Census completion is an issue for Waltham Forest, with an estimated 9 million pounds in central government revenue lost due to there being more people living in the borough than were counted in the last census. As such, encouraging high completion is really important.
Twenty Young Advisors were trained to become ‘Census Ambassadors’ in their local communities; speaking to relatives, friends parents, neighbours and organising talks in their religious places in order to promote the importance of filling the census in.
So far the group have engaged with 191 families and are aiming to reach 400 families before census day on March 27th. They are also targeting particular communities who historically have had low participation rates.
Waltham Forest Council employed Young Advisors to raise awareness about the Census and inform local residents of why the Census comes through our doors every ten years. This task was identified as many people did not complete the Census that came around in 1991 - causing a loss to the Waltham Forest council. The amount of funding local authorities receive is dependent on information gained from the census, so it is essential that the census records accurate information that is representative of the whole community. Although the vast majority of local residents were going to complete the census beforehand, many of them were unaware of why it is so important to local councils.
The Young Advisors had to attend a training session where they learnt how to approach people and what to say. They were also informed on how to stay safe whilst carrying out their tasks.
They met up many times during the duration of the project to discuss their progress.
The Young Advisors spoke to around 800 people, resulting in raised awareness of the Census. The Young Advisors are hoping there has been an increase in the numbers of people who fill out the Census in Waltham Forest.
20 YAS and 20 young people from target areas were trained as Census Ambassadors
90% of the young people trained completed the project
Over 800 households were engaged as part of this project. As there are 89 788 households in Waltham Forest, we directly engaged with just under 1% of the total population
Of the people spoken to, only 60% intended to complete the census. However, after engaging with these people, 97% intended to complete the census.
Extrapolating this means that an additional 290 families/households (0.3% of the population) intended to fill out the census as a result of this project.
To see the full report on the success of the Waltham Forest Census Ambassadors upload the file below!