Local libraries spread the ‘Switchover word’

LOCAL Library staff are spreading the word about the Switchover Help Scheme.

Librarian Anne Blaney has pledged to lend a Helping Hand to her customers, by telling them about the help available.

With only six weeks to go to switchover Anne, of Cushendall Library is urging local residents to follow in her 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 Switch. Library staff are backing the Switchover Help Scheme’s ‘Helping Hand’ campaign to make sure every eligible older and disabled person in the area knows about the help they can get to convert one of their TV sets to digital.

Learning Development Manager at Libraries NI, Kim Aiken, said: “Libraries NI is delighted to be part of the Helping Hand campaign as many of our library users might struggle to go digital by themselves. Books are an excellent source of information but we realise a lot of people also rely on their TV for this. The Help Scheme offers practical help to older and disabled people, so we’re passing on Helping Hand bookmarks to make sure each of our customers knows about the support they can get to sort out their television and go digital.”

Northern Ireland will begin to switch to digital on 10th October 2012. Eligible people have been posted a Help Scheme information pack explaining the offer and will be getting a follow up reminder letter. However, library staff are urging everyone who has already switched to digital to reach out to those older and disabled people they know who may still need help.

Local Help Scheme representatives are holding events across the region. To find out more about local events visit www.helpscheme.co.uk/northernireland/events.

Ballycastle Library, Leyland Road, on 3rd September from 10am – 12pm

Cushendall Library, Mill Street, on 4th September from 2pm – 4pm

Digital UK / Help Scheme Roadshow, Near Tesco, Castlecroft Square on 7th September from 9am – 5pm

Help Scheme Bus in Bushmills Distillery Car Park on 4th October from 10am – 4pm

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.

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 40 87 654. Any eligible person who needs help to apply can nominate someone else to complete their form for them.

If you would like to find out more about the Help Scheme and who is eligible to apply, please log onto helpscheme.co.uk.