20th Sep, 2020

Counting them in: 2021 census to recognised military veterans

Correspondent 3rd Aug, 2020

THE 20,000 veterans living in Worcestershire will have their Armed Forces background recognised in the 2021 census.

Legislation for the change has been finalised by Parliament after a long-standing campaign led by The Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland.

The 2021 Census in England and Wales will now include a question to provide information on whether someone has served in HM Armed Forces.

County Councillor Lucy Hodgson, (Con, Malvern Chase) cabinet member for communities, said: “Having a better understanding of the profile and needs of veterans in Worcestershire is a key part of making sure our services are tailored for serving personnel, veterans and their families.

“I welcome this historic change to include a question on the Armed Forces to the 2021 Census.

“The change comes about as a result of a particularly hard-fought and longstanding campaign, by the Royal British Legion, and I congratulate them on their determination to get the change made.”

It is estimated there are 2.4million veterans living in the UK who make up part of a wider ex-Service community which includes their spouses, partners, dependent children and widow(er)s.

However, little is currently known about the exact numbers, location and needs of this significant group. Including an Armed Forces question in the next census would provide public bodies, local authorities, and charities with valuable information to ensure they are able to deliver the best services they can for our Armed Forces community.

Residents can find out more about the ongoing campaign by visiting the campaign website, www.rbl.org.uk/campaigns, or by posting their own pledge of support on social media using the #CountThemIn hashtag.

‘Count Them In’ is part of The Royal British Legion’s ongoing campaign work to help champion the interests, welfare, and contributions of the Armed Forces Community.

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