Teamwork Trust – which supports autistic adults and adults with learning disabilities and mental health conditions – is part of a network of UK-wide Census Support Centres funded by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and managed by Good Things Foundation.
Two of the charity’s centres in Stanier Close, Kettering and St Mark’s Rd, Corby are now open as official support hubs, where digitally excluded people can get help from trained staff to complete their Census 2021, online or on paper.
COVID-safe protocols are in place to keep staff and the public protected, with options for face-to-face appointments or telephone support.
Teamwork’s strategic director, John Bruce said:
“We’re so proud to be an official Census Support Centre and part of a national network that’s making sure everyone, no matter how confident they are using computers and the internet, has the chance to take part in Census 2021.
“We recently ran a successful digital inclusion project so that our service-users have brand new tablets – this shows that equal opportunities is very important to us as a charity. With our specially trained staff and COVID-safe processes, we are now able to support even more people in Kettering and Corby to make sure they are properly represented in the Census.”
The Census is a key national exercise, and the data it produces underpins local and national decisions on the provision of education, housing and healthcare; as well as informing the fair distribution of Government funding to local areas. It also provides accurate national and local information on the diversity of the population, allowing public bodies to know whether they are meeting their duties.
Helen Milner OBE, Chief Executive of Good Things Foundation, said:
“The last year has proved beyond a doubt how vital digital skills and access are to staying connected with loved ones and engaged with society, but there too many people still on the wrong side of the digital divide. That’s why we’re so delighted that ONS has recognised the importance of supporting those who lack digital skills or access to participate in the ‘digital first’ Census in 2021. It’s crucial that everyone has a voice and is counted.”
Although the official Census Day was 21st March, field staff will be actively visiting people who have yet to complete the census. Teamwork’s Support Centres will remain open until at least May.