Current AffairsTechnology/Equipment

Charity develops free smartphone app

Charity MBCOL has found an innovative new way to provide vital information and alerts on funerals within the Muslim community in Leicester and Leicestershire.

Building on the success of the MBCOL SMS funeral alert system, MBCOL has developed and launched an app which is now available to download via Apple’s App Store for those using an iOS platform and via the Play Store for those using an Android platform.

The charity was set up in August 1994 to co-ordinate Mosques in the Leicestershire area. It deal with religious funeral preferences and requirements of its Muslim communities. The charity hopes to extend its app nationally in the near future.

Using the app

Suleman Nagdi MBE DL, Chairman MBCOL, said: “The work that we do in relation to our services often demands that we are accessible to our service users and that we impart vital and important information quickly.

“Our previous practice has been to communicate by traditional methods by letter and by telephone. These have been often seen as more personal and meaningful methods of communicating with our service users particularly during a very difficult time when they are in need of support. Social media was seen as a method that was often not readily applicable to our area of work but we have taken the bold step of embracing the technological revolution.

“The response that we have received has been exceptionally positive in having launched the MBCOL app. We have had a great take up of this particular application for use on both Apple and Android devices. The app enables users to quickly access vital information and essential services to help them navigate through the funeral process.

“Users can benefit from detailed contact and locational information on statutory services such as the Coroners and Registrars services, the hospitals bereavement and mortuary departments and of course the council’s bereavement and cemetery departments. Users also have links and access to various documentation that may be required during the funeral.”

“The best-received aspect of the app is the alerts and announcements feature. The users can receive alerts and announcements through push notifications on funerals within the Muslim community primary in Leicester and Leicestershire and it is our intention to extend this service nationality.

“We believe that organisations involved in the delivery of services that are based on faith practice and particularly issues affecting death and bereavement can in some circumstances be capable of being delivered with social media.

“While to take up as been exceptionally encouraging we would hope that more organisations will look at our experience as an example and take positive steps to engage with service users in a manner and method that is becoming more common and readily acceptable to more people as our current technological revolution advances further.

“Having said that, we still believe that there is no real substitute then the personal touch of one’s hand or a shoulder to cry on and direct words of reassurance during the time of difficulty and grief.”

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