At Invisible Edinburgh we don’t believe in labels or stereotypes. We want to show that everyone has great potential, a fact reflected in our tour guides.
Each of our talented tour guides have experience of homelessness or social disadvantage. They have seen their cities from many more angles than the average tour guide can offer, be it the famous landmarks or the social enterprises that make this great city what it is. Meet the team below:
Hi, my name is Sonny! Thank you for showing interest in my tour and my story. I am very proud to be part of the team at Invisible (Edinburgh) as this is a city I was homeless in a few years ago and so I know parts of Edinburgh you probably don’t.
My tour is based on Crimes and Punishment as I have experienced prison myself (though for minor crimes) and Edinburgh is full of stories of murders, gangsters and prisoners!
A few years ago, my life took a bad turn and I was homeless on the streets of Edinburgh. My girlfriend (Biffy-another tour guide at Invisible Edinburgh) and I were addicted to Heroin but we are now both clean and very much looking forward to what the future is bringing. Today I also work with Social Bite, a chain of sandwich shop with a difference. 1in 4 members of staff come from a homelessness background and we give out a lot of food and money back to charity.
I look forward to seeing you in my tour, I promise we will have fun and we will see a side of the capital that will amaze you! Love, Sonny
Paul, an Edinburgh local, will give you a tour of Leith, a buzzing port district located in the northern part of the city which is rich in local history. Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural worlds of Leith and Shore, two of Edinburgh’s most famous neighborhoods while you listen to to Paul’s own story detailing his life growing up and living in Leith. Learn about the history of the “Trainspotting Generation,” the young people who were affected by the area’s pervasive heroin addiction issue through Paul’s passionate explanation of literature and films surrounding the topic.
Danny is an adopted Mancunion who was on the streets for 4 and a half year. He started writing poetry round about five years ago after meeting Arthur and Martha who ignited Danny’s interested in poetry. It inspired him and rebuilt his confidence to help move off the streets. Now, Danny does a lot of volunteering. He says "People ask me what I get out of it? I say its not what i get out of it but what I can put back into it."
My name is Daniel, I'm forty five and I'm originally from Glasgow. I'm proud to be the first guide in Glasgow for Invisible cities.
Like some of the other guides, I was homeless and roofless in Glasgow for a few years and went through some of the problems associated with this before coming through them.
I used to sell the Big Issue in Glasgow's west end, till recently when I stopped to go to uni. This is how I was first put in touch with Invisible cities.
My tour is "Crime and Punishment in the Merchant City" where I will tell you about some of the law breakers and law makers from Glasgow's past. I will also point out some of the invisible parts of the city that relate to my own past too.
I look forward to welcoming you on my tour.