Museum joins BillyChip scheme to support people in need
The Museum of Gloucester is now selling tokens that be given out to people who are sleeping rough to exchange for a hot or cold drink.
The tokens which are part of the BillyChip® Scheme, are £2 each and can be bought from the museum’s reception.
They can be given to someone who is sleeping rough, who can then get a drink at the museum, or any of the other participating venues in the city including Revive Coffee House, The Shire, and Seymour Post Office.
The BillyChip scheme is run by a national charity and was inspired by Billy Abernethy-Hope, a twenty-year-old ambulance driver from Bristol, who wanted to make it easier for people to support those in need.
The scheme’s introduction follows a motion brought by Councillor Brendon O’Donnell and approved by Gloucester City Council, that recognised members of the public may not donate spare change out of concern about how the money might be spent.
It also recognised that less people are now carrying cash.
Gloucester City Council has a five-year Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy that focuses on the prevention of homelessness and rough sleeping, and a dedicated outreach team provides support to anyone rough sleeping, helping them to find accommodation or return to their local area.
Councillor Stephanie Chambers, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing Strategy, said: “Reducing homelessness and rough sleeping is a priority for us as we believe no one should have to sleep rough. The BillyChip scheme is a great way for our community to let those sleeping rough know that they care, although I would also urge residents to get in touch with Streetlink so that they can offer help and support.”
Jack Gascoigne of BillyChip, said: “We are thrilled to be rolling out BillyChip in Gloucester, in partnership with Gloucester City Council, increasing direct donations to those forced to sleep rough whilst helping build connections between the public, rough sleepers and local businesses.”
The Museum of Gloucester is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am-5pm, Sundays 11am-4pm and Mondays during school holidays and Bank Holiday Mondays.
The details of participating BillyChip venues can be found at www.billychip.com
Anyone who sees someone sleeping rough should contact Streetlink (website: www.streetlink.org.uk , mobile app: ‘StreetLink’ from Apple iTunes / Google Play store, phone: 0300 500 0914) and the rough sleeper outreach team will then offer help to that person.
People at risk of homelessness should contact the councils’ housing team on 01452 396396.