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Sunderland Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is committed to protecting your privacy and data. We will use the information that we collect about you in accordance with data protection law, currently General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.


Who we are

SSO is a charity established to provide public concerts, charity music provision, and consultation to other music groups. Our income comes from tickets, Arts Council England, local authorities led by Sunderland City Council, individual donors and supporters, business sponsors, trusts and foundations. SSO is registered as a charity in England and Wales, number 1082431. We operate the website

We aim to be clear when we collect your data and not do anything with it which you wouldn’t reasonably expect. Developing a better understanding of our customers and supporters through personal data allows us to provide you with relevant and timely information about the work that we do. It helps us to make better decisions about events and programming, to fundraise more efficiently and, ultimately, to reach our goal of sharing extraordinary experiences every day inspired by music, with people of all ages and backgrounds across the North East of England.

This Privacy Policy sets out the ways in which we use your data and how you can hold us accountable for that.


What information do we collect?

You give us your information on multiple occasions, such as when you buy a ticket over the counter, by phone or online via our website; by signing up for one of our other events, workshops or education programmes; by participating in competitions; by giving feedback or corresponding with SSO; or by making a donation. We also keep your details when you sign up to receive emails from us. The information we hold about you may include:


  • Your name, postal address, telephone number and email address

  • Date of birth, age

  • Ticketing history

  • Donations history

  • Gift Aid status and attendance at fundraising events

  • Membership history

  • Details of university, school, course if relevant, for example at Sunderland University

  • Particular access needs

  • Image and likeness (as captured on videos or photographs we use for promotional purposes, like our Audience Reaction videos)

  • Your preferences for how we communicate with you about our activities

  • Information that is available publicly (see below for more details)

  • Sensitive information if required (see below for more details)


We maintain a record of your transaction history when you book tickets, make a donation or sign up as a member. We keep a record of the emails we send you, and we may track any subsequent actions, such as buying a ticket.

We engage with individuals on social media through messages we have broadcast or news or event information, or adverts which may be tailored to your interests. We may receive non-personally identifying demographic or analytical data from social media platforms to help us evaluate the effectiveness of advertising, but only if you have allowed this in your settings, and under the terms of the privacy policy of the social media site.

Information from public sources

For a small number of people, we may seek additional information from publicly available sources to gain a better picture of their interests and preferences, aiding our understanding of individuals who may choose to support us, guiding us in approaching those with the ability and willingness to make gifts and giving an improved experience to our current and potential supporters. Types of information we may seek include hobbies and interests, career, donations to other organisations (this could include publicly declared donations to political parties), wealth and assets and family (adults only, unless provided personally by the individual concerned). We may also look for images in the public domain to help identify guests attending special events. Examples of the publicly available sources we may use include official websites of companies, charities and other arts organisations, newspaper websites and archives, Companies House, the Charity Commission, and Trustfunding online.

Information from other sources

We may also collect information about you from other sources, such as:


  • ticket agents who transfer information to us when you book a ticket for a concert or other event at SSO

  • other arts organisation or partners that SSO works with, but only if you have given consent. You should check that organisation’s privacy notice when you provide your information to understand fully how they will process and safeguard your data

  • information about how you use our website from analytics providers such as Google


Our website may contain links to websites, plug-ins and applications that are operated by other organisations. Clicking on those links or enabling those connections may allow those organisations to collect or share data about you. We do not control those websites and this Privacy Policy does not apply to those websites. Please consult the terms and conditions and privacy policy of those websites to find out how they collect and use your personal data and to establish whether and for what purpose they use cookies.

Sensitive information

Sometimes we ask you to provide sensitive information, for example:


  • if you require wheelchair access, an assistance dog, assisted hearing for audio descriptions, BSL interpretation, seats near the exit, step-free access or a seat for an essential companion; or

  • if you or a child is participating in a workshop, details of any allergies or health information that may affect your or the child’s participation or for us to use in the case of a medical emergency during the workshop.


You may give us additional information about children if they are participating in events and services we provide, such as Youth Ensembles or Big Orchestra Day: e.g. date of birth, age, size for uniforms, next of kin details, voice type or instrument and attainment level, and any specific needs or circumstances. 

We only collect information we need to facilitate participation, to plan activities appropriately, for safeguarding and health and safety requirements, for monitoring purposes and to manage age-specific activity and development. As with all the personal information we hold, sensitive information is held securely and restricted to those who need to use it. We will delete information when we no longer need it.

How do we use your data?

We aim to be clear with you about how we use your personal data and only to use your personal data in ways which you would reasonably expect.

We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly we will use your data:


  • to perform a contract with you, such as when you book a ticket for a production or other event, become a member or give a donation or when we need to contact you with important information relating to your booking

  • as part of our legitimate interests as an arts charity to provide you with and improve our services. This might include sending you information by post about news, events, services, offers and opportunities

  • to  comply with a legal obligation, such as when you exercise your rights under data protection law or when we have to report to or respond to a request from government or law enforcement officials (such as reporting Gift Aid details to HMRC) or to meet national security or law enforcement requirements or prevent illegal activity

  • based on your consent, when you have specifically consented to the use of your information, for example to send you updates via email about what’s on, offers, news, or about supporting us.


If there is any important change to your booking, we will contact you. This information, alongside your purchase and/or donation history, is used to select and inform you of other relevant events, offers or services we think may be of interest to you, as well as opportunities to support our work as an arts charity.

We use your data to:


  • ensure we know how you prefer to be contacted

  • provide you with the event tickets or respond to information you have asked for

  • help give you the best possible customer service and experience, and for you to send us your feedback

  • administer your ticket sale, donation or membership, including processing Gift Aid and to manage our relationship with you

  • tell you about changes in our services or new services, events, offers, competitions or opportunities to support us that we think you’ll find of interest

  • occasionally invite you to participate in customer research

  • tell us about your interests and booking preferences so that we can contact you with information tailored to you

  • improve our services and our website through data and statistical analysis and research

  • record and investigate health and safety incidents should they happen at our events or activity programme

  • verify your identity for security purposes

  • prevent fraud

  • manage our business, including keeping financial records.


If you do not want to receive information by post or email about events, offers, services, our fundraising activities or customer research, you have the option to change your contact preferences at any time by contacting the Chairman via the contact details at the end of this Privacy Policy.

To help us understand preferences and build a picture of the characteristics of different audience groups, we may also apply survey data and the audience profiles created by The Audience Agency (a national agency for England, supported by Arts Council England). This gives us important information to help us with strategic planning. We also enable The Audience Agency to automatically extract an anonymised form of our booking data to fulfil Arts Council England reporting requirements as part of our funding agreement, to inform our strategic planning and support our ability to secure funding to develop and protect the future of the charity. The Audience Agency also uses the anonymous data for national and regional research into patterns of arts attendance in England (for example comparison sales trends over time and geographical comparisons).


Sharing your information

We will not share any of your personal details with any other third parties without your agreement, unless required in order to fulfil our contract with you (such as when you book a ticket or buy a membership), or allowed by law.

We may share your personal information with our trusted service providers, sub-contractors and agents that we may appoint to perform functions on our behalf and in accordance with our instructions, including payment providers, ticketing system providers, email distribution services, IT service providers, postal mailing providers, accountants, auditors and lawyers.

We will never sell your personal data to any other agencies or companies.

When booking a ticket, you may be given the choice to also hear from the arts organisation or promoter presenting the event you have booked to see. Should you wish to change your communication preferences with them, please get in touch with them directly.

Where you have given consent, we may receive your information from third party organisations, such as JustGiving, if you have made a donation to SSO. Please check the organisation’s own privacy policy for details about how they process your data.

We may need to disclose your details if required to the police, regulatory bodies or legal advisers or if required to by law or where we need to protect you or other people from harm.

Giving you control

With your consent, we will email you about news, events, services, offers and opportunities to support us. Services might include education activity, such as family or adult activities.

You can opt out from these communications at any time by contact the Chairman using the information at the end of this


Privacy Policy

The accuracy of your personal information is important to us. Please help us keep our records up-to-date by telling us when your contact details or other personal information change or if you change your mind about how you want us to contact you.

If you have opted out of marketing or fundraising communications, we may still get in touch with you regarding your booking. For example, we may email you to give you important information about the show you’ve booked for, with any changes that affect you.


How we keep your data safe

All personal data will be held and processed securely. We limit access to it to those of our trustees, employees, agents, contractors and trusted service providers who have a need to know it. In the main, limited personal data of members, customers, and donors will be held and processed by the Chairman. Where necessary for administration and organisation, some personal data may be shared to the Development Manager, the Secretary, and / or the Musical Director, Orchestra

Leader and Manager. We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator when required to do so.

How long do we keep your information?

We will only keep your personal information in accordance with data protection law for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements. Where your information is no longer required, we will ensure it is disposed of, deleted or cached in a secure manner.

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal information, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the information, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of the information, the purposes for which we process your personal information and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

Changes to this policy

We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time. If we make any significant changes in the way we treat your personal information, we will make this clear on our website or by contacting you directly.


Your rights

In certain circumstances, you have the following rights related to your personal data:


  • The right to request a copy of personal information we hold about you

  • The right to request us to correct information that’s wrong, delete it or to request that we only use it for certain purposes

  • The right to object to our processing of your data, including for direct marketing purposes

  • The right to change your mind and ask us to stop using your data, for example, by unsubscribing from marketing emails.

  • The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office or Fundraising Regulator


Contact us

Please contact us if you have any questions about our Privacy Policy, the information we hold about you, or if you wish to be removed from any communications or data processing activities or if you want us to update your information:

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