The founder of a charity which provides crucial support to veterans adjusting to civilian life has thanked Sewell on the go for enabling its life-changing work to continue during the Covid-19 crisis.
Hull 4 Heroes provides support, homes, education and employment opportunities for ex-service personnel and their families, and has extended that support to veterans who have been confined to their homes during the pandemic.
As the team continues to travel to various locations to deliver food and practical and emotional support each day, leading East Yorkshire forecourt retailer Sewell on the go has stepped in to cover Hull 4 Heroes’ entire fuel bill for five months to take the financial strain away from the charity’s largest outgoing cost.
Hull 4 Heroes Chairman Paul Matson, who founded the charity in 2016 after facing his own challenges following his departure from the Army, said: “The past few months have been some of the busiest we’ve ever had as a charity. That’s not a complaint – it’s great and we’ve been doing what a charity should do, which is going out and helping.
“We lost all of our fundraising event opportunities in one go due to the pandemic, yet we saw our demand skyrocket.
“From welfare calls to veterans and making sure they have the essentials, to helping veterans move house, we’ve continued doing it all.
“People have been so generous, in particular Sewell on the go. It has made such a difference to have the fuel for our vans funded by Sewell on the go throughout such a busy and challenging time.
“We generally don’t go out and ask for help and tend to just get on with it, so it’s always appreciated when people reach out and make the offer. Sewell on the go kindly extended their support from three months to five, taking it to October, which will help us enormously.”
Hull 4 Heroes is also behind plans to create the world’s first purpose-built Veterans Village to provide ex-service personnel and their families with a safe, stable and self-sustaining environment as they adjust civilian life in Hull.
With support from Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the charity has secured a 22-acre site next to Priory Road in Hull, extending into the boundaries of both local authorities. Planning permission has been granted by Hull City Council, while the East Riding application is due to be examined on August 20.
Patrick Sewell, Managing Director of Sewell on the go, said: “We know how hard Hull 4 Heroes works and we’ve been especially conscious of the impact the current climate is having on charities in our local community.
“We became aware that Hull 4 Heroes were delivering 40 to 60 full food shops to vulnerable Hull veterans per day on top of everything else they have to juggle and we wanted to do our bit to help.
“We’re committed to our local communities and our hope is that this gesture, which we’ve extended to five months, helps Hull 4 Heroes continue their amazing work despite this incredibly challenging time.”
The donation of fuel to Hull 4 Heroes is in addition to £40,000 worth of free fuel provided in partnership by Sewell on the go and BP to keep emergency vehicles on the road during lockdown.
Over the last 12 months, Sewell on the go has supported more than 60 charitable and community causes including Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Hull Animal Welfare Trust, Pocklington People’s Pantry and The Sailors’ Children’s Society.
With support from its customers, the business donated more than £4,000 in food to local foodbanks during lockdown, as well as providing fresh fruit and vegetables to hospital staff and discounts on food and drinks for key workers visiting its 13 convenience stores across Hull and the East Riding as part of its ‘Have it on Us’ campaign.
Patrick added: “It has been a whirlwind few months, but we’re proud to have been able to continue serving our customers and communities around the clock.
“We’ve had so much positive feedback and support in our stores. It’s this type response that makes us happy to be based in Hull and the East Riding, and so eager to continue offering help to local causes.”