Thursday, 12 November 2009

Adam helps digital switchover

Ahead of Wales' clash against Samoa, Wales prop Adam Jones took time out of his injury rehab to highlight the help available for older and disabled people to make the switch to digital - and safeguard their Friday night rugby viewing.

As switchover approaches in south Wales, the BBC-run Switchover Help Scheme engaged the services of Jones to help spread the message about the practical support that is available for people to convert to digital TV.

The 56-times capped tight head prop, who is currently recovering from a shoulder injury sustained during the British and Irish Lions’ second Test against South Africa in the summer, visited the home of Help Scheme customer and life-long rugby supporter Howard Holland, from Treforest, Pontypridd.

Mr Holland recently took up the standard offer of help to make the change to digital on one of his TV sets with a Freeview digital box. He said: “When the Help Scheme information pack arrived in the post it was a big relief as I had been quite worried about what I needed to do and didn’t know who to ask.

“When I called the Help Scheme they were very patient and explained everything to me and didn’t seem to mind when I asked lots of questions.

“In no time at all my new Freeview box was being installed and ever since I’ve been able to watch lots of new programmes, but best of all, I don’t have to miss out on the rugby!”

Adam Jones agreed to be an ambassador for the Help Scheme because he knows that older and disabled people might need a little help with this change. He said:

“Digital switchover is coming, and if someone is not ready on the 3 March next year, they will wake up to a blank TV screen.

“It’s important that we all spread the message to our friends, family and neighbours that there is help available for people like Howard to switch to digital with the Help Scheme.

“I’m sure a lot people wouldn’t want to miss out on their Friday night rugby! We can all make sure this doesn’t happen, and I’m delighted to be able to do my bit to tell people about this practical support.”

People living in parts of Cardiff, Newport and South East Wales served by the Wenvoe transmitter will begin to switch on 3 March 2010.

In the run-up to Switchover, eligible people in south Wales are being sent a Help Scheme information pack which clearly explains the help that is available for them to convert to digital with the Scheme.

Details about how to apply, an explanation of all of the available options and their prices, are clearly set out in the information pack that eligible people receive in the post. People need to respond to get the help.

People are eligible for the Help Scheme if:
  • They are aged 75 or over; or
  • They have lived in a care home for six months or more; or
  • They get (or could get) disability living allowance, or attendance or constant attendance allowance, or mobility supplement; or
  • They are registered blind or partially sighted.
Most eligible people will be asked to pay £40 towards the standard offer of help which in Wales is Freeview. For eligible people who are also on pension credit, income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance and employment and support allowance, it’s free.

Completed information pack forms can be returned to the Help Scheme, but to make it even easier to apply, eligible people can call the Help Scheme free on 0800 408 7654 or 0800 40 85 905 if they need help in Welsh.

In addition, any eligible person who needs help to apply can nominate someone else to complete their form for them.

The Help Scheme is run by the BBC under an agreement with the Government and has been specially designed around the needs of older and disabled people. Equipment has been specifically chosen for ease of use and the Help Scheme contact centre, delivery staff and installers have all been trained to understand and respect older and disabled people. All installers have undertaken Criminal Records Bureau checks, carry identification and will never call without having made an appointment.


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