Lord Mayor’s Award for International Student Nikita

A Developmental and Therapeutic Play student from Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences has been presented with an award by the Lord Mayor of Swansea for her voluntary work with children.

Masters student, Nikita Shah, who is originally from Mumbai in India, received her award along with other winners at the Volunteer Awards 2015 at Swansea’s Guildhall on 8th December.

Nikita, who has a background in Psychology and Executive Leadership studies, came to Swansea after finding that the Masters course offered at Swansea University precisely matched her needs.

As part of her course, Nikita worked with Swansea Council’s Play and Leisure Opportunity Library (PLOL) and at Hafan Y Mor in Singleton Hospital. She was invited to attend the Mayor’s Awards by PLOL’s Project Leader, Judy Lynch.

Nikita said: “The (awards) experience was wonderful!  After presenting the trophies and certificates, the Mayor invited us to have some tea and cake. He seemed to be really impressed with the course I studied at Swansea University – Masters in Developmental and Therapeutic Play and showed great interest in knowing about the kind of work that we do.

“While the awards and certificates don’t excite me so much, the impact that it makes on the lives of the people I work with is what keeps me motivated to keep on doing what I do and give back to the society in all the ways that I can.

“This award will definitely be a wonderful boost to my career, and additionally, it will motivate me to aim higher and achieve bigger things. I would like to thank the entire team PLOL, my tutors and my Swansea friends who became family for being so encouraging and helpful.

“I see this award as an excellent opening to my career as Play Therapist. And more so, I’m glad to have left behind my mark on Swansea, my second home.

Dr Pete King, who is the programme manager for the Masters in Developmental and Therapeutic Play said: "The Masters in Developmental and Therapeutic Play attracts many students from the United Kingdom and internationally.  Nikita's success, both as a student and her award as a volunteer shows how the knowledge and skills from the course are transferable in practice.  We wish Nikita much success for the future in developing her knowledge and skills when she returns back to India".