In Depth

Euston to host the homeless on Christmas Day

The London station will be transformed into a festive dining hall where rough sleepers can enjoy a turkey lunch

wd-homelessness.jpg

No trains will be running on 25 December, but this year London’s Euston station will not be empty on Christmas Day - instead, it will serve as a haven for the homeless.

From 11am on Christmas morning, departure boards and timetables will temporarily give way to decorations and dining tables, as Euston welcomes around 200 homeless people from across the capital.

Guests will enjoy Christmas dinner with all the trimmings on the station concourse, served by rail staff volunteers and charity workers.

“Working on Christmas Day is pretty much par for the course for many of us," Network Rail engineer Steve Naybour told The Independent. “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.”

He added that there has been “a lot of interest” from rail staff in volunteering to help run the event. Around 30 of them will join workers from two charities, St Mungo’s and Streets Kitchen, to bring festive cheer to those with nowhere to go.

“Many people become homeless because of relationship breakdowns so Christmas can be a particularly lonely time for some of our residents," said Beth Norden from St Mungo’s, which runs a network of homeless shelters and hostels in the capital.

More than 8,000 people are sleeping on the streets of London, according to Greater London Authority statistics.

Jon Glackin from Streets Kitchen, which will cook the dinners, told ITV that the event was a “shining example of local businesses, community groups and individuals coming together at Christmas in solidarity to assist others in need”.

"This will be a fantastic fun day for our homeless friends that we will all hope could be replicated anywhere and everywhere."

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