David Rees AM pledges to Count Armed Forces Community In

Assembly Member for Aberavon, David Rees has declared his support for The Royal British Legion’s ‘Count Them In’ campaign which calls for questions on the Armed Forces community to be included in the next UK Census.

It is estimated that there are currently between 6.5 million and 6.7 million members of the Armed Forces community living in the UK, representing about a tenth of the population[i]. Yet little is known about the exact numbers, location and needs of this significant group. Including new questions on the next census would provide public bodies, and charities with information to ensure they are able to deliver the best services they can for our Armed Forces community.

David Rees AM, met with representatives of The Royal British Legion and RAF veteran Andy Davies to discuss the campaign at the Welsh Assembly building earlier today.

Mr Rees said; “It is important that public bodies are in a position to identify how many veterans live in our communities so as to be able to plan the level of services that they can offer. Too many times we find that forward planning has been hindered by a lack of knowledge of the demand for those services and the inability to provide them when needed.  This will help our public services to deliver much needed services to our veterans in their communities when they need it.”

Chris Simpkins, Director-General of The Royal British Legion, comments: “As a nation we promise to provide lifelong care and support for those who serve our country, and by adding questions to the 2021 UK Census we can help public bodies and charities to deliver the best services they can for our Armed Forces community where they are needed most. We thank David Rees AM for adding their support to our campaign and it’s time to make the next census count for our Armed Forces community . We count on them, lets Count them in.”

People can show their support for the campaign by visiting the campaign website, www.britishlegion.org.uk/census, or by posting on social media using the #CountThemIn hashtag.


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For more information please contact Bethan Herbert, Public Relations Officer, The Royal British Legion on [email protected] or 0333 011 4396 or 07780 955544

About The Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion’s work is encapsulated in its motto: Live On – to the memory of the fallen and the future of the living. The Legion is the nation’s biggest Armed Forces charity providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. It is the national custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is well known for the annual Poppy Appeal, and its emblem the red poppy. www.britishlegion.org.uk


The #CountThemIn campaign was launched by The Royal British Legion on May 16th with a series of photographs featuring four veterans painted into their surroundings to highlight that in the current census they are invisible amongst the general population. The pictures show the veterans hidden at the Houses of Parliament in London, a library in Manchester, a café in Plymouth and a rugby ground in Cardiff. For more information or copies of the images please contact [email protected]

[i] Figures taken from The Royal British Legion’s UK Household Survey of the Ex-Service Community 2014