London’s Euston station is to open up as a shelter for hundreds of homeless people on Christmas Day.
The central London railway hub will be laid out with tables and festive decorations as it welcomes 200 of the city’s homeless people for a traditional Christmas dinner.
Volunteers from two homelessness charities, St Mungo’s and Streets Kitchen, as well as Network Rail have pledged to serve the festive meal plus setting up and clearing away.
St Mungo’s runs more than 300 projects across the UK, providing a bed and support to more than 2,700 homeless people. Grassroots organisation Streets Kitchen feeds 1,000 people living on the streets every week.
“Many people become homeless because of relationship breakdowns so Christmas can be a particularly lonely time for some of our residents,” said Beth Norden, community and events manager at St Mungo’s.
“Our thanks to Network Rail, their staff and volunteers, for helping some of our residents in Camden and neighbouring boroughs feel included in the community this Christmas Day.”
Jon Glackin from Streets Kitchen said the plan is a “shining example” of local businesses, community groups and individuals coming together at Christmas to help people in end.
“It’s fantastic to work with all the Network Rail team innovatively employing one of their prestigious stations to spread some festive cheer for our homeless community,” he said.
“This will be a fantastic fun day for our homeless friends that we will all hope could be replicated anywhere and everywhere.”
Steve Naybour, of Network Rail, said: “
Working on Christmas Day is pretty much par for the course for many of us who work for Network Rail but this year, because I wasn’t scheduled to work, myself and a handful of colleagues came up with this plan to feed some of London’s homeless instead.
“St Mungo’s and Streets Kitchen have been fantastic. And I’m proud to say we’ve had lots of interest from Network Rail colleagues to volunteer to come along on the day to help out.”
It comes as plunging temperatures in the UK raised fears for the welfare of Britain's homeless.
People in England and Wales are urged to report any homeless person to streetlink.org.uk, who can send the location to outreach teams who operate overnight.