What are cookies?

Cookies are small pieces of information. Websites store cookies on your internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera or Internet Explorer, for example) when you visit. Every time you return to the site and navigate around it picks up these bits of information.

Sometimes other companies can access the information stored in certain types of cookies. They might use it when deciding which adverts to show you as you browse the internet, for example.

Why do websites use cookies?

There are different types of cookies that do different things. Some cookies can be really helpful and most websites rely on them to work properly and to understand what their users do when they visit.
Cookies are also crucial for understanding how people use a website and which areas are popular. This helps us make websites more engaging and enjoyable – and stop us investing in areas our users are not interest in.
Cookies are also used by advertising companies to direct adverts at people who might have shown an interest in the company, product or service before when surfing the web.

What are the different types of cookies?

There are four main categories of cookies:

  • Strictly necessary
    These cookies let you move around the website and use areas like the donate form, log in and e-news sign up. They don’t gather any information about you that could be used for marketing or remembering where you’ve been on the internet.
    These cookies only last until you close your browser.
  • Performance
    These cookies help us understand how people use our website and if they have any problems. They also let us know if a visitor has seen one of our adverts online of clicked one of our banners.
    The information they gather is anonymous and cannot be used to identify you. We only use the information to improve the way the site works.
  • Functionality
    These cookies remember any choices you have made on a website – for example, if you have changed the text size, preferences or colours. They would also be used to remember if you had already completed a survey, for example. They cannot track you on other websites.
  • Targeting
    These cookies collect information for third parties and remember what you looked at on a website. They are used for things including ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons, as well as advertising companies.
    These are the cookies that mean you see adverts about a certain organisation, service or product as you visit different sites on the web. The information gathered by these cookies is kept for longer periods of time.

We use strictly necessary and functionally cookies.