Council

Could you adopt a red phone box?

 Achilleas Papakitsos (centre) serves coffee to customers from a phone box in Guildford. Originally from Greece he was made redundant from his job as a waiter and with a friend, Lily Deluca, purchased a phone box and set up the Lily London coffee kiosk.
Gillian Anderson

BT today revealed that five of its iconic red phone boxes in the Derry City & Strabane District Council area are up for grabs as it urges local communities to take advantage of a scheme to help transform them for the 21st Century. 

Redundant 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. 

BT will also consider adoption requests to house defibrillators in modern glass phone boxes, a potentially life-saving conversion. 

Paul Murnaghan, Regional Director for BT’s Enterprise business in Northern Ireland, 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.  

“The ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme makes it possible for local communities in Northern Ireland to retain their local phone box, with a refreshed purpose for the community.   

“I would encourage communities across Northern Ireland to take advantage of this opportunity and give their local beloved phone box a new lease of life – the possibilities are endless. Applying is quick and easy and we’re always happy to speak to communities about adopting our phone boxes.”  

The Community Heartbeat Trust charity is working with BT and local communities across the UK 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 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, including in Northern Ireland. 

“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.” 

 

 

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