Help someone else to switch to digital TV in West Devon by passing it on! With only five weeks to go to switchover, West Devon Council is urging residents across the Borough to help someone else to switch to digital. The Borough Council is backing the Switchover Help Scheme’s ‘Pass it On’ campaign to make sure every eligible older and disabled person in the area knows about the help they can get to keep their TV working when switchover starts on 1 July 2009. The Huntshaw Cross transmitter group mostly serving north Devon will begin to switch to digital on 1 July, followed by the Caradon Hill transmitter group, mostly covering Plymouth, parts of Devon and East Cornwall on the 12 August 2009. In the lead up to switchover, the BBC-run Switchover Help Scheme is offering practical help to eligible older and disabled people to make the change to digital on one of their TV sets. Eligible people have been posted a Help Scheme information pack and will be getting a reminder letter. However, West Devon Borough Council is urging everyone who has already switched to digital to reach out to those older and disabled people they know who may still need help, and has not yet made contact with the Help Scheme to let them know they need help. Claire Wager an outreach worker with West Devon Borough Council, said: “We are happy to support the 'pass it on' message as we all have a part to play to ensure everyone understands the help that is out there to make the switchover very easy. We understand there are eligible people who may find the process of switching to digital daunting, but we are here to help! By simply spreading the word that there is support available from the Switchover Help Scheme, you could be helping someone to continue watching their favourite shows. So pass it on.'” Claire and local Help Scheme representative Helena Giles are staging various events around the community to help spread the pass it on message, such as the one held today (May 26) at the Hope Cottage Community Café in Yelverton, run by volunteers from the Bere Alston United Church. Just under 40 Pass it On events including presentations, drop in events are taking place across the region in the weeks ahead where people can pick up leaflets and bookmarks to help spread the word. The Help Scheme makes is easy for eligible older and disabled to switch to digital TV. It offers each eligible household help to switch one TV set to digital, including equipment, installation and an aerial check and upgrade if necessary. They also get a demonstration of how the equipment works and aftercare. Equipment has been specifically chosen for ease of use, and contact centre, delivery staff and installers have all been trained to understand and respect older and disabled people. Installers carry identification and will never call without having made an appointment. Most people will be asked to contribute £40 towards the help. The service is free for eligible people who also get pension credit, income-support, or income based jobseekers allowance. People are eligible for help from the Switchover Help Scheme if they are: • aged 75 or over, • have lived in a care home for six months or more, • get or could get, disability living allowance, • attendance or constant attendance allowance, or mobility supplement, • Or if they are registered blind or partially sighted. In the run-up to switchover in each region, every eligible person will receive a Switchover Help Scheme letter and information pack explaining the options for switching to digital. Most people will be asked to contribute £40 towards the help. The service is free for people who are eligible and also get pension credit, income support or income-based jobseekers allowance. People need to respond to get the help. Completed information pack forms can be returned to the Help Scheme, or, to make it even easier to apply, eligible people can also apply by calling the Help Scheme free on 0800 40 85 902 In addition, any eligible person who needs help to apply can nominate someone else to complete their form for them. If you would like to find out more about the Help Scheme and who is eligible to apply, please log onto helpscheme.co.uk --ends— Notes to Editors Media Contacts: Diane Green PR and Communications Manager – Switchover Help Scheme T: 0191 245 8847 M: 07951478832 E: email@example.com Sarah Fairfax Communications Executive – Switchover Help Scheme T: 0191 245 8834 M: 07730424407 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Images available on request Switchover Help Scheme The Switchover Help Scheme is run by the BBC through an agreement with the Government to help older and disabled people make the change to digital. In the run-up to switchover in each region, every eligible person will be offered practical help to convert one of their TV sets to digital. People are eligible if they are aged 75 years or more, or if they are registered blind or partially sighted. Also eligible are people who get (or could get) attendance or constant attendance allowance, mobility supplement, or disability living allowance. Most people will be asked to contribute £40 towards the help. The service is free for people who are eligible and also get pension credit, income support or income-based jobseekers allowance. More information is available by calling 0800 40 85 902 or through visiting helpscheme.co.uk Digital television switchover is the process of converting the UK’s terrestrial television system to digital. Between now and 2012, analogue channels will be switched off region by region and replaced with free-to-air digital TV and radio services (Freeview). Switchover will extend Freeview coverage to the whole of the UK and free up airwaves for new services such as ultra-fast wireless broadband and mobile television. eaga eaga, a leading provider of residential energy efficiency and outsourcing services, has been selected by the BBC as the Help Scheme service provider to deliver the help available under the scheme from the ITV Border region onwards.