London Euston rail station hosts homeless for Christmas

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London's Euston Station will host a full Christmas lunch for 200 homeless people later, as public spaces UK-wide open their doors to those in need.

Volunteers worked overnight after the last train left on Christmas Eve – transforming the station concourse with decorations and tables.

The first guests arrive at 11:00 GMT for food, company and goody bags of presents, clothes and toiletries.

Gyms and theatres are also opening to the homeless on Christmas Day.

About 30 volunteers from Network Rail are turning out alongside charities St Mungo's and Street Kitchen to provide "some festive cheer" at Euston, which is normally the UK's fifth-busiest rail station.

Volunteers have been tweeting their efforts using the #EustonChristmas hashtag.

Steve Naybour, from Network Rail, said it had been a "huge team effort" to make the event happen.

"But there could not have been a better one", he added. "Everything, including people's time, has been donated."

Two hundred children from schools in the local area have made Christmas cards to give to the guests, while local kitchens have opened up to help volunteers prepare the four-course meal.

Beth Nordon, community and events manager for St Mungo's, said: "Many people become homeless because of relationship breakdowns so Christmas can be a particularly lonely time for some of our residents."

Elsewhere:

  • A theatre in Plymouth is opening its doors to offer homeless people a place to stay. Locals have decorated the foyer of the Palace Theatre and donated practical items like coats, shoes, blankets and jumpers.
  • Westlode Fisheries in Spalding, Lincolnshire, is opening on Christmas Day between 13:00 GMT and 15:00 GMT offering free hot meals for the "homeless, elderly or people who are struggling this Christmas".
  • Burnley's Muscle Factory gym is opening at lunchtime offering shelter, food and haircuts so that "no one should feel alone on Christmas Day".

Original Article

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BBC

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