In the UK, the classic red phone box has been a symbol for British culture for generations. Due to the smartphone, the use for the telephone box has dropped by almost 96 percent. However, they are too loved to simply be removed, so now they are being reused in very creative ways.
First of all, we have mini-medical centers. This lifesaving idea has turned more than 1000 phone boxes into housing for defibrillators. Community HeartBeat Trust is behind this idea, in partnership with British Telecommunications. They charge only £1 to adopt a box and for the first seven years of the project, the electricity needed is free.
“To save a life after a cardiac arrest is time-dependent,” said Community HeartBeat Trust’s national secretary to Positive News. “As telephone kiosks are in the center of communities, and are easily recognizable and generally featured on OS maps and sat navs, these make great locations for defibrillators.”
Secondly, there is a former phone box in Kingsbridge in Devon that has been transformed into the tiniest nightclub in the world. It has a music system, disco lighting and a glitter ball. Being the tiniest nightclub in the world, the box can only fit two people, but nonetheless, it has proven to be a hit among visitors. The club charges £1 per track and the money partly goes to the local charity @115 that helps and supports adults with learning difficulties.
And last, but not least, we have the tiny community libraries or book exchanges mostly used in rural areas that aren’t close to any council-run libraries. One repurposed phone box in Shaldon in South Devon, is called The Martin Gallery and it displays artwork created by kids in the local schools.
Giving items a new life, especially items loved and cherished by people, can help the future come sooner.