Good Things Foundation to help deliver first digital census

Good Things Foundation and the ONS are working to ensure that people of all backgrounds and digital skill levels are included in the UK’s first digital National Census.

Chrissy Chiu | 28th May 19
Image of person typing at a keyboard

Social charity Good Things Foundation has partnered with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to support the delivery of the ‘digital first’ National Census in England and Wales in 2021.

The charity says it will provide in-person support to help people without digital skills or complete or the census, which will be predominantly digital for the first time.

Good Things Foundation believes “that digital technology can support equality of opportunity and ensure everyone can participate fully in today’s society.” The charity brings together thousands of community partners to comprise the Online Centres Network, to help support teach and the skills people need to change lives and overcome social challenges. Using the programme Learn My Way in centres, the charity teaches people relevant digital skills.

The charity said it will work with organisations in the Online Centres Network to help people who need support. Trained staff will be available in community locations with efforts targeted in geographies of greatest need.

A census rehearsal, led by the ONS, will take place later this year in four areas of England Wales. Specifically the rehearsals will take place in Carlisle, Ceredigion, Hackney and Tower Hamlets.


A voice for the UK

Helen Milner, chief executive of Good Things Foundation, said: “We’re delighted that ONS has recognised the importance of supporting those who lack digital skills or access to participate in the ‘digital first’ census in 2021. It’s vital that everyone has a voice and is counted.”

“Currently, in the UK, 11.3 million adults lack one or more of the basic digital skills for life and work. This means 11.3 million people will struggle to participate in a sector that the UK is a global leader in.  This why we are calling on organisations and government to pledge to make the UK the first 100% digitally included nation by 2028.”

“By working with community organisations in the Online Centres Network, we’ll be able to provide support that recognises the other barriers faced by those who are offline, including unemployment, low confidence and disability. We’ll also be able to create the opportunity for people to keep building their digital skills, through other programmes offered by Online Centres.”