A University of Aberdeen postgraduate researcher has clocked up almost 3,000 hours as an NHS volunteer supporting those affected by Covid-19.
Muhammad Farooq was one of the 170,000 who, in just one night in March, answered a call issued by the UK government to join a network of volunteers needed to help the 1.5 million individuals asked to shield from the coronavirus because of underlying health conditions.
Since his first call to assist a person in isolation in March 2020, he has now amassed 2,869 hours of volunteer work ranging from collecting prescriptions, shopping and food to making phone calls to those unable to leave their homes.
Muhammed is currently a PhD scholar in the department of Divinity and, although born and bred in Pakistan, is a British citizen currently based in London.
As a Lawyer, Magistrate (JP) in London and visiting lecturer in Pakistan, Muhammed, whose work focuses on legal reform in Pakistan, particularly with regard to family law and the rights of women, had a lot to juggle but said he quickly realised the difference a few minutes out of your own day can make to others.
“I saw for myself the real difference volunteering can make,” he added. “It has had a positive effect on me personally and I have seen the happiness that small acts of kindness can bring. It’s an incredible feeling.
"I was so happy when I received my first alert to assist a person in isolation, now I've completed 2,869 hours of work.
“I hadn’t planned on doing so much when I started but it is just a few hours a week for me. I am only walking, collecting medicines and delivering things but it’s nice to know that you have played your part and delivered kindness at a time when so many people are struggling.”
Muhammed recently received a thank you for his contribution from the Director of Volunteering, Royal Voluntary Service which he says he received with ‘both delight and pride’.