Why is the census so important for carers?

UK censuses happen every 10 years and since 2001, they’ve included a question on unpaid caring:

Do you look after, or give any help or support to, anyone because they have long-term physical or mental health conditions or illnesses, or problems related to old age?; and if so, how many hours of caring do you provide?”

Question 24 enables the number of people who care for a family member, friend or neighbour to be counted, and shows variations in the pattern of caring across the country. In 2011 it showed that 5.8 million people in England and Wales were carers, and that among them 775,000 people were providing unpaid care for between 20 and 49 hours per week.

It's estimated there will have been a huge increase in the number of people with caring responsibilities since then, especially since the beginning of the pandemic.

The 2021 census, on Sunday 21st March, will provide a vital update. That day, every carer can be counted. So if you look after someone, make sure you're counted! It's so important that policy and decision makers know how many carers there are. Census findings are used widely by national and local government and many others – including national and local carers organisations.

Carers UK is encouraging all carers to respond, and remind other carers they know of the importance of the question, with a campaign called Count Carers In on social media. Their suggested social media post is:

I will be identifying as an unpaid carer when I complete #Census2021 on 21 March, by ticking yes to question 24! If you look after someone but do not get paid for it, make sure you identify as a carer too! #CountCarersIn

Find out more about why the census is important for carers

What is Signpost doing?

Between Monday 1st March - Tuesday 4th May 2021, the Heatons Centre is becoming a Census Support Centre. We will be one of two Centres in Stockport offering this service (the second is Starting Point in Woodley). See our opening times below.

We will be providing telephone support and booking face to face appointments for anyone needing support. This is an important service as this year is the first time the census is fully online.

Please help spread awareness of this service amongst people who may not have internet access, may not be confident using the internet, may be illiterate or need support finding a census in other languages.

We are available for telephone support and to book 1 hour appointments to help people complete their census. For those visiting the centre for appointments, we will ensure that Covid-19 procedures are followed.

If you would like more information or to book an appointment, please call our office and ask for Briony on 0161 442 0442 or email [email protected] 

Census Support Centre opening times

Monday              9am – 4pm        (last appointment 3pm)

Tuesday             9am – 4pm         (last appointment 3pm)

Wednesday       9am – 4pm         (last appointment 3pm)

Thursday           9am – 4pm         (last appointment 3pm)

Friday               9am – 4pm          (last appointment 3pm)

Saturday           9am – 12pm       (last appointment 11am)