At Invisible Cities 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.
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
Hi my name is Gayle and I am Edinburgh's newest guide! I have decided to take on the Women of Edinburgh Tour but doing it my own way! I felt there was not enough representation of women in the city overall and I love history and the old town!
I would like to welcome you on to my tour.
Hi, my name is Jason.
I am one of the guides with invisible cities! My tour is about immigration, migratory Edinburgh, and the mark these people have left on this great city. Being born and bred in Edinburgh, I can honestly say, I will share with you some facts, subjects, and stories that many other guides do not share on their tours of Edinburgh. So please, make a booking, come along, and I look forward to seeing you, it will be fun!
Hi, my name is Dakota! Although originally a migrant I have long called Scotland home and am so happy to get to share my passion and knowledge with visitors and locals alike! I'm also thrilled to be working with Invisible Cities as someone who has experienced homelessness multiple times, most recently following a period of abuse.
As a pagan I want to show the real side of Edinburgh's witchcraft and folklore and have a tour based on that; I also designed an LGBT+ tour to capture Edinburgh's queer culture and history.
Hi I am Jaffa: an artist, writer, creator. Warrior of Light, blueprint holder and ascension guide. Eco-warrior, community magician. My main background is art and design. I was a graphic designer and typesetter for many years and worked a couple of jobs in auxiliary nursing with the elderly.
Since living in Edinburgh I have been involved in many community organisations, charities, social enterprises and non-profit organisations. Every day is a school day. I like to be enrolled on a course or training program at all times. I am a digital media/photography student. Last year I qualified to be a railway trackman but I decided my skills/gifts/time would be better placed sharing with others the wonders I see every day when you know how and where to look.
I am a radical mycologist, Bothy builder, kitchen hand, fire guardian, amongst other things in my free time.
I find love, life and joy in everything and can have a party in an empty room. Even the joker is jealous of my smile.
Hi, I am Angie and I am your new tour guide in Glasgow. I have trained for three months to improve my confidence and develop my tour. My favourite thing to do in Glasgow is to explore the coffee shops! There are so many lovely ones. My tour is about The People of Glasgow as I think it is the most important thing about the city.
I love pets and have 6 fish tanks and a cat, called Boss. He is black and white and looks like he is wearing a tuxedo. He definitely keeps an eye on them and isnt called Boss for nothing!
I look forward to be meeting you soon in my city and start teaching you how to speak Glasgwegian- beware I have a strong accent!
Hi, my name is Andy and I’m from Wigan! After experiencing homelessness, albeit brief, I got back on my feet and have had some great opportunities. I see this as a way to pass on my experiences of bad times and good times.
I was introduced to the Manchester nightlife in 1985. I immediately fell in love with Manchester from the beginning - being into rock music I have always felt at home in the relaxed atmosphere, no adversity just a welcoming and open culture.
I’d like to take you on a tour of some happy memories from my time visiting Manchester’s nightlife. During the COVID-19 lockdown, I researched the path well-trodden by my friends and I years ago, only to discover the fascinating history of each venue or pub. I was not aware of the historical significance of all my old drinking spots! My tour will elaborate on the eclectic history of Manchester and some personal memories of these landmarks.
I would like to add that although the tour mentions drinking, there is no drinking whilst on tour. I hope that this insight will draw attention to the links between alcoholism and homelessness. The stops on my tour will help spread awareness of the simultaneous link between alcoholism being a ‘cause of’ and ‘caused by’ homelessness
I am also a member of an organisation called Streetwise Opera - a performance group for people who have experienced homelessness. I have done some very interesting performances, both weird and wonderful, that I point out on the tour.
I am Nic. Invisible (Manchester)’s Music Man. I moved to Manchester when I was 6, and have been a true Mancunian since. I am a nice guy that likes music and taking long walks, so it all comes together - it makes sense for me to be a tour guide. I was surrounded by music from a young age as my parents always immersed me in oldies songs and I play a bit of music too. I was in my 20s during the 1990s - an amazing time to experience music. It was pretty cool so it’s not a surprise I am so big into music.
I got involved with Back On Track for a couple of years, including music classes and playing guitars. Then I heard about Invisible (Manchester) and the rest is history.
I think music is more important than people give it credit for. It’s always in the background and, for a lot of us, it is the soundtrack to our lives. Ever since an early age, I was super adventurous and willing to listen to all types of music, one aspect of my life in which I was fearless is my music listening habits - I would listen to everything.
I consider Manchester to be my home, there are great people here and I love the vibe of living in the North. I don’t mind the rain if the people are warmhearted. It is just a cool place to live. It has so much to give. And so do I. I feel I have the city in me and I look forward to sharing it with you.
Hi I’m Stephen!
I moved to Manchester with my parents, from Northern Ireland, when I was 3 years old. By the age of 10 years old, I had run away from my foster parents, school and my life. No one could keep track of me and I never knew why until I became an adult. I realised I wanted to support the homeless community, which I was a big part of. Every week, I went out with the Manchester Homeless Group and their evening reach out team and started working with Lifeshare. It was like giving something back to myself. I always wondered how I would have felt seeing the younger me out on the streets. As a young child I saw the city centre as my playground, Manchester and homelessness has always been a big part of me.
All the places where I was living when I was on the streets fascinated me. When I joined Invisible (Manchester) I realised these buildings and places were built into me, just like they were built into the city. Manchester has been through a lot, just like myself. I want to give back to the city that wrapped its arms around me - I don’t know what I’d do without it. I have never met a community like the Mancunians, the people of this city are brave and kind.
My tour will take you around the places of Manchester that are the parts of my life, you will see how the city has grown and - when I tell you my tales - you will see that I have too.
Say hello to Gemma who is a transgender woman, who found herself sleeping rough and living in hostels following the sudden unexpected death of her landlady. She is a passionate railway enthusiast and her tour explores how the railway has shaped and transformed the city.
Vicki is passionate about the history Guy Fawkes and first found out about this part of history in 2009, and her passion is one of the reasons that she moved to York.
She interweaves her own personal journey of being diagnosed with stage 4b cancer, treatment, and remission, with the story of his life.
Let us introduce you to Miles, the newest recruit of Invisible (York)!
Miles is a father of two who combines his own life as a former banker with his personal experience of homelessness and recovery journey from addiction to alcohol, to uncover layers of local history that highlight how York’s Health and Wealth has been continually shaped.
I’m John, a poet and activist, who has always called Cardiff my home. I grew up here, studied journalism here and went on my first protest right outside Cardiff Castle for the Occupy movement.
I’ve been giving voice to the issues that matter to me through my poems for over a decade. I think that you understand a lot about a place from the people who live there and the things that they fight for or against. A while back, I lost my job around the same time as being evicted as the landlady wanted to sell up, I was in a vulnerable position. I was living in temporary accommodation until recently, looking after my mental well-being. Being involved in the creative community in Cardiff has played an important part in this. I don’t always like to give eye contact – it’s nothing personal, but part of living with Aspergers. However, I’ve always enjoyed researching the stories and events that make us, and being able to use my interest in social history as part of (Invisible Cardiff) has given me much more confidence