Invisible Cities, the social enterprise that trains people who have previously experienced Homelessness, to become walking tour guides of their own city in Edinburgh, Manchester, Glasgow and York – has recently worked with Big Issue Invest to develop a report, measuring their social impact.
The social impact delivered by Invisible Cities is achieved both in the direct employment of tour providers and through the wider training and advocacy work delivered by the team. Invisible Cities has supported 13 people directly to generate sustainable income with three going on to suitable further employment. Big Issue Invest has estimated a social value of £187,700 generated by Invisible Cities while accounting for attribution and using National TOMs values.
Zakia Moulaoui Guery, Founder & CEO of Invisible Cities comments; “Our work today is more important than ever: with an estimated 320,000 people homeless or at risk of homelessness, both the supportive employment and the help we can offer with regards to individual wellbeing are crucial for many of the UK’s most vulnerable people.
“The impact we can deliver is achieved both by employing our tour guides directly and through the wider training and advocacy work delivered by our team. We also create awareness-raising campaigns, training sessions to schools and major businesses and collaboration sessions between homeless people and service providers.”
Data compiled to draft the report also found that Invisible Cities provided training for 23 tour guides and held an additional 16 schools and training sessions. They also hosted 4,130 visitors on their tours and significantly raised awareness around homelessness in the UK, with 2,360 people confirming that they had directly learned about homelessness from the social enterprise.
Joshua Meek, Head of Impact at Big Issue Invest comments, “Invisible Cities is a brilliant example of an enterprising organisation, keen to understand and grow the impact they are creating. It has been great to see one of our very own Big Issue vendors trained through Invisible Cities and working as a tour guide in Edinburgh.”
Invisible Cities plans to continue to support guides and to develop a bespoke Women of Scotland programme that will specifically aim to help marginalised women to join the Invisible Cities programme. The work will also look to cover key issues facing women across Scotland including period poverty, domestic abuse and accessing clear support services for women, by women.
Invisible Cities also plans to set up its Cardiff branch in 2021 with the objective of being in seven cities across the UK.
Zakia concludes, “We couldn’t be prouder of our team and of our tour guides! Together and through sheer passion for what we do, we are helping to make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable people, in many different ways. There is so much more we want to – and will – achieve!”
For more information and to read the full Impact Report, visit: