The Royal British Legion and its sister charity, Poppyscotland, have launched a campaign calling for additional questions to be included in the next census in 2021. These questions will seek to capture much needed data on the Armed Forces community – particularly Reservists and veterans – who are otherwise largely hidden from official statistics.
As you will be aware, unlike in the United States, the UK Government only really maintains records on Regulars and injured and pensionable veterans, whilst Reservists, ‘healthy’ working age veterans, and family members are generally missing from existing data collection methods. Sadly, even the data that we do have is rather patchy, providing no real indication as to the wellbeing and needs of this unique community. In contrast, we know a great deal about the UK’s Jedi community, as well as the numbers and location of our sheep and cattle.
In light of the above, the Legion and Poppyscotland have launched a new public-facing campaign. The campaign, which is called Count Them In, essentially seeks to establish a comprehensive snapshot of our Armed Forces community. By including questions about membership of the military community in the next census in 2021, we hope to not only develop a greater understanding of the needs, location and profile of the Armed Forces community, but also directly compare this group to their peers in the general population. This information will help the sector – local authorities, charities, statutory bodies – to more accurately identify areas where Service life presents a disadvantage, which will in turn enable the Government and other statutory providers to better allocate resources and deliver on their Armed Forces Covenant commitments.
How you can support ‘Count them in’:
- Follow the link http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/campaign/count-them-in/ to the RBL website and hit the red Pledge Your Support Enter your postcode, which identifies your local MP and send them the support request letter.
- Encourage everyone you can to pledge their support individually as well.
The RBL believe that more accurate local data on the size and needs of the Armed Forces community will help ensure the Armed Forces Covenant delivers for our Armed Forces community and for everyone. If you agree, please support this campaign. The Legion would be happy to provide you with additional campaign material.