In Your Shoes - Heather Manson

I am Heather Manson and my role is Head of Fundraising for Street Soccer Scotland. We are a charity and social enterprise founded in 2009 by our CEO David Duke MBE following his own lived experience of homelessness on the streets of Glasgow for 3 years. We support social disadvantage people across Scotland and use the power of sport, namely football, to encourage positive lasting change in people’s lives. Our “Players” will be dealing with mental health issues, experiencing homelessness, recovering from addiction, and suffering the adverse effects of poverty in some of the highest areas of social deprivation in the country.

Heather Manson | Head of Fundraising


m: 07882 841053 



Yesterday afternoon, one of our Dundee supporters hosted a reception at her home which allowed the opportunity for Street Soccer Scotland to share its work with the 80 attending guests, as part of an “in conversation” interview between myself and our CEO David Duke MBE and our COO Norman Gill.  It was a fantastic opportunity to highlight not only our organisations work across Scotland but particularly our project at the former Lynch Centre in Dundee, which is our first Change Centre in Scotland.

The remainder of my Monday was spent following up with all the fantastic connections we were able to make during the afternoon and extending invitation to guests to visit the Change Centre for a look around and see our work in action.

I also spent part of the day preparing for Tuesday’s meeting in Edinburgh with Brewin Dolphin which is another opportunity to engage this organisation in our work, more on that tomorrow.

Later in the afternoon I managed to fit in a fresh but chilly jog with my two Wire Fox Terriers, Angus & Isla, whose energy always keeps me on my toes.


Tuesday mornings always kick off with our 9am Management meeting. This is our weekly opportunity to catch up on recent activity and focus on the week ahead. We collectively discuss any issues, actions or ideas and communicate information or news, as well as have the opportunity to ask for help or support where needed.

I am also Edinburgh based, so today I am catching up with rest of team at our office space at ‘The Dugout’, which is located at Ocean Terminal. As a team, we are working on our activity on the lead up to Christmas both on our comms for the month ahead as well as our activities with our ‘Players’. 

Christmas isn’t always the happiest time of year for people and we are very aware of that. We do all we can to ensure players are getting the support they need every day but particularly on the run up and throughout the festive season. That support comes in whatever way is needed for each individual.


Street Soccer London is our sister charity, and I am currently working with our London Advisory Board to prepare a launch event which will take place early February 2021. Having recently implemented Salesforce as our CRM platform across the organisation which will be key for monitoring impact as well as support income generation, donor management and stewardship. The organisation has engaged with us to support this event and have kindly agreed to sponsor the launch and host it at their London Facility at Heron Tower for us. I, therefore, spent some time today gathering information on proposed numbers, timings, guests, running order etc as well as what we want to achieve from the event to share with our sponsor ahead of invitations being prepared and sent out to our invited guests. An exciting opportunity for us and it’s just so nice to be arranging opportunities to spend time with people in person again.

My meeting with some of the staff at Brewin Dolphin later in the afternoon was a great success and allowed me the opportunity to share more about our organisation, particularly our Edinburgh activities. We discussed engagement and volunteering opportunities which were met with enthusiasm and I look forward to working on the development of our partnership with this organisation.

Tuesday and Thursday evenings are spent with my bike club Coatbridge Clarion and during the winter months, we focus on indoor training using the Watt bikes at our local gym. It’s always great to be with the group and we keep each other motivated during the dark nights which can be a challenge.  


Wednesday starts with an early dip in the pool and an enjoyable swim as well as the opportunity to say hello and how are you to the regulars I see at the pool first thing in the morning. It’s always a great way to start the day even when it’s dark and cold and a struggle to get out the door first thing.

Wednesday is also a day for staff one to one’s and the morning allows me to catch up with our Comms Coordinator Lewis followed by Sophie, who is our Grants and Trusts Fundraiser.  This is our opportunity to share what’s going on and discuss areas of opportunity and support, discussing any challenges and identifying where help is needed. We are now coming up to the end of year as we work on some preparation to finalise end of year reviews.

Today also included a meeting with an outdoor advertising partner who supports us, we discussed some updates to current advertising campaigns and focusing on our Christmas message of ‘Hope’, which we will be promoting on the lead up to Christmas. This was also an opportunity to introduce our contact to Lewis, as he is new to Street Soccer Scotland, allowing him to pick up this relationship moving forward.

Later in the afternoon allowed for some down time, my daughter Kendall treated me to a lovely afternoon tea in Glasgow, as I recently celebrated my birthday. This followed with a little Christmas shopping and a cocktail.


Dundee bound on the train this morning. A visit to Sam at the V & A for a look around with the purpose of discussing the museum as a venue for our Spring 2022 Charity Ball. This was a first visit for me, and it is fair to say that I was blown away. A fantastic space with so much to take in, a great facility for the people of Dundee and of course for visitors to enjoy.

A catch up with our friends at OSS, who we are working with on a research project which will focus on the impact our Change Centre has on our players as well as the local community in Dundee. We were discussing ongoing funding challenges and opportunities, whilst also touching on the progress of the research to date.

Later in the afternoon, I caught up with John Alexander of Alexander Community Developments Dundee. John is a partner of Street Soccer Scotland, and we managed a quick catchup on the phone to discuss future opportunities as we continue to develop our partnership with them.


An early swim session to start to the day. Lots of Friday follow-ups and ticking off outstanding actions at the end of the week.

This evening I dusted off my evening wear and looked out my lipstick as I attended the Scottish Women in Sports Awards Ceremony held at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow. An inspiring evening celebrating so many successful women in the world of sport. I was joined by colleague Sarah, who manages our Womens only programme at Street Soccer, as well as our amazing volunteer Laura.

Laura’s story is powerful and I feel with worth sharing with you. It can be viewed here: