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 the past, we have worked with The Big Issue Invest, one 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 in 2020, using National TOMS values.
In 2021- despite several periods of lock-downs throughout the country, we managed to keep everyone engaged and delivered great work in all our cities. Want to know more?
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 have included our Street Barber pop-ups, The Writing on the Wall Publication in Manchester- a monthly letter distributed to people across the city and many more. You can even read digital versions of WOTW here.
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!
In all our cities, we are proud to offer FREE walking tours to members of our communities. We all love and and take pride in our cities and want others to feel just the same. That is why we have started offering free walking tours to members of other charities, community groups and organisations. This has included Ukrainian refugees in Edinburgh, locals to Govan in Glasgow and various community groups in Manchester.
These free community Tours are made possible thanks to our sponsors and friends around the country.
In Edinburgh, we have partnered with Axiom Hospitality who are kindly supporting Ukrainian refugees to come on free tours of the city through their Meet with Purpose Programme. The voco Edinburgh Royal Terrace and the Bruntsfield Hotel have worked with Invisible Cities since September 2022. Thanks to each Day Delegate Package that includes our "Meet with Purpose" option, one guest can come on our tour for free!
But that's not all: the guides and trainees at Invisible (Edinburgh) have also been able to distribute "Welcome to Edinburgh" goodie bags to children that include games, activities and sweet treats from the capital!
To date we are proud to say we have delivered tours to 121 Ukrainian guests and donated 90 Goodie bags! Moore activities for young children and more tours will be delivered in 2023.