Robbie Tolson, founder of Edinburgh based social enterprise Turn The Tables, has been named in Forbes 30’ Under 30 list for 2023.
Inspired by his time as a homeless shelter volunteer and driven by his experience of losing a friend to suicide, Robbie, a full time DJ set up, Turn The Tables. A social enterprise dedicated to changing lives through the power of DJing and beat making, it’s now aimed at helping to create positive futures for people of all ages affected by homelessness, poverty, crime and mental ill health.
Harnessing the therapeutic, social and live performance qualities of music, Robbie created a safe space where participants can take part in DJ and beat making workshops and has developed a safe performance environment to offer the life changing chance to DJ at music festivals and at corporate events for the likes of Red Bull and Johnnie Walker.
Since 2018, Robbie has grown Turn The Tables from volunteering within homelessness services in Edinburgh in his spare time to an award winning social enterprise. Which was named Scotland’s National Lottery Project of The Year 2021.
From helping young offenders express themselves through creating original drill music, to working on recording trance anthems DJ sets with patients at the Royal Edinburgh Psychiatric Hospital. Turn The Tables has worked in partnership with charities including Action For Children, Spartan’s Alternative School, NHS Lothian charity and Street Soccer Scotland to provide DJ and beat making sessions as well as unique live performance opportunities to project participants.
Out of thousands of nominations, Robbie was named in the Social Impact category list for Europe, which Forbes Magazine describes as; “Systematically and Sustainably transforming Education, Business and Beyond”.
Recognised for his achievements and vision by Forbes editors and expert industry judges, placing him in the world’s most impactful community of young entrepreneurs and game changers. A community that includes Donald Glover, Malalam Yousafzai, Daniel Ek, Greta Thunburg, Fred Again and Rihanna to name a few.
Robbie Tolson, said: “Experiencing a crowd of people dancing and singing along when you DJ is such a thrilling experience. The feeling of mixing in new songs and having euphoric reactions from hundreds, if not thousands of people is up there with any personal achievement. It’s like scoring a goal, passing an exam or winning a race. It’s this experience I am trying to harness as a powerful vehicle. To help people believe that they are worthwhile, and prove to themselves that they can achieve great things.
DJing helped me get over losing my friend in such tragic circumstances and I have been able to achieve far more than I ever expected to with Turn The Tables and I truly believe there are thousands of people who need that experience too. The thing about DJing, unlike most instruments or art forms, to perform live and at a high level is fairly straightforward, yes you need to be dedicated to learn and a platform like ours to provide opportunities. But DJing is an untapped giant, waiting to have a big impact in the world of social impact.”