Britain’s red phone boxes, once a lifeline of communication before the arrival of mobile phone networks, have been transformed into everything from defibrillator units and mini history museums to art galleries and book exchanges.
But now, the Community Heartbeat Trust charity (CHT), has begun to put an extraordinarily excellent idea into practice across the UK: converting the UK’s iconic, yet now inarguably redundant, red telephone booths (K6 kiosks, to those in the know) to a defibrillator station, and they’re currently in the process of converting around 1000 sites.
From Orkney to Cornwall, the Community Heartbeat Trust charity has worked with BT and local communities to install lifesaving defibrillators in local kiosks.
Martin Fagan, National Secretary for the Community Heartbeat Trust charity, said: “BT’s phone box kiosks are iconic British structures, and repurposing for this life saving use has given them a new lease of life.’
“To date, we have fully converted about 800, with another 200 underway.’
“Placing the equipment in the heart of a community is important to save on time.’
“Kiosks are historically at the centre of the community, and thus great locations for defibrillators.”
Communities can adopt a kiosk if they are a recognised public body, such as a parish council, community council or town council.
CHT is also able to adopt on behalf of the communities as well. Boxes can also be adopted by registered charities or by individuals who have a payphone on their own land.
BT will also continue to provide electricity (if already in place) to power the light for adopted phone boxes, free of charge.
Since 2008, over 6,600 phone boxes have been taken on by communities for just £1 each through BT’s Adopt a Kiosk programme.’
CHT is also converting the modern KX100 kiosks to defibrillator stations. For further information about how to apply to Adopt a Kiosk or to access application forms, simply go to www.bt.com/adopt .