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Census Day is Sunday March 21st 2021

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The census is coming. By taking part, you can help inform decisions on services that shape your community, such as healthcare, education and transport.

The census is a unique survey that happens every 10 years. It gives us a snapshot of all the people and households in England and Wales — the most detailed information we have about our society.

It's important that you fill in your census questionnaire. Without the information you share, it'd be more difficult to understand your community's needs and to plan and fund public services.

In one way or another, your information touches the lives of every single person living in England and Wales, whether it's through using census information to plan new schools, doctors' surgeries or bike lanes.

Because these things matter to us all, everyone needs to complete the census. Do not worry, government officials dealing with applications you've made or payments or services you receive cannot see it.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England and Wales and is independent from government. Your details are protected by law and information published is always anonymous.

Census Day is Sunday 21 March 2021. You can fill yours in online as soon as you get your access code in the post. If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let the ONS know.

Everyone should have the support they need to fill in the census. If you, or anyone you know, needs help, there's a wide range of support services available.

These include a contact centre that can give you help over the phone and guidance in a range of languages and accessible formats, including paper questionnaires and large print.

If you need help or have any questions, CLICK HERE to visit the census website for full and exact details

How to find help to complete the Census and how to help others
Everyone should have the support they need to take part in the census. Most people will be able to do it themselves, but we know there are people who'll need a little extra help. You can read about the wide range of support options available below. All this support will be available from March 2021.

The contact centre goes live on 1 March 2021. There will be separate lines for England and Wales, plus a language helpline, text relay and short text numbers. These numbers are:

Contact centre for those living in England 0800 141 2021
England NGT (text relay service) (18001) 0800 141 2021
Language helpline 0800 587 2021

The contact centre can be used by individuals themselves, or by a trusted family member or friend on their behalf. This includes community contacts who are offering help.

The contact centre can help with many tasks, including:

  • resolving general and specialist queries from the public
  • providing new or additional questionnaires, letters and leaflets, such as household paper questionnaires, individual paper questionnaire, household continuation forms and large print questionnaires
  • providing language translation booklets, braille guidance booklets and easy read leaflets
  • interpretation services
  • assisting individuals to complete the census over the telephone. This can be done straight away when the individual calls, or at a later date via an appointment

The contact centre opens on 1 March 2021.
The hours of opening are:

  • 8am — 8pm Monday to Friday
  • 8am — 1pm Saturdays
  • 8am — 8pm on Saturday and Sunday on Census weekend (20 and 21 March 2021)

Guidance for helping others
If a respondent cannot fill in their census questionnaire, a trusted person like a family member or friend can complete it on their behalf. This helper will need the respondent's access code from the letter or the paper form they have been sent. This code will open their online form. If possible, the helper should read the questions and answer options aloud to the respondent and fill in the form with the answers they give. They can read the answers back to the respondent at the end to check they're right. The helper should avoid guessing the answers to any questions they are asked. They should direct the respondent to the census website CLICK HERE.or call the contact centre if they aren't sure.

We recognise that some people will be shielding due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and will not feel comfortable having someone visit their home to help them. Anyone unable to access help from friends or family can call the contact centre.

If possible, the helper should get the respondent to sign or make their mark in the declaration box on the front of the form. If that's not possible, they can sign it on the respondent's behalf. If the person cannot get to a post box, the helper can post their completed form for them.