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Switchover Help Scheme publishes progress review


The Switchover Help Scheme today published its Progress Review, Helping Older And Disabled People Switch To Digital TV – The Help Scheme Story So Far.

Run by the BBC under an agreement with the Government, the Help Scheme offers older and disabled people practical help to convert one TV as their region switches to digital.

With switchover at the halfway stage, the Help Scheme has directly contacted nearly 2.5 million eligible people and installed equipment for more than 350,000. An estimated 150,000 more have taken detailed advice from its helpline, which helped them with their digital TV choices.

By the completion of switchover in 2012, the Help Scheme will have contacted more than 7 million eligible individuals and couples and expects to have installed equipment for around one million people.

The Progress Review sets out the Help Scheme’s story so far – the organisations it has worked with, the people it has helped, those who have helped it and the lessons learned along the way.

The report particularly focuses on how the Help Scheme draws on the help of national and local charities and on older and disabled people themselves to design and maintain the service standards of the Help Scheme and to reach out to the most isolated and at-risk individuals.

Switchover Help Scheme Chief Executive Peter White said: “Ultimately, our mission is to make sure that no eligible person is left with a blank screen after switchover. We have worked hard to make sure that those people who need support know what help is available and receive the highest standards of service.”

People are eligible for the Help Scheme if they are aged 75 or over, if they get, or could get, certain disability benefits, if they live in a care home or if they are registered blind or partially sighted.

The Help Scheme contacts them directly in the months leading up to switchover. It offers a choice of easy-to-use digital equipment, an approved installer who also shows them how to use the equipment and free aftercare for 12 months.

The help is available for a one-off £40 for the standard offer or, for eligible people who are also on income-related benefits, it’s free.

Parts of the UK which are now completely digital are the north of Scotland, ITV regions Border, West Country West and Granada and Wales.

The Switchover Help Scheme is run by the BBC under an agreement with the government. It is delivered by service provider eaga plc. The Help Scheme works in close partnership with Digital UK and with Digital Outreach Ltd.

The report can be viewed online at: in accessible pdf. Hard copies and audio CDs are available on request to the Help Scheme at


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