Census team ready to make mark on Sunderland’s history

Census Area Manager Celia Samater with Wearside co-ordinators, from left; Ian Gillard, Stuart Ebdon and David Kelly
Census Area Manager Celia Samater with Wearside co-ordinators, from left; Ian Gillard, Stuart Ebdon and David Kelly
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MEET the team of people who will be helping to take a historical record of Wearside’s population.

In April, the team of nine will hit the streets to help people living across the city complete their census forms.

The team of census co-ordinators started work last week in preparation for the 2011 study.

They will be responsible for managing the field force, who will be on hand from early April to help people complete and return their census questionnaires as well as working with organisations, including care homes, to make sure all residents are included in the biggest study of its kind.

From early next month, census questionnaires will start being pushed through letterboxes across Wearside. Anyone who has not completed their questionnaire by mid April will receive a visit from a census collector, managed by the co-ordinators.

They will be able to provide replacement questionnaires for anyone who loses theirs, as well as offer help filling out the forms.

Celia Samater, census area manager for Sunderland, said: “The co-ordinators starting marks the countdown to the census in Sunderland, with around 150 collectors starting work in April.

“There will be a number of events within communities to provide support for people when completing the census questionnaires.”

The census, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, is carried out once every decade and provides an estimate of the population of England and Wales.

Census results are used to plan vital services including hospitals, housing, roads and emergency services so it is vital that householders fill them in and return them.

Personal information included on the questionnaire is kept confidential and protected by law.

It is used by the Government to allocate funding to services such as education, transport and health.

Local and central government policy makers also use the statistics to understand the needs of communities.

Every 10 years, another batch of census records turns 100, meaning it can be released to the public.

This information is often popular with people trying to trace their family history.

This year, the census is inviting people to share their story by emailing 2011CensusFamilyHistory@ons.gov.uk.

For more information on the census and what it involves, visit www.2011.census.gov.uk