We are proud to support a number of organisations and charities, not just around our Exeter HQ but also around many of our frontline sites across the UK.
We host a number of events at our Exeter HQ, such as the Business in the Community (BITC) Seeing is Believing event in May 2010.
The 'Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in the South West' event attracted senior business leaders from across the South West. This showcased some of the projects already in place across the region to mitigate against and adapt to our changing climate.
Several times a year our HQ at Exeter hosts Public Open Days. The public are given a tour of HQ by Met Office volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds.
The tour includes a presentation in the Outlook Room which overlooks our Operations Centre where the forecasters are based.
Something which is often favourably commented on is that the public can sample the fare from our restaurant.
We gave the free use of our conference facilities and meeting rooms to community, charity and other not-for-profit groups on 4 occasions in FY 2010/11.
We also hosted 12 visits from these groups to our offices.
Examples include the Devon Royal British Legion, the National Trust and the RSPB.
One highlight was the Devon Young Enterprise Awards. This was attended by around 100 young people from 6 teams who presented business ideas as part of a national competition.
The Weather Desk team at the Met Office are the first point of contact. They deal with enquiries from general weather forecasts to customer feedback and marketing opportunities.
For the last three years the team have provided work experience for young adults from CEDA ( a charity based in Exeter that creates opportunities with disabled people) and the West of England School and College for people with little or no sight.
Our work with young disabled people page gives a more detailed look into this important relationship.
We work with Exeter University on the public lecture series 'Shaping the Future' to bring high profile national figures to the region.
Visitors have included Sir Richard Dearlove, former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service and James Smith, Chairman of Shell UK.
These lectures typically attract 300 people from all over the Southwest.
Our Property Management team have formed a link with the local charity CHICKS (Country Holidays for Inner City Kids).
CHICKS is a self-funding charity that provides respite breaks for disadvantaged children.
They have two holiday centres in the southwest - a coastal retreat in Cornwall and a moorland retreat in Brentor, Devon.
In June 2011 the Property Management team worked at the moorland retreat, helping out on a variety of jobs, including a bit of weeding, digging over the vegetable patch and doing some painting.
It was a really rewarding day's work and the team has been inspired to do more for this charity, for example one of the team did a parachute jump in September raising over £600.
The CHICKs website
Our work with CHICKs gives more detail.
At the tills at HQ we have collection boxes for The Devon Air Ambulance Trust.
The Met Office Sports and Social Association have organised various charity events throughout the year in support of the Exeter Leukaemia Fund.
We also support Marie Curie Cancer Care through collection boxes at the tills in the coffee shops and restaurant. Some spare change here and there quickly mounts up, raising around £200 a quarter.
Supporting Marie Curie gives details of our links with the charity since 2008.
We are keen to see what else we can do to support Marie Curie in the future.
The Marie Curie website.
School visits are regularly hosted at HQ and at Frontline sites across the UK. Book a visit.
STEMNET is a national organisation with creates opportunities to inspire young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
At the moment we have 9 STEM ambassadors and we aim to increase that number and at a recent event a further 50 staff signed up.
STEM ambassadors visit schools and attend careers events and give the students an idea of the options available to them and also the qualifications necessary to progress their career.
One aim was to encourage girls to study maths at A-Level, a 'Girls in Maths' event helped provide advice on careers and future prospects from our STEM ambassadors who had studied maths.
The STEM website.
In June 2011, Exeter University held a Big Bang Fair in conjunction with STEM which was aimed at years 7 to 13.
We had a stand here with our STEM ambassadors providing a variety of activities such as a "What's my line?" style question and answer session where the students had to guess what jobs our staff did."I attended a careers fair at Skegness Grammar School, promoting careers in Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering (STEM) to students aged 15-17 years. The students were interested in routes into the Met Office and what subjects they needed to take at university. There were questions about the day-to-day weather, climate change and the nuclear crisis in Japan. None of the students knew about any of the Met Office activities except the television weather forecasts so it was great to be able to show them the range of services we provide."
Viv Scott, Forecaster, RAF Cranwell
A British project is currently underway to break the World Land Speed Record. The Bloodhound SSC team are hoping to exceed 1000 mph in 2013 in South Africa.
Another aim of the project ties in with our STEM objectives. It is hoped that the project will inspire school children into considering careers in science and technology.
The Met Office is supporting this attempt by provided a weather station to collect meteorological data at the site for the run up to the event.
This weather data will help the Bloodhound team to decide the best date and time to attempt the record.
This amazing vehicle will be powered by a Eurojet EJ200 (Typhoon) engine!
The Bloodhound site.
We've teamed up with EDF Energy to educate young people on Climate.
EDF has created The Pod - a website where schools can register for free and access teaching resources, download activities and share ideas on sustainability.
We are committed to helping children better understand weather and climate science, making it engaging at primary and secondary school levels.
Learn more about The Pod in our education pages.
We currently have 7 staff who are school governors.
This can be a rewarding experience as it gives staff an opportunity to:
We proudly support the Prince's Trust by sponsoring awards and achievements (Coach of the Year in the South West Award and the Young Achiever of the Year).
We provide valuable experiences for participants on the programmes and can provide a venue for end of programme presentations."The Prince's Trust programme at Exeter College has benefited greatly from the steady provision of Development Coaches from the Met Office. This year, Charlie Plackett has provided invaluable support to the students through mentoring and coaching, and in the process has further developed her own skills."
Sophia Carmen, Prince's Trust:"When I joined the Prince's Trust programme as a Development Coach my aim was to give something back to the community. But it quickly became clear I was going to gain more than that. I've learnt a lot about my strengths and weaknesses as well as useful skills in mentoring and coaching. I will never forget the experience or the people."
Charlie Plackett, Account Manager, Met Office