Paul Matson hopes Hull 4 Heroes scheme becomes national phenomenon

Published: Sunday 31st January 2016 by Hull College

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Builder Paul Matson hopes his scheme to construct homes for army veterans in Hull becomes a national trend.

Mr Matson, who helped to build a veterans’ village in Manchester for BBC TV show DIY SOS, created Facebook group ‘Hull 4 Heroes’ last year and was amazed by the response he received from the public.

While his plan to build homes in Hull for ex-servicemen and women is gathering pace – Hull City Council has identified areas in Kingswood, Orchard Park and Longhill estate as potential sites – he hopes that other similar schemes can be introduced in other areas of the UK.

“We’d like to see these schemes right across the country,” he said.

“We’ve said to the council that this could be the footprint for the country and what a thing to do in the run up to 2017 (City Of Culture) that we create this footprint for the country to follow.”

Mr Matson revealed that his involvement with the DIY SOS Manchester project inspired him to plan something similar in Hull.

He said: “We finished the programme, came home, looked at some empty houses and thought, ‘why can’t we do that here?’”

“The (Hull 4 Heroes) group has really gained momentum over the last few months and currently there are over 16,000 members.

“We’ve been allocated spaces of land around Hull. We are looking at lots of plots of land in and around Hull. Kingswood has been mooted by the council but a lot of work is needed to bring that forward.”

With so many veterans coming out of the Army and finding it difficult to adjust to civilian life, Mr Matson is keen to help out and provide for them.

He added: “When a general person comes out the forces they’re stuck filling out the forms they’ve never had to fill out before.

“They don’t just end up homeless but they can end up in prison. They’re coming out and not getting the help they need.”

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Published: Sunday 31st January 2016 by Hull College

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