Complaints procedure

Complaints procedure

We’re sorry if you’re unhappy with anything to do with Comic Relief. If you’ve got a complaint, please do let us know so we can try and help. We take all complaints seriously and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can once you’ve told us what’s wrong.

Comic Relief is committed to resolving complaints in an appropriate, fair and timely manner.


If you would like to make a complaint, the best way to do this is by email. You can contact us at


Comic Relief UK
89 Albert Embankment
United Kingdom

Phone:  020 7820 2000
Fax: 020 7820 2222
Minicom:  0207 820 2005

Please mark all written correspondence for the attention of the "Campaign Management team".

  • We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint.
  • We will carry out a full investigation of your complaint, and will advise you of our findings within 30 days of acknowledging receipt (provided that the incident you wish to complain about happened within three months of the date of your complaint).
  • If your complaint concerns fundraising and you are dissatisfied with the outcome of our investigation, you may refer the matter to the Fundraising Regulator. For more information please go to
  • Please note that we may be unable to investigate and resolve complaints if they refer to an incident more than three months in the past.
  • Please also note that any complaints concerning any programmes on the BBC should be directed to the BBC. Details can be found at


Thank you.

Complaints policy

Complaints policy

Comic Relief is committed to resolving complaints in an appropriate, fair and timely way. We welcome feedback as it helps us to understand more about how the public feel about the work we do and our campaigns, and it gives us an opportunity to improve the way we work.

This policy sets out how you can make a complaint, what you can expect from Comic Relief when you do so and how you can escalate a complaint if you are unhappy with the outcome.

1. Making a Complaint

Comic Relief defines a complaint as a considered communication from a member of the public which states:

  • An expression of anger, upset or dissatisfaction.
  • Something that is the cause or subject of protest or outcry.
  • An allegation concerning Comic Relief, its fundraisers, a partner or organisation supported or funded by Comic Relief.


A complaint can be made by email, telephone, in person, by letter or fax. Details on how to get in touch can be found in the Contact Us section on (and and


2. Comic Relief's Complaints Process

Comic Relief takes complaints seriously and has an internal process which guides how we handle complaints.

We will respond to a complaint within 14 days of receiving it. If a complaint requires further investigation, we will send an interim response and will advise you of our findings within 30 days.

Comic Relief handles all complaints impartially, and making a complaint will not affect the future level of service you receive from us.

2.1 Complaints about programming

Any complaints concerning programmes on the BBC should be directed to the BBC. Details can be found at

2.2 Timing of complaints

We may be unable to investigate and resolve complaints if they refer to an incident more than three months in the past.

2.3 Complaints and anonymity

Comic Relief can usual only investigate complaints where the identity of the complainant is known so that it is possible to go back and verify information if needed. When an anonymous complaint is received of a serious nature, Comic Relief may consider investigating if there is enough information to guide further enquiries.

2.4 Regulatory and legal bodies

Comic Relief may decide to pass a complaint to regulatory or legal authorities (e.g. the Charity Commission or the police) in the UK if there is a reasonable basis to suspect that an organisation or individual have acted illegally.


3. Complaints About Grant Making

3.1 Comic Relief grant-making procedures

Comic Relief works hard to ensure that the assessment of applications and management of grants is done in a fair and consistent way.

Comic Relief cannot consider appeals against the rejection of an application by a short-listing team or a final decision by Trustees to reject an application or withdraw a grant.

If an organisation or individual is unhappy about our decision making, application processes or our management of a grant, the complaints process outlined in section 1 should be followed.

3.2 Complaints about organisations funded by Comic Relief

Comic Relief will usually only consider complaints against funded organisations regarding:

  • Failure to comply with conditions of grant.
  • Allegations of inappropriate behaviour by organisation staff.
  • Concern over the effectiveness or transparency of governance, financial and resource management systems.
  • Allegations about an organisation or individuals within the funded organisation that, by association, may damage Comic Relief’s reputation.


If an individual or organisation would like to make a complaint regarding an organisation funded by Comic Relief, they should follow Comic Relief’s complaints procedure outlined in section 1.

In some instances it may be agreed that the complaint should be passed to the grant holding organisation so that they can undertake their own investigation. Comic Relief will always seek to keep the complainant’s identity in confidence, unless otherwise agreed with the complainant.


4. Escalating a Fundraising Complaint

If your complaint concerns fundraising and you are dissatisfied with the outcome of our investigation, you may refer the matter to the Fundraising Regulator. For more information go to

How to report concerns policy

How to raise concerns about our organisation or operations.

This policy is for:

  • All employees (which, for the purpose of this policy, includes all full and part time and all permanent and fixed term workers employed by Comic Relief on contracts of employment).
  • And those:
    • Performing work for Comic Relief (such as agency workers, consultants, volunteers and contractors), and
    • Who otherwise work with us (for example, who work for a company providing services to Comic Relief)
  • And also those:
    • Who have contact with Comic Relief (such as those engaged in projects we support and those who participate in functions and events we are involved with or organize), and
    • Who otherwise wish to raise a concern about our organisation or operations


We are committed to operating with openness, honesty and integrity.

A vital part of this commitment is ensuring those who work with us and for us and others know how to raise concerns and have confidence that they will be supported if they raise such concerns. This policy therefore sets out how those who have concerns about our organisation or operations can freely report any such concerns and what will then happen.

Overview of this policy

This policy provides guidance on:

  • the concerns it may be appropriate for you to raise;
  • the way in which you can raise concerns;
  • how we will treat and investigate your concerns; and
  • the protections available to you where you so report.


What is whistleblowing?

Where a concern is raised by an employee about the operations or organisation of their employer it is commonly called “whistleblowing”.

We wish to make sure that anyone who has a concern about Comic Relief, whether they work for us or not, receives guidance via this policy on how to raise issues. It is for this reason that we call this policy “how to raise concerns” and not “whistleblowing”. Therefore, whether you work for us, with us or otherwise, we strongly encourage you to raise any concerns you may have in relation to our organisation or operations by following the steps set out in this policy.

What type of concerns might this policy apply to?

We would encourage you to report any concerns to us. Specific issues might relate to:

  • bribery or corruption (for more details please see our Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy),
  • fraud or other criminal activity,
  • fundraising
  • safeguarding issues involving children or vulnerable adults
  • health and safety concerns
  • employment concerns (such as discrimination or potential discrimination),
  • breach of legal or professional obligations


Please note these are intended to be examples and is not an exhaustive list. Please do report any concerns that you may have, even if not included in the above list.

How to raise a concern

This policy is designed to ensure concerns are raised, as it is only when we are made aware of concerns that we can investigate and take appropriate action.

In table below, we provide guidance as to who may report issues, with suggestions as to where such issues might be reported.

Who is reporting

Type of issue

How to report

Employee (or equivalent)


Comic Relief designated contact or Public Concern at Work

Service Provider/Partner (those who Comic Relief enters into contracts for services or goods)


Comic Relief designated contact

Grantees (those who Comic Relief supports through its funding activities)

Concerns about Comic Relief’s organisation or operations, fraud, or potential fraud

Comic Relief designated contact


Comic Relief Designated Contacts are senior members of the Comic Relief team who will play an independent role in relation to any concern that is raised and will ensure it is investigated appropriately and ensure that appropriate action is then taken.

Public Concern at Work - is an independent charity that operates a confidential helpline that is aimed at employees.

In the table below, we provide additional guidance on how to report specific issues and also provide contact details for the Charity Commission. We are regulated by the Charity Commission and the Charity Commission will provide you with guidance with any concerns that you might have in relation to our organisation or operations.

Type of issue

How to report

Any concerns about the safety or welfare of children or vulnerable adults (“safeguarding”)

Reports should be made to the relevant local authority (see here for more details)

Any concerns about Comic Relief’s fundraising activities

The Fundraising Regulator (see here for more details)

Any concerns about Comic Relief’s approach to data privacy

The Information Commissioners Office (see here here for details)

Any concerns

The Charity Commission (see here here for details).


Method of Reporting - Employees and those who work with us

We hope your first conversation in relation to any concern you have as to our organisation or operations will be with your manager. We recognize there be circumstances where you would prefer not to raise your concerns with your manager and in this case please refer to the tables above as to how to report any such concern.

What happens when I raise a concern with Comic Relief?

For employees – we will generally start our investigation by arranging a meeting with you to discuss your concerns.

For others – a Comic Relief Designated Contact will contact you as soon as possible to discuss your concerns.

Please be assured, we will investigate all concerns independently, promptly, and thoroughly and the outcome of our investigation will be reported back to you. Please also be aware that a possible consequence of our investigation may be that we refer the matter to an external agency (for example. the appropriate Regulator) for further investigation.

Anonymous reports

Anonymous disclosures are more difficult for us to investigate and we would therefore ask that you identify yourself when making contact. If you wish to disclose your name on a confidential basis, we will make every effort to maintain this confidence (noting we may need to disclose to those involved in investigating and as part of the outcomes of any investigation, but that we will discuss this with you before we disclose your name).

Protection and support for those who raise a concern

We are committed to openness and will support you where you raise good faith concerns about our organisation or operations, even if they turn out to be mistaken.

We acknowledge individuals who raise concerns may be concerned about repercussions and please be assured you will not suffer any repercussions as a result of raising good faith concerns. If you believe that you have suffered any detrimental treatment as a result of raising a concern, you should please inform one of our Comic Relief Designated Contacts. If the matter is not remedied you should please raise it formally with our Chief Executive Officer.

Please note we will not tolerate any action taken against anyone who raises a concern (threats, retaliation, punishment or any form of detrimental treatment). If you are involved in such conduct you may be subject to sanction (which for employees may include disciplinary action). Please also note that we reserve our right to take action in the event if any concerns that are not raised in good faith.


Public Concern at Work

Helpline: 020 7404 6609

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