What we do
Since 2012 the British Sikh Report team has been collecting data across a variety of themes from the British Sikh community and publishing the findings in an annual report. All the work undertaken is done on a voluntary basis and supported by donations from the public.
The British Sikh Report team have developed robust and unrivalled statistical information about Sikhs living in Britain. This highly influential annual document has been quoted by MPs and Peers, referred to in several pieces of research and white papers regarding faith in modern society, and used by a multitude of public authorities and private companies in identifying the needs of British Sikhs.
Our experienced team has worked with a large and diverse group of Sikh organisations throughout the country to create its questionnaires and collect data. The BSR team includes research analysts, academics, social workers, senior consultants, teachers and managers amongst many others who have volunteered their valuable time and expertise to the project. We are deeply grateful to everyone who has helped us along the way, including those who went out within the Sikh community to gather responses.
The British Sikh Report is produced independently?of political influence and is freely available for anyone to use.?
The British Sikh Report seeks to identify the needs and wants of the Sikh population in the UK. A report is published each year that will form the basis for engagement with political and community leaders and help inspire others to help run and create initiatives to cater for Sikhs in Britain. We encourage everyone to complete the questionnaire and share it with Sikh friends and family each year when it is live.
The BSR aims to:
> Provide high quality and reliable statistics about the lives of Sikhs living in Britain.?
> To inform discussion, debate and decision making.
> To support the monitoring of progress and change.?
Eighth in our series of strategic documents created by Sikhs about Sikhs, and for everyone with an interest in the lives of Sikhs in Britain.
We dedicate this edition to those Sikh organisations and individuals who have been working to support their communities throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, and those who work on key front line services.
Some highlights include:
- Organ donation: 53% of Sikhs know of the law change in 2020 relating to â€œOpt outâ€, 60% are happy with the change and two thirds consider it to be Sewa.
- Disability: About 5% reported that they have a disability, rising to 16 per cent for those aged over 65; 50% are looked after by family and 19% have respite care available.
- Loneliness: impacts most on younger age groups and declines with age; those not in marriages or civil partnerships are significantly more lonely or feel left out.
- Other topics covered: Marriage and weddings,Â Relationship and Sex Education, Faith schools,Â Accommodation,Â Voting in December 2019 election.
"This survey is more than just a Sikh census. Its launch in our Parliament today is fitting, as this is a tool, I am sure, which will inspire Sikhs of all generations to become more and more involved in the political process, from engagement with political leaders, to running for office."
– Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Minister for Faith and Integration
"This report is feeling the pulse of the 450,000 British Sikhs in the UK. For people who make laws, it's important for us to know what British citizens of the Sikh faith value and what they want their politicians to be doing.
– Sadiq Khan MP
"The British Sikh community is one of the most hard-working and successful groups in the UK, contributing so much to our culture, economy and way of life. I commend the British Sikh Report for its continuing efforts to engage politicians in dialogue on matters concerning the British Sikh community."
– David Cameron, the Prime Minister
"With Vaisakhi being celebrated in the capital next month as well as across the world, this new report offers timely insight into a population that goes from strength to strength and will continue to play an important role in the future success of our nation."
– Boris Johnson, London Mayor
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Who produces the BSR reports?
It has been put together by a team of Sikh professionals from all walks of life who believe that such an initiative was long overdue. The team includes civil servants, project managers, academics, lawyers, PR consultants, IT consultants and researchers amongst others. Previous projects that the various team members have led or been involved in include research for:
- Local authorities
- The Treasury Department
- Department for Communities and Local Government
- DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
- The Metropolitan Police
- The FA (Football Association),
- LOCOG (the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games)
- Major British and global corporations including BP, Accenture, E&Y, and PwC
What is the data used for and why is it needed?
The BSR is used as a strategic document for the benefit of the British Sikh community, both within the community and with central and local government. We hope that findings from the BSR will continue to impact upon a variety of areas including funding decisions, policies and laws.
The BSR can and is used by corporations, charities and academic institutions when looking at issues concerning the British Sikh community.
The Equality Act 2010 is legislation which bans unfair treatment and which will help ensure equal opportunity in the work place and wider society. Section 149 of the Equality Act imposes an equality duty upon the public sector, which encourages the public sector to understand how different people will be affected by their activities, so that their policies and services are appropriate and accessible to all. The BSR can assist the public sector in ensuring that their duties under Section 149 of the Equality Act are being met.
How many Sikhs are there in Britain?
According to the 2011 Census, there were 420,196 Sikhs in England and 2,962 in Wales as of 27th March 2011. The 2011 results for Scotland have yet to be released, with the most recent official figures being 6,572 Sikhs in 2001. There are no official figures available for Northern Irish Sikhs, although there are an estimated 200 Sikhs in Northern Ireland. Altogether, there are just over 430,000 Sikhs throughout the UK.
Have other faith communities done anything similar?
Other faith communities in the UK have similar projects to the BSR and have benefited immensely from this approach, including the Jewish and Muslim communities. The Church of England also conducts regular research to ascertain the wants and needs of its congregation at local, regional and national levels.
Is the BSR questionnaire only available online?
We have in the past focussed on the digital delivery of the annual questionnaire, mainly to keep costs low and provide an easy format that is accessible to a large number of people across the country. We have however also had volunteers take paper versions of the questionnaire to their local Gurdwara and help gather responses and then input them online afterwards particularly from the older generations.?
The internet is widely used by British Sikhs. In 2012, the Office for National Statistics stated that 84% of the British population used the internet. Most Sikhs in the UK live in a household with extended family, and at least one person within each household will have regular access to the internet.
In past years we have been oncouraged to see that more technologically aware members of the family have helped the older generation in completing the questionnaire, just as they helped the older generation in completing the 2011 Census and other forms and documents. We encourage everyone to support each other and help gather responses in this way whenever a BSR questionnaire is live.
Is the data based on a representative sample?
The BSR team does its utmost to ensure that there is a representative sample in the results. Any difficulties with obtaining such a sample is addressed within the BSR itself. The BSR sets out clearly the breakdown of responses, and also explains the methodology undertaken in creating the document. The results are always transparent, as is the methodology, and any shortcomings are taken into account for future years and mitigations put in place.
Is the BSR an independent project?
Yes.?Retaining independence is important to ensure that the BSR team hold editorial rights over the questions without undue influence from other groups and organisations who may have vested interests. The BSR team have been guided by the approach taken by the 2011 Census when putting together the BSR and taken learning from previous years to continually improve it’s methodologies and robustness.
I think that the report could be improved. How can I tell you about my views?
Unlike many other projects, the BSR is a wholly community-led grass-roots project. As such, the BSR welcomes all feedback. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries or feedback that you may have, and a member of the BSR team shall contact you as soon as possible.
How can I help?
You can help us in a number of ways:
- First and foremost, when our annual questionnaire is live? and if you are a Sikh living in the UK, you can help by completing the questionnaire yourself. The BSR needs as many people to answer the Questionnaire as possible each year.
- Helping your family members complete the Questionnaire if they cannot do it by themselves. This will be very important for the older generation who may not be as technologically aware.
- Promoting the questionnaire amongst friends and family when it is live and collecting responses. You can also download a paper version to print and help collect responses at your local Gurdwara.
- Joining our Twitter or Facebook pages to help spread the word and stay up to date with the latest news.