Reporting concerns about our organisation or operations

Policy Statement

Comic Relief is committed to operating with openness, honesty, and integrity. A vital part of this commitment is ensuring that we have a transparent process in place for raising, investigating, and responding to any concerns you may have about Comic Relief. We urge you to raise any concerns that you have as soon as possible.

Who is this policy for?

This is our “external” policy and is therefore for those who don’t work for Comic Relief but who have a concern about our organization or operations.  It applies both in the UK and internationally (and therefore to the projects we support). Please note we have a separate “internal” policy (for employees, which is available on our intranet). 

Overview of this policy

This policy provides guidance on: 

  • the concerns it may be appropriate for you to raise, 
  • the way in which you can raise concerns,
  • how we will treat and investigate your concerns and
  • the protections available to you when you report any concerns.
  • What type of concerns should I raise?

We would encourage you to report any concerns to us, whether these relate to Comic Relief or those we work with.  Examples of this are: 

  •  fraud or other criminal activity, 
  • concerns regarding fundraising or misuse of funds, 
  • safeguarding issues involving children or vulnerable adults,
  • health and safety concerns, 
  • employment concerns (such as discrimination or potential discrimination), 
  • bribery or corruption, 
  • modern slavery, 
  • ethical trading, 
  • breach of law and/or regulation,
  • breach of our legal or professional obligations,
  • breach or our policies or processes,  
  • breach of a contract Comic Relief has entered into.  
  • Please note these are intended to be examples and not an exhaustive list.

How to raise a concern

If you wish to raise a concern with Comic Relief, you can do so by contacting a Comic Relief Designated Contact

Comic Relief Designated Contacts are senior members of the Comic Relief team who will play an independent role in relation to any concern that is raised and will ensure it is investigated appropriately and ensure that appropriate action is then taken. 

Depending on the nature of your concern, it may also be appropriate for you to raise your concern with external agencies (and please note that as we are based in the UK, these agencies are UK based but will respond to international reports).   In the table below, we provide additional guidance on how to report specific issues: 

Type of Issue

How to Report

Any concerns about the safety or welfare of children or vulnerable adults (“safeguarding”)

Reports should be made to the relevant local authority (please see www.lambethscb.org.uk for details or Lambeth Local Authority guidelines)

Any concerns about Comic Relief’s fundraising activities

The Fundraising Regulator (please see www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk for details)

Any concerns about Comic Relief’s approach to data privacy

The Information Commissioner’s Office (please see www.ico.org.uk/concerns for details)

Any concerns about our organisation or operations or if you have raised concerns via other channels and are not satisfied with the response

The Charity Commission (please see www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission for details.

 

We work with safecall, an external specialist operator of independent confidential reporting lines.  

Any contact to Safecall will be handled by skilled staff and will be treated in complete confidence. A report of the contact will be sent Comic Relief’s General Counsel. Safecall will not disclose your name to Comic Relief if you wish to remain anonymous.  You may contact Safecall with your concerns about our organization or operations via e-mail at Comicrelief@safecall.co.uk or via the web at safecall.co.uk/file-a-report.


What happens when I raise a concern with Comic Relief?  

If you raise a concern with us, a Comic Relief Designated Contact will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your concerns.  As the investigation progresses we may also refer it to an external agency (for example, the appropriate Regulator).

Please be assured that we will investigate all concerns independently, promptly, and thoroughly.  The final outcome of our investigation will be reported back to you. 

Anonymous reporting.

Please understand that because anonymous disclosures are more difficult for us to investigate, we would prefer for you to identify yourself when making contact.   

If you wish to disclose your name on a confidential basis, we will make every effort to maintain this confidence (and will usually be able to discuss any potential disclosure before it occurs).  

Protection and support for those who raise a concern

We are committed to openness and transparency and we will support you where you raise good faith concerns about our organisation or operations, even if they turn out to be mistaken. 

Please be assured you will not suffer any repercussions as a result of raising concerns.  If you believe that you have suffered any detrimental treatment as a result, you should inform a designated contact immediately.  If the matter is not then dealt with promptly you may raise it formally with our Chief Executive Officer.  You may also refer the matter to the Charity Commission.

At any point, you may also seek independent legal advice.  

Comic Relief does not tolerate any action taken against a person who has raised a concern (for example, threats, retaliation, punishment or any other form of detrimental treatment).  We reserve our right to take action against those who engage in such behaviour (which for employees may include disciplinary action). Please note we also have to reserve our rights against anyone found to have reported concerns maliciously or without good faith