The Network was at grassroots and strategic engagement level from the start of 2021 actively engaged in preparation to support maximum outreach and participation of our LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ communities in the South of England and beyond. Our particular interest being to engage more marginalised, disempowered, overlooked sections of our communities.
Because of this priority we undertook major evaluation at detailed question by question level of the Census 2021 — delivered by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) — online and hard-copy versions so we could better advise community members about the community-relevant questions (and there were a number of these, Not only the two new sexual orientation and gender identity ground-breaking questions the ONS introduced to our and all LGBT+ rights & equality supporting organisations) in the Census.
This work led to creation of a valuable resource that the Network has provided (16th August) formally to the National Statistician (Sir Ian Diamond) and ONS, as the priority of the Network is to see maximum use of Census data to inform much better quality and extensive LGBT+ & LGBTQ community supportive services at national UK Government departments policy and public services delivery level.
We are delighted to share that we have received confirmation of receipt of the Report from the Office of the National Statistician, who will be studying the findings and recommendations.
This will enable us to be able to follow up with those government departments, public services providers and local authorities where relevant on their use of the Census data used to inform LGBT+ & LGBTQ+ communities members engagement and support where policies and services planning and delivery are concerned, and strengthening too work in this area by organisations such as Stonewall.
The Network has also been invited by the ONS to join their Census 2021 Engagement Group, which we are now a part of.