Spread Kindness with BillyChip®, To Be Introduced in All Central Co-op Stores this March

Posted by sam bishop | Published: 17/02/2023

Central Co-op is pleased to announce on Random Act of Kindness Day that BillyChip® is being introduced across all 250+ Central Co-op food stores this March, allowing customers to spread kindness to those in need with a simple gift.   

Making a difference is easy with a BillyChip, as the chips - which are made from a biodegradable ceramic polymer - cost £2 and can be given to someone sleeping rough as a way to support them. This £2 goes straight to BillyChip who, through their foundation, help support other relevant local charities in the Society’s trading area. 

The simple act of giving a chip allows someone to redeem the chip for a hot or cold drink of their choice at any Central Co-op store. Two chips can be redeemed for a meal deal in-store as well, including a snack, main, and a drink.  

BillyChips will be available for purchase in stores from 27th March, marking the fifth anniversary of the passing of Billy Abernethy-Hope, the creator and namesake of BillyChip. 

Hannah Gallimore, Social Change Manager at Central Co-op, said: “BillyChip is such a simple way to spread kindness to those who need it, and we are pleased we can make that possible in our stores. We have seen the great work that BillyChip is already doing, and we’re always keen to support kind initiatives that make a real difference, especially as times get tougher for everyone.” 

Meg Abernethy-Hope, Co-Founder of BillyChip, said: “The BillyChip is about giving someone who is sleeping rough compassion, connection, and choice. We are so proud to be partnering with Central Co-op, a business we know is built around supporting its community. This is an incredible partnership and we are beyond excited to see where it will take us in the future.” 

For further details, head to the Central Co-op website, Facebook, and Twitter. 

About Central Co-op   

Central Co-op is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK, with a heritage stretching back over 175 years and interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.  

Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its 7,700 colleagues serve customers across 440 plus trading sites in 21 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.   

Its purpose is to create a sustainable Society for all.  

It actively campaigns for food justice and works with FareShare Midlands and a network of local food banks. It also adds £1 to every Healthy Start Voucher redeemed in store and supports six schools in partnership with Magic Breakfasts. 

The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter. The Society is also a member of Diversity in Retail and it is fully committed to addressing the impacts of climate change by reducing carbon and food waste, increasing recycling and investment in community Sustainable Spaces funded by the carrier bag levy. It recently launched its Malawi Partnership to support farmers and producers in the country through the Co-operative International Trading Development Fund.  

It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £109,769.25 shared out between 121 good causes in 2022. 

Press office contact: Sam Bishop, PR Specialist  

Contact details:  


07385 048048 

About BillyChip®   

BillyChip® is a social enterprise platform which aims to empower rough sleepers. The platform allows people to purchase a BillyChip® from participating food and drink outlets which can then be given to rough sleepers and homeless people as an alternative to cash. They can then redeem the BillyChip for food, drink and other products.  

BillyChip® was set up in 2018 to continue the legacy of Billy Abernethy-Hope, a twenty year old ambulance driver from Bristol. After helping support the homeless, Billy felt disheartened at how little the general public gave to local homeless people. Although many make regular charitable donations, Billy was surprised at the small percentage of donations given directly to people living rough for fear of the money being used for drugs or alcohol. The BillyChip offers a solution, delivering kindness, compassion and food and drink to homeless people in the UK.  

The BillyChip Foundation was established as a registered charity by Meg Abernethy-Hope, Billy’s sister, and Jon Hope, Billy’s father. In 2021, Meg was awarded the Diana Award for her charitable work.