A Galway Senator has urged community and voluntary groups to avail of special grants being made available to hold information events on the switchover to digital television.
The switchover from analogue to digital takes place on 24 October and the ‘Small Grants Scheme’ is available to community and voluntary organisations, with most grants in the region of €50 to €200.
Senator Fidelma Healy Eames said it would be “very wise” for community and voluntary groups to get involved in communicating the message.
“The switchover affects anyone who uses a TV aerial. We all know people that might get left behind. They may, for instance, be older, live in rural areas or be socially isolated and community and voluntary groups are ideally placed to communicate with these people,” she said.
“Groups are being encouraged to hold events such as tea-mornings to inform people on the digital switchover. These events could be pre-planned and the switchover element added on as an extra dimension.”
Senator Healy Eames added that she had spoken to a lot of people that were “confused” about the switchover and said the information events would allow people to “talk to someone in person” about how to make the switch
“I personally believe that people pick things up better when they’re speaking to someone in the flesh. These grants will help facilitate this. While research has shown that awareness has increased significantly, still most people affected have not yet taken action so that they can watch TV after the switch.
“I would encourage community and voluntary groups to avail of this funding and help spread the word to people about how to make the switch.”
Twenty four ‘local champions’ have been selected around the country to help administer the Small Grants Scheme and interested groups should log on to www.goingdigital.ie or contact the Digital TV Switchover Helpline on 1890 940980.