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Bedford College Cauldwell Street Campus

Two Bedford College IT lecturers have proven to have hidden talents which are being put to good use to help others in the current Covid-19 crisis.

Bedford College Computing tutor Tariq Hussain

Tariq Hussain has been re-training to be a volunteer in quarantine funeral arrangements in his home town of Leicester. The role, which covers 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 this new Covid process, which wipes aside many cultural or religious practices, 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 Computing tutor Paul Mensah

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, is part of the GoodSAM programme and is now helping people who need medication collecting and advising on prescriptions they have been given. It can also involve 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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