Items like house phones and telephone boxes are a thing of the past – you’d be hardpressed to think of the last time you had to step into one of the nation’s many telephone boxes to make a call, which is why BT have announced their new Adopt a Kiosk programme.
300-plus phoneboxes in Yorkshire are being put up for adoption and you can acquire one for just £1 – and it is not much you can buy for a quid these days. The programme aims to make use of the quintessential British phone boxes and to give them a new lease on life.
The idea is to adopt a phonebox, and change them into other more creative things such as book exchanges, art exhibitions or museums.
The scheme has been running since 2007 and over 400 phone boxes in Yorkshire alone have been transformed.
Recognised local authorities, community or parish councils, registered charities and private landowners who have a telephone box can all adopt these iconic British structures and come up with a new use for them. You can check them out and see what is in your area here.
BT Enterprise unit director Sarah Walker discussing the adopt a phonebox said: “With most people now using mobile phones, it’s led to a huge drop in the number of calls made from payphones.
“At the same time, mobile coverage has improved significantly in recent years due to investment in masts, particularly in rural areas.”
“We’re currently rationalising our payphone estate to make it fit for the future, and the Adopt a Kiosk scheme makes it possible for local communities in Yorkshire and the Humber to retain their local phonebox, with a refreshed purpose for the community.”
“Thousands of communities have already come up with a fantastic array of ideas to re-use their beloved local phonebox. Applying is quick and easy and we’re always happy to speak to communities about adopting our phoneboxes.”
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 converted about 800 ourselves, with another 200 in the pipeline.
“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.”