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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Prominent charity sector leader strengthens mental health group's board


“We are thrilled to have attracted such a significant third sector leader to our organisation"

Change Mental Health has bolstered its Board of Trustees with the new appointment of expert charity leader Alison Watson.

Alison, director of Shelter Scotland, has over three decades of experience in the third sector, previously working in the mental health field where she played a leading role in the development of several innovative services – particularly around their design, delivery and management.

She began her career in the late 1980s, working in a large hostel for people who had experienced longer periods of homelessness.

Following extensive leadership in health and social care, local authorities and the NHS, Alison joined Shelter Scotland in 2002. Her previous role was deputy director, with responsibility for the leadership and development of Shelter Scotland and its high impact campaigns and policy work.

She became director of Shelter Scotland in June 2020.

Alison said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed to join the board of Change Mental Health.

“At a time when the services and advocacy of this dynamic mental health charity have never been more needed, I look forward to leveraging my experience of having worked in both voluntary and statutory mental health services. I am passionate about tackling stigma and promoting positive mental health and ensuring that the lived experience of mental health issues and inequalities is central to defining and driving positive change.

“I very much welcome the opportunity to also applying my many years of executive experience in supporting the continued development of Change Mental Health by Nick and the team.”

Nick Ward, CEO at Change Mental Health, added: “We are thrilled to have attracted such a significant third sector leader to our organisation.

“Alison joining the board is a real boon for Change Mental Health. We are excited that she will be adding expertise in leadership and governance but also critically in her campaigning and policy work.

“Her determination and experience in addressing the injustices in our society that so often contribute to poor mental health and mental illness will be vital in our ambitions as a charity to not just provide support for those struggling with their mental health but to fight the causes of poor mental health and mental illness where we can.”



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