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Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support Privacy Policy

Data collection

We request the following personal information from families who use our drop-in sessions:

  • Mother’s name, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability
  • Baby’s name and date of birth/age
  • Postal address (house number, postcode)
  • GP practice
  • How the mother was referred to us
  • Previous feeding experience
  • Whether the baby has ever had any infant formula

On subsequent visits, the following information is collected:

  • Mother’s name and address
  • Baby’s name and age
  • GP practice

The session facilitator (or other staff member/volunteer) will add a brief summary of the presenting breastfeeding issue/s, if any.

We recognise that this includes sensitive information, and will try to the best of our ability to ensure that the information provided by families is only seen by staff and volunteers (not by other service users).

The purposes for which data is used, and information about security, storage and processing, will be stated clearly in writing at the point of data collection.

We also request email contact information, for the purpose of communication about our fundraising activities and events via our “Friends of OBS” mailing list. Providing this is optional, and the email will not be added to the database unless consent is specifically given.

Email contact information is stored on the MailChimp platform. Consent can be withdrawn and the record deleted at any time, by the service user directly, or at their request.

Data security and storage limitation

All personal data collected at drop-in sessions will be stored securely and destroyed after a maximum of 12 months.

The exception to this is if a safeguarding issue is raised.  In this event, we will create a separate record, which will be retained in secure electronic format for up to 6 years, or as otherwise directed by Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board.  This may be shared with other agencies, in accordance with our statutory obligations.

Legal basis for data collection

The personal information that we collect  is necessary to enable us to perform our core task of supporting families with breastfeeding, and to meet our legal obligations (safeguarding).  We have a legitimate interest in collecting statistical information that enables us to audit, fundraise for and develop our service.
Information specifically for the purpose of fundraising is collected on the basis of informed consent.

Data processing

The information collected is used by OBS:

  1. So that we can provide a service in the drop-in setting.

  2. To provide statistics, for ourselves and funders, on who uses our service, referrals to and from the service, numbers of babies exclusively breastfed, and the kinds of breastfeeding issues we work with.  No personal identifying details are used for this purpose - all data is reported anonymously.

  3. All personal information is confidential and will not be shared beyond the OBS staff team without your permission.  However in the rare circumstance that we feel that you or another person are at risk of harm we have a statutory duty to disclose this to the relevant agency.

  4. Email contact information collected for marketing and communication purposes will not be shared outside OBS.

OBS on Facebook

OBS’s main Facebook platform is This is a private group; all requests to join must be approved by an Administrator, who will be a member of staff or a trained volunteer.

The group description:

This is a group for those who attend, are interested in attending and who support Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support (OBS).

OBS welcomes anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding, providing their own milk for a baby; or who is not currently breastfeeding/providing their own milk, but is aiming to do so. We can also help you work through your experience after breastfeeding has ended.

Our drop-ins offer breastfeeding information and help, peer support and the chance to connect with other breastfeeding families.

The group works best when the atmosphere is friendly and respectful. Every baby is different and there is no single "correct" way to be a parent. We all need to be heard and thrive on encouragement. Please keep this in mind in your posts.

This is an open group and not all members will be known to the Facilitators. Information and views expressed by group members are not necessarily endorsed by OBS.

Please do not abuse this group by using it to advertise commercial services, or to sell, pass on or exchange anything (even if it's breastfeeding-related). Posts will be deleted and repeat offenders removed from the group.

Breastfeeding queries of a general nature can be shared here, and we hope that group members will be generous with their support.

OBS Facilitators and accredited volunteers will keep an eye on the group but please note that it is not a moderated group and posts will not always be checked daily.

If you need urgent breastfeeding help, please contact your midwife or health visitor, attend an OBS drop-in or the Oxford Breastfeeding Clinic, or ring one of the national breastfeeding helplines. If you or your baby are unwell, contact NHS 111 or your doctor.

We will try to the best of our ability to ensure that all those joining the group meet the above criteria.  Everyone who requests to join has to answer three questions:

  1. Are they resident in Oxfordshire (or about to move here)?

  2. Are they pregnant/breastfeeding/aiming to breastfeed?

  3. Are they aware that the group is not an emergency medical service, and cannot be used to sell exchange/advertise/give away/request products or services?

If it appears that they may not meet the criteria, we send them the following message:

Thank you for your request to join Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support Facebook Group (or a friend in the group may have requested on your behalf).

This is a group for women/pregnant or lactating people who attend, are interested in attending and who support OBS.  We restrict the group membership to women/pregnant or lactating people only because of the sensitive nature of some of the breastfeeding issues discussed here.  We love having male partners (and other supporters) attend our real-life drop-ins, but if you have requested to join this group on behalf of your breastfeeding female partner, please ask her to join on her own account – thank you for your understanding about this.

We do not accept any advertising of commercial products or services in the group. Posts will be removed and repeat posters banned from the group.

OBS welcomes anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding, providing their own milk for their baby; or who is not currently breastfeeding/providing their own milk, but is aiming to do so. We can also help you work through your experience after breastfeeding has ended. You can find out more about OBS here:

Unfortunately, although we would love to support everyone, this group is only for those who live in the Oxfordshire area, or are planning to move here. If you are not local to us, you may be able to find another online breastfeeding support forum that serves your area. Many La Leche League groups, for example, offer support via Facebook. You can find out if there is a La Leche League group near you at (or if you are outside the UK).

Please confirm, by replying to this, whether you would still like to go ahead and join our group.

Thank you

OBS Admin

Local health and allied professionals, who support OBS but may not meet the personal criteria, may be added at the discretion of the Admins.

We also have a public Facebook page: which is used primarily to post information about the service e.g. holiday closures, fund raising events.

Anyone who posts requests for breastfeeding support there will be signposted to the private group.

Facilitators will respond privately to messages via the page requesting breastfeeding information/support.

We have a second, public Facebook group at which is open to all, and is primarily used for fundraising and service announcements.

Information held by OBS about our volunteers

Application forms including personal disclosures, references, DBS details, attendance at supervision, records of training undertaken and emergency contact details, will be kept.

All information on volunteers will be stored securely in electronic format, accessible only to OBS staff.

All information will be deleted/destroyed when the volunteer ceases volunteering for OBS.

If the volunteer takes a temporary break from volunteering, retention of information held by OBS on the volunteer must be agreed with the Volunteer Coordinator.

Data controller

The OBS staff member responsible for data control is: Jayne Joyce.  You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions, complaints, or would like to see what information we have about you. This policy is available to download as a pdf here.

Date of policy: June 2019

Due for revision: June 2020