How did it come about?
Turn The Tables is a start up social enterprise that began in 2018 as a volunteer health and wellbeing service, ran by founder Robbie Tolson, a dj local to Edinburgh. Through offering dj workshops within The Social Bite Village, Robbie combined his passion for music with the purpose of improving the lives of those he taught. These early dj workshops inspired creating a platform, through which vulnerable people could not only learn exciting skills but greatly improve their confidence so they could take to the stage. Providing live musical entertainment as Turn The Tables resident djs, where profit would be reinvested into delivering workshops, training and support.
People who experience homelessness are made to feel invisible and enter a very chaotic lifestyle. Mental health problems are both the cause and consequence of homelessness. Alienated from society, trapped in a cycle of unhealthy coping mechanisms and poor-quality living arrangements for long periods of time. The public’s perception and stigmatisation of ‘homeless people’ compounds the challenges that individuals face.
An estimated 320,000 people are considered homeless in the UK. The number of people who will become homeless in the UK is widely predicted to rise as a direct result of the economic and mental health impacts of covid-19.
What do we do?
We support those who have experienced homelessness by delivering workshops that build mental health resilience through a holistic approach to wellbeing. Supporting members to overcome complex situations, whilst greatly improving quality of life.
Challenging the stigma that surrounds homelessness and mental health through live musical entertainment. Giving our members the opportunity, where appropriate, to perform in public alongside the professional dj’s who teach them. Providing a vibrant, yet authentic, purpose driven atmosphere to any event. Our growing client base ranges from local venues right through to global brands such as Red Bull and Diageo. Event income enables us to deliver our workshops and support.
Nobody should live without live music. That’s why we have created a safe environment for vulnerable people, who often avoid music venues and events, to not only experience live music but to be the headline act. Controlling their lives as well as the dancefloor.
We adapted our workshops to an online format at the beginning of the pandemic. Whilst this format could never replace learning in person, using equipment in state-of-the-art venues, it enabled us to continue to support our members in a time of great need. Whilst influencing how we deliver our service in the future, as our new online platform opens up the possibility of efficiently supporting people anywhere.