The LGB&T (LGBT+) Dorset Equality Network has developed some important guidance information as a result of liaison with the Census and pan-Dorset/BCP LGBT+ and LGBTQ community members and community organisations to support maximum participation in the Census, which is a once in a decade opportunity to impact on providing data that can influence improving the public services we receive, and much more.
To support participation the Network has developed an information page which can be accessed here: the page covers the following need to know & why you should provide answers to the main LGBT+ and LGBTQ relevant questions:
- Census Questions of importance to LGBT+ community members
- Confidentiality & the Census
- Benefits of taking part in the Census
This webpage and the information page mentioned has been provided to pan-Dorset statutory and public sector organisations (the two pan-Dorset area local authorities, NHS organisations, Dorset Police, and others) and the ONS on points that community members have contacted the Network on about some of the Census questions, and other points the Network has noticed.
This request from the Network is for a pan-Dorset/BCP multiagency supportive LGBT+ community supportive messaging campaign by the organisations contacted (listed below). For their staff/team members, and public communication to their service users, to play their parts together and individually, on illustrating in this timely and tangible way, commitment to support for our LGBT+ and LGBTQ communities at this historic moment of the first ever Census to include sexual orientation and gender identity questions.
As a part of this messaging initiative we provide this information link —https://lgbtdorsetequality.network/census-questions-that-are-directly-or-indirectly-lgbt-related-guidance-on-and-encouragement-to-complete-these-questions-by-lgbt-and-lgbtq-community-members/ — and reference to the national #ProudToBeCounted initiative (information image below):
And this valuable visual from Pink News:
We/LGB&T (LGBT+) Equality Network believe that by taking this coordinated multiagency outreach approach the LGBT+ community support policies and activities that many of the organisations listed above have, can be much more effectively highlighted to the general public, and especially to our LGBT+ and LGBTQ community members using their services.
The LGB&T (LGBT+) Dorset Equality Network has been Proud to in the past three weeks (late February to March 5th) to have connected the pan-Dorset/BCP area Census field officer, with all of the core pan-Dorset LGBT+ community organisations, from amongst others, Bourne Free LGBT+ Pride organisation, Weymouth Gay Group, Communi-T, Proud Cherries, Silver Moments and NHS LGBT+ staff networks.
Until our support on this crucially important outreach credibility matter, the Census only had contact with three LGBT organisations: one a dedicated pan-Dorset organisation, and two others that are regional level providing services in the pan-Dorset area rather than exclusively local to our area. We have been Proud to resolve this important Dorset & BCP area LGBT+ community engagement outreach challenge at this very important time for both our Community and the ONS/Census.
As a result, instead of minimal direct pan-Dorset LGBT community outreach (which unfortunately happens sometimes) all the core pan-Dorset LGBT+ community groups and organisations have now been reached by the Census, maximising potential Community participation.