Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, has asked the UK government to consider changing the census to help identify armed forces veterans in need of support.
Mr Elmore raised this issue expressing his support for the Royal British Legion’s “Count Them In” campaign which seeks to add a question to the national census to help identify former service personnel.
The Ogmore MP commented: “I’m proud to support the Count Them In campaign – it’s vitally important that we are able to identify where our former armed forces men and women are so that we can ensure they are able to access support services long after they finish their initial service.”
Mr Elmore questioned Defence Minister, Tobias Ellwood MP, about the proposed change at Defence Questions last week. In a welcome response, the Minister expressed his support for the idea
Mr Elmore added: “I welcome Tobias Ellwood’s support for this change and commend the campaign led by the Royal British Legion. This campaign shows just what a vital support the legion is providing for both serving and former servicemen and women. As ever, I will be wearing my poppy with pride this year to support the vital work the Legion does and also to remember those who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today.”
Despite an estimated 1 in 10 of the UK population being members of the armed forces community, there is very little information about where they are or what their needs might be.
The Royal British Legion is seeking to improve our understanding of this unique community and ensure that politicians, charities and service providers fully meet the needs of serving personnel, veterans and their families.