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Invisible Cities going to York in 2019

Written on October 31, 2018
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We are excited to announce the arrival of our second Invisible Cities location in England, coming to you in 2019.
On Monday 29th October, Invisible (York) officially launched, following a partnership meeting that brought together local homelessness groups, tourism organisations and others interested in supporting our work.

Invisible (York) is being co-ordinated by a newly established Community Interest Company called ‘Good Organisation (Social Ventures)’ CIC, which aims to enable disadvantaged residents share in the economic benefits of the city’s thriving tourism industry

Kenny Lieske, a member of the York based team said, “York is an ideal location for tours run by local people who have experienced homelessness and we’re absolutely delighted to be part of the ever growing Invisible Cities network. The combined number of people visiting the city each year now exceeds 6.9 million, and over the past 5 years, the number of tourists visiting York has increased by 6%, mainly comprising of single day-visitors, with many people looking for ethical and authentic ways to explore the city.”

Invisible (York) has already attracted widespread public interest and has received a small start up grant from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which is a highly respected social policy organisation working to inspire social action and tackle the root causes of poverty.

Invisible (York) trainees will all travel to Edinburgh on December 5th 2018, to get together with all other Invisible Cities guides- in Edinburgh, Manchester and Glasgow. They will go to an Invisible (Edinburgh) tour, will get to know each and will take part in a customer service workshop.
We expect the full training to start in January 2019 and you will be able to book a York tour from April 2019.

If you would like to organise Invisible Cities Tours in your city or for any media related question, contact

Invisible Manchester Green 1

We are absolutely overjoyed to announce we are ready to launch our first Invisible (Manchester) tour with adopted Mancunion guide, Danny! His tour is called "Off the Cobbles" and his aim is to take people on a tour around Manchester so they can relate to homelessness through taking in art and poetry along the way.

An ex-veteran, Danny spent years of his life on the streets. It wasn’t until he came to Manchester that he found the support he needed to get him back on his feet. Nowadays, Danny is a successful poet, performing everywhere from the Albert Hall to the famed Manchester Cathedral. Despite this success, his experience of homelessness, and his passion for the homelessness crisis, permeates everything he does.

Each stop is marked with either a poignant poetry piece, written by Danny, or an anecdote from his time on the streets.

Danny is testament to the positive impacts that art and literature can have on an individual who has been, or still is, homeless. He provides the perfect lens through which to see how arts are improving the mental and emotional health of the homeless population in Manchester. With this in mind, this tour will make you stop and appreciate landmarks as emblematic as Manchester Cathedral down to singular pieces of street art in the Northern Quarter.

Danny's tour will be available on Saturdays at 11am and on Sundays at 2pm. For larger groups (6 people minimum) they can be arranged on request.

Bookings will be available here from October 20th so stay tuned!

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At Invisible (Glasgow) we are currently training local guides to bring you entertaining and high quality tours by the end of 2018!

But in the meantime, the team from Edinburgh travelled through to Glasgow on August 20th to offer a first taste of what those tours would be!

Delegates from the INSP conference (International Network of Street papers) were gathering in Glasgow for their annual meeting and 20 of them took part in our tester tour. Our Edinburgh based guide Paul took the group around a trail of Glasgow social enterprise, also highlighting what we do at Invisible Cities.

Back in 2016, the INSP played an essential role in inspiring and supporting us, so it was great being able to show them one of our tours!

Training for Glasgow is taking part on October 5th 6th and 7th with our first tour available to the public early November!Stay tuned for more information here.

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Doogie Goodstuff, brand ambassador for Buy the Good Stuff, and Claire Pattullo, CEO of Edinburgh Social Enterprise, joined Invisible Cities founder Zakia Moulaoui at the launch of out new tour developed to raise awareness of social enterprises in the city.

Buy the Goodstuff is Edinburgh’s Social Enterprise brand. When you see Doogie or the Buy the Good Stuff logo in shops or businesses you know that the profits are reinvested to address the most pressing issues, from homelessness and unemployment to waste reduction and climate change. Doogie also makes appearances at festivals and events to help spread the message further of the good work of social enterprise in Scotland.

Doogie’s next appearance will be at this year’s Social in the Gardens - Scotland's Festival of Social Enterprise, which captures the magic of some of the most incredible social enterprises in Edinburgh and beyond, bringing them together for 2 special days of music, comedy, dance, food and drink, as well as kids events. Social in the Gardens will be bigger and better this year due to the ongoing support from Scottish Government, Business Gateway, Link Group, PwC and the University of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Social Enterprise is delighted to join forces with Invisible Cities to promote this new tour which highlights some of the fantastic social enterprises that can be found in the city centre. It’s great to see one of our members developing an excellent product which creates added value for other members and raises awareness of social enterprise as an ethical business model”.
Claire Pattullo, CEO, Edinburgh Social Enterprise

Through our work at Invisible Cities, we have realised that the public is even more curious and eager to discover what social enterprises are and what they do. We get many request for me to speak to groups about our work, or for us to take people around a variety of organisations. That is why we decided to create this tour. And if we can highlight other great organisations along the way, it is even better!”
Zakia Moulaoui, Founder, Invisible Cities


New Tour Coming to Edinburgh!

Written on June 05, 2018
Invisible Edinburgh Tours

As part of the Leith Festival 2018, Invisible (Edinburgh) is launching a brand new tour:

Leith: The Trainspotting Generation!

Paul, who finished his training with us a couple of months ago, has chosen Leith as the theme of his tour. Paul has spent most of his life in Leith and is a big fan of the Trainspotting books and films. As a result, his tour will focus on this part of Edinburgh, famous landmarks and details of the books/films.

The Leith Festival, which is an annual event celebrating all things Leith, will take place from Saturday 9th June to Sunday 17th June 2018 and the launch of Paul's tour will be part of the programme!

On June 15th at 3pm, visitors will be able to go on Paul's tour for the first time ever!

You can find more information about it and book your ticket here.

For more information on the Leith Festival, visit their Facebook Page

At Invisible (Edinburgh) we can't wait for Paul's Tour as we have already seen previews and know it will be amazing! Good luck Paul!


Back in October 2017, our founder Zakia took part in the Ashoka Emerging Innovator Bootcamp that took place in Berlin. She spent 3 days with other European social entrepreneurs in the heart of the German capital. You can read more about her experience here.

It was in Berlin that Zakia met Libby, CEO of On Our Radar, a non-profit communications agency for unheard communities. They work with marginalised communities who hold deep insight into some of the world's most complex issues.

From this meeting, came an idea for collaboration.

And so, on Monday 23rd April, Invisible Cities, On Our Radar and The Brick Box, an arts organisation based in England, brought the Electric Fireside to Edinburgh for Community Conversations.

At the Leith Walk Police Box, our favourite venue in Edinburgh, we installed the electric fireside and asked people from the local community to gather around the fire and tell us about what matters to them.

Community Conversations is funded by Comic Relief and is using a participatory social research approach. Members of the community (the general public, local businesses, local organisations, etc) are brought together in a facilitated space to share dialogues around solutions, and through this process, the aim is to engage with communities in voicing their ideas and solution to Comic Relief.

The event took place from 4 to 8pm on Monday and was a real success! Many stopped by, shared insight on their communities around a cup of tea!

More photos from the event will be shared soon!

We would like to thank everyone for making this event happen: Monty, at the Leith Walk Police Box and all the volunteers who helped during the day.


Scotmid Supports Street Barber (Edinburgh)

Written on April 05, 2018

Everyone at Invisible Cities would like to thank Scotmid for their donation in support of our Street Barer (Edinburgh) project.

They have generously offered us a cash donation, as well as vouchers, to purchase refreshments for our events!

Our founder Zakia says: "We are so appreciative of all the support we have been receiving for this project and it is great to see companies such as Scotmid also contribute. They care about the people in their community."

The Street Barber (Edinburgh) run once a month- on the last Saturday- from the Leith Walk Police Box but we also attend other events throughout the city providing free haircuts and toiletries to homeless men. So far, our barber Sean has given haircuts to over 30 men in the city!

Scotmid is able to make donations in their local communities because they are an independent co-operative society. They are not owned by a private board of directors. They are owned by 60,000 members who all have an equal say in how they are run.

If you wish to join their Society, you can pick up a form at your local Scotmid store and submit it to the cashier along with £1 share capital.

To find out more about their community work, you can like them at, check out their channel or follow them Twitter @scotmid.

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Today, Airbnb launches Experiences in Edinburgh and Invisible (Edinburgh) tours are part of them!

As part of its drive to deliver a global end-to-end travel platform, travellers and locals can now choose from more than 30 Edinburgh-based Experiences designed and led by local experts.

To bring Experiences in Edinburgh to life, Airbnb has announced a strategic tourism partnership with VisitScotland, to help increase the economic benefits of tourism and travel to more places across Scotland.

Edinburgh is the first city outside of London to offer Airbnb Experiences.

Invisible (Edinburgh) walking tours are a "Social Impact Experience" which means 100% of the trip costs go to our organization.

Zakia, Invisible Cities founder says "Having our tours on Airbnb is a fantastic opportunity for us. We share Airbnb values of wanting to make the world more local so it makes sense to partner with them."

Find two of our Edinburgh Tours here:

Powerful Women of Edinburgh

Crime and Punishment

For more information on the launch of Airbnb Experiences in Edinburgh click here.

Our awards & recognitions

  • Thistle Award
  • Social Enterprise
  • Enterprise Award 2018

Supported by

  • Unltd

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