The BillyChip is an alternative to cash that allows the public to give direct donations to rough sleepers and homeless people without the fear of their donation being misused for drugs or alcohol. They can be redeemed in coffee shops and takeaways for the minimum of a hot or cold drink of their choice, many outlets offer more. The BillyChip is the legacy of its inventor, Billy Abernethy-Hope, a twenty-year-old ambulance driver from Bristol who tragically died before he could see his idea become a reality.

June 2023

Harry's Hat Logo

​BillyChip is a unique safe and secure platform which allows the public to directly donate to homeless people without the fear of the donation being misused for drugs or alcohol. This safe platform for contributing to someone else’s wellbeing brings many benefits and encourages social integration, engagement, empathy and compassion.

Purchased at existing café outlets for £2 and donated to a homeless person, the BillyChip can be redeemed at any participating café for a free hot or cold drink.

A major advantage of the BillyChip is how it empowers homeless people with choice. Catering for dietary needs, choosing what to eat, where from and when to eat it is a choice the person doesn’t get when food is donated, but the BillyChip can give them back the autonomy that most of us take for granted.

The BillyChip is a reusable ceramic chip rather than plastic to be used time and time again, and is delivered to cafe outlets via partners of the catering industry whilst delivering to an established customer base, therefore reducing carbon impact.

Feedback from homeless people suggests that being given a BillyChip, as small an act as it may be,  improves mental health and wellbeing, as the person knows somebody has gone out of their way to help them. It can also give a feeling of belonging and acceptance, reassuring them that they are welcome at outlets showing the BillyChip sign.

BillyChip have worked extensively with UK Police and Local Authorities, and have learned that it reduces unscrupulous begging and organised crime gangs that operate within cities and towns, freeing the community to work together to integrate with the genuine homeless and help them to once again feel part of society.

At present they have over 342 outlets across the UK, and their aim is to be in every city across the country, including major high street outlets. The participating café outlet is credited to cover their costs and monies from each chip sold comes back to BillyChip Foundation to open new outlets and support other homeless organisations.

Each new outlet BillyChip takes on has a onetime cost of £32.14, which provides the outlet with a Starter Kit comprising BillyChips, strut cards, window posters and window stickers to denote they are a participating BillyChip outlet. Funds from the Matthew Good Foundation will enable BillyChip to expand its reach by funding the creation of more starter kits, including the manufacture and shipping of the BillyChips and printing of information and display materials.

  • Raising awareness of paediatric Hydrocephalus
  • Funding research and training for nurses and front-line workers to improve the outcome for children with the condition
  • Signposting families affected by Hydrocephalus in children

Funds will be used towards the completion of their app and the ‘I wish I had known that’ book. Both projects aim to promote independence for families and children affected by hydrocephalus and to foster access to support to help improve the experience of both the child and their family.

The team has excellent links with most of the UK’s neurosurgical teams, and funds training (for front-line medical, health and social care workers) to further develop their understanding of the condition.

“BillyChip was set up in memory of my son Billy, who created the idea to help encourage people to directly donate to people sleeping rough on our streets. Having helped and donated to the homeless whilst working within our city centres, Billy was very aware that people are reluctant to donate money in case it funds alcohol and drug addictions. Sadly, Billy never got to see his idea in operation due to his untimely death whilst back packing in Thailand in 2018. Through BillyChip, we keep Billy’s memory and kindness alive and provide hope to the Homeless, and as Billy would say ‘You’re Fabulous and don’t you ever forget it!’”

Jon Hope

Founder, BillyChip

“It was such a pleasure to meet Jon and learn more about BillyChip; it was immediately apparent how passionate Jon is about making a difference to homeless people and turning his son Billy’s vision into a reality. Not only does it assist rough sleepers in a positive way, but it also empowers them to feel they have a choice. Jon and his team are committed to helping rough sleepers and spreading this scheme throughout the UK, and with two well-known national retailers already on board and interest from abroad, I have no doubt it will be a huge success.”

Michelle Taft

Executive Director, Matthew Good Foundation

Latest Project Updates

June 2023

Granted £5,000

After becoming one of the top five finalists in the latest Grants for Good Round, BillyChip won the employee vote and £5,000 was granted.