Complaints Process

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The Edridge Fund of Napo – Complaints Procedure

Availability

This policy is for anyone eligible to join Napo – The Trade Union and Professional Association for Probation and Family Court Staff, whether or not you are a member, or for any individual who has made an application for financial assistance. It is made available via the Edridge Fund website and on request a copy may be obtained from the Edridge Fund Administrator or the Secretary to Trustees.

Introduction

The Edridge Fund exists to provide financial assistance and advice to its beneficiaries in times of hardship and distress. The Trustees consider each application individually on its merits and aspire to ensure full consideration of all relevant factors before reaching a decision. The staff, trustees and reps of Edridge Fund work to provide an efficient and friendly service to those seeking assistance. This is all within the context of a small charity which is heavily reliant on the goodwill of volunteers and an annual grant from Napo.

Communication and feedback are crucial in monitoring standards and improving provision. If you have a concern or complaint, you should feel this can be voiced and that it will be taken seriously.

There is a difference between a concern and a complaint: concerns may be aired less formally, and the process of discussion may resolve the issue. A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction that requires a response from the Edridge Fund. We will seek to resolve complaints by informal means wherever possible.

The timescales indicated in the procedures below should allow for timely resolution of complaints. There will be some circumstances in which the normal timescales are subject to delay, for instance because of illness or holidays. It is intended that all issues will be resolved within 28 days of the first complaint being made.

Informal Resolution

  • It is hoped that most complaints and concerns will be resolved quickly and informally.

  • If you have a complaint you should normally contact the individual member of staff, Edridge Rep or trustee you have been dealing with. The recipient of the complaint should make a written record of the complaint and aim to deal with it within seven days.

  • If the complaint cannot be resolved informally to your satisfaction, then the first stage of the formal procedure should be followed.

Formal procedure – Stage 1

  • Trustees operate decision-making regarding applications on a rota-chair basis i.e. the chairing of decision-making bodies rotates between trustees each month. Formal complaints should be put in writing and addressed to the Secretary of Trustees who will then forward your complaint to the rota chair.

  • The rota chair will consider appropriate action to take, which will normally involve speaking with you and any other appropriate individuals as part of an investigation.

  • The rota chair will keep notes of all conversations held regarding the complaint.

  • Once the rota chair is satisfied that all salient facts have been established, a decision will be made and you will be informed in writing, usually within ten days. The rota chair will give reasons for his or her decision.

  • If you remain dissatisfied, you should move to stage 2 of the formal procedure.

Formal Procedure – Stage 2

  • If you wish to invoke stage 2 of the procedure, you should write to the Chair of Trustees.

  • The Chair of Trustees will not normally have had any prior involvement in the matter. In the event that the Chair of Trustees identifies that he or she has had prior involvement, or there is a conflict of interest, then at his or her discretion an independent decision-maker shall be appointed.

  • The Chair of Trustees (or independent decision-maker) shall make such investigation as he or she deems appropriate.

  • He or she will write to you with a decision setting out the conclusions reached. This will usually be within ten days of receiving your stage 2 complaint.

  • There is no further right of appeal.

Further details regarding complaints regarding charities may be found at

www.charitycommission.gov.uk

Reviewed and revised by the Trustees of the Edridge Fund of Napo on 10th May 2018.

The Edridge Fund of Napo – registered charity 803493

Address: 160 Falcon Road

London SW11 2NY

Telephone: 020 3397 7025 (Central Voicemail – standard call rates apply)

Secretary to the Trustees: Karen Monaghan email: edridge.secretary@edridgefund.org

Reviewed May 2018