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King's Medical student named as one of London's most influential people

IMG_0329Named as one London's most influential people, Naveed Khan is incredibly modest, “I’m so honoured by the win, but why me?” he chuckled. “It’s a great honour to be recognised and if the work I’m doing can inspire someone else to get involved then that’s all that matters”.

As a current Medical student he is also the National Director for Charity Week UK, and was previously the Head of the Acts of Random Kindness (ARK) Project as part of the KCL Islamic Society. 

Started in 2012 by a former King’s student, Mr Khan thought the ARK Project was a fantastic idea. “In Islamic society there is a big emphasis on being a part of the community. We should live in a community that is so close you don’t have to ask for help when you need it, because we already know you need it. Doing a good deed in a community that close is seen as second nature and through the ARK Project we aim to bring that sense of small acts of random kindness to a bigger community.”

Naveed continues: “The One Little ARKs Campaign was my favourite. We brainstormed down to the tiniest acts of random kindness including holding the door open for the person behind us, or smiling at a stranger, or buying someone a coffee. These are all very small acts, but they can have such a big difference on the recipient. They were printed onto little slips of paper and handed out around King's campuses - it was beautiful to see the impact that these acts have.”

Now in his fourth year of studies at the GKT School of Medical Education and with a Masters in Global Health and Development from UCL under his belt he is thinking public health or a policy role might be on the cards. “I still have a quite a while to go—a medical degree is a long time,” he laughs. “But having done my Masters in Global Health I think that’s a good angle, something like policy or public health.”

So what’s next for Naveed and the ARK Project?

Later this year the ARK Project will join forces with other London based universities and host a day in Camden to help the homeless, providing them with goods and services and making them feel human again.

“There is lots of amazing outreach being done with the homeless, but we want to take the humanisation perspective rather than just boxes of tinned food—we want to give the act of kindness.”

The event in Camden will include medical and dental check-ups, hair dressers and pampering services and instead of handing over pre-packed bags of goods, the homeless will be able to choose what they want. “Giving people the option is really important. It just comes down to treating people like human beings and giving them the same experience {that we get}”.

Further reading

More information about the Acts of Random Kindness Project is available at http://www.kclisoc.org/acts-of-random-kindness-ark

Connect with the ARK Project