Invisible Cities resumes walking tours in Edinburgh and Glasgow

Invisible Cities – a social enterprise that trains people who have experienced homelessness to become guides of their own city – has announced that its family-friendly guided walking tours are back on.

Invisible Cities aims, via its tours, to change perceptions of homelessness. Picture: contributed.
Invisible Cities aims, via its tours, to change perceptions of homelessness. Picture: contributed.

Cities on its books include Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as Manchester and York. New measures include smaller groups of up to ten people, with safe distancing applying for people from separate households. Guides will also be wearing plastic visors and using a voice amplifier.

Customers can buy a disposable mask when booking their tours, and guides will hand these out at the start as well as disposing of them at the end of the walk. Clients will also be able to leave a cashless tip for their guide directly, via a QR code on the tour.

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Founder and chief executive Zakia Moulaoui Guery said: “Our tours are the perfect activity for local families looking for something new and exciting to do in their home city, as well as those travelling from further afield on UK-based staycations and international visitors.”

Paul, one of the Edinburgh tour guides, said: “Going for a walk outside is one of the safest and healthiest things you can do, I have really missed doing tours in the last few months and I’m super-excited to be welcoming our guests back to Edinburgh and Leith.

"With the safety measures that we have put in place, I feel confident that you will be safe as well as myself. Even if you are local, I can assure you that you will learn something new about our beautiful city.”

Invisible Cities cited charity Shelter saying that there are an estimated 320,000 homeless people in the UK, an increase of 4 per cent on the previous year.

Moulaoui Guery added: “These numbers are far too high, and we must work as a nation to lower them. Invisible Cities raises awareness about homelessness and through our tours, we aim at change perceptions and break down the stigma that exists around it. We want to take all of our tour guests on a journey through the lives of those who find themselves homeless, finding their motivation to be the best version of themselves.”

Invisible Cities says it wants to show that everyone has great potential. Its training focuses on confidence-building, public speaking and customer service. It partners with professional tour guides to build bespoke tours and practice their routes.

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