Tens of thousands of households completed a census rehearsal this year – making a real difference as part of planning for the nationwide event in 2021.
The rehearsal was voluntary, with the Office for National Statistics asking residents to give up their time to test the processes and systems ahead of the 2021 Census.
To give something back to the communities, deputy national statistician Iain Bell completed an epic charity cycle ride – all 500 miles from Carlisle to Hackney and Tower Hamlets in East London, via Ceredigion in West Wales.
The feat raised more than £2000 for local charities across the four rehearsal areas and this week he presented Carlisle mayor, Marilyn Bowman with a cheque that will go towards her chosen charities, CFM’s Cash for Kids, Guide Dogs UK and the Jigsaw Children’s Hospice.
“I want to take this moment to thank everyone for taking part in the rehearsal,” Iain said. “It has been a great success and will play a key role in making sure we get things right in 2021.
“The census is not just about counting the population, it ensures schools, hospitals and health services can deliver what is needed for the populations up and down the country. And it’s not just about a big distribution of national funding – right across England and Wales, people are using the census to help improve their local community.
“The cycle helped get the census rehearsal off to a flying start and, like I promised, has given something back to the area of Carlisle by raising money for some good local causes.”
Cllr Bowman added: “I’m really pleased with how well the census rehearsal went here and proud that Carlisle played a part in preparing for the next census. Information from the census in 2021 will benefit everyone, but for this rehearsal it was important to give something back to the community for its help and Iain’s ride did that, raising money for the charities I’m supporting this year.”
Census statistics help paint a picture of the nation and how we live. They provide a detailed snapshot of the population and its characteristics, and underpin funding allocation to provide public services.
The ONS plans to hold the next census on 21st March 2021 – subject to Parliamentary approval.