Complaints Policy

FareShare South West is committed to providing a quality service and working in an open and accountable way that builds the trust and respect of all our stakeholders. One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our service is by listening and responding to the views of our service users, staff, supporters and all other stakeholders, and in particular by responding positively to complaints, and by putting mistakes right.

Therefore we aim to ensure that:

  • Making a complaint is as easy as possible;
  • We treat a complaint as a clear expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for an immediate response;
  • We deal with it promptly, politely and, when appropriate, confidentially;
  • We respond in the right way: for example, with an explanation, or an apology where we have got things wrong, or information on any action taken etc;
  • We learn from complaints, use them to improve our service, and review annually our complaints policy and procedures.

We recognise that many concerns will be raised informally and dealt with quickly. Our aims are to:

  • Resolve informal concerns quickly;
  • Keep matters low-key;
  • Enable mediation between the complainant and the individual to whom the complaint has been referred.

An informal approach is appropriate when it can be achieved. But if concerns cannot be satisfactorily resolved informally, then the formal complaints procedure should be followed.

FareShare South West defines a complaint as ‘any expression of dissatisfaction with FareShare South West, with a member of staff, with a volunteer or with an FareShare South West Trustee that relates to FareShare South West and that requires a formal response’. The formal complaints procedure is intended to ensure that all complaints are handled fairly, consistently and wherever possible resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction.

FareShare South West’s responsibility will be to:

  • Acknowledge the formal complaint in writing;
  • Respond within a stated period of time;
  • Deal reasonably and sensitively with the complaint;
  • Take action where appropriate.

A complainant’s responsibility is to:

  • Bring their complaint, in writing, to FareShare South West’s attention, normally within eight weeks of the issue arising
  • Raise concerns promptly and directly with a member of staff in FareShare South West
  • Explain the problem as clearly and as fully as possible, including any action taken to date
  • Allow FareShare South West a reasonable time to deal with the matter
  • Recognise that some circumstances may be beyond FareShare South West ‘s control

Confidentiality

Except in exceptional circumstances, every attempt will be made to ensure that both the complainant and FareShare South West maintain confidentiality. However the circumstances giving rise to the complaint may be such that it may not be possible to maintain confidentiality (with each complaint judged on its own merit). Should this be the case, the situation will be explained to the complainant.

Formal Complaints Procedure

Stage 1

In the first instance, if you are unable to resolve the issue informally, you should write to the member of staff who dealt with you, or their manager, so that they have a chance to put things right. If your complaint concerns a trustee of FareShare South West, rather than a member of FareShare South West’s staff, you should write formally to FareShare South West’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). If your complaint concerns a FareShare South West volunteer then please write to FareShare South West’s Volunteer Manager. In either letter you should set out the details of your complaint, the consequences for you as a result and the remedy you are seeking.

You can expect your complaint to be acknowledged within four working days of receipt. You should get a response and an explanation within fifteen working days.

Our contact details are here.

Stage 2

If you are not satisfied with the initial response to the complaint then you can write to FareShare South West’s CEO and ask for your complaint and the response to be reviewed. You can expect the CEO to acknowledge your request within 4 working days of receipt and a response within 15 workings days.

FareShare South West’s aim is to resolve all matters as quickly as possible. However, inevitably some issues will be more complex and therefore may require longer to be fully investigated. Consequently timescales given for handling and responding to complaints are indicative. If a matter requires more detailed investigation, you will receive an interim response describing what is being done to deal with the matter, and when a full reply can be expected and from whom.

Final Stage

If you are not satisfied with the subsequent reply from FareShare South West’s CEO, then you have the option of writing to the FareShare South West’s Chair of the Trustees stating the reason why you are dissatisfied with the outcome. You must do this within 10 days of receiving the written response from FareShare South West’s CEO.

The Chair of the Trustees (or their nominee) will respond normally within 10 working days to inform you of the action which will be taken to investigate your complaint, and when you can expect to hear the outcome of the investigation.

To download our complain form, please click on the below link:

FareShare is the only charity to take food from the wholesale level of the food industry

The vast majority of surplus occurs before food even gets to the supermarket. Each FareShare regional centre takes that food and redistributes to those in need. FareShare Go is our supermarket collection service, which deals with supermarket-level surplus.

Find out more about what we do