How we use cookies

What is a cookie?

Cookies are small text files which are downloaded to and stored on your device when you visit a website. Cookies are widely used by website owners to provide you with a good experience while you browse, and also to provide information which can help website owners to improve websites.

Our site uses cookies to:

  • make our site work
  • collect anonymous data on how users navigate our site, which helps us to improve it
  • allow you to share our content on social networks
  • to help us provide relevant advertising to those who may be interested in it.

We do not use cookies to:

  • collect any personally identifiable information
  • pass personal identifiable data to third parties

What cookies will we use and for what purposes?

We have split the cookies used on our site into four categories – strictly necessary cookies, functional cookies, performance cookies and advertising cookies. Each of these categories is explained below along with details of the specific cookies used, though within each category we may use additional or alternative cookies at any time.

Please note that third parties (including, for example, advertising networks and providers of external services like web traffic analysis services) may also use cookies, over which we have no control. These cookies are likely to be performance cookies or advertising cookies.

A. Strictly necessary cookies

These are essential for our site to work, for example to allow you to make a donation, submit a service request or register for an event. We use the following strictly necessary cookies on our site:

CookieNamePurpose
ASP.NETASP.NET_SessionIdUsed to store a unique identifier for your session, providing a mechanism for persisting information between web pages. This cookie is deleted when you close your browser.

B. Performance cookies

These enhance your experience whilst using the site by recognising you when you return to our site, for example, by remembering accessibility preferences.

We use the following functional cookies on our site:

Hotjar

Cookie nameDescriptionDuration
_hjClosedSurveyInvitesHotjar cookie. This cookie is set once a visitor interacts with a Survey invitation modal popup. It is used to ensure that the same invite does not re-appear if it has already been shown.365 days
_hjDonePollsHotjar cookie. This cookie is set once a visitor completes a poll using the Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the same poll does not re-appear if it has already been filled in.365 days365 days
_hjMinimizedPollsHotjar cookie. This cookie is set once a visitor minimizes a Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimizes when the visitor navigates through your site.365 days
_hjDoneTestersWidgetsHotjar cookie. This cookie is set once a visitor submits their information in the Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the same form does not re-appear if it has already been filled in.365 days
_hjMinimizedTestersWidgetsHotjar cookie. This cookie is set once a visitor minimizes a Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimizes when the visitor navigates through your site.365 days
_hjIncludedInSampleHotjar cookie. This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels.365 days

Google Analytics

The analytics.js JavaScript library is part of Universal Analytics and uses first-party cookies to:

  • Distinguish unique users
  • Throttle the request rate
Cookie nameDescriptionExpiration Time
_gaUsed to distinguish users.2 years
_gidUsed to distinguish users.24 hours
_gatUsed to throttle request rate.1 minute
AMP_TOKENContains a token that can be used to retrieve a Client ID from AMP Client ID service. Other possible values indicate opt-out, inflight request or an error retrieving a Client ID from AMP Client ID service.30 seconds to 1 year
_gac_Contains campaign related information for the user. If you have linked your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts, AdWords website conversion tags will read this cookie unless you opt-out. Learn more.90 days
_hjIncludedInSampleHotjar cookie. This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels.365 days

ga.js – cookie usage

The ga.js JavaScript library uses first-party cookies to:

  • Determine which domain to measure
  • Distinguish unique users
  • Throttle the request rate
  • Remember the number and time of previous visits
  • Remember traffic source information
  • Determine the start and end of a session
  • Remember the value of visitor-level custom variables

By default, this library sets cookies on the domain specified in the document.host browser property and sets the cookie path to the root level (/).

This library sets the following cookies:

Cookie nameDescriptionDefault Expiration Time
__utmaUsed to distinguish users and sessions. The cookie is created when the javascript library executes and no existing __utma cookies exists. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.2 years from set/update
__utmtUsed to throttle request rate.10 minutes
__utmbUsed to determine new sessions/visits. The cookie is created when the javascript library executes and no existing __utmb cookies exists. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.30 mins from set/update
__utmcNot used in ga.js. Set for interoperability with urchin.js. Historically, this cookie operated in conjunction with the __utmb cookie to determine whether the user was in a new session/visit.End of browser session
__utmzStores the traffic source or campaign that explains how the user reached your site. The cookie is created when the javascript library executes and is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.6 months from set/update
__utmvUsed to store visitor-level custom variable data. This cookie is created when a developer uses the _setCustomVar method with a visitor level custom variable. This cookie was also used for the deprecated _setVar method. The cookie is updated every time data is sent to Google Analytics.2 years from set/update

C. Advertising Cookies

Remarketing is a way for us to connect with people who have recently interacted with our site. We may place remarketing cookies on your device during your visit so that our carefully selected third-party suppliers, including Google, may use the information gathered to show you British Virgin Islands Red Cross advertising when you visit other websites.

Controlling use of cookies

Most internet browsers automatically accept cookies unless you change your browser settings. If you wish to restrict, block or delete the cookies which are set by any websites, you can generally do this through your browser settings. These settings are usually found in the 'options' or 'preferences' menu of your internet browser.

Please note however that if you set your internet browser preferences to block all cookies, you may not be able to access all or parts of our site.

Unless you have adjusted your internet browser settings to block cookies, our site will set cookies.

To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit http://www.aboutcookies.org.uk/.