QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 83 - Page 9

University masters the art of child’s play A NEW COURSE WILL help to educate the Play Therapists of the future ensur- ing that children, who have experienced trauma, can benefit from a high quality profes- sional support service. New scholarship to address LGBT issues in tourism & events sector The MSc Play Therapy, which aims to develop therapists who can work safely and therapeutically with children and families with complex needs, is a collaboration between QMU’s Art Psychotherapy team and the charity With Kids. Play is a really important part of child development and Play Therapy taps into ways in which children communicate. Children, who have been through trauma or had really awful experiences in their lives, can really benefit from Play Therapy as it offers a way of communicating and healing the distress they have been through without relying on verbal communication. Play Therapy is a recognised profession and currently Play Therapists practice in a range of environments from the NHS to social services and from primary and secondary schools to charities. Play Therapy is successfully used to help people of all ages, not just children, deal with a wide range of emotional and physical conditions. In the UK, the majority of Play Therapists work in health and the voluntary care sectors with a sizable number working in schools and nurseries. Gwen Galbraith is programme leader for the new Masters programme and also works with With Kids which has bases in Glasgow and Edinburgh. She explained: “There has been a lack of specialised training in this sector in Scotland for a number of years. We have consulted widely and interest has been high.” “Play Therapy is a really rewarding career. We have the privilege of working with children, young people and their families at really difficult points in their lives and are witness to the changes and developments that Play Therapy can bring about.” It is thought that the new course, which will take its first intake in September 2016, will appeal to professionals who are already working with children or young people, possibly people from a social work, health and education background. Gwen Galbraith said: “It will ideally suit people involved in education, social care, health and voluntary sectors. A first degree, such as occupational therapy, would be helpful but is not essential.” More details about the MSc Play Therapy can be found at: http://goo.gl/QlmkKP ❒ T HE UNIVERSITY IS TO launch a new scholarship geared towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) studies in the tourism and events industry. With its specialisms in tourism and events, QMU has teamed-up wi th US- based TravelAdvocates to offer the scholarship to up to two students a year over the next three years. The TravelAdvocates LGBT Studies Travel and Research Scholarship will help selected QMU students carry out their own independent research into the current LGBT issues affecting the tourism and events sector. QMU’s Professor Joe Goldblatt, said: “We’re extremely grateful for the generous support that TravelAdvocates is providing our students. This is the first time in the 140 year history of QMU that a research scholarship in this important area of study has been established. “This generous and pioneering support is initially committed for up to three years and will provide much needed financial support and other resources for current and future generations of QMU students.” TravelAdvocates is a global hotel site selection company founded in 2005 by Robert Miller in Hoboken, New Jersey. The company’s team has more than 75 years of combined experience providing personalised hotel site selection and booking thousands of hotel room nights for groups each year. They are a trusted advocate for their clients, who come from the corporate, government, association, tour and travel, athletic and social markets. Robert Miller, CMP, Esq, President of TravelAdvocates, said: "As an openly gay member of the global tourism industry, I think it is important to explore and identify the specific needs and interests of the LGBT segment as it relates to travel and events. It is a unique market that continues to grow, and TravelAdvocates is proud to support research in this important field." Any undergraduate or postgraduate student at QMU can apply for the scholarship. A call for applications will be announced in September 2016 and the award will be made in November 2016. A committee chaired by the Queen Margaret Students’ Union President with members from the teaching staff and other students will select the recipient(s). Commenting on the new scholarship, Heidi Vistisen, President of the Queen Margaret Students’ Union, said “I’m incredibly pleased and excited to see such a fantastic scholarship made available to QMU students, especially when we still in 2016 see discrimination against LGBT people to a very high extent. “I’m honoured to be chairing the selection committee and I know that students at QMU will use this opportunity to influence the community and society they live and study in.” ❒ QMYOU / New Courses QMYOU / Sustainable Business 11