The pupils of George Heriot’s School took on the In Our Shoes challenge laid down by charity Invisible Cities, and kept their shoes on for 48 hours.

The idea is to help school pupils lean about rough sleeping and what people living on the streets face, such as podiatry issues and lack of access to good shoes. In doing so they raised funds for the charity which has links to the Grassmarket Community Project near the school.

Zakia  Moulaoui  Guery, CEO and Founder of Invisible Cities concludes, “This challenge was designed to give a different perspective on homelessness and focus on a very practical issue that people can face. We are so thankful to the school, teachers and pupils alike for taking part and supporting us with such a generous donation. 

“We are delighted to say, that through completing this challenge, George Heriots School raises an amazing £2,616 which we split with our fellow social enterprise and friends at the Grassmarket Community Project.”  

Based right next to the school, Grassmarket Community Project have been a long-standing partner of Invisible Cities and have supported with recruiting new guides and working on collaborative projects together.  

Katherine Duncan, Principal Teacher of Curricular Enhancement comments, “The pupils of George Heriot’s Junior School took part in Poverty Awareness Week at the end of March as part of our annual Financial Education focus. It created an opportunity for them to learn more about the causes of poverty (both locally and globally) and how poverty impacts on the rights of everyone affected.   

“Putting themselves “in the shoes” of rough sleepers not only allowed our pupils to empathise with rough sleepers, but also helped them to make a difference by raising £2,616 for Invisible Cities and the Grassmarket Community Project.”  

Jonny Kinross, CEO for Grassmarket Community Project said: “We are delighted to be one of the beneficiaries of George Heriots School’s incredible fundraising effort as part of their poverty awareness week. With this donation we will be able to provide practical support, training, access to free IT classes, free IT equipment, free food 5 days a week and one to one support including counselling and therapies to many of the City’s homeless and vulnerable.   

“As the lockdown relaxes and we are able to provide one-to-one face to face support this donation will enable us to re-connect to people who are exceptionally vulnerable and isolated – to help them sustain their tenancies, ensure they receive the benefits and support to which they are entitled as well as get the emotional and mental health support they need. What an exceptional fundraising initiative and our huge thanks go out to the pupils and their families who got behind and will help us to ensure that no one is left behind in the city’s recovery.”   

Invisible Cities is a 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.

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