Census 2021 launches its first of a kind Community Hero Campaign in the search of unrecognised heroes across England and Wales. Nominations close on December 31, 2020, and the most outstanding individuals will be declared in early March, 2021.
Census 2021 is a census that takes place every 10 years since 1801 with the exception of 1941. It aims to inform the government of what our communities look like. As Senior Account Executive Georgia Laudat puts it: “it informs national and local vital services on issues like diversity, and ensures investment in emergency services, mental health care, school places, hospital beds, houses, roads and others based on the information people give”. This makes it easier for the needed services to be built within communities. Whereas usually the census was to be completed through a paper form, this year this may be done electronically.
The data is gathered entirely through the census, which the team is trying to further popularize. The next one will be held on March 21, 2021 in England and Wales, and results will be available the following year. Personal records will be locked away for 100 years and kept safe for future generations.
Community Hero Campaign
This year the team decides to take it one step further by not only gathering data on various communities, but giving credit to the most outstanding individuals within those communities. With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the hardships it brought, helping others becomes even more courageous and admirable. London resident and Founder/CEO of startup community Your Startup, Your Story and one of the Community Hero Campaign’s panelists Deborah Okenla shares more about the campaign:
“The Community Hero Campaign or the Census 2021 Purple Plaques Campaign is a great opportunity to highlight and celebrate our local heroes that have not only been advocating for community change, but people that have really gone over beyond, particularly this year that’s been so hard. People that have shown so much resilience, unity, strength, courage, love and so much more. This can be anyone from a doctor to a nurse, who have been actively supporting the NHS, through a teacher that has encouraged their students to continue learning and be as invested as they can be, to individuals that have marched for underserved communities and others. It is an opportunity for the people that are often unsung, unseen, but their impact is seen in their communities.”
Nominations are open for anyone in England and Wales regardless of their age, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic background or any other differentiations of this kind. The voting procedure is entirely electronic, and the form can be found here. Nominations close on December 31, 2020.
Deborah further jokes that this could be “like a Christmas present”, and a heartwarming one. The nominations would be discussed in a panel consisting of four people, led by actress and TV presenter Joanna Page. As Deborah is also a panelist, she explains they are still working on a specific evaluation criteria, and more details are yet to come. However, in the end, 22 “amazing local heroes will be celebrated and will be given purple plaques to put on buildings to represent the impact they have made”.
Georgia says the team wants to “celebrate individuals within communities and give a voice to those unsung heroes across the country that are doing extraordinary things and give them recognition for the hard work they are doing for their community.”
Deborah further adds that:
“I think it is an amazing thing to celebrate someone, an individual that has helped their community. I think almost the “why” is in “why not”? Why not if you have noticed someone has been giving face masks to people that couldn’t get them or have seen a teacher that didn’t necessarily know how to use any digital tools all of a sudden provide the best education they can through digital delivery? Why not? Many ordinary individuals are being extraordinary. Most of us can get on with our day-to-day lives, but some people are not only doing that, but they make it easier for other people to do that, and I think that’s something that definitely deserves to be celebrated.”
In case you would like to nominate someone, submit your form here.
Another article following an interview with Deborah Okenla on her startup program is soon to be published.