The highly successful Christmas Eve meal at Birmingham New Street station for the city’s homeless is returning this year – but with a difference. For the fourth year running Network Rail is teaming up with charity Midland Langar Seva Society (MLSS) to provide hot food and festive cheer for those who are struggling in the city centre this Christmas.
Since 2018, 550 people have enjoyed a three-course sit down Christmas meal and party on the concourse of Birmingham New Street station. However, like the event last year, the 2021 event will once again be outside of the station with a queuing system in place in order to help control the spread of coronavirus. Network Rail and MLSS were determined for 2021 not to be missed, so have announced alternative plans to provide 250 take-away meals and gifts.
Steven Ireland, head of stations and security for Network Rail’s Central route, said: “We’re really excited to be back hosting what’s becoming a firm fixture for us in the festive calendar, our Christmas Eve meal in conjunction with the Midland Langar Seva Society.
“While we had hoped to be back on the concourse inside in the warm, the changing Covid-19 situation means the safest and surest way to make sure the event goes ahead is to follow our tried and tested take-away plan from last year. We can’t wait to see people again and spread some festive cheer for those struggling on the streets this Christmas.”
The food and gifts will be given out on the Eastern plaza between 5pm and 7pm on Thursday December 24. However, like the event last year, the 2021 event will once again be outside of the station with a queuing system in place to help control the spread of coronavirus.
Parmjit Singh, Midland Langar Seva Society co-founder, said: “It’s great to be back working with Network Rail and local businesses which have made donations for this year’s Christmas Eve meal at the station. It really is a highlight for people who find themselves living on the streets in the city at what can be a very tough time for them. We’re determined to give them a Christmas to remember with carols, food and friendly faces – and even presents from Santa.”
Volunteers and staff from Network Rail, the rail industry and Midland Langar Seva Society will work throughout the evening to cater for up to 250 people on the station’s eastern plaza between 6-9pm.