Thanks to a partnership between Streets Kitchen, St Mungo’s and Network Rail, London Euston station will welcome 200 specially invited homeless guests on Christmas Day.
As their colleagues enjoy time off with their families during the festive season, around 30 volunteers from Network Rail will give up their Christmas Day to work alongside volunteers from homelessness charity St Mungo’s and Streets Kitchen. St Mungo’s provides a bed and support to more than 2,700 people a night across England, and Streets Kitchen is a grassroots organisation that feeds 1,000 people on the streets every week.
The 200 guests, invited by St Mungo’s and Streets Kitchen, will be arriving at London Euston station from 11:00 on Christmas Day, Monday 25 December. The station concourse will be filled with decorations, and tables will be laid for dinner so that the guests can enjoy a full Christmas dinner and some company.
Streets Kitchen will be making and serving the dinner with help from the volunteers.
Steve Naybour, head of transformation in Network Rail’s track team, is leading the team running the event:
Using a station to give homeless people a Christmas dinner and some festive cheer is a great thing to do.
Thousands and thousands of my colleagues will already be working on Christmas Day to improve the railway for passengers. 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.
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.
The station team is delighted to bring this unique event to life. Stations are at the heart of local communities and we want to provide a legacy through good relationships with organisations like St Mungo’s and Streets Kitchen that supports the homeless community in and around our station long after the buzz of Christmas has died down.
Joe Hendry, Euston station manager
Jon Glackin from Streets Kitchen, which is providing the food and service, is really excited by what the local community can achieve by coming together.
This is a shining example of local businesses, community groups and individuals coming together at Christmas in solidarity to assist others in need over Christmas.
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.
Tasks on the day to be carried out by volunteers from Network Rail and St Mungo’s will include helping Streets Kitchen serve the food, welcoming guests with Christmas cheer and chatting to them during the day, clearing away and cleaning, moving chairs and tables as well as supervising station areas including toilets, the concourse and exits. Station colleagues, security staff and BTP will manage security on the day.
Many people become homeless because of relationship breakdowns so Christmas can be a particularly lonely time for some of our residents.
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.
Beth Norden, community and events manager for St Mungo’s
Steve Naybour is delighted that his idea has been so warmly received and will not cost taxpayers a penny:
This is a great example of businesses and communities coming together to deliver a great event free of charge. Everything, including people’s time, has been donated. And I can’t think of a better way to spend my Christmas Day – it even beats working on the railway!
About St Mungo’s
St Mungo’s vision is that everyone has a place to call home and can fulfil their hopes and ambitions. The charity runs more than 300 projects and each night offers a bed and support to more than 2,700 people.
We believe that people can – and do – recover from the issues that cause homelessness. We work to prevent homelessness and support people at every step of their recovery from homelessness. www.mungos.org