Nudge 1 – Advent Box

A mini orange box popped up in Palace Square on 1 December 2016.

Everyday there was something new to see made by a local person or organisations for people to see.

It is an area local people wanted to see improve, a place where a high number of incidents had been reported to the police and a route regularly used by families and local residents.


‘I got goosebumps seeing my box in the dark yesterday!’ Box Maker 

What we noticed…

  • People were curious
  • People stopped and talked in a space they usually walk through
  • People smiled in a space they sometimes feel unsafe in
  • The box was looked after and cherished in a space associated with antisocial behaviour

‘When we realised we had nearly missed a box I bundled my children in the car in their PJs to see the box!’ Key holder

We support local businesses. All box makers were encouraged to use bits from the Scrapstore. All materials to make the box were bought from Cabinet Supplies, Union Street. They cut 200 keys for us, gave us loads of advice too and thought we were crazy!

‘I was convinced this would get vandalised in a place like this – I can’t believe it hasn’t been touched, it has definitely made me think differently about the local community.’ Local business person


Key facts:

  • 25 boxes made
  • 109 keys sold
  • £267 raised for the next Nudge
  • 134 popped into Union Corner to find out more
  • 510 came to see all the boxes up on display
  • 6 local businesses paid extra for their key to support more things happening

‘I won’t take a key for myself but I’ll take one for someone else to cheer her up.’ Local street drinker

Boxes were made by individual local residents and organisations including the Oasis Cafe, Plymouth Scrapstore, Noah’s Ark Nursery Stonehouse, Plymouth Community Homes, Stonehouse Timebank, Transition Plymouth and Plymouth School of Creative Arts.

‘It makes me feel warm knowing someone else cares about this place.’ Local resident – on a chilly night!