Complaints and Feedback – Humankind

Complaints and Feedback

Your compliments, comments, suggestions and complaints are important to us. This feedback tells us what we’re doing well and how we can improve our services

If you’re happy with the service you have received, or if you have a suggestion, you can:

  • speak to a member of staff, volunteer or manager
  • leave your feedback in one of our suggestion boxes in reception
  • call or write to the service or to our Head Office letting us know which person or service this is about

How to make a complaint or tell us about a concern

Speaking to your worker directly, is usually the quickest way of dealing with your concern.  You can also contact the office to speak to a supervisor or the Service Manager.  If you would feel more comfortable, you can contact Humankind’s Head Office at:

  • Address: Inspiration House, Bowburn North Industrial Estate, Durham DH6 5PF
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 01325 731 160

If someone tells us that they are unhappy about the service they have received, and we aren’t able to resolve it at the time, it will be handled as a complaint.  Anyone affected by the way we deliver services can follow this process to make a complaint, except staff, who should follow the Humankind Grievance Process.

We will encourage and support you through the complaints process. We will ensure that you are not negatively affected if you make a complaint, or if someone complains on your behalf.

A representative may complain on behalf of the affected person with their consent, or if the affected person needs help to complain and cannot give consent because they lack capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

If you are not happy about making a complaint yourself and you do not know someone who can talk or write to us on your behalf, we will provide, as far as is reasonably practical:

  • any help you need to understand the complaints procedure; or
  • advice on where you may get that help
  • practical support like arranging interpretation or signing services

What isn’t a complaint?

  • An initial request for service
  • Asking for an explanation of a policy or a decision
  • An issue that has its own appeal process
  • Complaints relating to anti-social behaviour (ASB) which would normally be dealt with under the Humankind Anti-Social Behaviour Policy

How we handle complaints

We will acknowledge your complaint in 3 working days and give you the name and contact details of the Complaint Handler.  That person will have enough seniority and experience to deal with the issues raised by the complaint.  Staff will not investigate complaints against themselves.  The Complaint Handler will usually contact you for further information, ask you how you would like your complaint to be resolved and how you would like to be informed of the outcome.  We will keep you informed about the progress of the investigation.

We aim to have all complaints investigated:

  • Within 10 working days for complaints from Humankind Residents
  • Within 20 working days for all other complaints

If we need to extend those timescales we will agree that with you.

When we have finished investigating, we will contact you to discuss the outcome, and then write to you with:

  • what we have found
  • any action we are taking
  • our suggestions to resolve your complaint

If you are not satisfied with how we dealt with your complaint, you can appeal the outcome within 10 working days.  

The Appeal Handler will be more senior to the person who investigated the original complaint and will have the authority to resolve the issues highlighted within the complaint and appeal.  We will let you know the outcome of an appeal within 10 working days.

The appeal is the final stage of Humankind’s Complaint Process. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the appeal, we will provide you with details of alternative complaint options, such as an Ombudsman or regulators.

Anonymous complaints

We deal with anonymous complaints under the same procedure; however it is better if you can provide contact details so we can tell you the outcome of our investigation.

Vexatious and Repeat Complaints

We will not investigate complaints about an issue already investigated and where appeal has been exhausted, or complaints made to intentionally cause disruption or annoyance.

Complaints from Humankind Residents

Humankind Charity is a Registered Provider of social housing and is therefore a member of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme. The Housing Ombudsman Service is a fair and impartial service which was set up by law to look at complaints about housing organisations that are registered with them. Their service is free of charge to all residents in social housing.

You can contact the Ombudsman at any point during the complaint process. The Ombudsman’s website explains the type of assistance they can offer.

Humankind produces an annual report and self-assessment on how well it meets the requirements of the Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint Code, when dealing with complaints from residents. You can find this on Humankind Housing.

Download a copy of our complaints and feedback policy