Thursday 18 October 2018

7 delightful ways people are coming together to help the homeless at Christmas

From a dinner on London Euston Station for 200 homeless people, to gyms, chippies and churches opening their doors.

(Sally Wardle/PA)
(Sally Wardle/PA)

By Nicola Irwin, Press Association

People across the UK are using time-off over Christmas to help homeless people also enjoy the festivities.

From opening gyms and theatres, to giving people a place to stay and offering those without a home somewhere to enjoy a meal for free, the Christmas spirit is well and truly on show all over the country.

Here’s a selection of how people are coming together to make December 25 a day for everyone to remember.

1. Network Rail is opening London Euston to 200 homeless people for Christmas dinner

The concourse of Euston Station will be transformed with decorations and tables set out for 200 homeless guests to enjoy dinner. The invited diners will arrive from 11am on Christmas Day. The event is a partnership between Network Rail and the St Mungo’s and Street Kitchen charities.

2. A church in Sunderland is opening its doors for a Christmas lunch

St Mary’s has been backed by fundraising efforts across the city, including at Sunderland AFC, where supporters were encouraged to “bring a tin” to a recent match. The items have been donated to St Mary’s and other homeless support charities. The lunch is being served from midday until 1.30pm.

3. A burger van in Liverpool has been feeding homeless people for free all month

Steak House food van in Liverpool has been offering hot food to homeless people for free between 10am and 11am this December. It will open on Christmas day too, reported the Liverpool Echo.

Local traders have backed the van, owned and run by Tommy Ager, by bringing fresh fruit and other items to add to the hot food he has served.

4. Caribbean eatery Cummin Up offers free lunch on Christmas Day

The Lewisham restaurant shared its plans for a free Christmas meal on Twitter, creating a buzz about the restaurant. It is not just for people who are homeless. A banner outside the restaurant reads: “Open Christmas Day. All welcome to our Christmas meal. Money too tight, or lonely?” It is serving from 1pm to 7pm.

5. A theatre opens its doors to offer homeless people a place to stay

DONT YOU JUST HATE WALKING PAST THESE POOR HOMELESS PEOPLE IN PLYMOUTH, WOULDN'T YOU LIKE TO HELP , WELL NOW YOU CAN…

Posted by Help the homeless in Plymouth on Friday, December 15, 2017

In Plymouth, the owner of the Palace Theatre is opening the doors of the venue to homeless people, allowing them to sleep in the foyer.

The efforts have been led by a Facebook group called “Help the homeless in Plymouth” where locals have offered everything from Christmas decorations to make the theatre’s foyer more festive to practical items like coats, shoes, blankets and jumpers to keep homeless people warm at winter.

6. Fish and chips are available for free

Posted by Westlode Fisheries on Friday, December 15, 2017

Westlode Fisheries in Spalding, Lincolnshire, is also opening on Christmas Day. It is offering a free hot meal for the “homeless, elderly or people who are struggling this Christmas” when it opens between 1pm and 3pm. In addition, on Christmas Eve, 10% of takings will be going to charity.

7. A gym is offering shelter, food and haircuts

***IMPORTANT. PLEASE READ, SHARE AND SPREAD THE WORD***Christmas Time is a special day for many. A lot of our closest…

Posted by Muscle Factory Burnley on Friday, December 8, 2017

In Burnley, businesses have come together in a scheme spearheaded by Muscle Factory gym. It will open between 1pm and 3pm on Christmas Day so that “no one should feel alone on Christmas Day”.

As well as food from Oasis Grillaz, Blades Professional Barbers and Second Impressions Barbers will be offering free haircuts and shaves.

In a Facebook post, the gym added: “We can’t take away everyone’s troubles but we can try make life a little bit easier, lift morale, fill some bellies and hopefully have them leave with a smile.”

Press Association

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