As the largest employer in Cheltenham, and one of the largest in Gloucestershire, GCHQ has an important part to play in the local community. Our sites in North Yorkshire and Cornwall play a similar significant part in their local communities.
GCHQ's approach to Corporate Social Responsibility has been to make use of the very diverse ranges of skills available within our organisation. That skill base includes engineers, IT specialists, linguists, mathematicians, and accountants to name but a few!
Our focus has been to support regeneration programmes in Cheltenham and to offer support to schools and other educational outlets in the learning and development of skills.
For example, GCHQ supports the regeneration partnerships in Cheltenham at Hesters Way
by providing a Trustee for the Board of each of the Partnerships. Community resource centres at Hesters Way, Springbank and Whaddon provide a range of support services to the local communities.
Hesters Way Resource Centre
Oakley Regeneration Partnership
For a number of years GCHQ has operated a highly successful 'Paired Reading' group. A pool of volunteers takes time from their lunch breaks to read with groups and/or individual children in local schools. The scheme is hugely popular with the children, the teaching staffs and our volunteers.
Linguists from GCHQ have visited schools and colleges to provide first hand experience of the benefits of learning foreign languages. Often the pupils are treated to a 'taster' lesson in a rare language and the opportunity to relate their learning with potential employment.
Our Engineering and IT staff have also been very active in support of technical and scientific projects, giving their time and experience to support education.
Many of our members of staff are engaged in voluntary roles in the community, such as magistrates, school governors and councillors. At last count, GCHQ had over 70 school governors, a significant contribution to the effective running of our schools.