ADVISERS will be able to help Dorset residents who cannot get online to complete their 2021 census.

Households will receive a letter in early March with a code enabling them to complete their form online.

In areas where fewer people have access to the internet, they will receive a paper copy. If anyone else prefers a paper copy they can telephone a free national helpline to request one. Details will be given with their letter.

If you’re having trouble completing the form, advisers at Dorset Council’s libraries will be able to help. During lockdown this help is over the telephone, with face to face appointments available if and when Covid rules allow.

The team can provide as little or as much support as required, from guiding the caller through the form, to completing the form on their behalf.

Appointments will be available from Monday, March 1. Appointments need to be booked in

advance by calling 01305 221028 - this can be done from today.

At appointment time, a trained adviser will call the customer. Appointments will be available Monday to Saturday morning (not including bank holidays). Visit

Councillor Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset Council, said: “Everyone should have access to the support they need to fill in the census. If you, or anyone you know, needs help, please be assured there’s a wide range of support available.

“By taking part in the 2021 census, you will be helping inform decisions on services that shape your community, such as healthcare, education and transport.

“It’s important that you fill in your census questionnaire. Without the information you share, it would be more difficult to understand your community’s needs and to plan and fund public services.”

When the library buildings reopen, face-to-face appointments will be held at Dorchester, Weymouth, Ferndown and Gillingham. However, people can continue to have telephone appointments if they wish.

When libraries reopen, customers will also be able to access the internet to complete the form using the library computers. Computer sessions must be booked in advance.

The information the census collects helps plan and fund local services.

It is a legal requirement to complete the census. Households that do not complete the census could be fined up to £1,000.

After census day on March 21, a census field team will follow up households which have not completed their questionnaire.

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