Police help Midhurst digital switchover

Sgt John Chapman of Chichester police (Midhurst) with Fiona Wellings regional coordinator for the switch-on help scheme.
Sgt John Chapman of Chichester police (Midhurst) with Fiona Wellings regional coordinator for the switch-on help scheme.
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MIDHURST residents are to be given help for the digital TV switchover from the local neighbourhood policing team.

Jonathan Chapman, Sergeant for Chichester District Neighbourhood Policing Team, has pledged to lend a ‘Helping Hand’.

With only six weeks to go to the switchover, Midhurst District Police is urging Midhurst residents to follow in its footsteps and lend a ‘Helping Hand’ by thinking of someone they know that may need help switching to digital and letting them know about the Switchover Help Scheme.

Sergeant Chapman is leading his staff to back the campaign to make sure every eligible older and disabled person in the area knows about the help they can get from the BBC-run Help Scheme to convert one of their TV sets to digital.

Sergeant Chapman said: “Digital switchover is happening in March and even if you’re ready, you may have friends or neighbours who may be confused about what to do. The Switchover Help Scheme offers practical support to help older and disabled people convert one of their TV sets to digital. We can all lend a helping hand by making sure that older and disabled members of our community know about the help they can get from the Help Scheme.

“The services provided by the digital switchover team are vital to maintain entertainment and information services, particularly to housebound, elderly residents. We will be working closely with the Switchover Team to ensure that the Help Scheme is rolled out smoothly and safely for our residents.”

The Midhurst transmitter serving much of West Sussex will begin to switch to digital on February 29.

Eligible people have been posted a Help Scheme information pack explaining the offer and will be getting a follow up reminder letter. However, Sergeant Chapman 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 have not yet made contact with the Help Scheme.

Local Help Scheme representative Fiona Wellings is staging an event next week to help spread the message. To find out more about how you can help simply come along to this or any of the other Helping Hand events happening in your area:

Help Scheme Bus at Grange Road Car Park, Midhurst January 23 (9.30am – 4pm).

The Help Scheme makes it easier for eligible older and disabled to switch to digital TV. 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):

- Disability Living Allowance (DLA), or

- Attendance or Constant Attendance Allowance, or

- Mobility supplement, or

- Are registered blind or partially sighted

Most eligible 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

- A check on their TV aerial and replacement if necessary, where possible

This service is free for people who are eligible and who also receive pension credit income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or income-related employment and support 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 408 7654. Any eligible person who needs help to apply can nominate someone else to complete their form for them.