Railway station multitudes homeless banquet

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Media captionGuests please give goodie handbags fitted with all-importants

It’s no ordinary passenger Monday at Euston Station in London.

The last study left at 23:00 on Sunday and the passengers are home – but the foyer is busy with people sitting down to a Christmas Day feast.

An appearances board speaks: “Special discover: Network Rail invites you to Euston Station. Merry Christmas! ”

For the first time, the transport hub has become a homeless shelter for 200 people – as one of numerous public rooms that are usually lie empty on Christmas.

Some 45 voluntaries have worked overnight to transform the terminal ready for a banquet of smoked salmon, soup, a cook, and Christmas pudding.

Next to prohibit ticket terminals and a closed WH Smith, Boots and Paperchase, tables and chairs are decorated with cherry-red poinsettias.

Image caption Sharon has come to Euston for some companionship on Christmas Day

One of today’s clients, Sharon, says she has worn her excellent dress for the occasion.

“My support worker Christine told me about this a couple of weeks ago, ” she says.

“I knew I didn’t have anything to do. I would be at home on my own and at times you’re lonely, especially at Christmas.”

Sharon, who moved to London from the US two decades ago, says she had to give up work as a retail director because of a leg injury, but hopes to return next year.

“I’m on the mend, I’ll surely be dancing today! “

Image caption Joe Hendry, Euston’s station manager, initially rejected the relevant recommendations

About 120,000 people pass through Euston every day, building it Britain’s fifth-busiest study depot, according to ticket marketings data .

But today is more tightened; heartens start as a pianist plays Rudolph the Red Snout Reindeer.

It’s a novelty for those who normally work at Euston, including depot director Joe Hendry.

“I initially didn’t think it is a possibility, ” he says.

“But turning up to work today at 06:30 this morning and construing everyone here – it’s wonderful.

“We have a big neighbourhood homeless population here, so I’ve assured some familiar faces.”

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‘Lonely at Christmas’

Jay, initially from Cork, moves from place to place in the field, and is currently living in an abandoned solicitors’ bureau.

“If I wasn’t here I’d be in the power – there’s 20 of us – we would try and have a good time, ” he says.

Image caption Jay squats in neighbourhood dimensions, and says he would otherwise be unable to afford a Christmas dinner

“We get tickets for today – it’s nice to have something to do, we have bare cooking facilities and don’t have much money for nice food.”

But word has spread.

Outside the depot, people – numerous clutching blankets and shopping bags – are trying to get entry to the dinner, which is ticket-only and tightly guarded by Euston’s security staff.

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Media captionNetwork Rail’s Steve Naybour: “Santa came last-place night” to Euston

The event was the brainchild of groupings of Network Rail craftsmen, including Steve Naybour, who was inspired by the Glastonbury Festival’s use of unoccupied fields.

“Every year the festival implements fallow soil that they are able to otherwise be unused – in a similar way, we thought about how we can use our empty terminals, ” he says.

Steve’s used to working over Christmas – and has a shift on Boxing Day – but says today is different.

“It’s amazing to check the foyer examining so gala, which is usually be packed with commuters.”

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

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