Railway station hosts homeless banquet

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Media caption Guests were provided gift bags filled with fundamentals

It’s no normal commuter Monday at Euston Station in London.

The last train left at 23:00 on Sunday and the guests are house – however the concourse is hectic with individuals taking a seat to a Christmas Day banquet.

An arrivals board checks out: “Special notification: Network Rail welcomes you to Euston Station. Merry Christmas!”

For the very first time, the transportation center has actually ended up being a homeless shelter for 200 individuals – as one of numerous public areas that generally lie empty on Christmas.

Some 45 volunteers have actually worked over night to change the station all set for a banquet of smoked salmon, soup, a roast, and Christmas pudding.

Next to disallowed ticket terminals and a shut WH Smith, Boots and Paperchase, chairs and tables are embellished with red poinsettias.

Image caption Sharon has actually concerned Euston for some business on Christmas Day

One of today’s visitors, Sharon, states she has actually used her finest gown for the celebration.

“My assistance employee Christine informed me about this a number of weeks earlier,” she states.

“I understood I didn’t have anything to do. I would be at house on my own and sometimes you’re lonesome, particularly at Christmas.”

Sharon, who transferred to London from the United States twenty years back, states she needed to provide up work as a retail supervisor since of a leg injury, however wants to return next year.

“I’m on the repair, I’ll certainly be dancing today!”

Image caption Joe Hendry, Euston’s station supervisor, at first dismissed the concept

About 120,000 individuals go through Euston every day, making it Britain’s fifth-busiest train station, inning accordance with ticket sales information.

But today is more unwinded; cheers appear as a pianist plays Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

It’s a novelty for those who usually operate at Euston, consisting of station supervisor Joe Hendry.

“I at first didn’t believe it would be possible,” he states.

“But showing up to work today at 06:30 today and seeing everybody here – it’s terrific.

“We have a huge regional homeless population here, so I’ve seen some familiar faces.”

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‘Lonely at Christmas’

Jay, initially from Cork, moves from location to location in the location, and is presently residing in a deserted lawyers’ workplace.

“If I wasn’t here I ‘d remain in the workplace – there’s 20 people – we would attempt and having fun,” he states.

Image caption Jay crouches in regional homes, and states he would otherwise be not able to manage a Christmas supper

“We got tickets for today – it’s great to have something to do, we have bare cooking centers and do not have much loan for great food.”

But word has actually spread out.

Outside the station, individuals – lots of clutching blankets and shopping bags – are aiming to get entry to the supper, which is ticket-only and firmly safeguarded by Euston’s security personnel.

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Media caption Network Rail’s Steve Naybour: “Santa came last night” to Euston

The occasion was the creation of a group of Network Rail employees, consisting of Steve Naybour, who was motivated by the Glastonbury Festival’s usage of uninhabited fields.

“Every year the celebration utilizes fallow ground that would otherwise be unused – in a comparable method, we considered how we can utilize our empty stations,” he states.

Steve’s utilized to working over Christmas – and has a shift on Boxing Day – however states today is various.

“It’s fantastic to see the concourse looking so joyful, which would usually be loaded with commuters.”

Volunteers prepping the alcohol-free four-course meal tweeted their efforts utilizing the #EustonChristmas hashtag.

Nearly 50 various services and organisations have actually contributed products – consisting of food, beverages and thermal clothing – to the occasion.

Mr Naybour states he has actually been “blown away” by the kindness, including: “We’ve got an entire outlet store of clothing we’re waiting to offer.”

Two hundred kids from schools in the city have actually made Christmas cards to offer to the visitors, while regional cooking areas have actually opened to assist volunteers prepare the meal.

Image caption Charity volunteer Jon Glackin states empty structures need to be utilized as shelters

Jon Glackin, from the charity Street Kitchen, states he “leapt at the possibility” to assist. “People we’ve understood throughout the years are occurring,” he states.

“Something we’ve constantly aimed to highlight is empty structures, for feeding individuals, for sleeping and for shelters,” includes Jon.


  • A theatre in Plymouth is opening its doors to provide homeless individuals a location to remain. Residents have actually embellished the foyer of the Palace Theatre and contributed useful products like coats, jumpers, blankets and shoes.
  • Westlode Fisheries in Spalding, Lincolnshire, is opening on Christmas Day in between 13:00 GMT and 15:00 GMT using totally free hot meals for the “homeless, senior or individuals who are struggling this Christmas”.
  • Burnley’s Muscle Factory fitness center is opening at lunch break offering shelter, food and hairstyles so that “nobody must feel alone on Christmas Day”.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42477120

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