189. Dr Na'eem Ahmed
A London doctor established an organisation to help young people to volunteer using their professional skills in 2015.
Dr Na’eem Ahmed set up the Selfless charity, an online volunteering website to promote ‘skillanthropy’, encouraging young people to use their skills to give something back to society, both in the UK and overseas.
Over 1,000 volunteers have now registered with the Selfless website registering their skills you have, the languages they speak and their location. The site, which has a special focus on healthcare volunteering, matches individuals with volunteering opportunities that will suit them.
Na’eem first got a taste for volunteering after securing a place at medical school. He established a network of student health ambassadors to carry out health education projects across London communities, having recognised that the diverse backgrounds of his fellow medical undergraduates meant the network could reach every community. The health ambassadors are still going strong and are now funded by the Mayor of London’s Team London.
Na’eem went on to create an international volunteering project, ‘Elective Aid’, which provides medical students with an opportunity to deliver medical aid to rural Bangladeshi inhabitants through ‘health camps’. Since its inception, the project has enabled over 10,000 Bangladeshi villagers to receive free medical attention.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Volunteering is a popular New Year’s resolution and using your professional skills is a great way to make a contribution. Dr Ahmed is a fantastic example of what a difference one person can make and, by setting up the Selfless website, he’s making it really easy for other people to find opportunities to get involved too. I am delighted to make Na’eem a Point of Light this New Year’s Day.”
Dr Ahmed said:
“I feel incredibly fortunate to have achieved these positions and to be in a profession where I can lead change and improvement to communities that are in need. The driving force behind my work has been my father, who immigrated to England as a young boy from Bangladesh, he reminded us of our responsibility to help others and to always remain grateful. My achievements are not unique, this award is dedicated to the many hard-working parents whose efforts have given their children the opportunity to flourish and give back to society. It is the Selfless cycle of change!”