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Islanders reminded of digital TV help on offer

07 October 2010

​​Well-known broadcaster and former Tomorrow’s World presenter, Maggie Philbin has been visiting community centres in Jersey (6 October) to officially launch the ‘Helping Hand’ campaign for the Switchover Help Scheme in the Channel Islands.

In just over a month’s time, on 17 November 2010, the Channel Islands will switch to digital television. The Helping Hand campaign urges everyone to make sure older and disabled people in their area know about the help they can get from the help scheme to switch to digital TV.

Commenting on the launch, Maggie said “Digital switchover is happening in Jersey this November and you may have friends or neighbours who may be confused about the process. The Switchover Help Scheme offers practical support to help older and disabled people convert one of their TV sets to digital. We can all lend a helping hand by making sure that older and disabled members of our community know about help they can get from the help scheme.”

Maggie visited the Communicare Friendship Club in St Brelade with celebratory cakes to launch the campaign. Caroline Byng, South West Regional Manager for the Switchover Help Scheme, was also at the launch. She added “Switchover is coming soon. Give a helping hand and remind older and disabled people in your area about the help scheme. You never know, you may be the one person that they trust to give them good advice.”

Practical digital TV help for elderly and disabled people

The help scheme, run by the BBC under an agreement with the States of Jersey and States of Guernsey, offers practical help to older and disabled people and is writing to everyone eligible in the Channel Islands before switchover. Those eligible for help have already been contacted by the help scheme but must reply by post or telephone to get the help they are entitled to.

Eligible people will receive a standard offer of Freesat equipment and installation. Most people aged 75 and over, eligible for certain disability benefits, registered blind or partially sighted or living in care homes will be asked to pay £40 towards the standard offer of help.

For £40, they will be given equipment to switch one TV in their household to digital. They will be able to have that equipment installed if they want it, and will also receive a demonstration of how it works and a free phone number to call for a year after switchover. If they’re eligible and also on income-related benefits, the help will be free.

Eligible people need to respond to get the help. Completed information pack forms can be returned by post to the help scheme, or, to make it even easier to apply, eligible people can also choose to call the help scheme free on 0800 40 87 65 4.

Equipment has been chosen to be easy to use, and contact centre and delivery staff and installers have all been trained to understand and respect older and disabled people. All installers are vetted, carry identification and will never call without having made an appointment.​

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