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BT’s Adopt a Kiosk scheme is offering 5,000 phone boxes to communities across the UK. BT wants councils and charities to ‘adopt’ the unused phone boxes and use them for something else.
So far, more than 5,000 phone boxes have already been adopted. They include a grocery shop, a plant shop and a wildlife information centre. In Cheltenham, 10 phone boxes have been transformed into miniature art galleries, showcasing the work of local artists.
Across the country, the Community Heartbeat Trust has installed life-saving defibrillators in disused phone boxes.
Martin Fagan, National Secretary of the Community Heartbeat Trust, said: “To install defibrillators in disused phone boxes is ideal, as they are often in the centre of the village and it means the iconic red phone box can remain a lifeline and focus the community.”
A BT phone box saved a man’s life when he had a heart attack as crowds gathered to watch the Tour de France stream through Finchingfield, Essex in 2014.
Parish clerk, Kate Fox, said: “One of the ladies from the post office was on hand and her prompt action in using the phone box defibrillator to stimulate his heart before an ambulance arrived was certainly instrumental in saving his life.”
It costs £1 to adopt a phone box. The scheme is open to recognised local authorities, parish, community and town councils. Registered charities and private landowners who have a phone box on their land can also apply.
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Unfortunately, the scheme is not available to other individuals, community groups such as residents’ associations or commercial organisations.
A BT spokesperson says: “The growth of the mobile phone industry has inevitably meant phone box usage has dropped dramatically, and nearly half of the phone boxes in the UK have been removed, but there are still around 5000 red phone boxes which can be adopted.
“Whether it’s something that would bring heritage and culture, a practical solution or just joy and inspiration to your community, BT would love you to consider adopting.”
To adopt a red phone box, you need to fill in a registration form and if successful, you can purchase a phone box for £1. You can find more information here.
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