Every year at The Somerset Toiletry Company, we like to support a cause close to hearts and this year is no exception. We are so excited to introduce you to the ‘Billy Chip’, a new concept working with local businesses and the community, to help those in need. Read more, to find out how one amazing local family has launched a platform to help the homeless in Bristol.

How it all began

The tragic death of Billy Abernethy-Hope in 2018, inspired his family to do something positive with all of their grief and saddness. Before Billy died, he came up with the idea of creating a system to support the homeless, avoiding the exchange of money and promoting kindness. The thought of giving cash to someone sleeping rough often deters people from helping, unsure if a donation will be used in a positive way.

Good friends of Sakina, Jon and Sarah (Billy’s parents) and Meg, his sister have been working tirelessly to get the concept off the ground. The family organised Fest-a-Bill last year, in memory of Billy to celebrate his love of life, of which the awesome Professor Green made a welcome appearance. Almost 1,000 people attended the event raising £20,000, enough to launch the scheme.

The response to the scheme has been incredible so far, with Bristol getting on board in a big way. It’s just the beginning of this incredible idea and we’re so glad to be a part of it. The story has been picked up by local and national press including the BBC and ITV.

How it works

You can buy a Billy Chip for £2 in participating cafes, to be given to someone on the streets. The chip can then be used to redeem a drink or something to eat in the participating venues. You can find all the cafes supporting the Billy chip on their website or by looking out for coffee shops displaying a Billy Chip window sticker. At the time of writing this blog, there are approximately 15 venues in Bristol and 1 in Bath. The intention is that Billy Chip becomes a national platform!

Get Involved

The following list gives you 10 ways you can show your support:

  1. Donate via our website when you shop with us (a £1 donation option is available in our checkout).
  2. Share this blog post on Social Media (using the buttons below) or leave a comment.
  3. Visit the Billy Chip website, find out more about their story and make a donation.
  4. Follow their progress on Instagram @thebillychip
  5. Like the team on Facebook TheBillyChip
  6. Follow their progress on Linked In
  7. Follow the journey on Twitter @thebillychip
  8. Like, share, comment, tag & tweet Billy Chip posts and drop the team an email – they’ll love to hear from you!
  9. Ask your local cafe if they’ve heard about the Billy Chip scheme and all tell your friends and family.
  10. Buy a chip in a participating venue and give one to someone in need.

A random act of kindness spreads faith, hope, and charity, so please show your support and get involved today. We have various events in the pipeline, so please follow this amazing cause and see how wide it can spread.


One thought on “Have you heard of the ‘Billy Chip’ yet?

  1. Jennifer Kelly says:

    The Billy Chip is the best news I’ve heard.
    So many people have expressed feeling depressed during lockdown because they can’t see family and friends. Most have a roof over their heads and food in their bellies and know their disappointment with life is a temporary stage and shared by all.
    I just can’t begin to imagine just how awful it must be for the homeless. They barely exist from day to day, have no contact with friends or family, ignored by the masses, constantly fear violence and for them there is no hope of a better future.
    I have hope this idea will grow and where I live in Northern Ireland we have already taken up the gauntlet to promote the idea within our community.
    Thank you for your part in this wonderful scheme.

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