerns in respect of private data held. 
  • For the administration of donations.
  • For the management of grants and awards.
  • To update and review information relative to existing beneficiaries and future beneficiaries for benefit of services and support available.
  • For the governance of the BMCF, i.e., details of Trustees, Officers etc.

Processes necessary to comply with our legal obligations

  • To comply with any statutory obligation laid down by UK (and at present E.U.) law to include statutory returns to Charity Commission N.I.

Please note that in all areas where personal information is processed (i.e., subscriptions and/or donations management, grant making, award decisions, and general communications, separate privacy statements are available. Please contact us. 


What kinds of personal information about you do we possess?

This will depend on the nature of your relationship with the BMCF but this could include: –

  • your title and full name
  • your contact details, including your email address and telephone number(s)
  • your home or correspondence address
  • details of family members
  • details relating to your personal and financial circumstances

What is the source of your personal information?

We will generally collect your personal information from your associated Lodge charity officer or by direct communication or appointed visitation.

Do you have to provide your personal information to us?

Depending upon the nature of your intended or existing activity with the BMCF, without your personal information we may be unable to action your initial application or assist continuance support.  In cases where providing some personal information is optional, we will make it clear.  Likewise, we will always explain why your personal information is required and how it will be used.


Monitoring of personal information

In some instances, for example, in the preparation or verification of applications for charitable support, it may be necessary for telephone calls, meetings etc., to be recorded, to ensure that we have a proper record of what has been discussed.  We may also record calls for quality control and staff training purposes.  We will always inform you if we intend to record your communications with the BMCF and obtain your consent.

How long is your personal information retained by us?

We will only retain your data for as long as necessary.  In some instances, this will be to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations.

Do we share personal information with third parties? And what steps are taken to confirm their compliance with GDPR?

We will only share your personal information with third parties for legitimate business reasons.  As Data Controllers in their own right all third parties used by BMCF are required to adhere to the provisions set out in the General Data Protection legislation.

We do not intend to conduct any business with you through the provision of our website, however with your consent we may do so through the facility of other electronic means i.e., email, text.  Should you initiate contact with us or provide personal information to us through the medium of our website we wish to advise you as follows. 

Our website may include links to third-party websites, plug-ins, and applications. Clicking on those links or enabling those connections may allow third parties to collect or share data about you. Our website may include social media features, such as Facebook ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons and widgets, and interactive mini programs that run on our websites. These features may collect information about you, including but not limited, to, your IP address, which webpages you are visiting on our site and may set a cookie to enable the feature to function properly. Your interactions with these features are governed by the privacy policies of the companies providing them. We do not control these third-party elements and are not responsible for their privacy statements. We encourage you to read the privacy policy of every website you visit or every third-party feature that you access to understand their personal data handling practices.

Your Legal Rights

Under certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data, such as:

You have the right to:

Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.

Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.

Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with law. Please note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.

Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.

Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (a) if you want us to establish the data’s accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or (d) you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.

Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we have used the information to perform a contract with you.

Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

Your right to complain

In the unlikely event that the BMCF uses your data in a way which you believe is inconsistent with the terms set out in this privacy notice please contact the BMCF Data Protection Officer without delay, alternatively you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office which enforces data protection laws.

Is our Privacy Notice likely to change?

We may change our Privacy Notice from time to time (by updating our website) to reflect changes in law or our privacy practices.  We encourage you to check our privacy notice for changes whenever you visit our website.

This page was last updated on 21st November 2020