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Digital Broadcasting: Elderly

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he has taken to assist older people in realising the benefits to be derived from the switchover to digital television. (201368)

The Government have announced a Help Scheme to assist the over 75s and those with significant disabilities, including people registered blind and partially sighted, to convert to digital television. The Help Scheme is an end-to-end package of support. As well as provision of a high quality set top box, the Scheme will provide practical assistance to install and use the equipment and the provision of an aerial if needed.

Digital UK has set up a digital outreach programme to deliver information and advice to older people who are under 75, those with sensory, mobility or dexterity impairments, people with learning difficulties and those who are socially isolated. Digital UK has a £2.9 million contract with Digital Outreach Ltd, a company set up by leading UK charities Age Concern England, Help the Aged, Community Service Volunteers and Collective Enterprises Limited, to commission support from local and regional voluntary sector organisations and charities, initially in the first four ITV regions to switch over (Border, West Country, Wales and Granada).