New Fellowship CIO Complaints Policy:

This policy was approved and adopted by the trustees of New Fellowship CIO (the CIO) on 16 May 2021.

 

Introduction

 

The primary purpose of the complaints policy is to provide a process for dealing with complaints arising from the behaviour or actions of, or decisions taken by, the CIO’s trustees, or the Elders, staff and/or volunteers of Arbury Community Church (the Church).

 

General Principles

 

Wherever possible, any complaint should be dealt with informally according to Biblical principles, without the need for a formal complaint.  However, it is recognised that it is not always possible for matters to be resolved in this way.  In such cases, this policy sets out the process for making a formal complaint.

 

Who can make a complaint?

 

Anyone who believes they have a genuine complaint, which they have not been able to resolve informally, may use this process, save in the circumstances described under the heading ‘What this policy is not for’, for which separate processes are provided. This includes not only those who regularly attend meetings of Arbury Community Church, but anyone else who has been affected by the decision or actions of the CIO’s trustees or the Church’s Elders, staff and/or volunteers.

 

What issues does this policy cover?

 

Examples of what you can make a complaint about include:

 

  • The services provided by the Church, for example its Sunday and other meetings, or events it organises;

  • The behaviour of a Church Elder, volunteer or employee that has adversely affected you or someone for whom you are responsible;

  • The application of policies or procedures, or a decision taken by the trustees of the CIO that has impacted you or someone for whom you are responsible, or which you believe to be a matter of public interest.

 

What this policy is not for

 

This policy should not be used for the following issues:

 

  • Concerns about the safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults: please address any concerns to the Safeguarding Lead.

  • Complaints by an employee or volunteer in relation to their employment or volunteering: the employee grievance policy should be used by employees; details of how volunteers can raise a complaint are contained in the Volunteers Policy;

  • Complaints about data protection issues: these should be addressed directly to the trustee with responsibility for data protection matters, Sophie Whitbread, at community.church@arbury.org.uk

 

How do I make a complaint and how will it be dealt with?

 

You should submit written details of your complaint to community.church@arbury.org.uk, labelling it clearly as a complaint. Alternatively, you may write to the Chair of Trustees at 84 Gilbert Road, Cambridge, CB4 3PD. The trustees of the CIO will investigate your complaint.

 

In order to help the trustees to deal with your complaint as efficiently as possible, you should include as much of the following information in your complaint as possible:

 

  • Your full name and contact details;

  • If you are complaining about a person’s actions or omissions, details of the name of the person(s) about whom your are complaining, what happened, where and when;

  • If you are complaining about a decision that has been made, details of the decision that has been made, who made it, when the decision was made, and what effect the decision has had (or you believe will have) on you or others;

  • Any relevant documents or photographs and details of anyone you think may be able to provide further information about the complaint;

  • Whether you have tried to resolve the matter yourself and, if so, what the outcome was;

  • What you hope will be the outcome of this complaint.

 

The trustees will:

 

  • Acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 48 hours;

  • Begin a review of the complaint within 7 days;

  • Appoint a trustee, group of trustees, or other suitable person(s) to investigate the complaint;

  • Contact you as soon as possible to obtain any further information necessary to understand your complaint;

  • Undertake such other investigations as are necessary, including reviewing relevant documents and speaking to witnesses;

  • Inform you of the outcome of your complaint as soon as possible, noting that more complex complaints may take longer to investigate;

  • Keep you updated on the progress of the investigation, particularly where it takes longer than expected to complete.

 

 

 

What if I am not happy with the findings of the trustees?

 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you should contact the trustees again, using the same contact details as you used for your initial complaint, and the trustees will endeavour to have the complaint and the outcome reviewed by someone who was not involved in the investigation of the original complaint.

 

If you remain dissatisfied with the CIO’s handling of your complaint, and if you believe there is a serious risk of harm to the charity or the people it was set up to help, you may raise your concerns with the Charity Commission: https://forms.charitycommission.gov.uk/raising-concerns/.

 

How we will handle your personal data

 

The CIO will treat the facts and content of your complaint carefully and in line with its data protection policy and privacy notices. However, on occasion, the CIO may need to make a public statement about the subject matter of the complaint, report it to statutory authorities or seek professional advice, and consequently we cannot guarantee to keep your complaint confidential. You should maintain reasonable confidentiality as to the nature and content of your complaint, other than to seek professional advice if required. Once you have submitted your complaint and while the matter is being reviewed, you should avoid communicating with the person complained