Backed with a board of music industry professionals and experts in social activism, Scottish start up social enterprise Turn The Tables have announced plans for expansion after a successful pilot run in Edinburgh last year. With a focus on mixing records, the group – founded in 2018 by Cyrenians volunteer Robbie Tolson – support those who have experienced homelessness by delivering workshops that build mental health resilience through a holistic approach to wellbeing. Robbie spoke with The Fountain in more depth about what they have been doing so far and the plans they have.
TF: What can you tell us about Turn The Tables as a social enterprise?
Turn The Tables uses DJing and electronic music to combat homelessness. We support individuals affected by homelessness by teaching DJing as an art form to improve quality of life and to utilize DJing as a commercial musical activity to increase job readiness and provide employment opportunities around our live events service and DJ tuition in our soon to be established social enterprise DJ school. Taking advantage of DJing’s and electronic music’s popularity to raise awareness and to challenge the public’s perception of homelessness.
We began piloting in 2018 in Edinburgh with Social Bite Village residents and some of them have gone on to be a success of their own. Including one member who was performing regularly for Red Bull, Johnnie Walker and around Edinburgh’s electronic music scene prior to Covid-19.
TF: You’ve announced legendary DJ & producer Bushwacka! as your first ambassador which is exciting! Can you tell us how that came about and how you will be working together?
We’ve been searching to involve someone with a mental health background in the project since its inception but really wanted someone who was a big electronic music fan. By complete chance I discovered Bushwacka! had recently qualified as a therapist and was practising down south so it was an absolute no brainer he’d be uniquely qualified to support Turn The Tables. With a bit of digging I found an email address and was a bit shocked he actually came back to me, the music industry can be a bit elitist so it’s amazing to find such an amazing, down to earth professional who is willing to back the project. His role will be as much as advisory role as it is promoting, a creative sound board for all things music and wellbeing related.
TF: You are Edinburgh based but have plans for expansion, can you tell us a bit more about that?
Currently we are planning towards expanding our offer in Edinburgh by increasing workshop capacity so we can support more people who face homelessness in the city. This involves gaining a premise and offering affordable DJ workshops to the people of Edinburgh in a pay it forward model where proceeds go back into the project. We are just finalising a Glasgow Pilot where we will be testing running workshops with local stakeholders and this will act as framework for when we begin establishing in other cities. The ambition is to be running workshops, training DJs and DJing at events in every major City in the UK with priority being in areas of social deprivation and disproportionately high levels of homelessness.
TF: How can we help support your project?
The best way to support the project is simply to follow us on our social media channels @turnthetablesuk to keep up to date in any future fund raising campaigns. Anyone who would like to get involved in running workshops or helping to set up workshops in their area to get in touch via our website
Photo courtesy of Ben Glasgow
For more information or to support Turn the Tables click here