NHS worker distributes coronavirus supplies across Islington to ‘protect the community’
- Credit: Archant
An NHS security worker is distributing free face masks and hand sanitisers across Islington, from Holloway Road and Angel tube stations to supermarkets and mosques.
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust staff member Oliur Rahman has launched the initiative, which can cost £50 a week from his own pocket, because “we need to provide solutions to protect our communities” because “people are still not following the government’s advice”.
He added: “I felt if I can spend thousands for my family, why not hundreds for my community?”
READ MORE: Charity searches for Islington veterans in gift box initiativeThe project saw Oliur recently invited to a meeting, organised by Islington’s Cllr Una O’Halloran and Cllr Sue Lukes, where he advised on how best to share important pandemic-related information with different communities.
He suggested distributing leaflets with multilingual explanations, including updates on what to do and not to do and how to get coronavirus tests.
A former lecturer and head of department at Ragib-Rabeya School and College in Bangladesh, Oliur has offered to write any Bengali translations that might be needed.
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The 2011 census, which was the first to ask respondents what their main language was, found 19.9 per cent of residents in Islington did not consider English to be their main language.
Oliur started his current initiative in the early days of the pandemic, distributing boxes of face masks and hand sanitisers he had bought from nearby shops, before moving to buy supplies in larger quantities online.
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He said the reaction has been really positive and he has been called a “local hero”.
Amid the second lockdown, Oliur urged people to look out for their neighbours who are struggling, financially or otherwise: “These are hard times that we’ve never seen in our lifetimes. My intention is always the same: to help the community.”