19 April 2024

New year honour for Hull 4 Heroes founder

By Terry Bearpark

A Bilton man’s work with veterans has been recognised in the King’s New Year Honours list.

Paul Matson, a self-employed builder, has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to veterans and to serving armed forces personnel.

After volunteering his services to the BBC’s DIY SOS Big Build in Manchester to create a Veterans’ Street, he decided that Hull could become the home of a similar project and so with a group of similar-minded people formed the charity Hull 4 Heroes in 2016.

Increasingly, veterans return from service to find that they do not have the support network and resources to meet their most basic needs and when their resources are depleted, these veterans can become homeless and without hope.

Hull 4 Heroes aims to ensure that their transition back into civilian life and regular employment is as seamless as possible and has formed bonds with many local businesses, local and national military-based charities and Hull City Council. Construction work started last year in Hull on the first transitional veterans’ village in the country.

Paul, who also volunteered his services for the BBC DIY SOS programme in 2014 to help convert a house in Rise for Jason Liversidge, told the Gazette he was “completely humbled and honoured” by the award.

He added: “As always, I accept the award on behalf of the team at Hull 4 Heroes, without whom there would be no charity at all.”

For more information about the charity, visit hull4heroes.org.uk.