Veterans charity born out of DIY SOS going “from strength to strength”

Veterans charity born out of DIY SOS going “from strength to strength”

  • Veterans Secretary Johnny Mercer and DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles visited Hull 4 Heroes today to meet charities and volunteers who support veterans
  • Charity supports veterans across the city of Hull, North Riding and North Lincolnshire

A charity born of inspiration from a veterans project on DIY SOS has been lauded for helping ex-service workers in the North East of England.

Today Minister for Veterans Affairs Johnny Mercer and Moderator of DIY SOS Nick Knowles visited Hull 4 Heroes.

The charity, previously funded through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, was established 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, cooking and mental health.

During the visit, Mr. Mercer met with veterans to learn more about how the charity is helping people in the area, including through renovations large and small to existing properties where veterans live.

The minister was given a tour of the charity’s storage facilities, which store personal belongings of former service staff while they move or find a new home. The charity also offered a virtual reality tour of their flagship project – a brand new housing development called Veterans Village.

The Veterans Village provides for the construction of a residential and rehabilitation facility for veterans transitioning into civilian life. The 22-acre site will include a residential area, a training and support facility, and a visitor center.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Johnny Mercer said:

It was my pleasure to visit the Hull 4 Heroes team today with Nick Knowles to learn more about the work they are doing to ensure our veterans enjoy a smooth and successful transition into civilian life.

The valuable skills they provide provide a stable platform for those looking to return to work and allow 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 has built a successful business after a difficult period after retiring from the army. His charity was started after he got involved with the DIY SOS Big Build show at a veterans project called Veterans Street in Manchester. As a consequence of the success of this project, he decided to set up his own Veterans Support Center in Hull with the help of other members of the local armed forces community.

The Office of Veterans Affairs recently announced Op Fortitude, a single referral program for homeless veterans to access assisted living and all-round specialty care. Together with more than £8.5 million in funding for charitable support services in veterans’ housing, the scheme will ensure veterans’ homelessness ends in 2023.

Following the success of a temporary trail set up for the holiday season last year, the referral program will be developed taking into account lessons learned and will be rolled out this spring.

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