Even though census day was last Sunday (21st March 2021), there’s still time to complete it in case the deadline was missed and there’s the risk of forgetting about it.
There are now three Census Support Centres in Sandwell: you can call to book appointments where they will walk you/talk you through the census in person, alternatively they will offer support over the phone. Ileys Community Centre (0121 448 3940) and EWA (0121 740 0824) are open to everyone who needs help. Sandwell Deaf Community Association (0121 553 0201) is principally for BSL users as it is only 1 of 3 centres around the country supporting that language. However, there are others in surrounding areas which may be closer. Visit https://census.gov.uk/en/find-a-support-centre/ for more information (the site asks for your postcode and then tells you the nearest location – make sure you click on the link to check opening times). Many centres offer language support.
There are also language videos available (just email Sarah Beedle | Census Engagement Manager, Sandwell | Office for National Statistics | +44 (0)7452 947989
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.census.gov.uk) – these cover “I don’t relate” and “how to access support”. In no particular order, these are in Farsi, Pashto, Tamil, Nepalese, Gujurati, Hindi, Kurdish, Bangladeshi, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanes, Turkish, Vietnamese, Somali, Punjabi Shahmukhi, Urdu, Purahi, Punjabi Gurmukhi, Cantonese, Mandarin, Yiddish, Hebrew, Polish, Slovak, Lithuanian, Latvian, Hungarian, Czech, Bulgarian, Romanian, French, and Arabic.
There is a similar range of social media assets as well, again, available from Sarah.
There are also videos created specifically for LGBTQ+ groups and engagement videos specifically for Eritrean, Romanian, Tamil, and Nepali people. There is a specific language line phone number: 0800 587 2021 (although people may have to be patient if they call it during “office hours”). The English helpline is 0800 141 2021.
Completing the census only takes about 10 minutes per person in a household and will have a significant impact on people’s lives for the next ten years. If more than five people live in a household they will require extension pages for their paper questionnaire, but there is no limit to the online version. In case people need reassurance, the 16-digit code is on the letter that was sent to their homes and this can be input once they visit census.gov.uk and click on the green “start census” button. If a letter has disappeared or was not delivered, it is easy to request a new code from the same website.