The weather might be getting colder, but that doesn’t mean that you should turn down the chance for free ice cream. If one thing is going to warm you up, it’s knowing that you’re about to get your hands on something delicious without spending a penny. If you, like me, are a poor millennial with nothing better to look forward to, such a possibility is as good a reason as any to get seriously excited.
Thanks to the good folk at Ben and Jerry’s, shoppers all across the UK can reward themselves with free scoops of their favourite frozen treats throughout this week. On top of the no-strings-attached ice cream, cold customers can also get their mitts on a specially prepared hot chocolate, made with the brand’s classic “chocolate fudge brownie flavour”. It might be winter, but there are clearly plenty of reasons for Brits to be positive.
The new campaign has been created to deliver an important message to the British public. The ice cream giants are working closely with the “Waiting isn’t Working” movement, whose mission is to help reinstate the working rights for people currently seeking asylum in this country. A collaboration between Ben and Jerry’s and British-based charity Refugee Action, the hope is that the brand can help raise awareness of an often neglected difficulty asylum seekers face.
Under current laws, asylum seekers can face a wait of up to six months before their claim is approved. During this time, work is out of the question - making it almost impossible for claimants to provide for themselves or their families for a serious stretch of time. The Waiting isn’t Working initiative forms part of the “Lift the Ban” coalition - a collection of over 100 organisations currently looking to change the rules around working asylum seekers. Having Ben and Jerry’s on board could make a big difference.
The travelling ice cream tour plans to offer free scoops in four UK locations over the coming weeks, in exchange for the public signing a petition, supporting the campaign’s effort. After the tour is over, the petition will be handed to the Home Secretary in time for the proposals to be included in the government’s new immigration bill.
In an announcement to the media, Ben & Jerry’s UK Social Mission Manager, Rebecca Baron, said, ‘We love to get out on the road to connect with our fans over a scoop and dig a little deeper on important issues. If we can mobilise the huge numbers of people already in support of giving people seeking asylum the right to work then together we can drive a historic change. There’s no time to waste.’
Her views were echoed by Refugee Action CEO Stephen Hale, who added, “‘Giving people seeking asylum the right to work would give more opportunity and dignity to people seeking safety, by allowing them to provide for their families and give back to their new communities. The ‘Waiting isn’t Working’ tour is a great way to get our message heard far and wide and, in turn, drive action on a timely topic.’
The tour began in Leeds on Monday 29th October, and will be arriving in Exeter on Tuesday 30th. It will travel to London on the 1st November, before finishing in Cardiff on the 7th. If you’ve ever wanted to be in a situation where you can indulge in ice cream completely guilt free, this is likely to be the best chance you’ll ever get.