Former red telephone box could be turned into village defibrillator

PUBLISHED: 08:01 25 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:25 25 March 2020

Poringland telephone box which is now redundant and could house a new public access defibrillator. Picture: Google

Poringland telephone box which is now redundant and could house a new public access defibrillator. Picture: Google


A redundant red phone box could be given a new lease of life and transformed into a public access defibrillator.

The application to turn the traditional Georgian feature on the junction of The Street and Shotesham Road has been submitted to South Norfolk Council by Poringland Parish Council, which adopted the object in July 2019.

If approved, it will house one of three new defibrillators in the village which the council hopes will be put in later this year.

The other two life-saving facilities will be outside the Railway Tavern pub on Norwich Road and Poringland Community Centre on Overtons Way.

There are currently two public access defibrillators at Poringland Memorial Playing Field Pavilion and the Budgens supermarket on The Street.

Parish councillor John Hodgson, who is a community first responder (CFR) for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, said: “Out of hospital, CPR and the use of defibrillators saves lives. In the chain of survival defibrillators are absolutely vital. They are so easy to use.

“We have got quite good coverage in the village but for the majority of areas there is a five minute walk to get to them.”

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He added that the equipment was important as the village had grown significantly.

The public access defibrillators which will be installed run off electricity and cost about £1,000.

People who use them in cases of cardiac arrests will receive easy to follow instructions.

MORE: How to use a defibrillator and carry out CPR

If approved, the former telephone box will be restored by members of Norwich Men’s Shed community group and as well as housing the defibrillator it will act as a village notice board showcasing its history, among other aspects.

Mr Hodgson said the former phone box was the safest place for the important piece of equipment.

“Going into the telephone box is the perfect solution. It is repurposing an iconic building. It is a Grade II listed structure and any refurbishment has to be done sympathetically,” he added.

The planning heritage statement said: “Our refurbishment of the asset will contribute to the preserving and enhancing of the kiosk.”

Between £5,000 and £6,000 was raised last year for the new defibrillators from donations, mainly from Poringland businesses.

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