Press releases : Census 2021 Reveals Community Heroes Across England and Wales

Following a year like no other, 22 purple plaques - one for each census that has taken place to date - have been awarded to community heroes up and down the country.

With census day just around the corner, ordinary people are being celebrated for the extraordinary contributions they have made, and to highlight how census findings help to build better communities. From volunteering during the pandemic, to supporting those with mental health issues, the winners have made an amazing difference during a difficult time.

The entries were judged by a panel of noteworthy community champions, led by actress and presenter, Joanna Page.

Joanna Page commented: “I am honoured to have been a judge on the Census 2021 community hero awards panel. It was such a pleasure to read through all the amazing entries. In what has been a difficult year for so many of us, this was a great opportunity to say thank you to the people who go above and beyond to serve their local community.”

Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the ONS, said:

“It has been incredible to see the reaction from local communities for this award which resulted in hundreds of entries across England and Wales. This is testament to just how many incredible people are doing amazing things and how, during this difficult year, we have seen the best come out in people. We can all do something, however big or small, to help those around us.”

The census, taking place on 21 March 2021, will shed light on the needs of different groups and communities, and the inequalities people are experiencing, ensuring the big decisions facing the country following the pandemic and EU exit are based on the best information possible.

Census 2021 will inform decisions nationally and locally on vital services and issues. Ultimately it ensures millions of pounds are invested in emergency services, mental health care, school places, hospital beds, houses, roads, GPs and dentists’ services - all based on the information people provide.

It is easy for people to complete the census online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them. Households should have now received information via the post on the upcoming census and how to complete it online.

More information: https://census.gov.uk/census-2021-heroes/

Following a year like no other, 22 purple plaques - one for each census that has taken place to date - have been awarded to community heroes up and down the country.

With census day just around the corner, ordinary people are being celebrated for the extraordinary contributions they have made, and to highlight how census findings help to build better communities. From volunteering during the pandemic, to supporting those with mental health issues, the winners have made an amazing difference during a difficult time.

The entries were judged by a panel of noteworthy community champions, led by actress and presenter, Joanna Page.

Joanna Page commented: “I am honoured to have been a judge on the Census 2021 community hero awards panel. It was such a pleasure to read through all the amazing entries. In what has been a difficult year for so many of us, this was a great opportunity to say thank you to the people who go above and beyond to serve their local community.”

Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the ONS, said:

“It has been incredible to see the reaction from local communities for this award which resulted in hundreds of entries across England and Wales. This is testament to just how many incredible people are doing amazing things and how, during this difficult year, we have seen the best come out in people. We can all do something, however big or small, to help those around us.”

The census, taking place on 21 March 2021, will shed light on the needs of different groups and communities, and the inequalities people are experiencing, ensuring the big decisions facing the country following the pandemic and EU exit are based on the best information possible.

Census 2021 will inform decisions nationally and locally on vital services and issues. Ultimately it ensures millions of pounds are invested in emergency services, mental health care, school places, hospital beds, houses, roads, GPs and dentists’ services - all based on the information people provide.

It is easy for people to complete the census online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them. Households should have now received information via the post on the upcoming census and how to complete it online.

More information: https://census.gov.uk/census-2021-heroes/

For further information or any other media enquiries please contact censuspressoffice@mcsaatchi.com

Notes to Editors

Full List of Winners

  • Floyd Haughton for providing meals for key workers and frontline staff in his local community in Cardiff during the pandemic. Building on his Covid-19 initiative, Floyd kicked-off Wales 2020 Black History Month, and Black History Cymru 365 celebrations, by delivering home-cooked meals to 22 Welsh Windrush elders.
  • Patrick Mulder for his services setting up volunteer networks for his community in Swansea. He has helped to deliver hundreds of prescriptions, posting letters, as well as doing the shopping and food parcels for vulnerable people during the pandemic.
  • Mirta and Jason Beasant for their services to their local community in Laleston throughout the pandemic, providing parcels to those shielding and going above and beyond whilst running their local shop.
  • Pamela for her services to the Caribbean Social Forum, a social group for elderly Caribbean community in London. The group is part of the fabric of the Woolwich community supporting older people with loneliness, dementia and providing a space to talk, play board games and socialise.
  • Safia Jama for her services to youth programmes, women’s empowerment projects and mental health support within her local community in London.
  • Kerry Irving for his services to his local community and beyond (worldwide fame!) alongside his trio of super Spaniels. His support for the animal charity PDSA, and his own battle with depression, have seen him become a great role model and advocate for people with mental health issues. Throughout lockdown, he streamed his walks with Max, Paddy and Harry which has acquired quite a fanbase.
  • Sulayman for his services to his local community in Buckingham. He is a 14-year-old young man who was inspired by Marcus Rashford to set up Buckingham Free Meals to provide hot meals and food parcels for people in need in the local area.
  • Jane Stanford–Beale for her voluntary services to her local community of Berkshire supporting families of children with autism. She ensured that families continued to have the support they needed by reacting quickly to lockdown and taking services online.
  • Jack Littlejohns for his services to sport and raising money within his local community in North Devon for Barnstaple ability football club. He was also recently a finalist for this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero Award for the South West region.
  • Tracey Fleming for dedication to her community in Cornwall, providing takeaway services and doorstep food delivery parcels for those shielding and self-isolating during the pandemic.
  • Mat Callaghan for services to his local community in Yeovil, volunteering at the Lord’s Larder food bank for many years and raising £50,000 of donations in 2020.
  • Kate Turner for her services to her local community in Midsomer Norton and providing education on reducing waste.
  • Bernadetta Omondi for her services to her local community in Peterborough, shopping and delivering food to the people who need it. She is also the chairperson of Black History Month and other committees, and always encourages cohesion and inclusion for all.
  • Mick Pescod for his services to his local community in St Neots, providing food, essential supplies and support to the homeless. Since 2016 over 30,000 meals have been provided by his charity, 3 Pillars feeding the homeless.
  • Fareeha Usman for her services to her local community in Ashington through inclusion, charity work and fundraising. She founded Being Woman, a charity based in Northumberland. Fareeha had a vision of founding an organisation that could alleviate the pain of those suffering from gender discrimination.
  • Anthony Wright for his services to his local community in Dunston. Anthony has selflessly supported elderly, vulnerable and less fortunate residents of Dunston and his home town of Consett, County Durham. He has ensured that people in need have received hot meals, delivered afternoon teas to residents of care homes, and raffled gifts all paid for from his own pocket.
  • Marilyn and Michael Holt for their services to their local community in Rochdale by providing fostering. Marilyn and Michael were approved as foster carers in January 1976, making this year their 45th year as foster carers for Rochdale Borough Council. In this time, they have cared for over 300 children.
  • Michael Johnson-Ellis for his services to his local community in Hagley and offering support on Fertility and Surrogacy for the LGBTQ+ communities. Michael is the co-founder The Modern Family Show, the only UK LGBTQ Family Building event, My Surrogacy Journey, the UK’s latest not for profit Surrogacy organisation and obviously TwoDads UK - the leading brand associated to the positive promotion of same sex families and as a point of information for Intended Fathers.
  • Clive Lawrence for his services to his local community in Derby through engaging youth in sports and providing for those shielding through Covid-19. Clive and his staff have raised funds to buy essentials for those families (milk, bread, toiletries etc), shopped for them and delivered them. They’ve collected prescriptions, kept morale high among their local community and tried to include everyone at every opportunity.
  • Donna Varley for her services to her local community in Leeds. She has been helping families who were in desperate need whether it be clothing, toys for little ones at Christmas or toiletries, by launching Project Kaison Saves Christmas, she has gone in to make food hampers for needy families and has been helping put together hampers for residents at residential homes.
  • Peter Singh for his services to his local community in Doncaster through volunteering and fundraising. Peter has gone beyond his usual charitable volunteering work by ensuring that throughout the pandemic his community centre users and residents, who were shielding, had access to tablets and telephones to ensure they had internet access to combat isolation, and keep in touch with family and friends. He also coordinated the delivery of fresh food, and hygiene and household products for the elderly and those shielding, and families on low incomes.
  • Ken from ‘Everton in the Community’

About Census 2021

Everyone benefits from the census. It informs decisions nationally and locally on vital services and issues like diversity. Ultimately it ensures millions of pounds are invested in emergency services, mental health care, school places, hospital beds, housing, roads, GP’s and dentists’ services – all based on the information people provide. We’ve made it easier for people to complete the census online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.

The next census will be held on 21st March 2021 in England and Wales and results will be available the following year. However personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.

About the Office for National Statistics (ONS)

The Office for National Statistics produces the numbers that matter most– on the economy and business, people, population and communities. Operating impartially and free of political control, we are mobilising the power of data to help Britain make better decisions and improve lives.

To arrange broadcast or print interviews, please contact Media Relations on 0845 604 1858 or 0203 684 5070 or email Media.Relations@ons.gov.uk