‘Leicester’s working together to help others’ says Openreach planner Ahmed

Telecoms & Financial Services, Openreach

As well as carrying on with his duties for Openreach, East Midlands Branch member and BAME officer Ahmed Kasu has also been busy within his community, helping to organise regular assistance to thousands of elderly and vulnerable people.

Already active within Leicester’s Muslim community, Ahmed and others contacted other faith, community and voluntary organisations around the city to set up a co-ordinating group Leicester Community Response to provide people with a central contact point for help and advice.

“We rang around and contacted all the different groups we knew of and put out invitations for others to get in touch – and then we held video-conferencing meetings to get this set up,” he explains.

“With the support of the council and getting the message across to the whole city via all kinds of ways, we soon started receiving requests for help – mainly for food shopping and medical supplies.

“People have also got in touch asking questions about their benefits or about other related issues – we’ve even helped people move – and everything we do, we’ve been very strict about following the correct safety procedures and protocols.

“Despite this being an extremely harsh and terrible time and an awful time for all the country, one of the good things that have happened has been the whole community of Leicester – of all faiths or of no faiths and from all cultures and backgrounds – coming together to help each other.

“In many ways, this has been a wonderful thing to see and to be a part of, although under such a horrible situation.”

East Midlands Branch secretary Liam Alderson praises Ahmed’s efforts and makes the point that “he’s also doing his full-time work as an Openreach planner and, along with others in the business, he’s Also been taking on new and extra tasks to cover for absent colleagues through this time.

“He’s a great guy, always trying to help others and Ahmed is definitely a real credit to our branch. He’s even been in a Channel Four report featuring the issue of Muslim funerals.”

Ahmed explains how he has also been helping families within the Muslim community to be able to continue their religious traditions when saying their final goodbyes to loved ones who have passed away.

“Our belief is that when a member of our faith dies, the funeral should take place either on the same day or the day after,” he explains, “and one very important belief we have is that the body needs to be bathed before the funeral.

“So I have been involved with some of my fellow Muslims in volunteering to go into hospitals to collect the bodies and then carry out the bathing and shrouding – and we’ve worn full medical suits while doing it – before finally carrying out the burial and this has meant that our Muslim brothers and sisters have been able to make their way from this world according to our faith.”