It's funny.... I like going to work every day!

Robin sitting on a workbench

Being made redundant is no joke, but what if it lead you to a career in ‘wonderfully new territory’?

Robin, a stand-up comedian and who is now a support worker with CrossReach learning disability service Threshold Edinburgh, has found just that. 
Originally from the north of Scotland, Robin, tired of overnight Mega Bus trips to get him to gigs, saved up enough money to move to Edinburgh. Robin built on his stand-up comedy career, supporting acts such as Frankie Boyle and Kevin Bridges and took a job in a vape shop to supplement his income. In 2019 he was offered a debut solo show at The Stand comedy club.

Fast forward to March 2020, everything went to pot! The pandemic hit, the vape shop went into liquidation and Robin found himself redundant and doing comedy sets via Zoom:

“The power the audience has over Zoom to mute a comedian is heartbreaking!”

Out of work, Robin applied for a variety of jobs, including positions he had no experience in. This included social care. With friends and family members who worked in the sector Robin had always looked up to them and admired them for being ‘out there helping other people.’ When successful in applying for the position of support worker at Threshold Edinburgh, Robin said that it was:

“Lovely and daunting! I didn’t really know what it meant and had nothing to gauge it against. When I started you got to shadow people and you work with people who work in groups or 2:1, which is really helpful.”

Having previously used a CrossReach service for personal matters, Robin felt that it was a ‘weird full circle’ to be applying to come and work for the organisation. He had been so impressed with his own experience of CrossReach, that he’d even put links up at the end of one of his Glasgow gigs to encourage people to donate to the ‘overly lovely’ service.

Robin describes his role as a support worker as:

“A really inspirational job. All the young people that go to Threshold Edinburgh are really inspirational young adults. It’s fascinating, they have a reckless adventure for joy and there’s something really admirable about that. Every day is just enjoyable.”

Not that starting a new and exciting career doesn’t bring any challenges: 

 “Every day is different and initially that was a completely new thing for me. At the end of my first shift it was quite daunting working with someone with really complex needs. I came home a bit shell shocked. But everyone is lovely and really helpful, they realised I didn’t know anything.”

With a supportive team and personalised training, Robin is looking forward to doing his SVQ 3 and gaining as many qualifications as he can. 

 “Now I just want to do to what I need to, to make whoever I am supporting’s day as fun as possible. I like going to work every day. My own selfish goal is to make someone laugh on a daily basis. If I can get someone with complex needs to laugh, especially if they’re non-verbal, it’s a glorious achievement for my day.”


Robin still keeps his hand in around the comedy circuit and will be appearing in The Stand comedy club later this year, but for now, Robin meets each new day as it comes and when asked what he would say to anyone considering a career in care: 

Robin Grainger show review poster

“The people you work with are the kindest people in the world. You learn what your good at. Just go for it, think about treating others as you would want to be treated and stay peaceful and positive! You find out quite quickly if you can do it. It’s very vocational. You’ll last an hour or stay for years. Just try it!”

To start your next exciting adventure visit our Careers page.

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