Please allow me to introduce myself, my name is Paul Matson and I am the founder of Hull 4 Heroes.
You may have read some newspaper articles, heard about the team on the radio or perhaps even seen us on the television, but let me just explain how this all started:
I served in the British Military for many years I both enjoyed and partially endured my service to Queen and Country, some of the things I’ve seen whilst serving I wouldn’t wish on anybody. Upon leaving the army I can now admit that I suffered and found myself adrift from mainstream society, ultimately ending up homeless for a period of time. It’s not all doom and gloom I promise, I managed with the help of others around me, to get myself out of that situation and back to my family. Then creating a business for myself which is now thankfully successful and provides for my growing family of children and now grandchildren.
Because of my experiences both in and out of the military when I heard of the BBC DIY SOS Big Build in Manchester creating a ‘Veteran’s Street’ I jumped at the chance to give something back. Taking both myself and some of the lads that work for me across the country to help other veterans, as I’d once been helped many years before. The whole experience was amazing and fantastic to see how quickly a group of tradesmen and women, quite a lot ex-military themselves gel as a group with one common purpose – to help.
Once back in Hull, driving around the city from job to job I took a really long look around and thought – Well why can’t we do that here? Why can’t the great city of Hull, with all the kind and generous people host the next ‘Veterans Street’?
It’s a very simple question and once posted on social media, I was quite frankly staggered at the response I received, I knew the people of Hull were great but wow did they prove it to me in those first few days and continue to do so to this very day.
It very quickly became apparent that I definitely wasn’t going to be able to do this alone and I invited several like minded members some ex-military some not, to join me in this quest and the Hull 4 Heroes committee was born. The diverse nature of the 10 strong committee means we can cover all aspects of requirements of both the business of being a Charity as well as providing that much needed help to Veterans.
We do not say a veteran is any better or more worthwhile than any other member of society but what we have seen is veterans getting a raw deal and we want to be able to change that in any small way, to make their lives more bearable and help them concentrate on healing both the physical and mental wounds of war.
We are now a registered Charity as of the 7th November 2016.
We’ve formed bonds and links with many local businesses, other local and national military based charities and the Hull City Council and associated agencies.
Our ultimate aim is to build new houses, purpose made to serve all of a veteran’s needs. Placing them amongst established or newly created communities, along with a community center to service all members of the area including non-veterans.
Whilst we are all working towards achieving our ultimate goals, we are helping as many veterans and their families as possible! This is through both large and smaller scale renovations to existing properties, making them fit for purpose and meeting the veteran and their families’ needs. Trying to ensure that their transition back into civilian life and regular employment is as seamless as possible.
Our current project is the Veterans Village which aims be a self-sustaining site for the housing and rehabilitation of ex-service men and women. The Hull based charity will provide a unique place to provide support to those individuals requiring help when adjusting to civilian life. Along with our supporters we hope to create the worlds first purpose built center that will provide a safe and stable platform for veterans, where they can create a happy and purposeful live for themselves and their families in civilian society. You can see much more about the project by visiting the Veterans Village website.