Bedford College lecturers volunteer in the fight against coronavirus

Bedford College volunteers
Tariq Hussain

Two IT lecturers from Bedford College are putting their skills to good use, helping others in the current Covid-19 crisis.

Tariq Hussain has been re-training to be a volunteer in quarantine funeral arrangements in his home town of Leicester.

The role, working with bereaved families of all faiths, builds up on community work which Tariq has undertaken previously in the Queen’s Park mosque in Bedford.

The difference now is in the limitations placed upon all families, for instance the next of kin is only allowed to invite perhaps four others to attend the funeral.

“This causes considerable emotional distress at what is already a difficult time, regardless of your faith,” explains Tariq.

Helping the bereaved through the process has required extra training by Tariq. He has been working in his spare hours and will be helping full-time during his pre-planned holiday over Easter.

Bedford College volunteers
Paul Mensah is volunteering as part of the GoodSAM programme

Meanwhile Paul Mensah’s skills as a former support worker ensured he was among the first to be selected from the 750,000 who signed up to be NHS volunteers.

Paul, who lives in Bedford, has volunteered as part of the GoodSAM programme and is now collecting medication for members of the community who are self-isolating and advising on prescriptions they have been given.

His role also involves talking with those who are suffering mental health problems during the lockdown, where his former training becomes especially helpful.

Paul joined Bedford College as an IT Foundation Degree student, completed his degree at the University of Bedfordshire and eventually came back to the College as a staff member.

The Computing team at Bedford College are keeping busy whilst working from home with many of them helping neighbours, volunteering, shopping and even gardening for those in the community.

Paula Hobday, Head of Computing, said: “I really do have a great team. We are very proud of them.”

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