A family from Leighton Buzzard has spoken of its pride after their son offered a helping hand to people affected by the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.
Matthew Perham, 31, works in construction and was sent to the poverty-stricken country with a mining company.
But while there, the big-hearted Leighton man was so moved by the plight of ordinary people quarantined due to the crisis, that he has joined the effort to ease their situation.
He helped build the first of six hospitals constructed by the British military, by laying down concrete.
And, learning that young boys in Sierra Leone are huge football fans, he was able to delight them with a special treat.
A friend sent over a dozen Wing Raiders FC shirts, which Matt gave to a group of young footballers quarantined behind a wire fence.
Proud dad Gordon said: “He’s been in Sierra Leone since February. Since he’s been there, the situation seems to have got worse. Some of the people he’s worked with have gone off to Liberia, where it’s even more dangerous.
“When he first went out, I think he was in and around the hospitals. It seems there are a number of people out there trying to make things better and he also got involved.”
But in spite of his pride, Mr Perham admits he does have some concerns about his son’s presence in Sierra Leone.
He said: “You see the risks and you do wonder if it’s worth it.”