Dorset Freemason’s donations turn disused red telephone box into a lifesaver

Monday, 28 June 2021

A Portland community charity has repurposed their dilapidated village red phone box, providing a lifesaving public defibrillator

The project, led by Southwell Area Living Together (SALT), is an essential resource to the residents of Southwell village and to visiting tourists meaning the difference between life and death in an emergency.

Following the cancellation of their main fundraising event due to Covid19, the popular Southwell Street Fayre, the charity was struggling to find the funds to complete the project.  Geoff Daniels the chairman of SALT said: 'It was unfortunate, that we had to cancel our Annual Street Fayre due to the continued Covid restrictions, this in turn meant we were unable to raise funds we would normally do. To finance this project, in September 2020 we approached Dorset Freemasonry who agreed to arranged to fully fund the cost of the defibrillator, which includes training for up to 20 people.'

The repurposed phone box was opened on Friday 25 June after the Masonic Charitable Foundation, the Freemasons' charity, working in partnership with Dorset Masonic Care, provided £2100 required to purchase the defibrillator and help restart the project. The facility was opened in a short ceremony attended by representatives of all groups involved in the project including both masonic charities and Dorset Freemasonry. 

The Provincial Grand Master for and Grand Superintendent in and over Dorset, Graham Glazier, said: 'I am delighted that we have been able to help fund this brilliant grassroots project; congratulations to SALT for coming up with this creative use of an iconic feature of our street scene.  We have public defibrillators on the outside of all our Freemasons' Halls and know how important they are.'

In an emergency the phone box defibrillator can be found easily by using the words crumble.toffee.excellent on the what3words app or looking out for it just by the bus stop on Southwell Street in Portland!

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