News article - 8 Nov 2013
GCHQ opened its doors to representatives of the local community as it held its annual Community Day event at the Benhall ‘doughnut’ on Friday 8 November.
Community Day is GCHQ’s chance to celebrate the enthusiasm and commitment of staff in supporting a wide range of charities and good causes in Gloucestershire and beyond, as well as highlighting our work to support education and learning.
A huge range of organisations and charities are supported by GCHQ staff, many of whom give up their free time to try and make a difference to the local community and the day enables staff to find out more about the various volunteering opportunities that are available. Around 50 charities and volunteering schemes were represented by staff in a series of interesting and entertaining displays.
Apart from the more traditional support GCHQ staff give to organisations such as St John Ambulance
, the Girl Guides
and Sue Ryder
, staff also volunteer to help local schoolchildren develop their reading and maths skills through Paired Reading & Numeracy schemes. Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) Ambassadors from GCHQ also support a variety of school science projects hoping to inspire youngsters to think about a career in science or technology.
GCHQ’s Outreach Co-ordinator said: "I’m delighted to invite today’s guests in for a rare visit to GCHQ as it provides a welcome opportunity to allow them to meet some of the staff who support the local community in so many ways" .
Councillor Wendy Flynn, The Mayor of Cheltenham, who was among the guests for the day said: "I’m really impressed by what I’ve seen today. GCHQ has a long tradition of supporting the Gloucestershire community and I’m delighted to see that their efforts in such a wide variety of volunteering and charity work are continuing."
Community Day is held once a year but GCHQ’s efforts to support the local community and charities continues all year round, including working with other civil servants in the Civil Service Local South West group who support a range of volunteering projects. In the last 3 years alone GCHQ staff have raised over £300,000 for a number of good causes and charities.
Inside the 'doughnut': Three Gloucestershire mayors are among the guests invited into the GCHQ 'doughnut' to find out about the organisation's charity and volunteering work.
(from left to right) Councillor Mike Dean (Deputy Mayor of Tewkesbury Borough Council), Councillor Wendy Flynn (Mayor of Cheltenham), Councillor Chris Chatterton (Mayor of Gloucester), Col Rob Dixon (Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum) and Lavinia Drake (Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum)