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 2021The 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 www.census.gov.uk 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.
Census day is Sunday 21 March 2021