Privacy Policy & Cookies

  1. Who we are

    We are Merlin’s Magic Wand Children's Charity, a charitable trust registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, with charity registration number 1124081. Merlin’s Magic Wand Trustees Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales with registered number 06511344.

    We are also registered with the Information Commissioner's Officer with registration number Z1996464. This registration covers the uses of personal information set out below.

  2. How we collect your personal information and why

    Merlin's Magic Wand (we, us, our, MMW) may need to collect personal information about you, and there are different ways that we might do so; this privacy notice tells you what to expect when we collect personal information on:

    1. visitors to our website, www.merlinsmagicwand.org;
    2. anyone who interacts with us or contacts us through social media
    3. anyone who contacts us (other than for the purposes of an application);
    4. any child (aged 2 – 18) that an application relates to;
    5. any parent with a condition relevant to an application;
    6. anyone who makes an application on behalf of a child or a parent/guardian of a child;
    7. anyone who makes a purchase or donation through our website;
    8. anyone who subscribes to our newsletter.

    1.1   Visitors to our websites

    Our website (including the application forms) is managed by Semantic Ltd. As part of the service provided by Semantic Ltd, they will help to maintain the security and the performance of our website by (i) encrypting data in transit and protecting user connections (ii) using third party scanning services to scan against known web attacks (iii) investigating site errors using third party New Relic and (iv) providing secure hosting services through Microsoft Azure. Semantic Ltd's privacy notice can be found at www.semantic.co.uk/terms-in-plain-english.aspx

    2.1.2   Cookies

    Cookies are small files of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your device. Like most websites, we use cookies on our website for our legitimate interests. There are different types of cookies that we use for different purposes; however generally speaking cookies help us to distinguish you from other users of our website, which allows us to provide you a better experience and also allows us to improve our website.

    You can block cookies at any time by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse some or all cookies. However, if you do block cookies there may be parts of our website that you will be unable to access or that will not function properly.

    We use the following types of cookies:

    Strictly necessary cookies.

    These are cookies that are essential for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website, use a shopping cart or make use of e-billing services.

    Site Region Cookie Name Expiry Description
    Global ARRAffinity 1 year Azure hosting to tie a user to a specific hosting endpoint (so the user always gets to the same version of the site)
    Global dontshowCookieBar 1 year Cookie we set to hide the notification bar after first visit
    Global ASP.Net_SessionID 1 year Linking the user to a session to enable certain functionality to work (e.g. contact forms)

    Analytical/performance cookies.

    They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.

    Site Region Cookie Name Expiry Description
    UK & Worldwide _ga 2 years Google Analytics
    UK & Worldwide _gat_UA-5349541-1 30 minutes Google Analytics session
    UK & Worldwide _gid 1 day Google Analytics
    US & AUS __utma 2 years Legacy Google Analytics
    US & AUS __utmb 30 minutes Legacy Google Analytics
    US & AUS __utmc 1 year Legacy Google Analytics
    US & AUS __utmt 1 minute Legacy Google Analytics
    US & AUS __utmz 6 months Legacy Google Analytics

    2.1.3  Third party services

    1. Whenever you visit our website, www.merlinsmagicwand.org Semantic Ltd will use a third party service, Google Analytics, on our behalf and for our legitimate interests, to collect standard information about your website use, such as internet logs and details of your visitor behaviour patterns. The reason we use this service is so that we can find out how many people visit the website and the various parts of the website. This information helps us to find out how our website is working and how to improve it. We do not identify anyone, and we do not make or allow Google Analytics to (or attempt to) identify anyone visiting our website.
    2. We use a third party, Mailgun, to send you confirmation emails after you have contacted us. The third party is only provided you email address and will never use it for any other purpose.
    3. We have YouTube video content embedded on our website. YouTube controls any information that is collected by viewing their content. YouTube's privacy policy can be located at https://www.google.co.uk/intl/en-GB/policies/privacy/.

    2.2  Social media

    Our website contains links to our social media pages. Any information you provide to us via social media (including messaging, "liking", "following" and other communications) is controlled by the social media network. We currently use:

    1. Facebook, which has its own privacy notice that can be located at https://www.facebook.com/privacy/explanation; and
    2. Twitter, which has its own privacy notice that can be located at https://twitter.com/en/privacy.

    We recommend that you read their privacy notices and contact them directly if you have any concerns regarding their use of your personal information. Contacting us (other than in respect of an application)

    2.3  Contacting us (other than in relation to an application)

    Our website provides you with different ways to contact us. All communications are handled, reviewed and responded to internally by us.

    Once a year we will delete all communications that are more than 12 months old.

    Please note, however, that:

    1. email monitoring or blocking software may also be used and that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send to us is within the bounds of the law;
    2. we use Skype for our main call system, which provides caller ID services, we will only use this information for the purposes of handling your call and contacting you in relation to the purpose of your call.

    2.4  Application – personal information about children

    We only accept applications that relate to children between the ages of 2 and 18. As part of the application, we will ask you for information about the child that the application relates to. The personal information we collect about the child is treated slightly differently depending on what type of information it is.

    2.4.1 Special categories of data

    We collect personal information about a child during the process of applying for a day out from us. If you have made an application on behalf of a child on the basis of a disability or illness then you will have explicitly consented to our use of the personal information that relates to the child's condition and you will have the right to withdraw consent (explained below). This information is what makes the child special to us and includes the following personal information, which we refer to as special categories of data:

    1. a description of the child's disability, illness or adversity;
    2. confirmation of whether the child has a statement of educational needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan;
    3. the name, if any, of any other organisation(s) or other charity(ies) that support the child's disability or illness, if its name by itself, would help identify that there is a disability or illness;
    4. the name of the child's school if the name of the school, by itself, would help identify that there is a disability, illness or adversity;
    5. proof of the child's condition;
    6. any other information relating to the child's disability, illness or adversity that you may decide to provide in support of your application.

      As a registered charity we have to make sure that we are allocating days out properly and in accordance with our charity objectives. We need the special categories of data listed above so that we can ensure that the child qualifies for a day outin accordance with our eligibility criteria and so that we are complying with our charitable aims.

      We understand how important special categories of data is, so we will not share the child's special categories of data with any other person other than our external auditors, who will only use it to monitor our compliance with our charitable aims.

      We will destroy the child's special categories of data on the later of:

    7. 12 months from when it is provided; or
    8. after an audit is carried out by our external auditors

      this is usually no later than 2 years after the special categories of data is collected.

      Please note that our external auditors are under a professional duty of confidentiality and will not share the special categories of data or use it for any other purpose.

      In very limited circumstances, where an application is being made on a last minute basis, we may need to let the attraction the child will be visiting have the reason for the last minute application; this may include special categories of data relating to the child's disability or illness. This is to ensure that the attraction expedites arranging the day out for the child.

    9. Child's personal information (other than their special categories of data)

      We will also need to collect personal information about the child in order to process the application. These will be information that is in our legitimate interests to have, including the child's adversity (where the adversity is not a disability or illness) name and age, the school the child goes to and any organisations or charities that support the child's condition (where the school or organisation name do not identify the fact that the child has a disability or illness) and the child's preferred attraction to visit, in order to:

    10. verify the application;
    11. verify the eligibility of the child; and
    12. process the application with regard to a particular attraction.

      2.4.2 Child's personal information (other than their special categories of data) We will also need to collect personal information about the child in order to process the application. These will be information that is in our legitimate interests to have, including the child's adversity (where the adversity is not a disability or illness) name and age, address including postcode, the school the child goes to and any organisations or charities that support the child's condition (where the school or organisation name do not identify the fact that the child has a disability or illness) and the child's preferred attraction to visit, in order to:

      1. verify the application;
      2. verify the eligibility of the child; and
      3. process the application with regard to a particular attraction.

      Due to a high demand for tickets, we only accept applications from those families/households or children that we have not previously supported/have not visited us before. Because of this, we need to retain personal information in applications for as long as we reasonably require for the purpose of cross referencing in order to make sure that we are complying with our "one grant rule". We will delete this personal data when we reasonably consider that we no longer need it for this purpose. Do not worry though; we will retain this personal information separately from the special categories of data and will keep it secure. We only arrange days out at attractions within the Merlin Group of Attractions. Please note that a list of the Merlin attractions available to you and their restricted dates for M

      Due to a high demand for tickets, we only accept applications from those families/households or children that we have not previously supported/have not visited us before. Because of this, we need to retain personal information in applications for as long as we reasonably require for the purpose of cross referencing in order to make sure that we are complying with our "one grant rule". We will delete this personal data when we reasonably consider that we no longer need it for this purpose. Do not worry though; we will retain this personal information separately from the special categories of data and will keep it secure.

      We only arrange days out at attractions within the Merlin Group of Attractions. Please note that a list of the Merlin attractions available to you and their restricted dates for Magic Wand applicants can be located at https://apply.merlinsmagicwand.org/documents/ticket-restriction-dates-17-18.pdf. We will only ever send personal information to the attraction that the child's day out is arranged at https://apply.merlinsmagicwand.org/documents/ticket-restriction-dates-17-18.pdf. The attraction needs this personal information in order to be able to arrange the day out and to send tickets to and otherwise communicate with you and the child.

    2.5  Application – personal information relating to a parent relevant to the application

    In some circumstances we will collect personal information about a parent during the process of applying for a day out for a child, where the parent's life limiting condition is relevant to the application. If we have requested this information, then you will have explicitly consented to our use of the personal information that relates to the parent's condition and you will have the right to withdraw consent (explained below). This information includes:

    1. (a) a description of the parent's disability or illness;
    2. (b) the name, if any, of any other organisation(s) or other charity(ies) that support the parent or the child, if its name by itself, would help identify that there is a disability or illness;
    3. (c) proof of the parent's condition;
    4. (d) any other information relating to the parent's disability or illness that you may decide to provide in support of your application.
    5. Where we have collected personal information in respect of a parent's condition, we will treat it in the same way as we treat the special categories of data for a child.

    2.6  Application – personal information of the person making the application or a parent/guardian of a child

    As part of the application, you will also submit personal information about you that we require in our legitimate interest. This includes your name, address, additional contact details and relationship status with the child. You will also provide details of your preferred attraction and any financial assistance you require with the day out.

    Any personal information that is provided in and during the application process is used only for the purpose of reviewing the application, granting a day out and conducting the ongoing administration and management of any days out that are awarded. We may contact you separately if we want to create a news story or (electronic or physical) publication regarding your application and/or day out. It is in our interests to provide regular updates and feedback to our donors to be transparent about how our funds are being used. We will not use your (or the child's) personal information in an identifiable manner in any publication without your further explicit consent.

    Due to a high demand for tickets, we only accept applications from those families/households or children we have not previously supported/have not visited us before. Because of this, we need to retain this personal information for as long as we reasonably require for the purpose of cross referencing to make sure that we are complying with our "one grant rule". We will delete this personal data when we reasonably consider that we no longer need it for this purpose.

    We only arrange days out at attractions within the Merlin Group of Attractions Please note that a list of the Merlin attractions available to you and their restricted dates for Magic Wand applicants can be located at https://apply.merlinsmagicwand.org/documents/ticket-restriction-dates-17-18.pdf. We will only ever send personal information to the attraction that the child's day out is arranged at. The attraction needs this personal information in order to be able to arrange the day out and to send tickets and other communications.

    If you have also applied for financial support for the day out at an attraction and are based outside of the UK, we will also request your bank account details. It is a contractual necessity for you to provide this so that we are able to pay the amount of our finance contribution to you. If you do not provide this information, you will not be able to receive our finance contribution. You bank details will be deleted at the same time as special categories of data.

    Please note that we may need to contact you about the application through any of post, email or telephone. Please can you make sure that you keep us updated of any changes to your contact details.

    2.7  Personal information collected through our online shop or donations

    If you visit the online shop on our website to purchase our merchandise or if you make a donation through our online donation option, we will collect personal information about you for contractual necessity in order to complete the financial transaction. The personal information we collect includes billing, delivery and contact details. If you do not provide this information, we cannot process the transaction with you.

    We use JustGiving for processing the financial details relating to donations. JustGiving will also collect personal information that allows it to collect Gift Aid on donations. JustGiving does not share your payment details with us. To view JustGiving's privacy notice, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/info/privacy

    We use PayPal for processing financial details relating to purchases. PayPal does not share your payment details with us, but may share any contact details you provide to PayPal that are different to what you have provided to us for the purpose of processing your purchase. PayPal's privacy notice can be found at https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/ua/privacy-full.

    Any personal information we obtain through a purchase made on our website is destroyed after 6 months.

    2.8  Subscribing to our newsletter

    We will collect your contact details (name and email address) in our legitimate interest, if you have opted to subscribe to our e-newsletter. We will provide you with a clear choice in an application or purchase to opt out of receiving our newsletter at the time of your application. Where you have not completed an application or made a purchase, you may still chose to receive our newsletter, but you will have to opt into receiving it or contact us to explicitly ask to receive it.

    We use third parties, Semantic Ltd and Campaign Monitor to manage our newsletter subscriptions. If you ever decide you no longer wish to receive our newsletter, you can do so at any time by unsubscribing from the mailing list, using the link provided in the newsletter email, or by using the contact details below. If you do unsubscribe, please note that Campaign Monitor will still keep your email in a separate secure list on our behalf so that we can make sure that you do not receive our newsletter again in the future.

  3. Disclosure of personal information

    As mentioned in Section 2 above, we may provide certain personal information to the attraction that the child will be visiting. If you have chosen an attraction that is located outside of the European Union, then this means that the personal information will also be transferred outside the European Union. In order to protect your personal information, we have taken steps to ensure that the attractions comply with our guidelines and policies on the protection of your personal information.

    We will not usually disclose your (or the child's) personal information other than as already explained in Section 2 above. However, there may be circumstances where we need to share personal information other than as anticipated in Section 2 above. These include:

    1. where an application or communication is made in a language other than English, we will use third party translation services to translate the communication or application and all of its content; the third party will not use the personal information for any other purpose;
    2. where we are legally required to disclose the information. This includes sharing the personal information with tax authorities and law enforcement agencies for the purposes of the prevention and detection of crime;
    3. where we need to disclose the personal information for the purpose of or in connection with any legal proceedings, or for the purpose of obtaining legal advice, or the disclosure is otherwise necessary for the purposes of establishing, exercising or defending legal rights;
    4. disclosure is required to protect the charity's interests, or someone else's interests (for example, to prevent fraud);
    5. disclosure is necessary to protect your or a child's vital interests (for example if the child is unwell on a day out, we or the attraction, may need to seek medical assistance);
    6. it is to a third party for the purposes of providing administrative or processing services on our behalf. If such disclosure is required we will take steps to ensure that the third party protects the personal information in the same way that we do.
  4. Keeping personal information secure

    We know that you provide your personal information in good faith and expect it to be look after. This is why we take the security of your personal information seriously. This means that we have taken steps internally in order to ensure that our systems adequately protect your personal information. This includes:

    1. keeping special categories of data in a separate password protected file to all other personal information;
    2. locating all personal information that we control on internal servers located in the United Kingdom;
    3. ensuring strict access controls on a need to know basis;
    4. monitoring access to the personal information; and
    5. double encryption of the personal information on our servers.
  5. Your rights

    You have rights in respect of your personal information and this Section explains a bit more about those rights that are applicable to what we do with your personal information and when you can exercise them. If you would like more information about any of your rights, please contact us on the details set out below.

    Where you have explicitly consented to us processing special categories of data, you can withdraw consent to our processing the special categories of data at any time during the application process. If you wish to withdraw consent, please do so in writing either by sending your request in writing to our contact details below. Unfortunately, since we need to use the special categories of data to prove we have used our charitable funds correctly, we are unable to continue with your application if you withdraw consent. Therefore, by withdrawing consent, you acknowledge and accept that you are also waiving your right to any grant of a day out from us.

    5.2  Accessing your personal information

    We want you to fully understand and be comfortable with how we use your personal information. You can contact us at any time to ask whether we process any personal information about you. If we do hold or use your personal information in any way, you have the right to access that personal information. All we ask is that:

    1. you make your request to access in writing to the contact details below;
    2. you verify your identity; and
    3. you are fair and reasonable with how often you make this kind of request.

    Please allow us up to 30 days from receipt of your request in order to provide a response.

    5.3  Requesting more information

    We hope that you can understand that it is very difficult to cover all the possible ways in which we collect and use personal information. We have tried to be as clear and as open as we can. However, if you have any questions regarding our use of your personal information, we will be happy to give you peace of mind by answering any questions or providing any additional information that we can. If you do have any specific questions, or need anything explaining, please get in touch on the contact details below.

    5.4  Additional rights

    From 25th May 2018, you will also have some additional rights that you may exercise as set out here. We may publish a policy, from time to time, to explain how we will handle such requests and what you can expect from us when you make a request to exercise your rights. If we do publish any such policy, we will provide a link to it here. In each instance we may ask you to make your request in writing to the contact addresses below and provide verification of your identity.

    1. 5.4.1 You have the right to request that we rectify any inaccuracy about you that we may hold, in which case we may ask you to verify the corrected information (for example, we may ask for a recent utility bill for proof of change of address)
    2. 5.4.2 You have the right to request that we erase your personal information. Please be aware that we can only comply with such a request if
    3. (a) your personal information is no longer required for the purposes it was collected for (for example, we need your personal information to process an application;

      (b) the collection, storage or use of the personal information by us is prevented by law; or

      (c) we require your personal information for the purposes of establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim such as in the conduct of legal proceedings.

    4. 5.4.3 You have the right to request that we restrict or refrain from processing your personal information:
    5. (a) for the time it takes us to verify the accuracy of your personal information where you have disputed its accuracy;

      (b) where the collection, storage or use of the personal information by us is unlawful but you decide not to ask for erasure;

      (c) where, we no longer need your personal information but you need them for the purposes of establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim;

      (d) for the time it takes to determine whether we have an overriding legitimate ground to continue to process your personal information, where you have exercised your right to object to processing.

    6. 5.4.4 You have the right to data portability in respect of information we have collected from you based on consent or for the reason of entering into a contract. If you exercise this right, we will transfer a copy of the information that you have provided to us at your request.
    7. 5.4.5 You have the right to object to our use of your personal information:
    8. (a) where we are using that information based on our legitimate interests, and where we do not have compelling overriding grounds to continue to use your personal information; or

      (b) at any time, where we use your personal information to send you the newsletter or any other type of direct marketing, in which case it will no longer be used for that purpose, but may use it for another lawful purpose.

  6. Complaints

    You are important to us, and so is protecting your personal information. We have high standards when it comes to collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive from you about our use of your personal information very seriously and request that you bring any issues to our attention.

    Where you are communicating with us for the purpose of making a complaint, we will only use your personal information to handle, investigate and respond to the complaint and to check on the level of service we provide. Where the complaint is about a member of MMW's team, we may have to disclose your identity to whoever the complaint is about. You may let us know that you don't want information that identifies you to be disclosed and we will try to respect your request; however, it may not be always possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis.

    If you are unhappy, you can also contact the Information Commissioner's office to make a complaint directly.

  7. Updating this privacy notice

    We keep our privacy notice under regular review in order to ensure that it properly reflects our use of personal information. This privacy notice was last updated on 11 December 2017.

  8. How to contact us

    You can contact us by:

    1. Post: For the attention of Sandra Hazel, Head of Merlin's Magic Wand, Merlin's Magic Want Trustees Limited, Link House, 25 West Street, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1LD.
    2. Email: dataprotection@merlinentertainments.biz, please name "Merlin's Magic Wand" in the subject line.
    3. Telephone: +44 (0)1202 440060 or +44 (0)1202 440082


About us

The Charity makes FUN accessible to children with three Magic Spells: "Magical Days Out" providing tickets and funding travel grants to families to enjoy their day at a Merlin Entertainments’ attraction; "Merlin’s Magic On Tour" working with our local communities at hospitals and hospices to bring the magic to the children wherever they are; and "Merlin’s Magic Spaces" designing and creating amazing projects in hospitals, orphanages, learning Centres and more all around the world.

Merlin’s Magic Wand is a charitable trust registered with the UK Charities Commission, registration number 1124081. Merlin’s Magic Wand Trustees Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales with registered number 06511344.


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