Brewery offers homeless people its address so they can register to vote

A brewery is offering homeless people its address so they can vote in the general election.

The owners of Bristol Beer Factory have said rough sleepers from the area can use their brewery in the city’s Southville area as their home address.

Staff at the coffee house and bar in Bristol’s quay area – a different address from the brewery – will help them print forms and send them off ahead of the 26 November voter registration deadline.

Bristol Beer Factory's brewery in Southville, Bristol, has been approved as an address homeless people can register as theirs. Pic: Google Streetview
Image: Bristol Beer Factory’s brewery in Southville, Bristol, has been approved as an address that homeless people can use to register. Pic: Google Street View

The cafe is also offering homeless people a free hot drink while they register.

A poster online from the brewery said: “Don’t lose your vote.

“Did you know that even with no fixed abode or permanent address you can still vote?

“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.”

More from Bristol

The cafe’s manager often welcomes homeless people in to have a hot drink.

To register to vote in the UK, you have to have a fixed address, but for those without one – such as homeless people, travellers, merchant seamen and those living on a boat – the Electoral Commission does make allowances.

Bristol's homeless population has risen dramatically over the past few years
Image: Bristol’s homeless population has risen dramatically over the past few years

The commission says homeless people can register at an address “where you spend a substantial part of your time during the day or night”.

Bristol Council confirmed the Electoral Commission has given Bristol Beer Factory permission for its brewery to be used as an address for homeless people.

The city has seen a rise in homelessness of 128% over the past three years, according to Homeless Link.

Statistics released last month found homeless people in Bristol are dying at more than twice the national rate.

The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, found an estimated 17 rough sleepers died in the city in 2018 – a record high.