EveryChild street fundraiser who lost donor details has been dismissed

Charity sources say sacking is not related to data loss incident

 EveryChild street fundraising
EveryChild street fundraising

A street fundraiser who lost a clipboard containing donors' direct debit details on a street in Norwich last year has been dismissed.

The fundraiser was employed by an agency to work exclusively for the international development charity EveryChild, which liaises with the agency on disciplinary matters.

The fundraiser, who suffers from bipolar disorder, is understood to have been accused by staff at the charity of abusive behaviour towards other fundraisers and of drinking alcohol during his shifts. He has denied the accusations.

Sources at the charity said the fundraiser's dismissal was unrelated to the loss of data, which led to an investigation by the Information Commissioner's Office.

One other street fundraiser has resigned from the charity and two more are planning to do so in protest at the dismissal, Third Sector has learnt. They believe staff at the charity had been looking for an excuse to sack their colleague since the ICO announced that it would investigate the data loss incident.

He could not be dismissed at the time, the other fundraisers claim, because the charity acknowledged that it had not given him adequate data protection training. It has since introduced tighter data protection rules and retrained its street fundraisers in the subject.

In a statement, the charity said it could not talk about specific cases. "We have recently had to alert the relevant employment agencies to take action with individual fundraising staff, where fundraisers have failed to uphold our standards of behaviour or performance.

"These incidents are unrelated to data protection issues. We have worked hard to improve the quality of our data processing and have achieved this to the satisfaction of the ICO."

The ICO has closed its investigation into the charity, but said it would keep details on file. It has the power to impose fines of up to £500,000.

In a letter to the charity, Maria Dominey, a case officer at the ICO, wrote: "Although it is unclear how the clipboard came to be left unattended by the fundraiser concerned, it appears that EveryChild has since been able to identify procedural methods which contributed to the loss, and has taken steps to amend those procedures accordingly."

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