ONS - Joanna Page star of ‘Gavin and Stacey’ to front Census 2021 community heroes campaign

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Census 2021

Press release

9 December 2020

Joanna Page star of ‘Gavin and Stacey’ to front Census 2021 community heroes campaign

Joanna Page portrait. Credit: Joseph Sinclair

To mark Census 2021 in England and Wales, a competition has launched to find the nation’s unsung community heroes. 22 people, one for each census that has taken place to date, will have their community spirit and efforts commemorated with a unique purple plaque.

The iconic purple plaques, in the brand colour of Census 2021, can be placed in or on the winner’s home, place of work or a community building depending on their preference and permissions.

From a schoolteacher who has transformed lives, to a doctor who has saved them; communities up and down the country are bursting with ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things.

People are being asked to nominate their community’s heroes by visiting www.census.gov.uk/census-2021-heroes


Close-up Census Community Heroes Plaque

The window for nominations will close on 31st December and nominees will be judged by a panel of community champions, led by actress and TV presenter Joanna Page.

The plaques will be installed ahead of census day, 21 March 2021.

The census is a decennial national survey that has taken place every ten years since 1801 (with the exception of 1941). The census helps inform the provision of public services throughout the UK.

Joanna Page commented: 

“2020 has been a really difficult year for all of us. The Purple Plaques initiative is a lasting and permanent way to celebrate the people who have made a real difference to their community.

“The census is all about helping shape strong and vibrant communities, so it is fitting that we are celebrating the very people who make their local areas so special.

“I’d encourage everyone to take part and think about who deserves a purple plaque within their community.”

Pete Benton, ONS Director of Census and Survey Operations, commented:

“The census is such an important undertaking that helps inform the vital services we all rely on every single day within our communities. The search for Census Community Heroes will help us all recognise the strength of communities throughout the country.

“I look forward to seeing the nominations come in and celebrating the people who have made a real difference to the areas where they live.”


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

Notes to editor:

Other panellists:
Deborah Okenla: Deborah is the founder and CEO of YSYS (Your Start-up, Your Story); a start-up community for founders, developers, creatives, and investors on a mission to open doors of opportunity for diverse talent within the start-up ecosystem.

Imran Hameed: founder of Bearded Broz, a community group he says brings together the British and Islamic values of helping your neighbour in Birmingham.

Delwyn Derrick: Delwyn won the 2019 BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality Unsung Hero for his work bringing people together through football. He manages Wrexham-based Bellevue FC, which uses sport to help people from different backgrounds.

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, houses, roads, GP’s and dentists’ services based on the information people give. 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

Office for National Statistics