Written by Laura Ashcroft
When I started with Invisible (Manchester), which is part of the Invisible Cities group that was founded up in Scotland. I found myself ran down and lost. With lack of confidence, the team from Invisible (Manchester) supported me to become who I am now.
With no rush in doing things the process was as easy as counting “One, Two and Three”, Alice who is the Head is a great asset for the group, with loads of passion in the work she does.
In Manchester the main people who moved it forward and grown it, is Alice and tour guide Danny. With support from them and the Guide Support Officer, Millie, I wouldn’t have got my tour of the ground if it wasn’t for all three of the team members.
The training is a great process in public speaking, planning routes for your tour and outside support from who ever is willing to give time to help. To even walking around with the team. Advice and care in every part of the training and even meeting up with Millie, who is also a great asset for new tour guides.
With many things in place to support people I have found myself supporting a guide in training, I am enjoying every moment of it, I am doing this tour guiding to improve myself but I have also learnt lots more about Manchester, the city I call home.
The feedback I have got from people attending the tours is great, and this helps me to become better and better. I have grown as a person and with transitioning I have been given loads of support from the team.
I have also learnt how to deal demons from my past in a positive manner. I have been booked in to do tours for housing groups and plus more so with an invite to talk in front off people from homeless groups and housing groups across the Greater Manchester area.
The work I do is not just educating the guest on the tour but to give my personal insight into homelessness. It’s not as people see homelessness it is how WE ALL see it. People are in bad place and just need that little helping hand to grow and move on with a better life. The work that the group and I do is important to achieve this. We share our insights of homelessness with customers to challenge negative stereotypes. We know how it is being there and with us doing what we can, and I can, myself and the teams’ aims are to make the homeless visible for the first time to people visiting Manchester.
With support from local places and business’s with loads of hard work from Alice, I would not off been able to get more training, and education in some areas that is important to me. These include Manchester Art Gallery, Central Library and the Midlands Hotel.
So in all I will say that I am a better person in all I have done and just getting better, I would also take this time to say a big thank you to the team, Danny, Millie and Alice for all of the support I have been given. But most of all for the group in all from all other areas in supporting the LGBT+ community to become more than there ever thought they could ever be. The group does in fact turn the Invisible into the Visible in many ways. From homelessness to people who just want to been seen.