News Article

GCHQ lights up purple for disability

Last Updated: 03 Dec 2017
We are celebrating the vital contribution of GCHQ's staff and raising awareness of disability issues on International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

News article - 3 Dec 2017


The GCHQ Crest lit up purple
The GCHQ Crest lit up purple. ©GCHQ 2017
To mark the day we have turned three of our sites purple in support of International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) held on Sunday 3rd December.

The one-off event was part of the #purplelightup, launched by the disabled networking group Purple Space. Satellite dishes and site entrances were lit up across GCHQ's sites in Cheltenham, Bude and Scarborough. Staff marked the day with charity fundraising events and by giving their wardrobe a purple makeover.

Purple Day gave us the opportunity to be part of this national event to increase awareness of the benefits of integrating disabled people into the workforce. We are keen to share our experiences of supporting staff with disabilities - and to learn from others.

The organisation's disability champion and Director General of Technology, said: "GCHQ is at the heart of the nation's security and our mission is to keep the UK safe - we couldn't do that without the fantastic contribution of our disabled colleagues. We are celebrating their impact but equally recognise we still have more to do.  As the threat we face diversifies, so too must the workforce that tackles it. Very often it is our disabled community that leads the cutting-edge work we do. If we make life better for them, we make it better for everyone at GCHQ.  That's why we're delighted to be lighting up our buildings for this great cause."

Earlier this year GCHQ was awarded Disability Confident Leader status by the Department of Work and Pensions, receiving praise for its focus on diversity.

The #purplelightup event gave GCHQ's Disabled Employees Network (DEN) the opportunity to showcase the work they do for their disabled colleagues - including the Purple Allies initiative.  Purple Allies was set up within the organisation to remove barriers to recruiting and retaining employees with disabilities.

Ally, one of the initiative's leads, said: "I am excited that GCHQ has joined forces with Purple Space for this event which celebrates the unique contribution people with disabilities bring to so many organisations in this country. I'm so proud of the work we do at GCHQ, but I'm even prouder of the inclusive organisation we're creating. We're determined to continue building a diverse workforce which chooses its staff based on their skills not their disabilities, and recognises that different approaches are vital to keeping the country safe from harm."


GCHQ Scarborough, HQ, and Bude, lit up purple
GCHQ Scarborough, HQ, and Bude, lit up purple. ©GCHQ 2017