Chipping Away – Great Bristol Run teams up with a local homeless charity

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AJ Bell Great Bristol Run teams up with a local homeless charity for a gourmet food experience.

Bristol homeless charity BillyChip® will be unveiling their brand-new gourmet chip van at this year’s AJ Bell Great Bristol Run, in a partnership to raise funds and awareness at the event on Sunday 14th May.

BillyChip allows the public to directly donate to rough sleepers by purchasing a chip they can exchange for food and drink in outlets around the city, including Greggs, Rod and Ruby’s, Better Foods, and the Arnolfini Café.

Billy Abernethy-Hope, a 20-year-old ambulance driver from Bristol, first came up with the idea for the scheme after helping the homeless at Christmas. Feeling disheartened at how little support the public gave directly to rough sleepers, he was inspired to take action.

Tragically, Billy died before he could see his concept become a reality, so his family launched BillyChip in 2019 in his memory and it’s since expanded to include venues in other towns and cities such as Weymouth and Oxford.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, the charity continued its support for the homeless by providing cooler bags to outreach services to distribute, allowing those sleeping rough to keep any perishables fresh during the hot weather. The team’s work caught the attention of celebrities and high-profile chefs including Michelin-starred Pierre Koffmann, who owns the Koffmann Potato range.

BillyChip and The Koffmann family have together created a chip van with a difference, using potatoes from Koffmann’s range to create gourmet chips with mouth-watering toppings, while raising awareness and funds for the cause.

The van will be making its debut at the AJ Bell Great Bristol Run, as part of the event’s ongoing drive to work with and support local businesses and charities.

Jon Hope, CEO of BillyChip said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with such a prestigious event in our home city and we hope the success of this will lead to new outlets signing up and more members of the public building a connection with their local homeless community through our safe and secure currency.”

BillyChip’s partnership with the AJ Bell Great Bristol Run will include a marquee in the event village promoting its work and the charity’s logo will appear on all runners’ numbers. A team of runners will be taking part in the event to raise funds for BillyChip.

Paul Foster, Chief Executive of the Great Run Company said: “The Koffmann chip van will make a fantastic addition to the range of food and drink available at the AJ Bell Great Bristol Run while helping such an important local initiative.

“We’re always keen to do what we can to support local businesses and charities and we hope this partnership helps to raise the profile of BillyChip among both participants and spectators.”

For more information on BillyChip, visit here.