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Turn The Tables

2274. Robbie Tolson

Robbie Tolson, from Edinburgh, is a DJ who created his social enterprise ‘Turn The Tables’ in 2018 after losing a friend to suicide to provide DJ workshops and training for vulnerable people who have experienced homelessness or mental illness.

Robbie wanted to find a way of helping improve people’s lives, while combining his passion for music, leading him to establish the social enterprise. Through ‘Turn The Tables’, Robbie is supporting people in learning new skills in a safe space, while building their confidence, with the aim of providing opportunities for them to perform at live events as resident DJs and participate in studio recording sessions. 

‘Turn the Tables’ aims to tackle the stigma surrounding homelessness and mental health, helping people to regain control and direction in their lives, as well as through their DJ work. Robbie aspires to reach as many people as possible, and works closely with NHS occupational therapists to run DJ workshops in places including psychiatric hospitals. 

Robbie has worked to expand the client base, and as well as partnering with a range of local venues, has grown to include major global brands worldwide, with any profit reinvested to deliver future workshops alongside training and personal support.

In a personal letter to Robbie, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 

“By setting up Turn the Tables after losing a friend to suicide you are making a real difference, supporting those who are facing challenges, like homelessness or mental ill health, to turn around their lives.

“Through DJ workshops you have found a creative way of giving people training and skills, while also building their confidence and helping channel their creativity. I understand that you are even giving people the chance to perform at live events and record their own music.”

Robbie said:

“Wow, what an unexpected surprise to receive! Thank you so much to the Prime Minister and his team for selecting me for this amazing award. I hope by receiving the Points Of Light Award I can inspire other young people who have a unique skill to turn the tables and share their talents with others to make the world a better place.

“A huge thank you to everyone who has volunteered their time and expertise to help ‘Turn The Tables’ and the people we support.”

Find out more about ‘Turn The Tables

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