We train people affected by homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city and offer these alternative tours to tourists and locals.
Our high quality training empowers our guides to create, craft and deliver tours that are their own, highlighting monuments, people and places they have chosen themselves.
In 2020, we worked with The Big Issue Invest, our of our funders, to develop an Impact report, measuring our social value.
The impact we deliver is achieved both in the direct employment of guides and through the wider training and advocacy work delivered by the team. You can read the full report here:
Together we estimated a social value of £187,700 generated by us, using National TOMS values.
Being a tour guide means the world to our guides and provides them with a routine, a way of generating income and something positive to focus on day to day.
Training, support and development
We recruit and train people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides. Some end up offering you unique, off the beaten track tours of their cities while others stay involved in the organisation and either work on other projects or get referred on to other organisations. We support everyone on a one-to-one basis to achieve their goals. We use part of our profit to support them through personal projects. This may be accessing further education or reuniting with family and friends for example.
Raising Awareness of Homelessness and Breaking Down Stigma
Invisible Cities raises awareness about homelessness and through our tours, we aim at changing perceptions and breaking down the stigma that exists around it. We also do this through innovative events, aimed at a wider or different audience.
Events and campaigns in our Communities
Part of our mission is also to create a more positive and inclusive community. We start local projects that engage the wider community and then let them grow to reach more and more people. We want to roll out all our events and ideas in as many places as possible so work in partnership with other organisations so they can take owenerhip of them. These events include our Street Barber pop-ups (see video below), The Writing on the Wall Publication in Manchester- a monthly letter distributed to people across the city and many more.
In 2018, we started replicating Invisible Cities in other cities, with Manchester, in October 2018 and Glasgow in November 2018. In June 2019, we launched tours in York.
In each city, we partner with another organisation and develop a team to make it a success. Are you interesting in having Invisible Tours in your own City contact Zakia here!