The Longleigh Foundation is a grant-making charity and, as such, we strive to ensure that the funding we award, and the work that supports our grant-making, gives as positive an experience to all our stakeholders, at all times.
Whilst we are confident that interactions with us are, in the vast majority of occasions, the positive experience we aim for, we know from time-to-time things may go wrong and that there is a case for a complaint to be made. Responding to complaints is an opportunity for us to find solutions, put things right and to continue learning about how we can improve the work we do and service we provide.
We are committed to dealing with any complaints we receive in a way that is aligned with our values, which are to be compassionate, collaborative, insightful, agile and ethical. We will respond to all complaints we receive in a timely and transparent manner. We will treat all complaints as being made to us in good faith and with honest intent and, in return, we ask that our responses to complaints and endeavours to resolve situations are received in good faith too.
We recognise that feeling the need to raise a complaint may not be a pleasant or comfortable situation for people. We will always strive to provide good, ongoing communication throughout a complaints process, as this is often the root cause of how problems escalate. We also encourage timely and responsive communications in return so that resolving a complaint is a two-way endeavour.
However challenging the situation might be that has led to the complaint being raised, Longleigh expects the highest standards of care and professionalism from its team, at all times, to our stakeholders. We also expect courteous and respectful behaviour and conduct in return through the complaints process. To ensure the wellbeing of our team, we will not accept any threatening or abusive language and behaviour. We will reserve the right to either suspend or cancel our engagement in a complaints process in such circumstances.
Please note that this complaints policy does not apply to complaints in relation to decisions made about grant applications. We make decisions on applications we receive based on the information supplied to us, matching this to any set criteria and sometimes the decision not to award a grant may be purely based on the budget we have available or an oversubscription to our fund. Consequently, our decision to award, or not, is our decision alone and not subject to complaint by any stakeholder.
The stages of responding to a complaint
Wherever possible, we encourage complaints to be resolved at an informal level.
If you are a recipient of one of Longleigh’s Individual Grants, you are welcome to ask the staff member who supported you in the submission of your application to raise the complaint on your behalf.
If you have a complaint to make, please do contact the member of the Longleigh team you have been dealing with, at the earliest opportunity, to inform them of your complaint. This can be done via phone or email. The sooner complaints are raised to us, the greater the likelihood that a satisfactory outcome can be achieved.
If you do not feel you can raise the complaint with the Longleigh team member you have been dealing with, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, providing an overview of the complaint and the name of the person the complaint is about. This will enable us to assign an alternative team member to make contact with you. Alternatively, you can phone us on 0207 164 6199. If we are unable to answer the call, please leave a voicemail, including your contact details, so we can return your call.
First formal stage
If the complaint cannot be resolved at an informal level, you can escalate this to a formal stage by putting the complaint in writing and emailing to email@example.com. Your letter will need to state the nature of the complaint, the person who the complaint is being made about, the reason that you have not been able to resolve the complaint at an informal stage and stating the resolution you would deem to be appropriate.
Longleigh will allocate a person to your complaint, who is senior to the person you were dealing with at the informal stage. Where possible, we will allocate a person who has not been previously involved in the reason for the complaint. We will notify you, within three working days of who has been allocated to address your complaint.
Longleigh has a small staff team but will always seek to provide an outcome to a complaint in as timely a manner as is possible. We recognise that addressing some complaints does require an investigation period, but we will keep you regularly updated about the anticipated timescale.
During an investigation period, we may need to ask you for additional information or evidence to support your complaint. If you have asked someone to raise the complaint on your behalf, we may now need to liaise directly with you to ensure the clarity and accuracy of information.
The Longleigh team member that is allocated to your complaint will provide you with a written decision once any investigation period has been concluded. The decision will be to uphold your complaint, and to arrange to implement the agreed resolution. Or the decision will be not to uphold your complaint.
In deciding not to uphold a complaint, Longleigh will always seek to identify if there are any additional ways we can support a satisfactory outcome to be achieved. For example, if there is another party responsible for the issue leading to the complaint, we will offer support in communicating with that third party.
If we do not uphold your complaint, our written decision to you will include how you can appeal the decision.
Second, and final, formal stage
Should you wish to appeal a written decision we have made about your complaint, you should follow the instructions provided in the written decision letter.
The name and contact details of the person who will hear your appeal will be provided. The timescales within which we will endeavour to be in touch will be stated and the grounds for your appeal will be requested.
As with the first formal stage, we will provide a written decision on the complaint, following any additionally required investigation period. If we do not uphold your complaint we will continue to offer our support in seeking a resolution with any relevant third parties.
The outcome of this second, and final, formal stage is the final stage in Longleigh’s complaints policy, and this would exhaust the options we are able to provide.
Support beyond our complaints policy
Whilst we will do all we can to satisfactorily respond to and resolve complaints raised with us, if you remain unhappy with the outcome of our process, you may find speaking to an external, independent organisation to be helpful.
Providing advice on a wide range of matters, including consumer issues:
Citizens Advice Bureau: www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Where you believe there has been a serious, regulatory breach of our responsibilities or obligations as registered charity:
Charity Commission for England and Wales: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission