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Hornchurch charity WaveLength welcomes investigation into BBC’s Red Button closure

PUBLISHED: 11:00 07 February 2020

Tim Leech, chief executive of the Hornchurch charity WaveLength. Picture: WaveLength

Tim Leech, chief executive of the Hornchurch charity WaveLength. Picture: WaveLength

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A Hornchurch charity is calling on residents to share their views about BBC’s decision to close its Red Button service which is often used by the “loneliest licence payers”.

The BBC recently suspended the closure of its Red Button text service following protests from people including the National Federation of the Blind of the UK.

WaveLength in the High Street was also concerned about the loss of the service which offers text-based news, sport results and additional television programming.

While the BBC initially decided to end the service to focus on "even better internet-based services", many of the poorest and vulnerable people in society remain offline.

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In 2011, a survey of WaveLength's beneficiaries revealed that just 4 per cent had Internet.

Tim Leech, WaveLength's chief executive said: "While we support the role technology can play in bringing people together, we are ever more concerned that the digitalisation of services is continuing to exclude people.

"The closure of the Red Button service will leave some of the loneliest licence payers struggling to access information.

"We look forward to feeding into the BBC's investigations in due course."

Over the coming months, WaveLength will be working with other partners to collect information on the service ahead of the BBC's investigations.

To contribute to WaveLength's report visit wavelength.org.uk/redbutton or call 01708 621101.

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