Models for Heroes
1605. Malcolm Childs
Malcolm Childs, from Newbury, founded ‘Models for Heroes’, a charity helping over 400 Armed Forces veterans a month through their rehabilitation and treatment for PTSD, anxiety and injury by providing them with kits for model building.
A keen modeller, Malcolm set up the initiative in 2017 after reading about an American charity sending kits overseas and to veteran assistance hospitals across the USA. Malcolm realised that model building could be particularly beneficial for veterans in the UK and serve as part of occupational therapy, complimenting clinical treatments for PTSD, anxiety, depression and also brain and spinal injuries by helping to create a calming state for participants through an activity which encourages focus, patience, coping mechanisms and delicate motor skills. He also realised that the charity could enable veterans to come together to socialise and bond over a common activity. While the pandemic has prevented the charity from carrying out many of its regular gatherings and face-to-face sessions, Malcolm has established an online community, supported the charity’s base of over 140 volunteers who continue to host model-making sessions and keep veterans connected.
In a personal letter to Malcolm, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was delighted to hear how you are using your love of modelling to support some of the most special people in our country, namely the veterans who have served our nation.
“Through your model making groups, you offer a sense of belonging and community. ‘Models for Heroes’ is a fantastic initiative and a wonderful way of giving back to those who have given so much to their country.”
Kit Malthouse, Malcolm’s local MP for North West Hampshire, said:
“I’m very proud Malcolm Childs lives in North West Hampshire, and his work in setting up ‘Models for Heroes’ is truly inspirational. Through teaching model-making, Malcolm and his volunteers are helping hundreds of ex-servicemen and veterans combat anxiety, depression and PTSD. He’s going above and beyond in serving our community and I’m delighted he is being recognised with the Prime Minister’s ‘Points of Lights’ award. As a boy, I made hundreds of similar type models and I hope to meet you and try my hand at one of yours. Thank you Malcolm for all that you’re doing to improve people’s lives.”
“I am thrilled and very grateful to have been selected as a Point of Light recipient. It is truly a privilege to be able to use model making to provide a meaningful activity to support the wellbeing of veterans and emergency services personnel around the UK.
“Our beneficiaries engage in an activity typically associated with positive childhood memories. Model building encourages focus, patience, development of coping mechanisms and delicate motor skills. It is a social hobby, which pre-COVID involved group activities, and visits to model shows. Since the start of the pandemic, ‘Models for Heroes’ moved quickly to ensure we could also offer individual support, and to build online communities.
“I would like to acknowledge the vital role of ‘Models for Heroes’ fantastic 140+ volunteers, themselves skilled model makers who generously give their time to support others, the majority of whom are themselves veterans of the armed forces. I dedicate this award to the beneficiaries I have the pleasure to meet and build models with, and who inspire me in their steps towards recovery from their injuries.”