The Tours of Manchester by People who have Experienced Homelessness

Hosted by guides who have experienced homelessness on the streets of Manchester.

Invisible Cities have recently announced that their family-friendly guided walking tours are back open and available to book, following the recent lockdown, which forced all of their guides into isolation for a number of months.

The social enterprise that trains people who have previously experienced homelessness, to become walking tour guides of their own city, offers a number of themed family friendly tours across the UK.

Zakia Moulaoui Guery, Founder & CEO of Invisible Cities CIC comments, “We have worked really hard to put new measures in place to ensure everyone is safe and having fun! 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.”

Safety for all guides and guests remains a key priority for Invisible Cities with the tours now welcoming smaller groups of up to 10 people, with safe distancing applying for people who are not from the same household. Guides will also be wearing plastic visors and using a voice amplifier.

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

According to Shelter, an estimated 320,000 people are homeless in the UK. This equates to one in every 201 people living in the UK and was an increase of four per cent on the previous year’s number.

Shelter says its figures, which include rough sleepers and people in temporary accommodation, are likely to be an underestimate of the problem as they do not capture people who experience “hidden” homelessness, such as sofa-surfers, and others living insecurely in sheds or cars, for example.

Zakia Moulaoui Guery continues, “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 is a social enterprise that doesn’t believe in labels or stereotypes. They want to show that everyone has great potential. They train people affected by homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city and offer these alternative tours to tourists and locals.

Their training focuses on confidence building, public speaking and customer service. They partner with professional tour guides to build bespoke tours and practice their routes.

For more information visit invisible-cities.org

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