Help available as TV switchover date approaches

Help is available in the run up to switchover
Help is available in the run up to switchover

THE date for the switchover of our area’s television from analogue to digital is fast approaching.

Well-known broadcaster and former Tomorrow’s World presenter Maggie Philbin has joined forces with the charity Age UK to make sure older and disabled people in Hebden Bridge and Todmorden know about the help they can get from the BBC-run Switchover Help Scheme in time for the switchover in September.

The Helping Hand campaign urges people to pledge their support for the scheme and tell eligible people about the help available, help fill out an application form or to call the Help Scheme so they can get the help they are entitled to.

Commenting on the launch, Maggie said: “Switchover is coming soon, so give a Helping Hand and remind older and disabled people about the Switchover Help Scheme. It offers practical support to help older and disabled people convert one of their TV sets to digital. You never know, you may be the one person they trust to give them good advice.”

Helping Hand events are being held around the region, where people can find out more about the Help Scheme and pledge their support. For further information visit www.helpscheme.co.uk/Yorkshire/events.

The Help Scheme has written to every eligible person in the area with the offer of help. To get the help they are entitled to, people must reply by returning their form or by calling the Help Scheme free on 0800 4085900.

People are eligible for help if they are aged 75 or over; or have lived in a care home for six months or more; or get (or could get) Disability Living Allowance (DLA), attendance or constant attendance allowance or mobility supplement; or are registered blind or partially sighted.

Most eligible people will be asked to pay £40 towards the standard option of help, which includes: easy to use equipment to convert one set; an approved installer to supply and install the necessary equipment; a check on their TV aerial, and replacement if necessary, where possible; and a 12-month aftercare service, including a free helpline.

This service is free for people who are eligible and who also receive pension credit income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or income-related employment and support allowance.

The Emley Moor transmitter group, used by the Hebden Bridge and Todmorden areas, has been given its two dates for the switchover to digital. On September 7 viewers will lose the BBC2 analogue channel and on September 21 all analogue channels will be switched off.