Invisible York – Working to challenge perceptions of homelessness

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Posted on19 Aug 2020

As part of our commitment to building strong and empowered local communities, JRHT and JRF operate a local community grant programme – the York Committee.

The Committee funds not-for-profit local community groups, supporting people in York facing poverty and isolation. ‘Invisible York’ is one of the projects supported by JRHT, which works to provide opportunities for people affected by homelessness.

Invisible York tour guides initiative

Created by a local social enterprise, Good Organisation (Social Ventures) a community interest company, who train people affected by homelessness to become tour guides, encouraging them to share their own stories and insights of the city, while offering a different take on the traditional tourist offer.

Helen Robinson, community grants officer at JRHT said of the initiative; ‘The York committee is something we are hugely committed to and very proud of and it’s great to see how the grant is being used to empower local people and end the isolation and stigma of homelessness.’

Kenny Lieske, a Director of the Good Organisation, said of the initiative ‘Invisible York really challenges perceptions of both tourism and homelessness, and encourages people to see homelessness, not as a defining characteristic, but as something that is situational.’

He continues: ’Each tour is designed and delivered by people affected by homelessness and we provide the practical support and training for them to do so, as a result, the guides have developed new skills and confidence, any monies raised goes back into the organisation to provide more training.’

The York committee also funded a further Good Organisation initiative ‘Audible York’, for those who may not be confident in the public-facing role of a tour guide, they will have opportunity to create tailored audio tours.

Book a tour

The ‘Invisible York’ tours were temporarily on hold during the lockdown period but they have now re-opened. There are 4 tours to choose from, including a family fun tour, and tickets cost from £10 per person. You can find out more about the Good Organisation (Social Ventures) and book a tour at http://www.goodorganisation.co.uk/

Information about grant awards

Details of all the grants awarded by the York Committee can be found at https://www.jrht.org.uk/about-us/york-committee or by speaking to Helen Robinson, JRHT Community Grants Support Officer via [email protected]