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London Euston station to be transformed into homeless shelter for 200 on Christmas Day

Euston was the fifth busiest UK train station in 2016/2017. Credit: PA

Euston station is to become a shelter for 200 homeless people on Christmas Day.

The London station, which saw around 44 million commuters use it in 2016/2017, will be transformed into a dining room for 200, complete with Christmas decorations.

With train services not running on December 25, around 30 volunteers from Network Rail, along with volunteers from homelessness charity St Mungo's and Streets Kitchen, will welcome the invited guests from 11am onwards, where they will be served a Christmas dinner and enjoy the company of others.

Streets Kitchen will be providing, making and serving the food with help from the other volunteers.

The guests have already been invited and have been drawn from a number of London boroughs.

Earlier in December, homeless charity Shelter reported that 128,000 will wake up homeless on Christmas Day.

"Many people become homeless because of relationship breakdowns so Christmas can be a particularly lonely time for some of our residents," explained 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."

Meanwhile, Jon Glackin from Streets Kitchen, praised the project as a "shining example of local businesses, community groups and individuals coming together at Christmas in solidarity to assist others in need.

"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.

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

Some 200 invited homeless people will be able to enjoy a Christmas dinner and company. Credit: PA

Every night in England, St Mungo’s provides a bed and support to more than 2,700 people, while Streets Kitchen - a grassroots organisation - feeds 1,000 people on the streets each week.

Steve Naybour, head of transformation in Network Rail’s track team and who is leading the team running the event, praised the event as a "great thing to do".

"Using a station to give homeless people a Christmas dinner and some festive cheer is a great thing to do," Mr Naybour said.

He continued: "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.

"All of this is possible due to great support from the station team, British Transport Police (BTP) and local and national suppliers including the Pret Foundation Trust, Blacks outdoor clothing, Virgin Trains and Abellio – they’ve been amazing in making this event happen."