As members of a History Group, most of us clearly have a very serious interest in the information in Censuses collected and preserved for over 200 years.  We believe that we must take the opportunity to emphasise to local people the importance of completing the Census Return this time round.

With this in mind we reproduce below in full a message we have received on 4th February from the Office of National Statistics; In the next few days we will consider whether to respond to the invitations within it to provide assistance.


I am keen to reach out to historical societies and genealogists in south Warwickshire to highlight the forthcoming Census. Census day is March 21.

My name is Sally Bannister and I am the Office for National Statistics’ Census Engagement Manager for Stratford upon Avon, Leamington Spa and Warwick. My role in the area is to reach out to groups and emphasise the importance of the census and the need for all to complete the questionnaire.

Much of your work and interest in the past will rely on census records and information.  

I would like your help in spreading the word of census through your newsletters, word of mouth and social media platforms. Covid and the lockdown has made my job a little more difficult than it could have been had I been able to stand in front of groups to highlight the importance of the census.
This is why I am looking to you to ask for your support.
Maybe a letter to your local newspapers to champion census and explain its importance to your interests; do you have snippets of historical data to show how local society has changed which you could highlight to in your newsletters or to the local paper in order help readers to see the value in census to ensure future generations can get a glimpse of society today? 
In fact, completing the census this year will be vital for historians to understand England and Wales under ‘lockdown’.
Obviously, the census too is used by government, local authorities, charities and business to see where best to place funds, which going forward will be thin on the ground. So, in fact, this year is so important for all to complete the census. Communities who opt out will lose out – though it is a legal requirement to complete and return all census forms.
Census day is March 21. A national advertising campaign will launch next Friday, February 12. Households will receive notification of the forthcoming census late February and will receive their Unique Access Codes to complete the census in early March. Census2021 will be online first – but paper questionnaires can be requested.
Kind Regards, Sally Bannister