A charity born out of inspiration from a veterans project on DIY SOS has been praised for helping ex-service personnel in north-east England.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Johnny Mercer and DIY SOS Presenter Nick Knowles visited Hull 4 Heroes.
The charity, which has previously benefited from funding via the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, was founded in 2016 and provides crucial support services to veterans in Hull, North Riding and North Lincolnshire. Services provided by the charity include employment support, training, woodwork, cookery and mental health.
On the visit Mr Mercer met with veterans to learn more about how the charity helps people in the area, including through making large and small scale renovations to existing properties which veterans live in.
The Minister was given a tour of the warehouse facilities the charity runs, which stores personal possessions of ex-service personnel while they are moving or finding a new house. The charity also provided a Virtual Reality tour of their flagship project – a brand new housing development called the Veterans Village.
The Veterans Village will see the construction of a housing and rehabilitation site for veterans as they transition into civilian life. The 22 acre site will contain a residential area, training and support facility and a visitor centre.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Johnny Mercer said:
It was a pleasure to visit the Hull 4 Heroes team with Nick Knowles today to learn more about the work they are doing to help ensure our veterans enjoy a smooth and successful transition to civilian life.
The valuable skills they are teaching offer a stable platform for those looking to get back into work, enabling employers across the UK to fully appreciate just how valuable our veterans can be.
Hull 4 Heroes was founded by Paul Matson, a veteran himself, who built a successful business following a difficult period after leaving the armed forces. His charity was created on the back of getting involved with the show DIY SOS Big Build on a veterans project in Manchester, called Veterans Street. As a consequence of seeing the success of this project, he decided to establish his own veterans support hub in Hull with the help of other members of the local armed forces community.
The Office for Veterans’ Affairs recently announced Op Fortitude, a single referral scheme for homeless veterans to access supported housing and wrap-around specialist care. Along with more than £8.5 million in funding for charity support services in veterans housing units, the scheme will ensure veterans homelessness is ended in 2023.
Following the success of a temporary pathway set up for the Christmas period last year, the referral scheme is being designed, taking forward lessons learned, and will launch in Spring this year.