Volunteers wanted to help with digital switchover

TV is switching to digital all over the UK and in a few months, the traditional TV signal will be switched off in Northern Ireland.

Rural Community Network needs people in the County Down area to spread the word so that no one will lose their TV channels.

For older and disabled viewers who may find making the switch difficult, the Switchover Help Scheme is at hand to provide practical help. RCN needs volunteers to help raise awareness of the Help Scheme in their communities so that everyone knows what help is available.

Volunteer training is taking place on Thursday 2 August in Ballymote Centre, Downpatrick from 4.30pm to 9pm with a light supper included. The training will provide volunteers with all the information they need to do the task. No previous experience is required.

Amanda Boyd, RCN’s Digital Outreach Officer in the area, says, “This digital switchover covers a large geographical area and many communities so we need a lot of people to help out between now and October. We need volunteers from all walks of life and ages to make sure that we don’t leave anyone out. You don’t need to be technically minded, just friendly, willing and able to talk to people where you live.’

The Help Scheme provides practical help to anyone who is 75 and over or eligible disabled to switch one TV to digital. Most 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, and a 12 month aftercare service including a free helpline.

The service is free for people who are eligible and who also receive income-related benefits.

Volunteers need to be able to get out and about in their communities and ensure information and materials are easily available.

Please ring Amanda Boyd on 028 8676 6670 or email amanda@ruralcommunitynetwork.org to find out more about this volunteer role or to book a place.

For further information on the Switchover Help Scheme please call 0800 40 85 900 or visit helpscheme.co.uk.