An exciting new project in York, which seeks to complement existing support services aimed at homeless people is about to be launched in the city.
The project is called ‘Invisible York’ and aims to support people affected by homelessness to become walking tour guides by delivering skill development opportunities through one-to-one and group activities, with a particular focus on confidence building for the participants.
Although these skills are primarily intended to facilitate the delivery of the planned tours, the organisation hopes that the project will include elements of self advocacy for those directly impacted by homelessness, add to the work of established homelessness organisations in York and provide opportunities for collaborative working.
The concept is based on a similar award winning project that has been operating successfully in Edinburgh since 2016, and since its inception has trained a total of 15 homeless people to become walking tour guides.
You can find out more about the Invisible Cities Network via https://invisible-cities.org
In York, the early stages of project has already attracted interest from City of York Council, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and many voluntary and tourist sector organisations but is looking to extend its partnerships to leverage the economic potential of the city’s thriving tourist sector for social good.
The combined number of people visiting York each year now exceeds 6.9 million and it is estimated that tourism contributes in excess of £564 million to the local economy with related services accounting for around 19,000 jobs.
Over the past 5 years, the number of tourists visiting York has increased by 6%, mainly comprising of single day-visitors looking for ways to explore the city in a convenient and authentic way.
The current trend towards increased tourism presents an opportunity to take advantage of this growth, with very few social enterprises engaged in tourism related activities.
If you would like to find out more about the project and to explore ideas for potential joint working, then an informal launch meeting has been arranged for Monday 29th October between 3.30pm, – 5pm at Priory Street Centre in York.
Alternatively, you can find out more about the social enterprise behind the project via www.goodorganisation.co.uk