Working with the Community Heartbeat Trust (CHT), a charity that makes possible the provision of defibrillation equipment for local communities, BT is paying for the equipment and installation of the specialised life saving machines into five kiosks around the country.
BT is putting the red phone box at the heart of rural communities again. It is funding the installation of defibrillator equipment, which can help save the lives of cardiac arrest victims, into five decommissioned red phone boxes adopted by rural communities.
BT introduced its Adopt a Kiosk scheme in 2008, in response to requests from local councils and residents. It allows a community to retain their local red BT phone box, with the payphone taken out, by buying the kiosk from the company for just £1.
The first kiosk to be fitted with the defibrillation equipment funded by BT is in Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire. It is the 1,500th red phone box adopted by a local community in the UK.
Martin Fagan, national secretary of the Community Heartbeat Trust, said:
“We are immensely grateful to BT for their help in this novel use of a familiar icon. Phone boxes are ideal locations for emergency medical equipment because they’re often in the centre of a village.”
Apart from the defibrillator kiosks, boxes have been turned into art galleries, public libraries, exhibitions and information centres. Even the villagers of Ambridge in BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Archers’ have adopted their kiosk.
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There are now 11,000 traditional phones boxes across the UK out of a total number of 51,500 kiosks. The numbers of red and modern kiosks are set to continue to shrink, as BT cuts their numbers to match demand. BT has recently written to parish councils across the UK inviting them to adopt their local kiosk and safeguard it from being removed.
Indeed, community groups have just eight more days to adopt one of 3,000 unused phoneboxes, otherwise they will be decommissioned and removed.
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