STAFF from Explore York libraries will be teaming up with volunteers from York CVS to help York people fill in their census forms.

Explore chief executive Fiona Williams said people can expect to start getting letters about the census on Monday.

The letters will invite most people to fill in the census form online - although you will be able to request a paper form if you prefer, Fiona said.

Explore staff and CVS volunteers have been getting special training, ready to help anyone who has difficulty filling in the forms, Fiona said.

The census happens every ten years, and generates vital information about the population of England and Wales.

Julian Cole, the census engagement manager for York, Ryedale and Scarborough, told The Press in January that the census had been running for 200 years - with a gap in 1941 because of the Second World War.

"This year's census will help to calculate what our needs are now and predict what they are likely to be in the future," he said. "It will also preserve for future generations a snapshot of how we live now."

Census day itself is actually on March 21. But from Monday, people will have nine weeks to fill in their forms, Fiona said.

Doing so is compulsory. "If you don't fill it in, people will come and knock on your door!"

Recognising that some people might find completing the form difficult, Explore and the York CVS will be launching their census support service from Monday.

From April 12, it may be possible for them to offer advice face-to-face, either at Explore libraries in central York, Acomb and Tang Hall, or at the CVS offices in Priory Street.

Until then, however the service will remain telephone only.

For help with your census form from Monday, call York Explore on 01904 552 828, Acomb Explore on 01904 552 651 or Tang Hall Explore on 01904 552 655.

To find out more about the 2021 census, visit