- From a village food larder to commemorating the NHS
- BT offers communities the chance to adopt their local phone box for just £1 and turn it into something inspirational for their local area
- 253 traditional red phone boxes available for adoption in the East Midlands
BT is encouraging community groups across the East Midlands to seize the opportunity to do something wonderful with their iconic red phone boxes during the coronavirus pandemic.
Communities across the country have been thinking innovatively to transform red phone boxes for good, from community food stores to illuminating the red kiosks blue as a tribute to the NHS. Already, more than 6,000 phone boxes have been adopted by communities since BT set up its ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme in 2008.
BT is encouraging community groups to seize the opportunity to do something wonderful with phone boxes that have little or no usage. More than 250 traditional red boxes are currently available for adoption in the East Midlands region, for just £1 each, and BT will also consider adoption requests to house defibrillators in more modern boxes.
The company has seen some amazing transformations across the UK during the coronavirus pandemic. In Crich, near Matlock in Derbyshire, the local community adopted their local phone box to house a defibrillator. Recently, the window of the phone box has been transformed to commemorate the NHS with a stunning stained-glass window. Mrs Richmond, who came up with the idea, also worked as a nurse for 21 years, and said the NHS panel had been particularly meaningful.
A phone Box in Upton, near Peterborough, has also been lit up in blue to pay tribute to the NHS.
Sam Burton, Upton Community Council, commented: “We recently adopted a BT red phone box and have been working with the Community Heartbeat Trust to get a defibrillator installed for our local community. I came up with the idea to light up the phone box in blue for the NHS after seeing local people lighting up their houses. The blue lit phone box is a tribute of thanks to the NHS from our village.”
BT will continue to provide electricity (if already in place) to power the light for adopted phone boxes, free of charge. Where electricity is available, adopted boxes can be used as housings for defibrillators – an increasingly popular and potentially life-saving conversion.
Sarah Walker, BT Enterprise unit director for the Midlands, said: “We’ve seen some amazing transformations of our phone boxes by communities who’ve adopted our iconic red payphones during the coronavirus pandemic.
“With more than 6,250 payphones already adopted across the UK, the scheme has proved to be really popular and there are still plenty of kiosks available should communities want to preserve them. The opportunities for communities are endless and we’re pleased to be giving even more local communities the chance to get involved. Applying is quick and easy and we’re always happy to speak to communities about adopting our traditional BT red phone boxes.”
Around 3,000 traditional red phone boxes are available for adoption across England. Communities can adopt a kiosk if they are a recognised public body, such as a parish council, community council or town council. Boxes can also be adopted by registered charities or by individuals who have a payphone on their own land.
Most people now have a mobile phone and calls made from public telephones have fallen by around 90 per cent in the past decade.
For further details on how to apply to Adopt a Kiosk, simply go to www.bt.com/adopt where application forms and information can be found.
|Region||No of red boxes available for adoption|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||369|
|East of England||317|