All set for a big change

OLDER and disabled people in Northumberland are being offered extra help to prepare for major TV changes.

The Switchover Help Scheme is sending out information packs to people who qualify for assistance when the current analogue TV system is turned off in the move to digital.

Everyone will need to convert their TV if they wish to continue watching.

The pack explains the various options available and important information on how to get help to convert your television set.

Most people will be asked to pay £40 towards the standard option, which includes easy-to-use equipment to convert one set, an approved installer and a 12-month aftercare service with a free helpline.

However, the service is free for people aged 75 and over, those who have lived in a care home for at least six months or who are eligible for Disability Living Allowance, mobility supplement or are registered blind or partially sighted.

People who receive pension credit, income support, income based jobseekers’ allowance or income related employment and support allowance may also qualify.

Help Scheme Manager for the Tyne Tees TV region Emma Speed said: “The message we want to give eligible people is that there is no need to worry because help is available.”

The digital switchover will begin on September 12.

For more information see the packs or visit