A new initiative has been launched within our city today, The Billy Chip is a blue token that can be bought from participating businesses across the city. The chip can be passed onto rough sleepers, who can in turn use the chip to redeem a hot drink or some food offered by a chosen business.

Whilst Bristol is a city often praised for being one of the ‘happiest’ or ‘most creative’ cities in the UK & Europe, it’s not all sunshine and roses with 20% of children living in low-income families and the number of homeless people on Bristol’s streets rising by a quarter in the last year alone. The Billy Chip, a new initiative is looking to offer a worldwide platform that allows local communities to gift rough sleepers free food, drink or a bed for the night.

The scheme is in memory of a Somerset local Billy Abernethy-Hope, a 20 year old ambulance driver, who died whilst on holiday in Thailand in 2018. Earlier this year, ‘Fest-A-Bill’ was hosted in his parents’ two-acre garden, playing host to the likes of Professor Green and raising over £20,000 to help the launch of Billy Chip.

The motivation behind launching the initiative was in response to Billy’s views on the homelessness problem in his local area. Having helped support the Homeless at Christmas campaign, Billy felt disheartened by how little support was given to homeless people by the general public.

The general public are often apprehensive to give money directly to homeless people and therefore the aim of the Billy Chip is to both give anyone donating through the scheme the piece of mind that their donation will be used in an
appropriate manner whilst at the same time encouraging big businesses and retail outlets to do their bit for corporate social responsibility.