Census Day 2021 — Network support actions for our LGBT+ & LGBTQ communities, further to recent announcements on our pan-Dorset/BCP area Census participation by our communities:

On Thursday 11th March in a follow up to a flagging up email communication of a couple of weeks earlier (middle of February), the Network is pleased to update that in support of maximising pan-Dorset/BCP area Census 2021 LGBT+ and LGBTQ members participation, we requested support at senior level from the following public service, local authority, educational organisations, and from a Third Sector organisation, detailed below.  In support we also provided a related Network link to a supportive resource on our website (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/).  

BCP Council

Dorset Council

Dorset CCG

Dorset Healthcare

Dorset Police

Public Health Dorset

United Hospitals Dorset
Bournemouth & Poole College  

Dorset Healthwatch

Bournemouth University

Weymouth College

Dorset Mind

Community Action Network

Dorset Community Action

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner

Prejudice Free Dorset

Some of the organisations are already kindly taking action on the request – such as in a recent very high-level meeting with Dorset Council, and Dorset Healthcare NHS Trust, and others.  

The Network wishes to highlight in particular Dorset CCG’s response and action by the CCG’s CEO relayed to us by the organisation’s Deputy Director of Engagement and Development:

‘Just dropping you a quick note to let you know the [CEO] has mentioned the Census in his blog to all staff. He has also shared a link to your website as below too [please see the link above]’

We wish to rightly praise the CCG and its CEO for their greatly appreciated action, and also those who are taking or have taken action on our/Network request.

In late April/early May we will provide a further update on the outcomes of the Network request which has been welcomed by Community members, as valuable and very timely. 

We believe a joined-up approach on this historic moment and opportunity for our community members support and benefit — of the first ever Census where sexual orientation and gender identity have been including — is powerful in it’s potential for much needed change.  This especially when enabled by a community organisation such as the Network that has a respected constructive solutions to issues, critical friend role in support for our LGBT+ and LGBTQ communities in being heard, valued, respected and supported; it has given the Network great happiness to have played its role in this. 

The Network, initiated the collective messaging request to not only support, where taking place, dedicated outreach of our friends in all of the organisations listed above, but especially to prepare for the post-Census completion data analysis phase. This being the most important stage of Census 2021, as it concerns what innovations and/or changes need to be made at local, and organisation-specific level on LGBT+ & LGBTQ supportive services from 2022 onwards for and to benefit our LGBT+ & LGBTQ communities.

We are also pleased to update that in a number of national level directions (such as NHS England) our work in regard to the Census, especially on the mental health related questions of the Census (particularly questions 22 and 23) have been being received very positively, and we understand will be contributing directly and positively at national policy level where Census 2021 and the data it collects is concerned.  This something that we are delighted will assist at UK Government policy development, and relevant Parliament Select Committees levels. 

In regard to the above, ahead of announcements later next month, we are also delighted to share that because of the substantial more national level, special areas of particular LGBT+ community sub-population groups – who are often overlooked in service support provision — nationally to locally relevant support work that the Network has been providing in the past three years at Parliament and other national levels and in some cases in the pan-Dorset area and SW England  region, that the Network as an organisation will be evolving from mid-late Spring in it’s structure and outreach.