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Birmingham New Street Train Station Hosts Christmas Dinner For 200 Homeless People

Birmingham New Street Train Station Hosts Christmas Dinner For 200 Homeless People

A three-course meal was put on free of charge at the station to bring together people who may otherwise feel lonely at Christmas

Jake Massey

Jake Massey

Ordinarily, Birmingham New Street train station is packed with busy commuters.

But yesterday evening, the concourse was even busier than usual, as the station opened its doors to 200 homeless people, who were invited to share a three-course Christmas banquet.

Carol singers and a DJ were also in attendance at the festive feast, which was organised by non-profit organisation Midlands Langar Seva Society (MLSS) and supported by Network Rail.

The main purpose of the event was to feed those who may otherwise go without Christmas dinner, and bring together people who may feel lonely or isolated at Christmas. As such, the food was served on a collection of round tables, designed to encourage conversation and companionship.

Louise Gall, 41, was one of the many homeless people who enjoyed the 'amazing' event served up by volunteers.

Speaking to Birmingham Live, she said: "What they have done for us is amazing.

"I live on the streets and without this I wouldn't have had a Christmas meal, the only way I could have had a hot meal would be by begging on the streets.

Louise Gall enjoying the Christmas meal at Birmingham New Street station.
Birmingham Mail

"I spent last night sleeping outside the station where the bikes are stored, it was freezing cold.

"It's amazing what they have done for the homeless."

Randhir Singh, chief executive of MLSS, said the event was about making Christmas 'special' for homeless people.

He said: "Midlands Langar Seva Society are out seven nights a week, not only across Birmingham but across the UK.

"Our main purpose is to serve humanity and serve hot meals to people less fortunate than ourselves, give out hats, clothes and warm clothing and give hope.

200 homeless people were served a three-course meal at the event.
Birmingham Mail

"Every year around about a week before Christmas we start giving out Christmas presents and cards.

"A lot of people around this time of year start missing their families, they experience depression and the suicide rate is quite high as well.

"Tonight we are putting on a three-course, sit down Christmas meal and giving out Christmas presents, with one of the managers of Network Rail dressing as Santa.

"It's their night and we are making it special for them."

Deputy station manager, Craig Stenning, said the event was all about community spirit.

He said: "It's about giving back to the community. As well as the meal there are some presents that have been donated by the retailers in the station.

"We are at the heart of the community and this is about giving back to the most lonely and vulnerable people in our society.

"For the staff here it's worth it to see the guests having a nice time."

Now if this isn't what Christmas is all about, then what is?

Featured Image Credit: Birmingham Mail

Topics: Christmas, UK News, Homeless