Staff Profile

Neil Watson

Director and Head of Programmes

Neil is a Substance Director and Head of Programmes. He taught in west London secondary schools from 1984 before going on to manage Leyton Orient Football Club’s Community Programme in 1989. During the thirteen years, he was there the organisation developed a national reputation for using sport and physical activity to deliver personal and social outcomes. Neil was also responsible for setting up the London Community Sports Network in 2000 as a response to the lack of capacity within the sector to manage and deliver these types of initiatives. In 2002 Neil became Director of the Home Office Positive Futures programme, a national sport and activity based social inclusion initiative and was responsible for its strategic development until 2006. Between 2006 and 2007 he was an Assistant Director at the Government Respect Task Force, leading on young people’s issues. Neil is currently leading work at Substance to create a Social Impact Bond and managing London United, a partnership of 15 football club trusts and foundations delivering work in the capital.

Why Neil works for Substance

“I particularly enjoy working with colleagues at Substance to research, design, implement and manage our involvement in regional and national programmes, particularly those that seek to improve the life chances of young people. Outside of Substance I am a supporter of Newcastle United and a trustee of Wallsend Boys Club.”