Bristol Brewery Offers Up Its Address To Homeless So They Can Vote
Despite what many people might assume, according to the Government, you can still register to vote even if you don't have a fixed address - whether that's because you're a patient in a mental health hospital, currently remanded in custody or if you're homeless.
The electoral registration form for 'someone with no fixed or permanent address' states: "To register, you need to give an address where you would be living if it were not for your current situation or an address where you have lived in the past.
"If you are homeless, you can give details of where you spend a substantial part of your time."
With this in mind, Domhnaill Barnes and Izzy Emberson at Bristol Beer Factory - based in Southville, Bristol - realised there was a way they could help through their work.
BBF operates a brewery and several bars across Bristol, but it's its site at the Arnolfini arts centre that has become a base for the city's homeless community to register to vote before the deadline next week.
A tweet from the company explained: "To register just come in and ask for a form, fill it out and return it to us before the 26th November and we will ensure you are registered to vote."
Please share! Some of the team have started a small initiative to help people who are homeless vote...help us get the word out there! @ArnolfiniCafe @bristol247 @BristolShelter @bristolhomeless @EmmausBristol @JulianTrust @caringinbristol @bristol247 pic.twitter.com/sYmY0XZP1D
- Bristol Beer Factory (@BrisBeerFactory) November 19, 2019
Domhnaill Barnes, Head of Operations at Bristol Conspiracy Pub Co., said the pair came with the brainwave after he was chatting to his mum over dinner a few weeks ago.
He told LADbible: "Myself and my colleague Izzystarted this a week or so ago after a conversation I had had with my mother about the fact that one does not need a permanent address to register to vote.
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"We are in the lucky position to have the wherewithal to do this and work for a company that allows us the time to achieve something like this."
Barnes explained: "There is a form on the electoral registration website that people need to print out (it can't be done online which is obviously an extra hurdle).
"We have these forms available and will assist people in any way to fill in the details. This form then needs to be returned to the electoral register by midnight next Tuesday (26th November)."
Bristol Council confirmed that the Electoral Commission has given Bristol Beer Factory permission to be used as an address for homeless people, meaning the initiative is all good to go, ahead of 12 December's General Election.
Barnes continued: "We live in a democracy and everybody has the right to have their voice heard. There should be no barriers in place preventing people from exercising their democratic right.
"Moreover, those already on the fringes of society often feel disenfranchised and any small step to allow people to re-engage with the political discourse which affects us all is something we are very proud to be involved in."
He added: "This is a totally apolitical project, we are not telling people how to vote, just the opportunity to do so.
"Also, you can have a cup of tea on us when you come to register, and who doesn't love a free cup of tea?"
Check Your PMs is LADbible's countdown to the general election December 12. We'll be encouraging people to vote, looking at the issues that matter to our audience and asking YOU what you really think of politics in 2019.
Featured Image Credit: PA