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Alison Watson


Alison Watson, Director of Shelter Scotland
We all build our lives in the homes we live in. It is a huge privilege to work with so many people committed to making a right to a home a reality for people across Scotland.

Alison became Director of Shelter Scotland in June 2020. Her previous role was our Deputy Director, with responsibility for the leadership and development of our services across Scotland and for all aspects of volunteering and involvement. As Director, Alison is passionate about ensuring that it is the lived experience of housing policy and practice failures that defines and drives the actions and activities of Shelter Scotland. Alison has set the focus of the organisation firmly on not simply tackling homelessness, but on the key structural change that will end homelessness for good: more social homes. Alison has served on several key strategic and policy forums – she was a member of the First Minster appointed Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group, established in October 2017; sits on the COSLA: Scottish Government’s Homelessness Prevention Strategy Group and Co-Chaired the Scottish Government's Task and Finish Group on Temporary Accommodation. Alison joined Shelter Scotland in 2002, with extensive leadership experience in health and social care, mostly in the Third Sector, but also within local authorities and the NHS. Immediately prior to joining Shelter Scotland, Alison worked in the mental health field, where she played a leading role in the development of several innovative services, as well as making a major contribution to pioneering the involvement of people who experience mental health issues in the design, delivery and management of services. Alison began her career in the late 1980s, working in a large hostel for people who had long-term experience of homelessness. Alison joined the Board of Trustees for Change Mental Health in January 2024 and is passionate about tackling stigma, promoting positive mental health and ensuring that lived experience of mental health issues and inequalities is central to driving positive change.

  • Gordon MacRae

    Gordon MacRae

    Assistant Director (Communications & Advocacy)