New Tour to Shine Spotlight on Laurieston and Gorbals’ Rich History

A group of people with experience of homelessness will be leading a new walking tour which celebrates the rich history of Glasgow’s Laurieston and Gorbals area.

We have partnered with Invisible Cities – a social enterprise that trains people affected by homelessness to become walking tour guides – providing funding to train the group and develop the tour before the proposed launch in early 2021.

Up to eight people living across Glasgow are to be given the opportunity to undertake training with Invisible Cities to help with confidence building, public speaking and customer service skills ahead of the new tour launching.

In addition to its partnership with Invisible Cities, we are also donating £1,500 to support homeless charities across Glasgow and Edinburgh in lieu of our annual staff Christmas party.

Turning Point Scotland and Crisis will each receive a donation to help address homelessness through a number of their projects in December and beyond.

Neil McKay, Managing Director of Urban Union:

“Invisible Cities not only raises awareness of homelessness, its work also helps to change perceptions and break down the stigma that exists around it. Through their tours they help to bring the history of the cities in which they operate to life, with their guides providing insights you won’t find in guidebooks.

“Our new partnership aims to celebrate the Gorbals and Laurieston area which is home to our first development, Laurieston Living. We hope, when it is safe to do so, that the local community, other Glaswegians and visitors to our city will enjoy taking part in these tours.

“Our focus at Urban Union is to not only to build new homes, but to create strong relationships and support the communities in which our developments are based. We are pleased to be able to work with organisations like Invisible Cities as well as support Crisis and Turning Point, who carry out brilliant work supporting the displaced and vulnerable across Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“We hope our donations will allow them to continue to provide crucial and important services through what are difficult times for many over Christmas.”

Zakia Moulaoui, Founder of Invisible Cities:

“Our partnership with Urban Union has allowed us to provide up to eight new training places and, once the initial part has been completed, participants will either undertake further training to become an official guide on the new tour or will receive support to pursue the career paths they have chosen. So not only will this partnership help to shine a light on this particular area of Glasgow, it will provide training and employment opportunities for people living locally.”

Crisis’ Edinburgh Skylight centre provides expert support and advice to homeless people to help them leave homelessness behind for good. How Crisis helps someone depends on their individual needs and situation, so it could be that they help someone to find a home and settle in, work together to help them gain new skills and find a job, or improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Speaking of the donation, Kirsty Potter, Fundraising Manager from Crisis in Scotland:

“We are very grateful for this generous donation from Urban Union which will make a real difference to people in Scotland without a home this Christmas. It will help bring comfort and dignity to people being supported in hotels, BnBs and other forms of temporary accommodation this Christmas. Everyone deserves a home, and donations like this will help people in incredibly challenging situations access the support they need to end their homelessness for good.”

We are also making a donation to Turning Point Scotland which provides support for people who are dealing with mental health conditions, learning disabilities or are homeless. The charity has led the way in its introduction of the Housing First approach to homelessness in Scotland – by granting secure accommodation as a first step in addressing the issues that led to the situation, rather than the last and being given as proof of recovery.