Invisible Cities is a social enterprise designed to support and lift up people who have experienced homelessness. Our guides come from all walks of life but one thing they all have in common is that they were homeless at some stage in their life. Anyone who has experienced homelessness has seen a different side to their city, so Invisible Cities trains people how to become tour guides, giving them valuable skills, a steady income, and a lot more confidence. For news and updates about Invisible Cities, and to offer your ongoing support, please consider signing up for our newsletter. You will receive information about how you have helped our guides and you will even receive personal messages from them.
The tourism industry has been hit hardest in the COVID-19 pandemic and Invisible Cities is doing everything we can to get to the other side and to continue supporting our incredible guides. Part of being so successful in recent years (expanding into five cities!) is that we now have a lot more tour guides to support. If you’re interested, read a little more about the impact we’ve had, and if you’d like to support us, you can choose one of three options:
Gift Cards – Buy a gift card to use on one of our tours once the current lockdown has been lifted and it’s safe to go out and explore the UK’s wonderful cities again.
Try our Virtual Tours – Book a virtual tour! We are offering the opportunity for guests to virtually meet our guides to ask any further questions, their availability will be matched with you via doodle. This option is particularly important as our guides are really missing their tours and interacting with guests, answering their questions and sharing knowledge.
Donate – You can donate directly to Invisible Cities if you want to help but can’t foresee getting out on one of our tours.
While donations are always appreciated, and they help us tremendously, governments often change, policies change, and often charity is never guaranteed. As our aim is to provide consistent support for our guides, it’s very important to us that we remain a viable business as opposed to a charity. Our guides have put so much work into improving their skills and enriching their city walking tours, and this is something we want to continue for as long as possible. We are always trying to push forward in a sustainable way, even launching a new product: Invisible Cities Fun Packs for Children, where we provide kids all around the world with packs containing games and activities that help them learn about their cities.
Supporting Invisible Cities during the current coronavirus lockdown is very different to the kind of support we’ve asked for in recent years. This is because many of our guides have pre-existing health conditions that mean they are more at risk than the average person. From providing them with groceries and paying their bills, to looking after their mental health, we’re doing everything we can to stand by our wonderful tour guides during this tough time. You can read more about how we’re looking after our guides here.
When not in a global travel lockdown, however, supporting Invisible Cities should appeal to anyone who believes in the transformative power of doing great work, of learning skills and connecting with people. Support Invisible Cities if you think everyone deserves a chance to excel at something and to use their lived experience to have enriching, fulfilling careers.
As we detailed at the top of the page, you can support us either by buying a gift card, booking a virtual tour, or by simply donating. Invisible Cities simply would exist without the curiosity and generosity of our patrons. Both locals and international travellers have helped to drive our social enterprise forwards to the point where we span five cities: Edinburgh, York, Manchester, Glasgow, and Cardiff. Your help will allow us to continue our good work, moving past the current crisis and towards further expansion into even more cities, helping even more people!
If you’d like to help out in some other way that we haven’t mentioned here, please feel free to get in touch. And if you can’t afford to buy a gift card or make a donation just now, you can still support us by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and by signing up to our newsletter in the sign-up box below.