Ferne Complaints Procedure

At Ferne Animal Sanctuary, we always aim to treat our donors and supporters with the highest level of care and respect.

However, we know that there may be times when we do not meet our own high standards. When this does happen we want to hear about it, deal with the situation as quickly as possible and put measures in place to stop it happening again.

We take complaints very seriously and we treat them as an opportunity to improve as a charity. This is why we are always very grateful to hear from people who are willing to take the time to help us improve. We always thank people who contact us about their problems, concerns or worries.


Definition of a complaint

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, either written or spoken. A complaint can be made by an individual or a group. You may wish to complain if you are not satisfied with the way you have been treated or the service you have received from Ferne Animal Sanctuary. A complaint can be communicated to Ferne Animal Sanctuary by any channel including, telephone, mail, email, social media or in person.


How long will it take?

Our Fundraising Manager will respond fully to all complaints within ten working days. However, you will receive an acknowledgment of your complaint within the first five working days of receipt. Wherever possible we will deal with it more quickly, if we think it will take longer we will let you know.

You can contact us in whichever way is most convenient to you and we will respond to you via the same method unless instructed otherwise. From experience, we have found that the best way to resolve a problem quickly is by telephone. A telephone conversation is the best way we can make sure that we fully understand the issue and can gather all of the information that we need to resolve the problem in a fast and effective way.

In more complex situations where an immediate response is not possible, we will investigate the matter and get back to you as quickly as we can. We will record your complaint and between us we can agree on the best way and time to get back in contact with you.

What we will do

We will endeavor to fix problems, correct mistakes and address concerns in a way that pleases you within the timescales stated. Please feel free when contacting us about a complaint to let us know how you think it could be resolved.

We will always treat you with courtesy and respect, listen to what you say, keep you informed about our progress, provide you will a prompt response and tell you who to go to if you want to escalate your complaint further.

From time to time we receive complaints that do not relate directly to something that Ferne Animal Sanctuary has done or that we are not in a position to comment on. We are a charity with limited resources and we must use these in the best way possible.

We are honest and open about the types of complaints to which we will not respond to in detail. There may be rare occasions when we choose not to respond to a complaint at all. These include:

  • When a complaint is about something that Ferne Animal Sanctuary has no direct connection to. We may choose to reply to clear our name but we are not obliged to.
  • When a complaint has only a very broad connection to something that Ferne Animal Sanctuary is working on, but is not something on which we have control or influence; for example, political issues.
  • When someone unreasonably pursues a complaint that we have already responded to. They will be given escalation points but we may choose not to reply again, we will always inform you of our decision to do this.
  • When a complainant is being obviously abusive, prejudiced or offensive in their manner.
  • When a complainant is harassing a staff member.
  • When a complaint is incoherent or illegible.
  • When a complaint has clearly been sent to us and numerous other organisations as part of a bulk mailing or email. In this instance, we can choose whether it is necessary for us to reply or not.

Ferne Animal Sanctuary cannot respond to complaints made anonymously. However, we will investigate the complaint and use the information to improve in any way that we can.

Who else can help?

We really hope that we are able to resolve your complaint in an honest, open and satisfactory way. However if after contacting us you are still unhappy then you can write, either by letter or email, directly to our Chief Executive, Kevan Hodges. Please outline the details of the complaint, why you have not been satisfied with our response up to now and what you would like us to do to put things right.

Kevan Hodges
Ferne Animal Sanctuary
TA20 3DH


Ferne Animal Sanctuary is committed to the highest standards in fundraising practice. If your complaint is to do with fundraising and you feel that it has been unresolved by us then the Fundraising Regulator can investigate your complaint. You must contact them within two months of receiving your response from us. Contact can be made using the details below:

Fundraising Regulator
2nd Floor, CAN Mezzanine
49-51 East Road
N1 6AH

Telephone: 0300 999 3407


Alternatively if your complaint is related to another area of our work and you do not feel completely satisfied by our response then you can contact The Charity Commission here.

Our pledge

We treat all comments and complaints as an opportunity to improve. We are happy to acknowledge the mistakes that we have made, sincerely apologise for them and then try to prevent them from happening again in the future. Thank you for helping us to provide a better service.