Help bus comes to town ahead of switchover

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OVER-75s will be getting an insight into how to make the switch to digital TV when a Help Scheme bus comes to Banbridge tomorrow (Thursday).

The town’s Leisure Centre will be the first port of call for the bus as part of the scheme which offers everyone aged 75 and over, or eligible disabled, practical help to switch one of their TVs to digital before switchover in October.

Television presenter Gloria Hunniford was in Northern Ireland to tell older and disabled people how the BBC-run Switchover Help Scheme will offer them help to make the switch to digital TV.

Gloria will be getting “a little help from her friends” Belfast band Nine Lies, who will run through some help-themed pop songs at the event in Ulster Hall. Gloria was also joined by Vice Chair of Banbridge District Council, Carol Black.

When switchover comes to Northern Ireland later this year, most people will find it easy to make the switch but some people maybe unsure about what to do, particularly those aged 75 or over or with disabilities.

Gloria said: “Although the switchover is a long way off, some people may already be concerned about what they need to do. The good news is they don’t have to be as the Switchover Help Scheme will supply eligible people with everything they need to make the switch to digital in plenty of time for switchover.”

People are eligible for the Help Scheme if they are aged 75 or over, or have lived in a care home for six months or more, or get (or could get) certain disability benefits, or are registered blind or partially sighted.

Every eligible person will get a letter from the Switchover Help Scheme in the run up to switchover. It will offer them practical help to convert one of their TV sets to digital.

For £40, or for free if they are eligible and also on income related benefits, they will be able to get an 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.

Other options will also be available, some at extra cost.

Nigel Tilson is the manager for the Switchover Help Scheme in Northern Ireland. He said: “Many people will find it simple to switch and lots of people already have. But for those who need a little extra help, we want them to know that they will get the additional support they need from the Switchover Help Scheme and Digital UK.”

For more information about the Switchover Help Scheme, please visit

People who need advice on switching to digital but can’t get or don’t want help from the Switchover Help Scheme, can get advice from Digital UK visit or call 08456 50 50 50