1,050 children in Kingston will wake up on Christmas morning in temporary lodgings this year, new analysis by Shelter has revealed.

Of these, many will spend the festive period in a hostel or a bed and breakfast, often living with their family in a single room and sharing bathrooms and kitchens with strangers.

The homelessness charity warns the housing crisis has rippled through a generation, with an average of 28 homeless children for every school in London.

Shelter said that teachers have reported severe emotional trauma and stress in homeless students who also face challenges such as keeping track of their possessions and uniforms and staying clean despite limited access to bathrooms and laundry facilities.

Greg Beales, director of campaigns at Shelter, said: “The increasing number of children hidden away in hostels and bed and breakfasts is enough to make anyone’s heart sink. These are not places for children.

“We hear about cold, damp, even rats. Young children are sharing beds with multiple family members, trying to play in dirty public corridors, and having to leave their block in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.

“Over the last five years, hundreds of thousands of children have known what it’s like to be homeless. The impact these young people cannot be overstated. It doesn’t have to be this way. If we act now, we can change tomorrow to make sure every child has somewhere they can call home.”

The charity is appealing to the public to support its Christmas appeal and give families the helpline advice and services they need to to keep their homes over the holidays.

To support Shelter’s appeal, visit www.shelter.org.uk or text SHELTER to 70020 to donate £3.