News Article

Saying thank you in Volunteers' Week 2018 - continued

Last Updated: 07 Jun 2018
There are many ways in which our workforce contribute to our local community through volunteering. Team volunteer days at local charities are one of the ways in which we get involved.

News article - 7 June 2018

Our people support the community through volunteering at schools as part of our outreach programme and through volunteering for a wide variety of charities. As part of Volunteers' Week, we are highlighting some of the volunteering activities our workforce get involved in as a way of celebrating and saying thank you for their contribution.

Helping to make the James Hopkins Trust shine

We picked a glorious day in mid-May to help the James Hopkins Trust at Kites Corner, Gloucester, carry out a deep clean. The James Hopkins Trust is a multi-sensory respite centre and gardens.  Young children from all over Gloucestershire who are life-limited and life-threatened receive free nursing respite there. 

We are from the Internal Audit team and this was the first (of many we hope) team volunteer day we have done and for a few the first volunteering experience ever.


Cartoon boy with water bucket
©GCHQ 2018
Once we were divided into 3 sub-teams we set to work, the first team tackled cleaning the conservatory area which is used for all meal times. The clean included many chairs, high chairs, doors, windows, tables, and the conservatory roof itself which resulted in an impromptu shower for a few of the team. 

Another duo cleaned carpets and a very heavy sofa bed from the amazing sensory room after mastering the industrial Vax (other carpet shampoo models are available) and scary-looking attachments. The results were very impressive and the sofa restored to its original peach colour.

The last team were in charge of cleaning the soft play area and ball pit. Like the other areas, at first glance it looked fairly clean, but 3 dirty buckets of water will testify that a deep clean was indeed required. 


Cartoon man cleaning a window
©GCHQ 2018
We had a well-deserved break for a late lunch in the Trust's beautiful garden then after another hours' work we had accomplished all the tasks set us, so we asked if there was anything else we could do to help. So we also cleared a shed's contents into a skip while others helped their office staff with some IT issues.


Cartoon boy with mop on stick
©GCHQ 2018
To finish off the day, the Trust's manager gave us a brief history of how the Trust had begun, the children and families they help, and how they fundraise.  It was humbling to have helped such a fantastic place save the few hundreds of pounds it would have cost have a company do the work we had done, which is so much better spent on providing a specialist nurse for a day or going towards new equipment.

We all had a productive and enjoyable day whilst also getting to know each other a little better. It was on the drive back to Cheltenham we realised nobody had taken any photos as we were too busy cleaning, eating, or laughing, so we have tried to capture the day as best as possible with our very limited artistic skills ... no judgement, well not too much!


The James Hopkins Trust Logo with cartoon figure under
©GCHQ/James Hopkins Trust