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Recent blog posts
Scott Morris 1

Congratulations to Scott Morris, from our Inspire Sports Development team, for successfully completing his fundraising challenge of 7 Olympic distance triathlons over 7 days to raise money for Neuroblastoma UK.

The challenge took place across our three Sports Centres at Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar, with the final finish line at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community Primary Phase.

Each intensive Triathlon consisted of a 1500 metre swim, 24 mile bike ride and a 10 kilometre run – which means that over 7 days Scott swam 10,500 metres, cycled 168 miles and ran 70 kilometres!

Scott undertook the challenge in memory of a little girl called Eva, and this is her mother’s story…

"My beautiful little girl Eva (known fondly as Eva Diva) was diagnosed in February 2016 (age 6) with a rare aggressive children’s cancer, called Neuroblastoma which was located in her abdomen.

Neuroblastoma is the second most common solid tumour in children, with around 100 children in the UK diagnosed each year.

Her battle with this aggressive form of cancer lasted 15 months. Eva's strength was incredible and she never complained. After numerous rounds of chemotherapy, major surgery and radiotherapy, Eva's cancer could not be cleared from her bone marrow and she developed secondary tumours throughout her little body. She was sadly taken from us in May 2017 when she lost her battle, but her strength, courage and humour will never be forgotten."

If you’d like to make a donation please visit Scott’s Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/scott-morris7
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Could your community sport project benefit from up to £1,500 in funding?

Each year Sport Wales work in partnership with the 22 Local Authorities in Wales to provide funding to help community sport projects increase their participation levels and improve their standards through the Community Chest grant scheme.

Who can apply for a Community Chest grant? Any group that holds an account (be it a Bank, Building Society or Credit Union account), in their organisation's name. This could include sports clubs or associations, youth clubs or community groups.

If you’re based in Blaenau Gwent and would like to apply for a Community Chest Grant, but need some help with the application process, come along to our FREE Funding Workshop on Tuesday 19th June from 6.30pm – 8pm at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre.

Our Inspire Sports Development staff will also be on hand throughout the workshop to offer advice on how you can develop your club or organization.

To book a free workshop space please contact Chris Garrett on 01495 353394 or 07773 312662 or email him at chris.garrett@aneurinleisure.org.uk

For more information on the Community Chest funding scheme visit http://sport.wales/funding--support/our-grants/community-chest.aspx
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Lee Parsons Blog Pictures

The Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre Wednesday night Photography Class has recently enjoyed some excellent outdoor practical sessions to Dunraven Bay and Pontneddfechan waterfalls.

The class which has been running at the centre for ten years under the stewardship of Phillip Slaughter continues to thrive and the examination results stay amongst the highest in the country, but it’s much more than about the grades.

The class caters for the beginner to the experienced enthusiast, there is no competition, everyone works with everyone else to make the class the success it is and the reason why so many learners return year on year.

Mindfulness and wellbeing are two keywords that many are familiar with today and I speak from my personal experience of how this class helped me through a difficult period of my life when I was living on haemodialysis, the Wednesday night class gave me a focus and walking into the lesson you knew you were amongst friends and could catch up on the week gone by.

It has been a couple of years since I completed my last qualification with Phillip, but we have continued to keep in touch and he has always been on hand to offer advice when needed.

Since becoming a Trustee of Aneurin Leisure following my election to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, I have been eager to join the class on an outdoor session, the unprecedented inclement weather put it on hold, but eventually when it happened, it was well worth the wait, visiting such picturesque locations as Dunraven Bay and the waterfalls at Pontneddfechan has certainly whetted my appetite and I look forward to enrolling to the class for 2018/19 in September.

For more information on courses and clubs available at our Learning Action Centres please call 01495 355300

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Star Wars Montage

This Whitsun half term we’re inviting people of all ages to join us in a galaxy far, far way for our unique Star Wars Themed Afternoon Tea Experiences at Bedwellty House & Park in Tredegar.

This fantastic two hour dining experience is available throughout half term week and takes place in our specially decorated dining room, where visitors can enjoy a delicious afternoon tea featuring a selection of inventive Star Wars themed cakes, sweets and savoury treats.

We've got everything from Wookiee Cookies and Carbonite Crunch to little BB8’s and Skywalker Scones, so whatever your age, whether you're a Jedi or a Sith, we have something for everyone!

Throughout their visit guests will also have the opportunity to entertain themselves with a variety of themed craft activities, including a Storm Trooper treasure trail around Bedwellty House.

Here’s what some of our visitors have said about their experience so far:

“We had an amazing time at the Star Wars themed afternoon tea. Superb decorations, really impressive! Service was brilliant, so friendly! We look forward to returning for many more.”

“I love this theme everything on the display was delicious and very good quality. The attention to detail is FANTASTIC.”

“Absolutely beautiful tea, again!”

The cost for the afternoon tea experience is £18 per person for adults and children aged 5+, children under 5 years can pay £5 to participate in the activities and share an afternoon tea with a full paying adult.

For more information or to make a booking call us on 01495 353397

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bank holiday

Here are our opening times for all our Aneurin Leisure venues for Bank Holiday Monday 28th May 2018:


Abertillery Sports Centre - Closed

 
Bedwellty House & Park – Open as normal, for any enquiries please call 01495 353397

 
Ebbw Vale Sports Centre – Gym is open 8am-4pm, and the Pool from 10am-3pm, for any enquiries please call 01495 357777

 
Learning Action Centres – Closed

 
Libraries - Closed

 
Parc Bryn Bach - Open as normal, for any enquiries please call 01495 355920

 
The Met – Closed

 
Tredegar Sports Centre - Closed


All our venues will re-open as normal on Tuesday 29th May 2018.
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HOV Presentation

 

On Monday 14th May Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure and Meirion Morgan, Chair of our Board of Trustees, visited the Hospice of the Valleys to deliver a cheque for £1,133.86 following recent fundraising activities undertaken by the Trust and its visitors.

The cheque was presented to Grant Usmar, CEO of the Hospice of the Valleys and Amanda Chard, Events Fundraising Manager at the Hospice of the Valleys Day Centre facility in Ebbw Vale.

The fundraising activities took place at our recent event ‘An Evening with Rugby’s Finest’ at Bedwellty House & Park in Tredegar, which featured Welsh rugby stars Shane Williams and Ryan Jones and was hosted by former Ospreys Coach and TV and radio expert Sean Holley.

Throughout the evening guests were invited to participate in a raffle and silent auction for a variety of prizes, which were kindly donated by Penderyn Distillery, Sean Holley, The Events Room, Kirsty Carr Photography, Hospice of the Valleys and Aneurin Leisure. All the proceeds from the silent auction and raffle were then donated to the Hospice of the Valleys.

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure said; “It was a pleasure to present a cheque for £1,133.86 to the Hospice of the Valleys on behalf of Aneurin Leisure, following our fundraising activities at Bedwellty House & Park. We at Aneurin Leisure greatly value the positive partnership we have with the Hospice of the Valleys and are eager to continue to raise money to help with the invaluable work they do in the local community.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone involved in making this event such a success, including Penderyn Distillery, Kirsty Carr Photography, Sean Holley and The Events Room for their kind donation of prizes which made our fundraising possible. I would also like to offer a special thank you to all the local people who attended and supported our event at Bedwellty House, without whom none of this would have been possible.”

Grant Usmar, CEO Hospice of the Valleys added; “It is only through local support that Hospice of the Valleys is able to help support over 600 families each year who are living with a life limiting illness. We are very grateful for the donation given by Aneurin Leisure.

The event, 'An Evening with Rugby's Finest' at Bedwellty House was a real win-win as not only did the people attending have a great evening, but they also raised an amazing amount to support our work. We look forward to continuing our work with Aneurin Leisure throughout the year.”

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Juke Box Heroes 1

 

Following the huge success of Owen Money’s Jukebox Heroes in 2016, Owen Money is back at The Met in Abertillery with another talent packed live show featuring the music of his popular weekend radio shows on BBC Wales; and of course his unique style of comedy and Welsh wit!

Joining Owen on stage is his fantastic band The Travelling Wrinklies, who will accompany the four featured icons of the 60’s and 70’s to bring the music and passion of their musical heroes to life!

The evening will start with the adorable Sami Broad as the unforgettable Karen Carpenter, David Rhys–Morris then plays tribute to the legend that is Neil Sedaka. The powerful and distinctive voice of Frankie Valli will be wonderfully portrayed by Alex John and with a little help, the sounds of the ‘Four Seasons’ are not forgotten. Finally, the sensational Li Harding will take to the stage as the one and only Dame Shirley Bassey, and will undoubtedly ‘get this party started!’

Owen Money’s Juke Box Heroes II Tour 2018 comes to the Met, Abertillery on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th May at 7.30pm. Tickets are £15 and available from the Box Office on 01495 355945 or online at www.aneurinleisure.ticketsolve.com/shows

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May-Blog-Banner

With the worst of the winter weather now behind us, we’re looking forward to a Spring season packed full of exciting adventure activities at Parc Bryn Bach.

Kicking things off on the first weekend of May is our Bronze National Navigation Award Course on 5th and 6th May. This practical course if great for anyone interested in hill walking and will use countryside paths, tracks and linear features to teach basic compass and map skills. This course also provides a perfect starting point for Duke of Edinburgh Award students, scouts, guides and cadets who would like to develop their skills.

This year Visit Wales is celebrating our outstanding Welsh coastlines and inviting people of all ages to discover epic new experiences around our shores and inland water ways. With this in mind we have a great selection of water based activities that not only offers adrenaline packed adventure, but can also develop your skills and lead to an accredited qualification.

Join our experienced PBB Adventure Team on Saturday 12th or Sunday 13th May for a day of thrilling Gorge Walking within the spectacular surroundings of the Sychryd and Mellte rivers in Glyn Neath. This fun filled activity will have you climbing, caving, jumping waterfalls, enjoying water slides and much more, all under the guidance of our experienced and dedicated instructors.

Looking to develop your Stand Up Paddle Boarding skills with the hopes of becoming a SUP instructor? On 19th and 20th May we have a WSA Adventure Guide SUP Instructor Training Course, which is the next progression for people who have already completed the WSA Foundation Course and the WSA SUP Safety and Rescue course. The WSA Adventure Guide is a leadership award that will equip you to coach, lead or guide in open water and hazardous environments.

If you have completed your British Canoeing 1 Star Award and would like to further develop your skills in the water, we will be offering a British Canoeing 2 Star Award Course on 26th and 27th May. This two day course will enable you to use fundamental skills on flat water to control movement of both canoes and kayaks, and teach an understanding of how the paddle, boat, and water interact. Please note that in order to eligible for this course candidates must be able to swim 25 metres wearing a buoyancy aid and must also have experience of British Canoeing 1 Star Skills in both kayak and open canoe.

For more information on any of these activities call us on 01495 355920 or email adventure@aneurinleisure.org.uk.

Information on all our courses, activities and events can also be found on our website at www.parcbrynbach.co.uk


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easter-opening-times-web-banner
 

Here are the opening times for all our Aneurin Leisure venues over the Easter weekend:

 
  Good Friday

Saturday 31st March

Easter Sunday

Easter Monday

Abertillery Sports Centre

Closed

Open as normal

Gym: 8am – 4pm

Pool: 9am – 1pm

Closed

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre

Gym:

7.30am– 4pm

Pool: 10am – 3pm

Gym:

7.30am– 4pm

Pool: 10am – 3pm

Gym:

7.30am– 4pm

Pool: 10am – 3pm

Gym:

7.30am– 4pm

Pool: 10am – 3pm

Tredegar Sports Centre

Closed

Open as normal

Open as normal

Closed

Bedwellty House & Park

Open as normal

Open as normal

Open as normal

Open as normal

Learning Action Centres

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Libraries

 

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Parc Bryn Bach

 

Open as normal

Open as normal

Open as normal

Open as normal

The Met

 

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

 

For more information call:

Bedwellty House: 01495 353397

Abertillery Sports Centre: 01495 357779

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre: 01495 357777

Tredegar Sports Centre: 01495 353395

Parc Bryn Bach: 01495 355920

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Easter holidays banner

Children of all ages are in for an egg-citing time with our fantastic range of Easter holiday activities at all of our Aneurin Leisure venues this April.

Ahoy there me hearties! Join us on a magical voyage of fun and adventure to the legendary Treasure Island at The Met on Tuesday 10th April at 1.30pm. Packed full of puppets, magic, comedy, song and illusions this is a perfect treat for all the family! Tickets are £7 each – call the Box Office on 01495 355945 or book online at https://aneurinleisure.ticketsolve.com/shows

Throughout the Easter holidays our six libraries across Blaenau Gwent will be offering a range of free Easter Egg Hunts and Craft Activities. Abertillery Library will also be hosting a free Lego Club on Wednesday 4th April from 2.30pm – 3.30pm, which is suitable for children aged 6+. For more information on these activities ask at your local library or visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BlaenauGwentLibraries/

At Bedwellty House & Park We have a fun filled fortnight of activities for children of all ages, including Easter themed experiences like Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and Tea with the Easter Bunny which are available until 2nd April. Louby Lou will also be returning with her hugely popular themed Story Trails for children aged 3+ on 11 & 12 April and we’ll also have a special Mini Movers & Little Learners Messy Play session on 4 & 11 April. If you’re looking for something a bit different this Easter why not come along to one of our exciting new workshops; Lush Workshop (4 April), Mad Science Interactive Workshop (5 April), Ceramics Workshop (11 April), Nerf Wars (12 April) and CSI Kids Workshop (13 April). For more information call 01495 353370 or visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

Discover adventure at Parc Bryn Bach this Easter with our exciting range of Adventure Activities from 2nd – 13th April. Choose from a thrilling range of activities including canoeing, bush craft, climbing, archery, caving and gorge walking for an Easter break your children won’t soon forget. The activity days are suitable for ages 8 - 12 years and cost just £15 per person. For more information call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

This Easter our hugely popular Playschemes will return at all three Sports Centres offering a mix of activities including netball, football, basketball, racquet sports, inflatable fun, swimming and much more for children aged 8 – 12 years. Activity days cost just £7 per child, which includes lunch. For younger children aged 5 years and under, Abertillery Sports Centre will also be hosting two fun filled Parent & Toddler Fun Days on Thursday 5th and Monday 9th April from 10am – 12pm.

If your little one’s would like to develop their football or rugby skills this Easter, we have a great variety of Rugby and Football Camps available, including the Cardiff City FC Foundation Soccer School at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre from 11th – 13th April. For more information on any of our Easter activities please visit www.bglife.co.uk or call Abertillery on 01495 357779, Ebbw Vale on 01495 357777 and Tredegar on 01495 353395.

A full list of all our activities can be found on our Events page at https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/events/month.calendar/2018/03/27/-

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Head4Arts is hosting four family friendly Earth Hour events across the South East Wales Valleys region this year.  The events will include a mix of craft activities, storytelling and live music by starlight and lantern light – each with a local flavour.

Earth Hour is a WWF global campaign during which millions of people turn of their lights to raise awareness of climate change.  Earth Hour 2018 will take place between 8.30-9.30pm on Saturday 24th March 2018.

As Wales is celebrating the year of the sea in 2018, Head4Arts is focussing this year’s activities on the effects of climate change on our ocean environments. Each of the events will take place in the early evening and are designed to encourage families to take a lantern away to mark Earth Hour in their homes.

During the events, that are free to attend, families will have the opportunity to take part in craft activities such as lantern making and rock painting.  Entertainment will be provided by storytellers, including Louby Lou’s Interactive Storytelling in Blaenavon World Heritage Centre and Mike Church in Dowlais Community Centre.  Local group Abertillery Youth Drama And Musical Society will be performing at The Met, Abertillery and a lantern parade featuring giant sea creatures will take place in Penallta Park.

A special motion graphic film using artwork created by school children from across the region will be launched at the events.  The film will be created during a series of outreach sessions where children will work alongside professional artist and environment specialists to learn about the effects of increased water temperatures on sea creatures.

These “Under the Sea” themed events will be taking place on Saturday 24th March at the following venues:

The Met, Abertillery
5pm – 7pm

Dowlais Community Centre
5pm – 7pm
(Please note the change of venue from the one advertised in our flyer, as Dowlais Library is temporarily closed owing to problems following the recent bout of severe weather)

Blaenavon World Heritage Centre
5.30pm – 8pm

Park Penallta
7pm – 8.30pm

For more information on these events, please visit the Head4Arts website and Facebook page (www.head4arts.org.uk).  
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Aneurin Leisure Sports Awards

On Friday 16th February Bedwellty House in Tredegar played host to the Aneurin Leisure Sports Awards, a prestigious event organized by our team of Young Ambassadors to honour and celebrate the amazing work being done by individuals and sports clubs in Blaenau Gwent.

The Guest Speaker for the awards ceremony was the inspirational Darren Carew, Disability Coach for the WRU, who talked about his journey from being injured during his time in the army serving in Helmand Province, where he suffered a mild traumatic brain injury and damage to his foot and ankle that would ultimately lead to an amputation four years later, to his rehabilitation and eventual job coaching for the WRU.

Throughout the evening a variety of award presentations were made for outstanding contributions by volunteers and sports clubs, including Mark Howell who has been an active volunteer in sport in Blaenau Gwent for over twenty years, who was presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award. 
 
The evening was a resounding success, and the organising committee would like to thank all nominees, guests and VIPs for attending. Thanks also go to Bedwellty House staff for their excellent work on the night, and to Welsh Chair Cover company, DG Wedding & Events Services and sponsors of the Disability Award Arriva Trains Wales.


Full List of Award Winners:

Women and Girls Award                               Janine Price

Coach of the Year                                            Ben and Mathew Pearce

Sports Leader of the Year                             Rhys Morgan                    

Disability Coach of the Year                         Courtney Hughes            

Young Ambassador of the Year                  Jordan Harford

Sports Club of the Year                                  Abertillery Excelsiors

Outstanding Achievement Award            Mark Howell

Volunteer of the Year                                    Alex Craven


Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure said of the evening; “It is fantastic to be able to recognize the incredible work being done by people in the community to not only deliver and promote sporting activities to the residents of Blaenau Gwent, but also to inspire people of all ages to get involved in physical activity and develop a lifelong passion for it.

This event has been a huge success and I would like to congratulate and thank our Young Ambassadors for all their dedication and hard work in putting this together for us all tonight.

Alex Craven, Volunteer of the Year tweeted after the event; “Thank you to everyone who helped me through my time at Aneurin Leisure, especially Chris Garrett. Without Chris, I wouldn’t be here today! Thank you also to all the young people who let me help them and support me in everything I do.”

Top Two Inches, a Mentoring and Coaching provider who works with many of our Young Ambassadors also tweeted: “I was certainly in the right room last night surrounded by inspirational people! Brilliant to see Aneurin Leisure and Inspire Sports Development truly empowering their young people at their flagship event.”
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We are looking for crafty people to come together to make a giant gift for Man Engine, the giant miner who will be visiting Tredegar this Spring.

The Tredegar leg of the Man Engine Cymru tour will celebrate the Tredegar Workingmen’s Medical Aid Society, the fore-runner and blueprint for the National Health Service. Local Miners, Iron workers and Quarrymen clubbed together to provide medical assistance for their families. When the local MP Aneurin Bevan became Minister of Health, he used the Tredegar Workingmen’s Medical Aid Society as the inspiration for National Health Service that celebrates its 70th birthday this year.

Bevan and the NHS gave the gift of health to the nation and we will be making a symbolic gift to present to Man Engine to celebrate this anniversary year and a legacy of our industrial heritage that often goes unnoticed.

Man Engine, the huge mechanical puppet, which resembles a giant miner, is set to visit seven of south Wales’s most important industrial heritage towns for a week of celebrations from April 8-12, 2018.

On April 9th, the Man Engine will visit Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar — Parc Bryn Bach has a long and proud mining history and has now been transformed into a beautiful country park. Here the Man Engine will come face to face with Aneurin Bevan MP and the miners, colliers, quarrymen and ironworkers who clubbed together to form Tredegar Workingmens Medical Aid Society in a pageant of music, drama and culture.

Visitors will be encouraged to raise their voices in song and watch as we wake the Man Engine and watch as he transforms to his towering 11.2 metres and receives a gift of health from Nye himself.

We are looking for crafty people to come and help us make a large scale willow structure Medicine Bottle and Love Spoon. You can spend all day with us or just drop in for an hour or so at Bedwellty House in Tredegar on the 3rd & 10th March between 10:00 and 16:00.  The sessions are tailored for adults and older children who have a creative interest.

If you would like to join us at these drop in sessions please contact Bedwellty on 01495 353370 or 01495 353397 or at sarah.jacob@aneurinleisure.org.uk . Refreshments will be available from the Orchid House Tea Rooms or you can bring a packed lunch.

Cllr David Davies Executive Member for Regeneration & Economic Development said, "We want as many people as possible to be part of the Man Engine event in Blaenau Gwent and this is a great way for people who enjoy arts and crafts to get involved."

Tickets for the Man Engine visit to Parc Bryn Bach, Tredegar are available from www.themanengine.co.uk/cymru . Earlybird tickets are £3.00 for the Parc Bryn Bach event on 9th April 2018. Book today to avoid disappointment.
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Feb Half Term Banner 2018

Banish those back to school blues with our amazing range of fun and exciting activities for children of all ages this February Half Term at our Aneurin Leisure venues across Blaenau Gwent!

Throughout the Half Term week our six libraries across Blaenau Gwent will be offering a range of free art workshops and craft activities with a special Harry Potter theme for children of all ages.  Abertillery Library will also be hosting a new Lego Club on Wednesday 21st February from 2pm – 4pm, which is suitable for children aged 6+.  For more information on these activities ask at your local library or visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BlaenauGwentLibraries/

Come and join Mowgli and his friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther on a madcap adventure in a brand new musical adaptation of The Jungle Book at The Met on Tuesday 20th February at 1.30pm and 4.30pm.  Funny, exciting and wildly entertaining, this larger than life musical promises to be the perfect treat for families of all ages.  Tickets are £6.50 each – call the Box Office on 01495 355945 or book online at https://aneurinleisure.ticketsolve.com/shows

Discover adventure at Parc Bryn Bach this half term with our exciting range of Adventure Activities from 19th – 23rd February.  Each day we have a thrilling choice of activities to choose from including canoeing, bush craft, climbing, archery, caving and gorge walking.  The activity days are suitable for ages 8 - 12 years and cost just £15 per person.  For more information call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

If you’re looking for something to keep your little one’s entertained this February, Bedwellty House & Park have a wonderful range of activities for children aged 3+ that will capture their imagination; from our Pancake Day Story & Trail with Louby Lou on 13th February, a special Monster Mash themed fun day on 20th February, The Gingerbread Man Story & Trail with Louby Lou on 21st February (at Parc Bryn Bach) and our Mini Movers parent and toddler session 21st February.  For older children aged 8+ there’s also the hugely popular Nerf Wars on 22nd February and Tasty Treats Chocolate Workshops on 23rd February.  For more information call 01495 353397 or visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

If your children are excited for this year’s Six Nations, be sure to get them booked onto our Rugby Fun Days at Tredegar and Abertillery Sports Centres on 22nd February.  We’ll also have Football Camps at Abertillery and Tredegar Sports Centres on 20th February, and a Cardiff City Football Camp Ebbw Vale Sports Centre on 21st & 22nd February.  For younger children, Abertillery Sports Centre will also be hosting a fun filled Parent & Toddler Fun Day on 19th February. 

Our popular Playschemes will also run throughout the week at all three Sports Centres providing a mix of activities including netball, basketball, racquet sports and much more!  For more information visit www.bglife.co.uk or call Abertillery on 01495 357779, Ebbw Vale on 01495 357777 and Tredegar on 01495 353395.

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activate life banner


With the holiday season just a distant memory and the New Year well underway, people everywhere are focused on improving their health and well-being, with ‘lose weight’ and ‘get in shape’ topping the list of this year’s most popular New Year’s resolutions.


But if you’re one of the 88% of people who struggle to maintain their good intentions and eventually abandon their resolutions – we can help you make 2018 the year you achieve your goals!

At Aneurin Leisure we have a fantastic range of facilities and services that can help you to achieve all of your health and well-being goals for 2018; whether that’s to lose weight, get more active, improve your general health or even step up your current fitness regime.

Our three Sports Centres each have a dedicated team of qualified and enthusiastic fitness professionals and with locations at Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar, residents of Blaenau Gwent are never more than 5 miles away from getting the help and support they need to start a more healthy and active lifestyle.

With our life membership scheme starting from as little as 58p per day, customers can access over 100 Group Exercise Classes (including world class Les Mills), state of the art gyms, free weights, swimming pools, racquet sports and a health suite.

As a life member you can also access our brand new Activate Life programme which makes it even easier to track your progress and receive ongoing support from our team of fitness professionals.  Through our Taneta System we can provide an in-depth and truly personalized health and fitness consultation which records detailed statistics such as BMI, body fat, blood pressure, muscle mass, metabolic age, water weight, physique rating, bone mass plus much more.  We can then track your progress every four weeks and provide you with ongoing support on advice to help you achieve your goals.

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure said of the initiative; “At Aneurin Leisure we feel passionately about helping people to lead healthy and active lifestyles, and we want to provide as much support as we can to anyone who’s interested in taking the first steps to improve their health and well-being.” 

To start your new life journey with us simply call our Customer Advisor team on 01495 368015 or email info@aneurinleisure.org.uk

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HealthCheckHeart

If you’re looking for some tips and advice on healthy living for 2018 then pop along to your local library!

In partnership with our Inspire GP Referral team, all our Libraries throughout Blaenau Gwent are offering FREE health checks for visitors next week at a number of free drop in sessions:

  • Brynmawr Library: Monday 15th January from 10.30am – 11.30am
  • Abertillery Library: Wednesday 17th January from 11am – 12pm
  • Ebbw Vale Library: Friday 19th January from 9.30am – 10.30am
  • Cwm Library: Friday 19th January from 10am – 11am
  • Tredegar Library: Friday 19th January from 2pm – 4pm
  • Blaina Library: Friday 19th January from 2pm – 4pm
During these free sessions visitors can receive an in-depth and truly personalized health and fitness consultation, which accurately measures body composition, blood pressure, height, weight and BMI. 

Our GP Referral team can then use this information to provide helpful advice and tips on how they can improve their health and well-being and even identify and set wellness goals.

In addition to these free health check sessions, both Ebbw Vale and Tredegar Libraries will also be hosting mood boosting free complimentary health taster sessions on Monday 15th January, a day that has been dubbed ‘Blue Monday’ for being the most depressing day of the year.

  • Tredegar Library: Monday 15th January from 9.30am – 12.30pm (Call 01495 357869 for more info)
  • Ebbw Vale Library: Monday 15th January from 2pm – 5pm (Call 01495 355055 for more info)
Visitors to the library on these days can access free taster sessions with a qualified complementary therapist ranging from a desk back massage, Indian head massage, facial reflexology and foot reflexology.  Sessions are free but it is advisable to book in advance as places are limited.

For more information on any of these sessions contact your local library:

Abertillery 01495 355646 • Blaina 01495 290312 • Brynmawr 01495 357743 • Cwm 01495 370454 •
Ebbw Vale 01495 355055 • Tredegar 01495 357869
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Sport Awards Poster

Next month we'll be hosting the first annual Aneurin Leisure Sports Awards of the Year at Bedwellty House & Park in Tredegar to recognise the fantastic work individuals and sports clubs do to promote and deliver sport to the people of Blaenau Gwent.

Do you know an individual or sports club that could be nominated for one of the following categories?

Outstanding Achievement Award

This for an individual who has demonstrated great enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to making a significant impact on the provision of sport within their community.

Club of the Year

This award recognises the work that clubs within the community are doing to provide opportunities and provision of sport for everyone.

To download a nomination form click here.

All nominations should be for achievements between 1st January – 31st December 2017.

For more information contact Neil Vincent on 01495 354716 or email neil.vincent@aneurinleisure.org.uk

The Closing date for nominations is Monday 29th January 2018.
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Join us at Bedwellty House & Park on Thursday 22nd March for a special evening with two of Welsh Rugby’s finest; Shane Williams and Ryan Jones, as they share their stories of life both on and off the pitch with host, former Ospreys Coach and TV and Radio rugby expert, Sean Holley.

Guests will be treated to a red carpet arrival and welcome drinks at the iconic Grade II listed venue before sitting down to enjoy a sumptuous three course meal.  After dinner, experienced television and radio presenter Sean Holley will introduce the evening’s special guests, and take the audience in a journey into the professional world of Welsh rugby.

Shane Williams MBE had a long and successful tenure as a wing for the Ospreys and the Wales national team. He is the record try scorer for Wales, scoring 58 tries in 87 appearances between 2000 and 2011 and is Wales' most capped winger.  Following his retirement from international rugby in 2012, Shane has worked as a presenter on S4C's Six Nations rugby programme Y Clwb Rygbi Rhyngwladol, and as a pundit on BBC and ITV broadcasts as well as third party shows such as "Inside Welsh Rugby", commenting on the grassroots of Welsh rugby.

Ryan Jones is one of an elite band of players to have won three Grand Slams with Wales and also played an integral role in his country's retention of the RBS 6 Nations title in 2013.  He captained Wales in 2008, leading his team to a second Grand Slam in four years, and held the record as Wales most capped captain.  In 2016 Ryan joined the WRU executive board as Head of Rugby Participation with a remit to get more people across Wales engaged more often with rugby at all levels and in all its forms.  In doing so he represents more than 300 clubs across Wales and provides them with a voice at rugby’s top table.

Sean Holley coached rugby an the elite level for over 20 years, coaching both Ryan and Shane for many years at the Ospreys, before taking on freelance roles in the business, media and sport sectors.  Sean is currently a BBC Wales Rugby Expert working in TV and radio providing analysis, commentary & punditry, he also works on BT Sport Rugby programmes.   He hosts the Sony Award Winning weekly 'Rugby Nation Radio Show' across Nation Broadcasting stations and currently writes a monthly column in the World's biggest selling rugby publication - Rugby World, entitled 'The Analyst'.

Don’t miss your opportunity to hear from these giants of Welsh Rugby, book your tickets today for An Evening with Rugby’s Finest Shane Williams and Ryan Jones hosted by Sean Holley at Bedwellty House and Park, Tredegar on Thursday 22nd March 2018

Tickets are priced at £50 and will include a welcome drink on arrival and a 3 course meal.  Call the Box Office on 01495 355945 or book online at https://aneurinleisure.ticketsolve.com/shows
 
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community

Are you interested in becoming a Community Health Champion?

All too often we find that community members who would like to make improvements to their health and wellbeing don’t know where to start, so we’re looking to recruit Community Health Champions who can help us in our aim to improve community life for people throughout Blaenau Gwent.

Aneurin Leisure offers a varied range of services from Sports Centres and Libraries to Adult Community Learning and Country Parks, all of which can help to improve an individual’s health and wellbeing.

Who can be a Community Champion?

·         Any Aneurin Leisure supporter

·         Anyone interested in promoting healthy lifestyles within their community

·         Anyone who wants to learn more about health


What does the Aneurin Leisure Community Champion Programme offer me?

·         Access to selected training opportunities within Aneurin Leisure

·         Learn more about health issues and Aneurin Leisure services

·         Meet new people

·         Have the right information to help you and others take steps to lead healthier lives

·         Discount on a selected range of Aneurin Leisure products

·         Opportunity to shape Aneurin Leisure services

·         Access to a social media support network


What is expected from me when I become a Community Champion?

·         Be an advocate for all Aneurin Leisure services

·         Attend events when required

·         Raise awareness of health and wellbeing within your community


Applications to become an Aneurin Leisure Community Health Champion should be submitted by Friday 22nd December.

If you’d like to know more about our Community Health Champion Programme or would like to get involved, contact Victoria Price on 01495 354716 or email victoria.price@aneurinleisure.org.uk

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Jeffrey NERS

Jeffrey was signposted to the National Exercise Referral Programme from the X-Pert Diabetes programme in September 2016, hoping to improve his health and reduce the risk of becoming a Type 2 diabetic.

After a 16 week programme of regular exercise as well as information and support from the NERS team, Jeffrey has made huge improvements to his health.

Jeffrey said of his experience; “Since completing both the X-Pert Diabetes programme and NERS, I have reduced my weight by 20kg and 7 inches from my waist.  I am no longer in danger of becoming a Type 2 diabetic and my BMI is now 25! 

This has improved all aspects of my health and wellbeing, which in turn has given me greater energy and stamina for my past times, golf and rambling.

I can’t thank the staff who helped me in these programmes enough as it changed my life.”

If you'd like to know more about the National Exercise Referral Scheme call our Customer Advisor Team on 01495 368015.

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Adventures in Wonderland Blog Banner
 
The last few months have seen curious Alice in Wonderland themed activities springing up all over Blaenau Gwent, as the Libraries Service have tumbled down the rabbit hole for a special ‘Adventures in Wonderland’ literary project.

'Adventures in Wonderland' is an exciting new library based project which for the first time combines reading, discussion and social media, all based around Lewis Caroll's famous story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The project uses a free app called 'TwLetteratura', which enables the participants to read chapters of the book across the same time period, and share their comments via a twitter based feature.  The comments can then be viewed, liked and replied to by other participants using the app.

The Libraries Service in Blaenau Gwent has worked with a range of partners, including Literature Wales, Arts Council of Wales, Cardiff University and Head4Arts to deliver this new, exciting project. 

A range of promotional activities have also been held across all our libraries, including Dementia Friendly events, coffee mornings, reading groups and children's art and craft sessions, all on the theme of Alice in Wonderland.

An end of project celebration event is being held at Abertillery Library on Monday 13th November from 3pm - 5pm which is suitable for all ages and open to everyone.  The free event will be a showcase of people's experiences and the work they produced, and also provide a variety of fun activities including face-painting, arts and crafts, storytelling and printing.  Free refreshments will also be available.

Tracy Jones, Library Services Manager said: “During the last couple of months all our libraries have held a range of workshops and events promoting our new 'Adventures in Wonderland' reading scheme. The project has enabled the service to engage with families in new, innovative ways using Alice in Wonderland themed events.   The TwLetteratura app has also been a great feature of the project - enabling people from all over Blaenau Gwent to connect and share their thoughts and comments with each on the book they’ve all been reading, whether it’s from the comfort of their own home, or at one of our group sessions.”
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Halloween-Header
 
There’s lots of spooky goings on at our Aneurin Leisure venues this October Half Term as we launch into a week full of fun filled activities for children of all ages across Blaenau Gwent!
 
Whether you’d like to enjoy a spooky children’s show, get creative with some craft activities, find your next adventure or get active with a range of sporty themed sessions – we have something for everyone at Aneurin Leisure!
 
Join us at The Met on Monday 30th October at 2pm for the spookiest trick or treat show ever as we venture into Crafty’s Creepy Castle!  This family show is full of popular children’s songs and spooky goings on - come in your scariest costume and join the adventure to find the hidden treasure, then meet Crafty afterwards to receive a special Trick or Treat present!  Tickets are £8.50 Adult / £6.50 Child / £25 Family.  Call the Box Office on 01495 355945 or book online at https://aneurinleisure.ticketsolve.com/shows
 
Get ready for Halloween at one of our themed Craft Workshops at Parc Bryn Bach on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th from 10am – 4pm where we’ll be making spooky lanterns and masks!  For the young thrill seekers out there we’ll also have an exciting range of Adventure Activities including canoeing, bush craft, climbing, archery, caving and gorge walking.  The activity days are suitable for ages 8 - 12 years and cost just £15 per person.  For more information call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk
 
There’s lots of spooky fun on offer for your little one’s at Bedwellty House and Park this Half Term, ranging from our Spooky Trails and Tales with Louby Lou on Tuesday 31st October to our Halloween themed Mini Movers Messy Play for parents and toddlers on Wednesday 1st November.  For the older children (ages 7+) we also have two fun workshops on Thursday 2nd November where they can make their own Flights, Kites & Rockets or build their own Fairy or Pixie Garden.  Call us on 01495 353397 or visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk
 
If you’re looking for something a little sporty to keep your children entertained, our three Sports Centres have a fantastic range of activities on offer for children of all ages, ranging from Football and Netball Camps to our Playcscheme Days.  Each Sports Centre also has a variety of fun Halloween themed activities including; an Inflatable Fun Friday with A1 Jump and Bounce at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre on Friday 27th October, an Under 10’s Halloween Party at Abertillery Sports Centre on Monday 30th October and an Aqua Halloween Party at Tredegar Sports Centre on Friday 3rd November.  For more information visit www.bglife.co.uk or call Abertillery on 01495 357779, Ebbw Vale on 01495 357777 and Tredegar on 01495 355958.
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BG in Bloom Web Banner

 

We are thrilled to announce that Bedwellty House and Park in Tredegar has won First Place in the Community Group Category Award at this year’s annual Blaenau Gwent in Bloom competition.

The prestigious award was granted in recognition of two particular areas of the park; the Circular Garden at the front of the House and the Kitchen Garden, which provides a variety of homegrown vegetables and fruit to our onsite Orchid House Tea Room for use in their meals and snacks.

The beautiful parkland surrounding Bedwellty House is looked after by a team of Aneurin Leisure Grounds Maintenance staff and dedicated volunteers from the community, who work together each day to ensure the park and its various flower beds and borders are maintained to a high standard and flourish throughout the year.

The award has particular significance this year as the park and Kitchen Garden have sadly been the victim of regular attacks of vandalism throughout the summer, which has seen the greenhouses, shed and plants damaged.  Despite the heartbreaking losses, the team of gardeners have persevered and doubled their efforts to re-plant the garden and repair the damage left behind.

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure, the charitable Trust that runs Bedwellty House & Park said of the award; “We at Aneurin Leisure are very proud of the team at Bedwellty House and Park for all their amazing efforts this year which has resulted in the park gaining recognition and winning this prestigious award from Blaenau Gwent in Bloom.

I would like to thank the organisers and judges from Blaenau Gwent in Bloom for considering our venue and for the high praise they’ve given us.

I would also like to take the opportunity to say a special thank you to all the staff and community volunteers at Bedwellty House for their tireless efforts to keep the park looking beautiful throughout the year for our visitors, and commend them for the commitment and determination they showed when much of their hard work was destroyed by vandalism during the summer.”

Pictured above is Clive Sainsbury from our Grounds Maintenance team and his brother Robert, who volunteers as a gardener at Bedwellty Park, holding the Blaenau Gwent in Bloom awards in the Kitchen Garden at Bedwellty Park.

Also pictured is Keith Thomas, from our grounds Maintenance team accepting the Blaenau Gwent in Bloom Award at the awards evening in the General Offices in Ebbw Vale.

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rocket girl website bannerv2

Libraries across Wales will be coming alive this October and putting on a show for everyone to see as they promote Libraries Week 2017 from 9th – 14th October.  

Libraries Week is the annual showcase of all the creative, innovative and diverse activities that libraries have to offer and this year people are being encouraged to visit their local library and discover the various activities they have to offer including free computer usage, online resources and even a space to relax with a coffee.

Across our six libraries in Blaenau Gwent we will have a busy programme of events for people of all ages and interests throughout Libraries Week, ranging from free digital sessions and surgeries to local history workshops, crafts activities and a special Winnie the Pooh Dementia Friendly Day at Blaina Library.

We will also be promoting our range of free online resources such as e-books, magazines and comics, all of which can be accessed through your library membership.

One of the supporters of Libraries Week is award winning author Giancarlo Gemin who will be delivering school workshops in Blaenau Gwent and Cardiff libraries, discussing his Valleys based book, Sweet Pizza: “I think libraries are wonderful locations and often undervalued. There are so many activities organised by libraries throughout the year but Libraries Week is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on what they have to offer. This year’s theme is “Discover Something New” and I would encourage anyone to pop along to their local library and I guarantee you will find something you never knew was offered within its walls.” 

Abertillery Library

Tuesday 10th October
·         Work Club 9.30am - 12.00pm
·         Shelter Cymru drop in session 9.30am -12pm
·         Citizens Advice drop in 2pm - 4.30pm

Wednesday 11th October
·         Work Club 9.30am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
·         Stop Smoking Wales 9.30am - 12.30pm

Thursday 12th October
·         Work Club 9.30am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
·         Family History Research 9.30am - 11.30am

Friday 13th October
·         Alun Davies AM Surgery 11am – 12pm

Call us on 01495 355646 for more information

Blaina Library

Monday 9th October
·         Police Surgery 2pm - 3pm
·         Digital Drop In Session with Age Cymru 10am - 1pm
·         Local History Research Open Day 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5.30pm

Thursday 12th October
·         Language Lambs - Under 5's French Storytime and Activity 10am - 11.30
·         Knit and Natter 1pm - 3pm
·         Getting Started Job Club 10am - 1pm

Friday 13th October
·         Aberystruth Historical Society Archaeology Open Day 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5.30pm
·         Welsh For Beginners 3.30pm - 5pm
·         'Winnie the Pooh Dementia Friendly Day' - Come and celebrate with tea and honey, - activities and reminiscence on the theme of Winnie the Pooh
·         Health Checks 2pm - 3pm

Call us on 01495 290312 for more information

Brynmawr Library

Tuesday 10th October
·         Workclub with 'Getting Started Project' 10am - 12.30pm

Wednesday 11th October
·         Workclub with Bridges into Work 10am - 12.30pm

Thursday 12th October
·         Communties4work 2pm - 4pm

Friday 13th October
·         Digital Drop-in (learn how to access e-books and other on-line resources) 10am - 12.30pm

Call us on 01495 357743 for more information

Cwm Library

Wednesday 11th October
·         Computers Don't Bite 1pm - 3pm

Friday 13th October
·         Jobclub 10am - 12pm
·         Local History Research Session 2pm - 4pm

Call us on 01495 370454 for more information

Ebbw Vale Library

Monday 9th October
·         Get Blaenau Gwent On-line 9.30am - 1pm and 1.30pm - 4.30pm

Tuesday 10th October
·         Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Drop-in Session 2pm - 4pm
·         Communities First Work Club 10am - 12pm
·         U3A Reading Group 10.30am - 11.30am
·         Ebbw Vale Library Reading Group 2.30pm - 3.30pm
·         Digital Drop-in (Saving money-online and financial literacy) 10.30am - 2.30pm

Thursday 12th October
·         Toddler Group 11am - 12pm

Friday 13th October
·         Knit and Natter 10am - 12pm
·         Bridges Into Work Job Club 10am - 12pm
·         Blaenau Gwent Effect Business Support Drop-in Session 10am - 12pm
·         Get Blaenau Gwent On-line 9.30am - 12pm

Call us on 01495 355055 for more information

Tredegar Library

Monday 9th October
·         Job Club with Getting Started Project 10am - 12pm
·         Computer Class 10am - 12pm and 1pm - 3pm
·         Improve your English Skills Class 9.30am - 11.30am
·         Improve your Maths 12pm - 2pm
·         Decoupage Art Class 2pm - 4pm
·         Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Drop-in 10am - 12pm

Tuesday 10th October
·         Job Club with Communities First 10am - 12pm
·         Singalong with Goldies Cymru 12pm - 1pm (£2.00 per session)
·         Gentle Exercise Class 12.45pm - 1.45pm (£3.00 per session)
·         Get Blaenau Gwent On-line 2pm - 4pm

Wednesday 11th October
·         Job Club with Communities First 10am -12pm
·         Knit and Natter 10.30am - 12.30pm
·         Baby Massage 10am - 11am
·         Computer Class 10-12pm
·         Local History Archive Group 2pm - 4pm
·         Parchment Craft 2pm - 4pm

Friday 13th October
·         World War 1 Research Group 10am - 1pm

Call us on 01495 357869 for more information

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MOT-DayWeb-2000x900px-WF

During September we’re offering a range of free health checks at a number of our Aneurin Leisure venues across Blaenau Gwent, to help people get an idea of their current health status and offer some help and advice on how they can improve their general health and well-being.


On Monday 11th September each of our Sports Centres at Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar are hosting a Free MOT Day from 10am – 12pm and 5pm – 7pm.  During these free sessions visitors can receive an in-depth and truly personalized health and fitness consultation through our new Tanita systems, which accurately measures body composition, blood pressure, height, weight and BMI. 

Our trained fitness professionals can then use this information to provide helpful advice and support on how they can improve their health and well-being and even identify and set wellness goals.

Each of our six libraries across Blaenau Gwent will also be offering visitors Free Health Checks from 8th – 15th September:

  • Ebbw Vale Library: Friday 8th September from 9.30am – 10.30am
  • Brynmawr Library: Monday 11th September from 10.30am – 11.30am
  • Abertillery Library: Wednesday 13th September from 11am – 12pm
  • Cwm Library: Friday 15th September from 10am – 11am
  • Tredegar Library: Friday 15th September from 2pm – 3pm
  • Blaina Library: Friday 15th September from 2pm – 3pm
Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure said of the initiatives; “At Aneurin Leisure we feel passionately about helping people to lead healthy and active lifestyles, and we want to provide as much support as we can to anyone who’s interested in taking the first steps to improve their health and well-being, which is why we’ve planned a series of free health checks at a variety of our venues around Blaenau Gwent. 

We’d like to encourage people of all ages to take advantage of these sessions, whether they’d just like to check how they’re doing or get some advice on how to make some health and fitness improvements, to pop along to their local library or sports centre and have a chat with our qualified staff.”

For more information on any of these sessions call our Customer Advisor Team on 01495 355958.
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BeekeepingBanner

This summer has seen some very important changes to the ecosystem at Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar, as staff have worked with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Biodiversity team on a variety of projects designed to improve the park’s biodiversity, the latest phase of which is designed to help the country’s declining bee populations.

Over the last couple of months, two top-bar bee hives have been installed on one of the islands at the centre of Parc Bryn Bach’s 36 acre freshwater lake, to help increase the number of pollinators.  Top bar hives are a more natural and sustainable way of bee keeping, allowing the bees to build their combs natural within the hive.  

Grounds staff from Parc Bryn Bach first began their preparation for the project in April 2017, receiving training and learning about sustainable top bar hive bee keeping and the importance of pollinators at an allotment in Abertillery.

A bee colony was then purchased from a bee keeper in Abergavenny and the bees were installed into their new home at the end of June 2017.  We’re happy to report that the bees are currently building comb, raising brood and storing honey to see them through the winter.

Contact has also been made with other local bee keepers within Blaenau Gwent which will help to locate and catch wild swarms to install into the second hive.  At the beginning of August, a swarm that had previously made its home in a compost bin on an allotment in Cwmtillery, was successfully removed and rehomed in the second hive at Parc Bryn Bach.

The ongoing biodiversity project at Parc Bryn Bach has been funded by the Postcode Lottery, and has also included the installation of a variety of bird and bat boxes throughout the park, the planting of native tree species and sowing of wildflower mixes which will create vital foraging opportunities for the new bee colonies.

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure, the charitable Trust that manages Parc Bryn Bach said; “We’re very grateful to the Biodiversity Team at Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and the local community of bee keepers for all the help and support they’ve given us to make these improvements, which we hope will enhance the biodiversity and sustainability at the park for years to come.  We’d also like to thank Groundwork Wales for their invaluable support and the Postcode Lottery for their funding which has made all this possible.”

Nadine Morgan, Biodiversity Officer for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council added: “It’s been a fantastic opportunity to work with all the staff at Parc Bryn Bach to be able to install bee hives on the island. Our main aim is to help increase the number of pollinators which is vital for biodiversity and to create a sustainable future.  We endeavour to protect and enhance the natural environment not only for biodiversity but also for future generations to enjoy.”

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gcse 2017

Aneurin Leisure’s Adult Community Learning is celebrating record success this year in their GCSE English and Maths results. 

In a record year, 100% of learners achieved grades A - D in their English GCSE, 100% of learners achieved grades A - C in their Maths Higher Level GCSE, and 100% achieved grades A - D in their Maths Intermediate Level GCSE.

These amazing results illustrate how learners of all ages can have a second chance to improve their qualifications by accessing GCSE English and Maths courses at their local Learning Action Centres in Blaenau Gwent, enabling them to achieve their ambitions and improve their future career prospects.

Many of the learners collected their results from Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre early on Thursday 24th August including the two learners pictured above; Euan Knowles, aged 20 from Brynmawr who achieved an A in English and a B in Maths and Kimberley Badham, aged 22 from Tredegar, who achieved a B in Maths.

Euan Knowles, said of his results; “I couldn’t be happier with my results, massive thanks to my tutors Clare and Ian for all their support.”

Ceri Waters Partnerships, Funding and Contracts Manager at Aneurin Leisure said:  “Huge congratulations to all our learners and their tutors on these excellent results.  The commitment from the learners this year has been tremendous, with many attending evening classes whilst in full-time employment.  We are extremely proud of all our learners and wish them every success for the future.”

If you would like more information on the new range of courses available this September in Adult Community Learning, please visit http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/community-education  or telephone 01495 355300.

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bank holiday clouds

 

Here are our Summer Bank Holiday opening times for all our Aneurin Leisure Venues:


Venue

Sunday 27th August

Monday 28th August

Abertillery Sports Centre

Swimming

Adults Only 8.15am – 9am

Public 9am – 1pm

Swimming Lessons

8.30am – 9.30am

1pm – 4pm

Gym

8.30am – 6.15pm

Closed

Bedwellty House & Park

Open as normal

Open as normal

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre

Open as normal

Gym

8am – 4pm

Swimming Pool

10am – 3pm

Health Suite

8am – 3.30pm

Outdoor Pitches

8am – 4pm

Fitness Classes

Only virtual classes will be running today

Learning Action Centres

Closed

Closed

Libraries

Closed

Closed

Parc Bryn Bach

Open as normal

Open as normal

The Met

Closed

Closed

Tredegar Sports Centre

Open as normal

Closed

All our venues will be open as normal from Tuesday 29th August 2017

For more information contact:

Abertillery Sports Centre: 01495 357779                 Bedwellty House & Park: 01495 353379

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre: 01495 357777                 Parc Bryn Bach: 01495 355920

Tredegar Sports Centre: 01495 353395                    

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Alice in Wonderland Art Workshop Tredegar

Last week saw children and parents alike letting their creativity fly with two free Alice in Wonderland themed art workshops at our Libraries in Abertillery and Tredegar.

Over 35 children of all ages and their parents attended the free workshops organised by Blaenau Gwent Libraries, which featured the creative talents of Newport based freelance artist, Andy O’Rourke.

The sessions focussed on the famous Lewis Carroll story, Alice in Wonderland, with Andy O’Rourke teaching the children how to draw a variety of the characters, while Donna Hardman, our Libraries Development Officer read stories to the budding artists.

The sessions proved to be hugely popular with all the participants, generating lots of positive feedback, including:

“I had a fantastic time, I'm really proud of my drawings!” - Abbie, aged 8

“It's great to have a free event, which encourages reading too!” - Parent

Andy O’Rourke said of the workshops; "We had two great sessions. In the morning 23 children produced beautiful dynamic illustrations full of colour and life. In the afternoon it seemed like it was mainly the adults who wanted to play and leaped at the chance to reawaken their artistic talents. They produced some beautiful and unique illustrations brimming with character."

Tracy Jones, Library Services Manager added: “During the summer holidays all our libraries have held a range of workshops and events promoting our new 'Adventures in Wonderland' reading scheme. The project has enabled the service to engage with families in new, innovative ways using Alice in Wonderland themed events.  It is proving to be a great way to encourage children to use libraries, with sessions being exciting, fun and fostering creativity!  Families have really appreciated having free events in their local libraries, which also help to keep children reading throughout the summer.”

For more information on our six libraries located across Blaenau Gwent and the varied services they offer please visit http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries

Alice in Wonderland Workshop Abertillery

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Adam Walker Training Session

This month saw world renowned British swimmer Adam Walker, hold a very special open water training session at Parc Bryn Bach where he shared insights on his revolutionary new Ocean Walker swimming stroke technique with ten eager participants.
 
Adam is the first British person to swim the ‘Oceans 7’, an incredible feat that consists of swimming the world’s seven toughest sea channels, an accomplishment made all the more impressive by the fact that he is only the fifth person in the world to complete the challenge, and only the second in history to do it on his first attempt.
 
It was during this challenge that Adam became injured and was advised not to swim anymore, but determined to succeed he set about finding a better way of swimming, which would enable him to carry on, and the Ocean Walker Technique was born.
 
Adam now runs his own Ocean Walker business with his girlfriend Gemma, coaching swimmers to help improve their stroke technique and giving them solid advice based on his own experiences.
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Participatory Arts blog
 
The Arts Service are pleased to have successfully completed the second strand of our Arts Participatory Delivery Programme which is funded by Arts Council of Wales.  
 
The Musical Theatre & Dance Summer Schools took place at the beginning of the summer holidays and were both very well attended by young people aged 6-18yrs.

The Musical Theatre Summer School participants thoroughly enjoyed a fun filled 2 weeks learning a whole new stage-show, new songs, choreography, developed acting skills and increased stage confidence.  The 10 days resulted in a fantastic performance of the hit stage show Loserville to a full audience on the final night of the summer school. 

Both Senior & Junior Dance Summer School participants learned new dance technique and choreography together with the creation of a new dance piece.  The week resulted in a stage performance allowing the dancers to show off their skills.

As a result, both projects fully enabled participants to work with professional Drama and Dance tutors, engage, develop and strengthen skills which is essential in the growth, artistic development and accessibility to arts across Blaenau Gwent.

"I really enjoyed the summer school and can't wait to take part in future productions" - Ethan Pascoe

"Well organised and incredibly enjoyable" - Beth Tidey

"I enjoyed the challenge of putting on a new stage  show in 10days" - Rebecca Baker
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Parc Bryn Bach 3

Keep Wales Tidy has unveiled this year’s Green Flag Award winners and we’re thrilled to announce that Parc Bryn Bach has won an award for the second consecutive year. 

In total, 183 parks and green spaces in Wales have met the high standard needed to receive the coveted Green Flag Award or the Green Flag Community Award, which is the international mark of a quality park or green space.

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure, the Trust that runs Parc Bryn Bach said; “We at Aneurin Leisure are extremely proud to earn the right to fly the prestigious Green Flag at our venue at Parc Bryn Bach.  The award means a great deal to us as it not only recognises the quality of our excellent facilities, but also our commitment to delivering great quality green spaces for our visitors.”

The Green Flag Award scheme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity, Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government. It is judged by green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, environmental management and community involvement.

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said:“The Green Flag Award is all about connecting people with the very best parks and green spaces. Keep Wales Tidy is proud to run the scheme in Wales because we know having a good quality environment can have a big impact on our communities, health and well-being, and economy.

“I’d like to congratulate Aneurin Leisure and thank everyone who works tirelessly to maintain the standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. I’d encourage everyone to get outdoors and explore the diverse range of fantastic facilities we have on our doorstep.”

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This summer Blaenau Gwent Libraries and The Reading Agency are inviting children aged 4 – 11 years to join the Summer Reading Challenge and embark on a literary adventure with the Animal Agents!

Each year the challenge has a different theme designed to capture the children's imagination,  this year it’s Animal Agents, based on a detective agency staffed by all kinds of clever animals – furry, scaly and slippery – who are out to crack a case at the library with a little help from their friends.

Tony Ross, the UK’s best-selling children’s illustrator (creator of the Little Princess books, illustrator of the Horrid Henry series by Francesca Simon, and of books by David Walliams and Claire Balding), has created this year’s exclusive artwork. 


To take part in Animal Agents, all children need to do is to head to their local library where they will be given a collector folder to keep a record of their reading journey.  As children read at least six library books over the summer, they collect stickers which will help them crack the clues and help the Animal Agents find out what's really been going on behind the scenes!

There’s a whole programme of events and activities planned at our libraries for families over the summer to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge, including a variety of free arts and crafts activities, treasure hunts and storytelling sessions.

Sue Wilkinson, CEO, The Reading Agency, said: At The Reading Agency, we believe that everything changes when we read and we know from our research how much fun families and children have when taking part in the Challenge. This year we hope the wonderful characters created for us by Tony Ross will inspire more children than ever to take part and make use of their local library throughout the summer and beyond."

Ceri Waters, Partnerships Manager for Aneurin Leisure added: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a great initiative and Blaenau Gwent Libraries are thrilled to be part of it again this year.  The challenge has always been very popular in our libraries and not only does it encourage children to develop a love of reading, but it also enables them to continue their reading development throughout the Summer holidays, a time when children’s literacy traditionally slips, ensuring that they return to school in September as more fluent and confident readers.”

To find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge call in to your local library or visit https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/

For more information on our six libraries located across Blaenau Gwent and the varied services they offer please visit our website at http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries

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We’ve got lots of great activities for children of all ages at our Aneurin Leisure venues throughout the summer holidays; whether you’d like to get creative with some messy play and storytelling, find your next adventure or get active with a range of sports – we have something for everyone!

Something mysterious is stirring in the grounds at Bedwellty House & Park this summer… join us for the Great Victorian Dinosaur Hunt on Sunday 30th July at 11am and 2.30pm.  If dinosaurs aren’t your thing, we also have lots of fun and interactive storytelling sessions with Louby Lou, Lush Workshops where participants can make their very own bath bombs and bubble bars, a day of FREE activities for National Play Day on 2nd August, Simon Sparkles Magic Show on 11th August and Pirate Pandemonium and Princess Pampering on 22nd and 24th August.  For more information on any of our activities, visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk or call 01495 353397.

Throughout the school holidays our libraries are inviting children aged 4-11 years to join this year’s Summer Reading Challenge and read six library books, participating in events and collecting a fun range of stickers as they go.  There’s also a selection of free storytelling sessions and Alice in Wonderland themed crafts to enjoy throughout August.  For more information ask at your local library.

For the young adventure seekers out there Parc Bryn Bach will be hosting an exciting range of Adventure Activities throughout the summer holidays; including canoeing, bush craft, climbing, archery, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, caving, laser tag and gorge walking.  The activity days are suitable for ages 8 - 12 years and cost just £15 per person, which includes expert tuition from our qualified instructors, return transport to activity sites and all equipment.  For more information call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

If you’re looking for something a little sporty this summer, our three Sports Centres have a fantastic range of activities on offer for children of all ages, including football and netball camps, Play Scheme days, roller discos plus much more.  For more information visit www.bglife.co.uk or call Abertillery on 01495 357779, Ebbw Vale on 01495 357777 and Tredegar on 01495 355958.

Cardiff City Football Club Foundation returns to Ebbw Vale Sports Centre this summer with a two day Soccer School on 9th and 10th August and a three day Soccer School which includes a stadium tour from 21st – 23rd August.  For more information on these schools or to book online visit www.cardiffcityfoundation.org.uk

This year we’ve also launched two brand new summer fitness initiatives for young people at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre; our Fighting Fit Training Camp for ages 11 – 15 provides an innovative range of training techniques with instructors from Tillery Combat MMA Academy, and on Friday 1st September young people aged 11-16 years have the opportunity to enter our Junior Try-A-Tri triathlon, with training sessions taking place throughout August in the lead up to the event.  Cal 01495 357777 for more information.

For more information on any of these events and activities take a look at our Events Calendar at http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/events/month.calendar/2017/07/27/-

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Last week saw Blaina Library launch Round 2 of the exciting new 'Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ reading initiative.

This new social reading project is based around Lewis Carroll's famous story and combines reading, discussion and social media using the fun and engaging Betwyll app (free to download from Google Play and iTunes).

Participants are encouraged to read the story on the Betwyll app and then comment on the text as they go; joining discussions and engaging with other people who are reading the same book.

The project is suitable for all ages, including families and individuals and offers a great opportunity to link with other readers from the comfort of your own home.

Our Libraries Service is working in partnership with a range of organisations to deliver this unique project, including Head4Arts, Literature Wales, Cardiff University and the Arts Council of Wales, which contributes to the health and wellbeing of targeted communities, through increasing social activities in libraries and stimulating peoples' imagination.

To find out more about the project, ask at your local library or email Head 4 Arts at info@head4arts.org.uk
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Insport event
Disability Sport Wales in conjunction with Active Gwent ran a Multi-sport inclusive event at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre on Sunday 25th June, which saw over fifty families trying a number of sports designed to be inclusive and run by local clubs.


The popular event provided a great opportunity for disabled children and young adults to experience different sports with their families that may not usually be available to them including; football, rugby, shooting, pickle ball, boccia, table tennis, badminton and wheelchair basketball plus a swimming taster session with the Otters Disability Swimming Club based at Tredegar Sports Centre.

Chris Garrett, Inspire - Sport Development Officer (Disability) said of the day; "Our Inspire Sports Development Team and volunteers support a range of local clubs within Blaenau Gwent to promote and encourage children to try new and different sports with great success, and it was great to see that all the clubs involved in the day received lots of interest from participants, which will hopefully enable them to increase their future engagement levels."


Logan Shape from Ebbw Vale added; “It was great to play all the different sports with my brother and sister and I enjoyed the shooting and swimming”

For more information on our Inspire Sports Development Team and they work they do in the community, visis their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bginspire/ or call 01495 354716.


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EVLAC health wellbeing 2017

On Friday 23rd June Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre hosted a very successful Health and Wellbeing event which received lots of positive feedback from everyone who attended.

The event was funded by The Work and Skills Institute, as part of the Festival of Learning campaign and offered members of the community free taster sessions in using iPads, first aid, yoga and relaxation and ballroom dance lessons.  Visitors also got the chance to find out more about the clubs and new range of Courses for Adults that are on offer at our Learning Action Centres and Libraries.

Attendees also enjoyed free refreshments, gelish nail treatments, aromatherapy, Indian Head Massage and reflexology as well as entertainment from the Goldies sing-along and live music from the Rhythm and Ukes band.

Throughout the day delicious fruit kebabs and cakes were on sale to help raise funds for the Hospice of the Valleys and £70 was also raised in the raffle with prizes kindly donated from students and staff.

Feedback from members of the community included:

“A most enjoyable four hours—I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

“Such an uplifting atmosphere as soon as we walked through the door”.

“A diverse range of ages all joining together in such a happy and enjoyable environment, loved it!”

To find out more about Adult Community Learning in Blaenau Gwent or to download a copy of our latest Courses for Adults brochure visit http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/community-education
 
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What is Drowning Prevention Week?

Drowning Prevention Week is the campaign of the Royal Life Saving Society UK, the drowning prevention charity.

By spreading water safety advice far and wide, Drowning Prevention Week aims to teach people how to stay safe in and around water. The Campaign also helps the charity to raise valuable funds for their vital drowning prevention activity and to support those affected by drowning.

Why Is It Important?

Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and hundreds more suffer life changing injuries through near drowning.

More people die from drowning in the UK than from domestic fires or road cycling accidents.

What Can You Do?

·         Keep your family safe by making sure your children learn to swim as soon as they are able to, and that they also learn essential survival and self-rescue skills in a programme such as the Rookie Lifeguard Programme.

·         Always take your family swimming where there are lifeguards, and remember there is no better supervision than the constant supervision of a parent or guardian (lifeguards have lots of people to watch, you can keep a much closer eye on your family)

*Information provided by the Royal Life Saving Society website*

It’s Never Too Late To Learn How To Swim!

At Aneurin Leisure we provide a range of swimming lessons for people of all ages and abilities.  Our Aqua Pathway swim school is a seamless journey from a baby’s first experience in the water with an adult, to children who are competent swimmers, confident and skilled enough to continue with aquatic activities for the rest of their lives.  Our Aqua Skills sessions also provide the opportunity to learn a variety of life saving techniques.

If you’re an adult looking to learn to swim, improve your skills or build up your confidence to get back in the water, our dedicated team of professional teachers can tailor lessons around you to achieve your specific goal.

For more information call our Customer Advisor Team on 01495 355958.

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Blaenau Gwent Libraries are celebrating this year’s Festival of Learning (previously known as Adult Learners Week) with a selection of FREE digital learning sessions at all six of our Blaenau Gwent based Libraries next week.

The Festival of Learning is the biggest celebration of lifelong learning in the country and aims to highlight the benefits of learning, celebrate the achievements of adults who have used learning to transform their lives, and also to encourage everyone to embrace lifelong learning.

As part of the week-long festival that runs from 19th – 25th June, each of our six libraries throughout Blaenau Gwent are offering free help and advice on a number of digital topics; including basic IT taster sessions, how to use an iPad and an introduction to our new e-book service.

Sessions are free to attend on the following days:

  • Monday 19th June: Tredegar Library from 10am – 12pm
  • Tuesday 20th June: Cwm Library from 10am – 12pm
  • Wednesday 21st June: Abertillery Library from 10am – 12pm
  • Thursday 22nd June: Brynmawr and Blaina Libraries from 10am – 12pm
  • Friday 23rd June: Ebbw Vale Library from 10am – 12pm
Free refreshments will be available at all these sessions.

Visitors to our libraries can also get information and advice on the wide range of courses available from Adult Community Learning in Blaenau Gwent.

For more information on our Libraries and their services visit our website at http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries or call your local library:

Abertillery Library 01495 355646                  Cwm Library 01495 370454

Blaina Library 01495 290312                         Ebbw Vale Library 01495 355055

Brynmawr Library 01495 357743                   Tredegar Library 01495 357869
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On Friday 9th June 2017 an intrepid team of four people from the Cardiff branch of Now Careers took on an epic 80k Source to Sea Challenge to raise money for Ty Hafan, a charity that
cares for life-limited children in Wales to enhance the time families have together.

With expert help and guidance from the Adventure Activity Team based at Parc Bryn Bach, the Now Nomads team of Sarah, Richard, Ceri and Alex embarked on a gruelling 80k journey that took them from the Brecon Beacons to Cardiff Bay in 11 hours and 35 minutes, enabling them to exceed their £2,500 fundraising target.

The Source to Sea challenge began with a rain soaked climb to the summit of Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons, (the highest peak in South Wales at 886 metres above sea level), after pausing briefly to take a team photo, the Now Nomads began their descent to the banks of Pentwyn Reservoir, where they took to the water to cross Pentwyn and Pontsticill Reservoirs in canoes.
 
Once the team were back on dry land they switched to mountain bikes to cycle along the Taff Trail to the outskirts of Cardiff, where they embarked on a 5k run to the Principality Stadium.  The final leg of the challenge saw the Now Nomads using stand up paddle boards to navigate the River Taff and cross Cardiff Bay to reach the finish line at Cardiff White Water Centre.

To prepare for their epic challenge, the Now Nomads team trained diligently for almost four months prior to the event, and spent a full day with expert instructors from the Parc Bryn Bach Adventure Team to familiarise themselves with the transport methods they would be using on the various stages of their challenge.

Sarah Jones, Director of Now Careers said of the challenge; "The charity challenge that the team from Now Careers did on Friday was really tough!  We decided to embark on a challenge that would be a real team experience but also something that would raise money for a very worthwhile cause, Ty Hafan.

Fitting training around full-time work, running a home and organising family/children was demanding but it definitely paid off.  The guys from Parc Bryn Bach gave loads of tips and training on how best to prepare.

The actual day was great fun, even through the rain and the wind! All of us had lows at different times during the day but we got each other through it.  By the last couple of parts of the challenge I was feeling exhausted but with the support and encouragement of the team and the leaders, I got there!  Although I won’t be booking another challenge this year I’d definitely consider something in 2018."

Ceri Leath, Director of Now Careers added; "After signing up for the charity challenge, organised by Parc Bryn Bach the nerves set in. After months of training for the event and preparing as much as we possibly could for the challenge ahead, the team and I were excited yet extremely nervous.

The day itself was organised fantastically, each step of the way the instructors were with us, spurring us on with words of encouragement and tips to ensure we all got through the series of events. For me, the greatest challenge was after the 30-mile bike ride, the run, which I never thought I would make. My legs were so heavy, tired and aching and at this stage, I could’ve given up, if it weren’t for Nigel, one of the instructors by our side!

On the final stage of the challenge (SUP) to see family and friends at the finish line, waiting and cheering us on was so emotional. I felt completely exhausted but at the same time so ecstatic that we had all completed it for such an amazing cause (Ty Hafan). It is something I will never forget and I’m sure as an office we will talk about for years to come! Fantastic day, highly recommend it… looking forward to planning the next one."

Jon Kivell, Manager at Parc Bryn Bach and part of the instructor team that accompanied the Now Nomads on their challenge said; “The Now Nomads team did incredibly well; not only did this challenge test their endurance and physical limits, it also tested their determination and ability to work as a team, but despite the hardships and at times adverse weather, they pulled together as a team and completed the challenge in a great time.

Throughout their training and the challenge day, the commitment and determination of the Now Nomads has been really inspiring to see, we’re very proud of what they have achieved and are grateful for the opportunity to get involved and help them with this fundraising challenge.”

If you would like to make a donation to Now Careers Source to Sea Challenge for Ty Hafan please visit their Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thenownomads

If you and your colleagues or friends are interested in taking on a similar challenge or would like information on our range of Team Building activities please visit our website at www.parcbrynbach.co.uk or contact us on 01495 355920.
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Do you have a hazardous waist?

That’s the theme for this year’s Men’s Health Week campaign which runs from 12th – 18th June 2017.

Each year the Men’s Health Forum selects a particular theme for their week long campaign to raise awareness of men’s health issues, and this year it’s all about belly fat.

Why belly fat?  The belly is the single most dangerous place for excess weight and men are more likely to have it.

Belly fat is a problem because it lurks not just beneath the surface but also gets down deep and surrounds your vital organs.  

Regardless of your overall weight, a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of:

·         Cardiovascular disease

·         Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes

·         Colorectal cancer

·         Sleep apnoea

·         Premature death from any cause

·         High blood pressure

So, this week men are being encouraged to get their measuring tapes out and check their waist measurements.

If you have a waist measurement over 37 inches (94cm), you are at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke and erection problems.  If it's over 40 inches (102cm), you're at a considerably increased risk of all these.

Top Tip: - Your waist measurement is not the same as your trouser size.  Get a tape measure and measure around your stomach at the belly button.

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World War I Bunker Tours

A new community play called The Last Post is being promoted through a replica World War 1 bunker.  Filled with artefacts and information, the mobile bunker will be visiting towns across the Eastern Valleys, encouraging people to talk about their families’ experience of the home front during World War 1.

“The idea is to invite people to help us devise the story and create the characters through attending workshops taking place throughout June and July”, said director Stuart Bawler. 

Members of Head4Art’s team are on hand at the bunker to tell people how they can get involved right at the beginning.  Many of the roadshow locations will also feature an accompanying exhibition in a local venue – the result of previous WW1 themed community projects developed by Head4Arts. 

Head4Arts Manager Kate Strudwick said of the project; “People don’t need to have any previous experience of doing a play.  There are lots of different ways that you can join in. For example, we’re looking for people who can sing some of the well-known songs, and people to gather costumes and make props.  So, you can get involved as an individual or as a group.”

The story of The Last Post will be about a postman who is too young to sign up but delivers telegrams and parcels to people in his Valley’s town.  The play will use both real and fictitious letters to bring to life the joys and heartaches of this pivotal time in our history.

Regular rehearsals are taking place in Theatr Soar, Merthyr Tydfil on Saturdays in June, July and September with additional workshops in locations throughout the Valleys.  All ages and abilities are welcome (including families) but under 14s need to be accompanied by an adult.

The play will be performed in October 2017 at the following venues:

5 October: The Metropole Theatre, Abertillery

10 October: Congress Theatre, Cwmbran

24 October: Red House, Merthyr Tydfil

30 October: Blackwood Miners’ Institute

For more information about how you can get involved go to www.head4arts.org.uk, email info@head4arts.org.uk or phone 01495 357816

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VW Jordan Harford

Jordan is 18 years old and currently a Year 2 student at Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone.  He started his volunteer and leadership journey when he was 14 years old by completing the Level 2 Sports Leader award.

Jordan is a talented football player who has been signed by Bristol City, Newport County and Forrest Green Rovers as well as playing for the Welsh Schools U15.

Throughout this busy period Jordan has remained committed to volunteering, whenever his footballing commitments allowed.  He has over 400 volunteer hours to his credit, an achievement which resulted in him being awarded in 2016 with the Blaenau Gwent 5/60 Volunteer of the Year award as well as being named Young Volunteer of the Year.

Jordan showed amazing strength of character when his dream of becoming a football player was curtailed due to continuous injury issues, and despite the disappointment he has thrown himself into volunteering, gaining as much experience as he can.  His can do attitude and positive mind-set is an example to all, he has also enrolled in the local college on a sports course.

Jordan was selected for Gold Ambassador in September last year when he returned to live in Blaenau Gwent, to date; he has helped organise the BG Inspire Volunteer awards, delivered a disability workshop for new Silver Ambassadors, helped deliver Bronze Ambassador training to over 60 pupils also attended many CPD workshops.

Jordan is a fantastic coach, and is the first Ambassador to go through the new Leadership pathway to go on to paid work. He delivers the multiskills programme around Primary Schools in Blaenau Gwent, as well as having his own Mini Kickers football class at Abertillery Sports Centre. 

Jordan has also mentored a Silver Ambassador for the last 4 months, and through his dedication has supported him through CPD and training, resulting in him also achieving paid employment.

Jordan is an excellent role model, who has come through disappointment and has developed through volunteering and the Leadership programme.  

For more information on volunteering opportunities with our Inspire Sports Development team visit the team’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/bginspire/ or email neil.vincent@aneurinleisure.org.uk

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VW Libbie Dobbs
Sixteen year old Libbie began her leadership journey earlier this year by successfully completing a Level 2 Sports Leaders Award.

When Libbie joined the programme she had low confidence and a lack of self-esteem, she wasn’t really into sport either, but her willingness to learn and develop as a young leader was undoubtable.

As part of the sports leaders programme, participants were required to undertake a voluntary placement, volunteering 20 hours of their own time at local clubs and/or schools.  Libbie was signposted to the initiative Us Girls, a programme aimed at providing sport and fitness opportunities to inactive and hard to reach girls.
 
The initiative was perfect for Libbie, and she took to the role straight away.  She began by volunteering her time at the Us Girls multi-sport lunchtime sessions that were being delivered at her school, and later went on to help establish and shape what would be the first Us Girls community club in the area.

Libbie now attends the community club on a weekly basis, both as a participant and volunteer; taking the register and generally helping with the running and promoting of the club (she even designed a poster for the club!)

In addition to Us Girls, Libbie also volunteered at a Little Life Sports class as part of her Sports Leaders placement, where 4-7 year olds are taught fundamental movement skills through fun and games.  From teenage girls to tots, Libbie was a little taken aback to begin with but she soon found her feet and adapted her leadership skills accordingly.  She quickly gained confidence and was soon able to competently deliver activities within the sessions.

Libbie has recently become a Silver Ambassador, only 1 of 2 in Abertillery, and attended the Silver Ambassador conference at the University of South Wales earlier this month.  As an ambassador, Libbie will be expected to continue promoting and championing sport and increase participation opportunities to help encourage her inactive peers to become hooked on sport.  Libbie is more than ready for the challenge, and looks forward to the future as a young volunteer. She has grown both as an individual and leader in just a short space of time, and no doubt she will continue to grow and succeed in all that she does.

Libbie said of her experience; “I started volunteering with Us Girls last September, when I had to pick a placement for sports leaders. I wasn’t too familiar with any schools so I got directed to Hannah Winmill which led to helping with Us Girls.  I enjoy helping with Us Girls because it brings women and girls together to play sports that they enjoy without any boys being around, and also you get to make new friends.

My experience as a participant is brilliant, I feel welcome at every Us Girls event and the coaches make everything fun so no one is left out.  My experience as a volunteer is also amazing, I get to help out with a lot of girls and help them to begin enjoying sport a lot more.”

For more information on volunteering opportunities with our Inspire Sports Development team visit the team’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/bginspire/ or email neil.vincent@aneurinleisure.org.uk

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VW BiW2 Voluntary Work Experience Gwent Wildlife Trust

Bridges into Work 2 provides opportunities for its participants to take part in voluntary work experience placements.   In recent months, the project has had a number of successful placements at Gwent Wildlife Trust, where volunteers have been able to gain experience of planting, ground clearing and given training to use specialist equipment such as petrol strimmers etc 

The participants enjoyed working outdoors and have gained knowledge of both plant and insect populations in the area.  There were opportunities for the participants to work at a number of locations including Silent Valley, St Illtyd’s Church and Festival Park. 

Feedback from Gwent Wildlife has been excellent, and they have highlighted how well the volunteers have worked together as a team. 

Feedback from the participants has also been really positive, with a strong theme running through comments stating how the opportunity has given them more confidence: 

“I have gained confidence and feel less anxious about returning to work.”

“I feel more confident with being able to interact with people, and more confident in applying for jobs.”

“Enjoyed the work and being part of the team, this has boosted my confidence as I have been out of work for some time.”

For more information on Bridges into Work 2 call 01495 355299 / 01495 355300 or email BiW2@aneurinleisure.org.uk

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VW Lowri Suter

Lowri first started volunteering for the Us Girls programme at the school based sessions at Abertillery Comprehensive.

After quickly gaining confidence, Lowri was soon able to deliver activities within the sessions and helped to establish the Us Girls community club at Abertillery Youth Centre, where she now volunteers on a weekly basis.

Since becoming a volunteer and starting her Us Girls journey, Lowri’s confidence has soared, enabling her to join the gym and compete in her first 5k run at Brecon.

Hannah Winmill from the Us Girls Project said; “Lowri is an asset to the Us Girls programme in Blaenau Gwent, supporting both the school based and community sessions. She’s enthusiastic, reliable and great with the girls! I couldn’t ask for any more from her as a volunteer.”

Lowri said of her experience; “I enjoy volunteering with Us Girls as it’s great to see the girls having fun.  The initiative is a great way of enabling young girls to participate comfortably in physical activity and sport without feeling self-conscious or nervous about being judged by young boys.”

For more information on volunteering opportunities with our Inspire Sports Development team visit the team’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/bginspire/ or email neil.vincent@aneurinleisure.org.uk

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VW BiW2 Katie

Katie joined the Bridges into Work 2 project in August 2016 as she wanted to improve her employment prospects, and after discussions with the team enrolled on a number of courses including; Food Safety Level 2, COSHH, Paediatric First Aid and Improve Your English.

Attending the courses helped Katie to improve her self-confidence and she became interested in volunteering in order to gain work experience.

Katie was interested in housekeeping, so our Bridges into Work 2 Voluntary Work Experience Officer made some enquiries and was able to secure her a voluntary placement on the housekeeping team at the Premier Inn hotel in Ebbw Vale.

Katie began volunteering in March 2017 and thrived on the placement.  Her manager at the hotel was so pleased with her progress that she was offered a permanent position within two weeks.

Katie said of her experience; “The Bridges into Work team has helped me so much I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.”

For more information on Bridges into Work 2 call 01495 355299 / 01495 355300 or email BiW2@aneurinleisure.org.uk

 

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VW Aled Lewis

Aled is 21 years old and in his third year at university studying Sports Coaching.  After helping out at PE classes in Abertillery Comprehensive School, Aled joined the volunteering programme with our Inspire Sports Development team.

Within six months he had completed his CSLA Level 2 Award and taken on the responsibility of running two after school clubs.

As a reward for his leadership and organisation skills, Aled was offered a paid coaching position within Aneurin Leisure and made a Gold Ambassador in the Young Ambassador programme, which aims to empower and inspire young people to become leaders through sport. 

In addition to these achievements, Aled is now also leading on the Aneurin Leisure Inspire Volunteer or the Year Awards and is the lead member of our six Blaenau Gwent Gold Ambassadors.

Aled said of his experiences; “I feel lucky for the opportunities I have been given, the diversity of the roles I have will benefit my lifelong career plan.  Now I am highly motivated, and enjoy the difference I am making to young people as well as gaining experience.”

For more information on volunteering opportunities with our Inspire Sports Development team visit the team’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/bginspire/ or email neil.vincent@aneurinleisure.org.uk

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 Aneurin Leisure Aquathlon

On Saturday 20th May Ebbw Vale Sports Centre hosted the first ever Aneurin Leisure Aquathlon which saw a total of 46 people from all over the County Borough competing.

The event was open to anyone over the age of 12 who wanted to participate and consisted of a 400 metre swim in the pool at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre followed by a 5K run along a road circuit around the Works Site.

Alun King finished in first place for the Men’s category with a time of 25 minutes and 23 seconds and Charlotte Ralph finished first in the Women’s category with a time of 28 minutes and 21 seconds. 

Both winners were presented with a voucher for a month’s free life membership to the three Blaenau Gwent based Sports Centres at Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar by Philip Matthews from the Inspire Sports Development Team and Sian Hughes from the Board of Aneurin Leisure Trustees.

 Aneurin Leisure Aquathlon Winners

Pictured left to right are: Philip Matthews, Alun King, Charlotte Ralph and Sian Hughes

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure said of the event: “It was great to see so many people coming out to support our first Aquathlon event for the Trust last weekend.  This is our second sporting event of this type, following on from our highly successful Festive 5K Run last December, and although the day presented some challenges for our competitors, the exuberant atmosphere and spirit of competition was truly inspirational. 

The event proved to be hugely popular and drew lots of positive feedback from participants and audience members alike.

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all our staff, competitors, supporters and volunteers for all their efforts to make the day such a success.”

Feedback from our supporters included:

“Absolutely fab event! Thank you so much to the organisers and the fab marshals!” – Nicola

“Fantastic event, thanks very much!” – Jessica

“Fab event, very well organised.  Look forward to more events including kids in sport.” – Sherril


Aneurin Leisure Aquathlon – Final Results

Position

Number

Time

Name

1

36

00:25:23

Alun King

2

43

00:26:04

Joshua Wakefield

3

28

00:27:04

Ashley Owen

4

44

00:27:21

Paul Robbin

5

35

00:27:49

Andrew Brasington

6

23

00:28:13

Matthew Chard

7

27

00:28:21

Charlotte Ralph

8

42

00:28:26

Tomos Savage-Taylor

9

29

00:29:00

Paul Thomas

10

24

00:29:18

Hattie Cox

11

18

00:29:38

Stephen Williams

12

22

00:30:22

Lee Richards

13

37

00:30:37

Isobelle Brasington

14

20

00:31:07

Matthew Flower-John

15

41

00:31:15

Madison Lovell

16

46

00:31:57

Cyril Williams

17

34

00:32:15

Anthony Hughes

18

30

00:32:28

Phoebe Russell

19

12

00:32:33

Gareth Williams

20

13

00:33:34

Aaron Farmer

21

40

00:33:47

Molly Palin

22

45

00:34:12

Bethan Cambell

23

38

00:34:17

Rebekah Ramsey

24

17

00:34:18

Thomas Morgan

25

14

00:34:21

Gareth Edwards

26

33

00:35:04

Tahnee Jones

27

15

00:36:30

Jessica Appleby

28

8

00:36:39

Lucy Jones

29

31

00:37:47

Jodie Pontin

30

5

00:37:50

Victoria Price

31

26

00:38:16

Nicola Richard

32

16

00:39:18

Helen Tilston

33

7

00:39:23

Claire Jones

34

10

00:39:29

Evonne Forsey

35

25

00:42:27

Stephanie Evans

36

32

00:42:40

Catrin Thomas

37

4

00:42:54

Adele Ferguson

38

11

00:43:33

Joanne Watts

39

6

00:43:37

Linda Brewer

40

3

00:43:43

Hayley Edwards

41

1

00:52:11

Sion Hobson

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Here are the opening times for all our Aneurin Leisure venues this weekend:





Sunday 28th May



Monday 29th May

Abertillery Sports Centre

Swimming

Adults 8.15am - 9am

Public 9am - 1pm



Swimming Lessons 8:30am - 9.30am

& 1pm - 4pm



Gym

8.30am – 6.15pm

Closed

Bedwellty House & Park



Open as normal

Open as normal

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre

Open as normal

Fitness Suite

8am - 4pm



Health Suite

8am - 3.30pm



Outdoor Pitches

8am - 4pm



Swimming Pool

10am - 3pm

Learning Action Centres



Closed

Closed

Libraries



Closed

Closed

Parc Bryn Bach



Open as normal

Open as normal

The Met



Closed

Closed

Tredegar Sports Centre



Open as normal

Closed





All our venues will re-open as normal on Tuesday 30th May 2017



For more information please contact:



Abertillery Sports Centre: 01495 357779       Bedwellty House & Park: 01495 353370

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre: 01495 357777       Parc Bryn Bach: 01495 355920         

Tredegar Sports Centre: 01495 353395
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Whitsun Montage

We’ve got lots of wonderful Whitsun fun for children of all ages at Aneurin Leisure this month, whether you’d like to get creative with some messy play, enrich your imagination with some storytelling, find your next adventure or get active with a range of sports – we have something for everyone!

Throughout the Whitsun holidays each of our libraries at Abertillery, Brynmawr, Blaina, Cwm and Tredegar will have free character hunt activities for children to keep them entertained as they pick out their holiday reading choices.  There will also be free Storytime sessions at Cwm Library on 2nd June from 3pm – 4pm and at Tredegar Library on 3rd June from 10.30am – 11.30am.  Ebbw Vale Library will also have some face painting fun on 1st June from 10am – 12pm and 3pm – 5pm (£1 per child) and lots of children’s activities happening throughout the day.

Come and celebrate National Picnic Week at Bedwellty House & Park with our very special Teddy Bears Picnic Family Fun Day on Tuesday 30th May for ages 3+.  Throughout the week we also have messy play with Goldilocks Makes a Mess on Wednesday 31st May (suitable for under 3’s) and Louby Lou’s Storytelling and Build a Bear Workshop on Thursday 1st June for children aged 5+.  For more information call 01495 353397 or visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

For the young adventure seekers out there Parc Bryn Bach will be hosting five days of exciting Adventure Activities from 30th May to 2nd June.  Activities include canoeing, bush craft, climbing, archery, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, caving, laser tag and gorge walking.  The activity days are suitable for ages 8 - 12 years and cost just £15 per person, which includes expert tuition from our qualified instructors, return transport to activity sites and all equipment.  For more information call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

If you’d like to develop your sports skills this Whitsun, our three Sports Centres are offering the perfect opportunity with a range of Netball, Rugby and Football camps, including the prestigious Cardiff City Soccer School which will be returning to Ebbw Vale Sports Centre on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd June, to book online visit  www.cardiffcityfoundation.org.uk

If you’re little footballers would prefer to play a game with their friends rather than attend a skills camp, all our Sports Centres are also offering Pay & Play on their Astro Turf pitches for just £1 per person between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday (subject to availability).

The fun doesn’t end there though; at Abertillery Sports Centre we also have a Streetgames session for children aged 8+ on 31st May and an Inflatable Fun session with A1 Jump and Bounce on 2nd June for children from birth to 12 years.

If wheels are more your thing we have a variety of sessions for children to enjoy with their scooters; bring your scooters, skates, heelies and skateboards and join our Roller Disco at Abertillery Sports Centre on 1st June or try our Ramps and Scooters sessions at Tredegar Sports Centre on 1st and 2nd June.

For more information visit www.bglife.co.uk or call your local Sports Centre on Abertillery 01495 357779, Ebbw Vale 01495 357777 and Tredegar 01495 355958. 

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MHAW Reading List 

Since it's Mental Health Awareness Week we thought it would be a good time to take a look at some great authors who explore a variety of mental health issues in their writing: -

- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

- 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

- All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

- The Hours by Michael Cunningham

Join your local library to get access to a wide range of free books, e-books and e-magazines!

Join online at http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries

 

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MHAW17-social-media-image-green-1600x800d

Are you surviving or thriving?  That’s the question at the heart of this year’s national campaign organised by the Mental Health Foundation to raise awareness of the struggles many people face on a daily basis throughout the UK.

One of the key aspects of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is looking at what steps we can take to better look after our mental health, and at Aneurin Leisure, we have a broad range of services that are perfectly suited to help people to thrive.

Here are some useful tips on how to improve your mental health and help you to thrive rather than just survive, along with some suggestions on how Aneurin Leisure can help: -

  1. Be Active
The benefits of regular exercise are well known; not only does it improve your health and wellbeing and reduce your risk of major illnesses, but it also promotes all kinds of positive changes in the brain, including neural growth and new activity programmes that promote feelings of calm and wellbeing.

Regular exercise also releases a whole host of natural hormones that can improve the quality of your sleep, boost your mood, enhance your concentration and make you feel more motivated.

At Aneurin Leisure, our three Sports Centres offer a wide range of exercise possibilities for people of all ages and fitness levels; whether you’d like to enjoy a refreshing swim, join a group exercise class, take to the gym or even play a game of badminton or football with friends.

Find out more at www.bglife.co.uk

  1. Read a Book
It’s been scientifically proven that curling up with a good book is not only an enjoyable pastime, but it can also have a positive impact on your mental and emotional health.  According to a recent study by the University of Sussex, individuals who read for just six minutes exhibited slower heart rates, less muscle tension and reduced stress levels.

The benefits of reading to promote good mental health are so well known that doctors in the UK have adopted ‘Books on Prescription’ to aid patients with anxiety and depression.

If you’re looking for your next great read, our six Libraries throughout Blaenau Gwent provide a huge and varied range of free books, e-books and e-magazines suitable for people of all ages and interests.  Our Better with Books scheme also supports children and families, providing a range of titles which are available on a number of topics including behaviour problems, bullying, starting school, sadness, confidence and self-esteem etc.

Find out more at http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries

  1. Take a Break
Something as simple as a change of scene or pace is good for your mental health, and the great outdoors is an excellent place to start since research has shown that time spent in natural habitats can improve your self-esteem and mood.

A report published last year by Natural England even demonstrated that taking part in nature based activities helps people who are suffering from mental health issues and can contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress and depression.

At Aneurin Leisure we have two country parks that provide a diverse choice of landscapes to explore, from the beautifully maintained lawns and flowerbeds of Bedwellty House & Park to the stunning lakeside views and woodland trails of Parc Bryn Bach.

But if you’re looking for more than just a scenic walk, there are also lots of hidden treasures to be found at our parks.  You can take your relaxation a little further at Bedwellty House and venture into our cosy Orchid House Tea Room for a spot of lunch or a delicious Afternoon Tea – find out more at www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk.  You can even embrace your wild side at Parc Bryn Bach and experience one of our thrilling Adventure Activities such as tandem paragliding, mountain biking, caving or watersports - find out more at www.parcbrynbach.co.uk
  
  1. Learn a New Skill
Not only is learning a new skill a great way to broaden your potential, but research shows that continuing to learn throughout your life can also improve your mental wellbeing. 

Learning can boost your self-confidence and self-esteem and help to build a sense of purpose, and since learning often involves interacting with other people it can also help us to make social connections and strengthen relationships.    

Learning doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go back to school as there are lots of ways to bring learning into your life, especially at Aneurin leisure.  Our Adult Community Learning service provides a wide range of courses to suit everyone, whether you’d like to improve your employment potential with some new qualifications, brush up on your IT skills or even learn a new hobby and get involved with a club.  Find out more at http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/community-education

If you’re looking for something a bit more active, you could even learn an exciting new skill such as kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, climbing or navigation with our fully qualified and experienced Parc Bryn Bach Adventure team.

  1. Do Something you Enjoy

What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in?

It’s important to find time to do the fun things that you enjoy; not only does it allow you to invest some time in yourself, but it can provide balance to your life and a much needed distraction if things are getting on top of you.

Having fun is a great way to beat stress, and doing something you enjoy can help stop you from becoming unhappy and irritable.

So, why not enjoy a theatre show at The Met, invest some time into improving your fitness at our Sports Centres, go for a walk or get out for a spot of lunch with friends at one of our parks, maybe explore your interests and join a group at our Libraries or learn a new hobby at our Learning Action Centres - there’s lots to choose from!

To find out more about our full range of services at Aneurin Leisure visit our website at www.aneurinleisure.org.uk

If you’d like to know more about the Mental Health Foundation, the work they do or how you can get more involved in activities for Mental Health Awareness Week, please visit https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/

Mental Health Awareness Week with AL

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Bank Holiday logo 2017
 
Here are the opening times for all our Aneurin Leisure venues on Monday 1st May 2017





Sunday 30th April



Monday 1st May

Abertillery Sports Centre

Swimming

Adults 8.15am - 9am

Public 9am - 1pm



Swimming Lessons

8:30am - 9.30am

& 1pm - 4pm



Gym

8.30am – 4pm

Closed

Bedwellty House & Park



Open as normal

Open as normal

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre

Open as normal

Fitness Suite

8am - 4pm



Health Suite

8am - 3.30pm



Outdoor Pitches

8am - 4pm



Swimming Pool

10am - 3pm

Learning Action Centres



Closed

Closed

Libraries



Closed

Closed

Parc Bryn Bach



Open as normal

Open as normal

The Met



Closed

Closed

Tredegar Sports Centre



Open as normal

Closed


All our venues will re-open as normal on Tuesday 2nd May 2017


For more information please contact:

Abertillery Sports Centre: 01495 357779      

Bedwellty House & Park: 01495 353370

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre: 01495 357777      

Parc Bryn Bach: 01495 355920          

Tredegar Sports Centre: 01495 353395
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Digital library banner

Blaenau Gwent Libraries have just launched an exciting new eBook service which enables library members to borrow a wide range of eBooks from the comfort of their own home, courtesy of a fantastic new free download service that’s available 24/7.

There are lots of eBooks to choose from, ranging from current best sellers to self-help books, classic fiction to travel guides.  You don't even have to worry about paying any late fees as the titles will automatically be removed from your device at the end of the loan period. 

The new service allows library members to borrow up to four eBooks at any one time for a period of three weeks, with downloads available for most devices, although not yet for Kindle e-book readers.

Did you know that as a library member you can also access over 250 top magazine titles which are available to download FREE to your e-reader, tablet, Smartphone, PC or Mac?

The E-zines service has hundreds of top magazine titles, available for you to download onto your computer or most mobile devices, enabling you to choose from titles covering health, fitness, sports, crafts, gardens, music, computers and many more topics.

If you’re not currently a member of your local library, joining couldn’t be easier as you can now register on-line at http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries

Once you’ve become a library member, you will be issued with a PIN number by the library staff, which will enable you to access the eBook and e-zines service.

For more information pop into your local library or contact them on: -

Abertillery Library 01495 355646                  Cwm Library 01495 370454

Blaina Library 01495 290312                         Ebbw Vale Library 01495 355055

Brynmawr Library 01495 357743                   Tredegar Library 01495 357869

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If you ever needed an excuse to try the incredible sport of SUP (stand up paddle boarding) which we have been developing at Parc Bryn Bach as part of our exciting Adventure Activity programme, then read on!
 
I have been in search of a winter SUP location for some time; looking for a chance to leave the grey damp and cold UK weather behind to paddle with some warmth on my back during the winter.  
 
Ibiza has never really registered with me as an adventure location, but a few months ago I was delivering a 3 Star BCU Kayaking Course and met a representative of Kayak Ibiza.  Over the 3 day course Lauren, one of the Ibiza Guides, persuaded me that I needed to visit the island to discover what it has to offer as a SUP adventure location. 
 
I decided to take the plunge and started to investigate flight and car hire options and was amazed at the low cost deals on offer; the return flight with my board cost just £45 and I booked 5 days car rental for £23.
 
After a two hour flight from Bristol, we made our final approach to the island and were flying so low that you could get a real picture of what Ibiza has to offer, I found myself already scouting out routes before the plane had even landed.
 
Stepping outside the airport was like stepping into another world after the cold of our British Winter, I had the sun on my back and quickly got rid of my winter skin, changing into my shorts, T shirt, flip flops and shades ready for the drive to the accommodation.
 
I had booked an apartment in Portinatx, which is situated on the north west tip of the island; I was initially worried that this would be too far north, as I was anticipating paddling in the south but I soon realized that you are only ever a 40 minute drive from any part of the island, which gives you 360 degree access to the stunning Ibiza coast line.  The accommodation was great and directly overlooked the bay of Portinatx, again at this time of year I only paid £65 for 4 night’s accommodation.
 
A short drive from Portinatx is Sant Jaun, a small village which dates back to the 16 century and has a church at its focal point, with a few cafés and restaurants where I had arranged to meet Lauren. We discussed the followings days paddling over a few ‘Café con leche’ (coffee with milk) which I grew very fond of during the trip.
 
That evening I was so excited about the thought of the next few days paddling that I decided to try and get a cheeky little hour at one of the bays I had spotted on my way to St Jaun.  Logistics on Ibiza is extremely easy with all the bays being well sign posted and providing easy access to the water’s edge.
  
Xyclar Bay is situated near to Portinatx and faces west with beautiful turquoise waters and a small cluster of islands which make for some interesting exploring. 
 
On this trip I had taken a Jobe 11 6" Expedition SUP board, which is ideal for coastal touring with storage on the back and front, it’s light and extremely maneuverable and able to cut through any chop for a smooth glide. 
 
The first thing I noticed on launching into the calm Mediterranean Sea was the clarity of the water; I had full visibility straight down for over 50 feet in some parts, which gave an incredible view of the sea life below.  It was literally like flying over another world, I had limited time to spend in the bay as the sun was starting to set, providing more amazing views, so as I paddled back to the beach I felt like the luckiest person on the island and was completely psyched for the next few days. 


SUP Ibiza 1 copy

Struggling to sleep that evening, I woke early and packed my paddling gear into the hire car and headed towards Ibiza town to meet up with Lauren for a coffee at Talamanca Bay, where my first taste of sea touring on Ibiza would begin. 
 
In season, Talamanca Bay is packed with tourists, but at this time of year its quiet with a few locals exercising and enjoying the early season sunshine.  The bay looks onto Ibiza Old Town, which is a stunning settlement from 654B.C.  The Carthaginians discovered Ibiza and founded Ibiza Town, making this one of the earliest towns in Europe.  They christened the town Ibossim, quite similar to its present day name, the town is encapsulated within city walls with narrow cobbled streets, a must to visit if you’re in Ibiza!
 
The journey we had planned was from Talamanca Bay to Sestanyol Bay, stopping there for lunch to enjoy a swim and a bite to eat.  I tagged onto an organized trip lead by Paulo, the owner of Kayak Ibiza, and Lauren who were accompanied by 10 Americans in sea kayaks; I was the only SUP on this trip and had a few strange looks when I was inflating my green machine on the beach. 
 
We headed out from the beach and I paddled out with Paulo, as this was my first opportunity to chat to him about the area, sea conditions and safety.  Paulo is originally from South America but has lived in Ibiza for many years and is extremely experienced with a wealth of knowledge on sea touring around the island and an in-depth knowledge from a geological and ecological perspective, and also happens to be a great guy!
 
The paddling was amazing, with rugged limestone cliffs revealing a mixture of limestone and igneous rock folding to form some amazing rock structures.  There were some small caves to play in and as expected, amazing visibility levels down to the sea bed.  The temperature was perfect for paddling with a warm 18-20 degrees with a gentle breeze, sea conditions were flat and calm in the bays with a little chop further afield, but nothing to affect the SUP. 

SUP Ibiza 2 copy


On returning to Talamanca Bay after a 4 hour adventure, I was treated to a sea food feast at one of the bay restaurants which was amazing and consisted of fresh fish caught that day!

At lunch we discussed the best plan of attack for the rest of the day as the wind had picked up slightly, owing to the thermic sea breeze which generally happens between 1pm and 4pm on the island.  One of the amazing things about this island is that there is always somewhere to shelter from prevailing conditions, which means you can always paddle.  We decided to head further south and paddle from Salinas, which is quite possibly one of the most iconic of all Ibiza beaches. 

Las Salinas is a long expanse of soft golden sand surrounded by a nature reserve including sand dunes, pine forests and spectacular salt flats.  The sea is particularly salty here, which makes it incredibly easy to stay afloat when swimming, with an old pirate look out point perched on the peninsular guarding the bay.  We headed out from the bay following the coastline south, this journey felt a little more remote as the height of the cliffs started to increase, which gave a real sense of remoteness and adventure.  Every turn brought breathtaking scenery and as the sun started to set I was treated to more spectacular views.

SUP Ibiza 3 copySUP Ibiza 4 copy

Over the next couple of days I was treated to some of the best touring routes that Ibiza has to offer courtesy of help and advice from Kayak Ibiza. I think one of the trip highlights for me was from Cala Salada out and around Ses Margalides Island.  This was a real treat for me, paddling solo with no sight of anyone or anything accept a multitude of cormorants diving around me and even sightings of dolphins in the distance.  
 
The clarity of the water is amazing and I was told by Paulo that this is due to the Sea Grass that surrounds the island, "Posidonia Oceanica" (commonly known as Neptune Grass) is a species that is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea and filtrates the salt water, producing crystal blue and turquoise seas around the island, a SUP dream!
 
After a 6 hour paddle I arrived back at the beach to sit in the shade and enjoy some fresh bread, olives and cheese, which I had purchased in one of the many Spanish villages that exist around the island. 


SUP Ibiza 5 copySUP Ibiza 6 copySUP Ibiza 7 copy

The Island is rich in history and has a plethora of hidden beaches which are only accessible by boat or SUP, and there are many hidden gems such as Moon Beach.

SUP Ibiza 8 copy

I also visited the infamous Benirras Beach, famous for its hippy colony and the magnificent drumming parties which take place there. Just around the corner from this beach is the impressive S'Orenga Caves which are completely inaccessible from the land, they provide a spectacular backdrop treating you to a blast of multi coloured reef which really stands out in the calm waters.
 
SUP Ibiza 9 copy
 
 
I was really impressed by Ibiza, not only the spectacular SUP options and the cleanliness of the island, but the extreme friendliness of the locals with nothing being too much trouble.  The Island is far more than a party island and during March and April it provides an excellent winter get away with warm weather and isolated paddling that gives a real sense of adventure. 
 
Every corner you turn on this amazing coastline gives breathtaking scenery, crystal clear waters and solitude.  The island has a very multi-cultural feel to it, with a definite hint of South America and Polynesia.  There are some great places to eat and the food I experienced was truly amazing. 
 
I would like to thank Lauren and Paulo from Kayak Ibiza for their kind hospitality; making me feel at home on the island and treating me to some of the best SUP touring I have ever experienced.  I will be returning to the island later this month for more paddling adventures and look forward to catching up with these guys. 
 
Parc Bryn Bach will be running some SUP adventures to Ibiza next year; dates and prices will be available shortly on our faceook page and website.  As well as SUP, there will also be additional guided activities on offer such as sea kayaking and walking, as the island has some amazing scenic walks. 
 
For more information visit our website at www.parcbrynbach.co.uk or our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/parcbrynbach/


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Tree Planting Montage

The last couple of months have seen some very environmentally friendly changes taking place to the landscape at Parc Bryn Bach thanks to a grant from the Postcode Lottery.

Working in partnership with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Groundwork Wales and Western Power, Aneurin Leisure have embarked on an ambitious tree planting project at Parc Bryn Bach to improve the biodiversity at the park, and provide sustainable habitats for a variety of local wildlife.

So far, the planting teams have braved all manner of weather conditions and worked with children from local schools at Bryn Bach Primary School and St Joseph R.C. Primary School as well as members of the public and a community group organised by Tai Calon.

In total 2000 native trees, consisting of a mixture of Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Hazel, Dog Rose, Holly, Field Maple and Crab Apple will be planted at various sites throughout Parc Bryn Bach’s 340 acres of parkland.  This mix was chosen as it will provide valuable shelter and nesting areas for birds and hedgehogs, along with sources of food for the birds and pollinating insects.

The grant from the Postcode Lottery has also enabled staff at Parc Bryn Bach to work with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council to install two bee hives on one of the island’s at the centre of the lake, as well as a variety of bat and bird boxes, which will all contribute to improving the biodiversity of the country park and aid with local conservation efforts.

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure said of the project: “We are very grateful to the Postcode Lottery for the generous funding that we have received for this project and to Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and Groundwork Wales for their invaluable support.”

Nadine Morgan, Biodiversity Officer for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council said: I am thrilled to be part of the project which is striving to further enhance the biodiversity value of the park through activities such as installing bee hives, planting native trees and installing bird and bat boxes. The project has been fantastic at engaging the local schools in the tree planting, creating a valuable unique learning experience whilst also raising awareness about the importance of the local biodiversity and encouraging them to be more active outside.”

Hywel Tanner-Jones of Groundwork Wales added: "Groundwork Wales is excited to be a part of this partnership which has seen the planting of 2000 native trees at Parc Bryn Bach this winter.  Groundwork Wales has received a grant from Western Power to replant native trees in the communities of South Wales where we work, helping to make them Vibrant and Viable Places to live.

It has been great to work with so many young people from schools and the surrounding area who braved some very wet and windy conditions to get the trees planted.  Parc Bryn Bach is also an ideal location for a planting project of this scale as we know that the trees will be well maintained in the future."

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Easter eggs-2

 
Here are the opening times for our Aneurin Leisure venues over the Easter weekend.




Good Friday

Saturday 15th April

Easter Sunday

Easter Monday

Abertillery Sports Centre

Gym
9am – 4.30pm

Swimming Pool
1.30pm – 4pm

Open as normal

Gym
8.30am – 4pm

Swimming Pool
9am – 1pm
Closed

Bedwellty House & Park


Open as normal

Open as normal

Open as normal

Open as normal

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre

Gym & Sauna
8.30am – 4pm

Swimming Pool
10am – 3pm

Gym & Sauna
8.30am – 4pm

Swimming Pool
10am – 3pm

Gym & Sauna
8.30am – 4pm

Swimming Pool
10am – 3pm

Gym & Sauna
8.30am – 4pm

Swimming Pool
10am – 3pm

Learning Action Centres

 

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Libraries



Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Parc Bryn Bach



Open as normal

Open as normal

Open as normal

Open as normal

The Met



Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Tredegar Sports Centre


Closed

Open as normal

Open as normal

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For more information please contact:


·         Abertillery Sports Centre on 01495 357779

·         Bedwellty House & Park on 01495 353370

·         Ebbw Vale Sports Centre on 01495 357777

·         Parc Bryn Bach on 01495 355920

·         Tredegar Sports Centre on 01495 353395

 

 

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Swimming banner blog

The benefits of swimming are endless, and with the Summer holidays on the horizon, now is the perfect time to brush up on your skills.

Being able to swim can transform your holiday experience; enabling people of all ages to enjoy a variety of fun activities, such as spending time in the pool with friends and family, visiting water parks and even trying more adventurous experiences like scuba diving, surfing, kayaking or stand up paddle boarding, which could provide cherished memories for years to come.

At Aneurin Leisure we provide a range of swimming lessons for people of all ages and abilities.  Our Aqua Pathway swim school is a seamless journey from a baby’s first experience in the water with an adult, to children who are competent swimmers, confident and skilled enough to continue with aquatic activities for the rest of their lives. 

If you’re an adult looking to learn to swim, improve your skills or build up your confidence to get back in the water, our dedicated team of professional teachers can tailor lessons around you to achieve your specific goal.

Swimming is also an important skill which could someday save your life.  On average there are around 400 accidental drowning fatalities every year in the UK, most of which are due to accidental falls into water.  According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental deaths to children aged 1 – 14 years in the UK, which is why many national agencies encourage parents to teach their children to swim as early as possible.

In addition to providing parents with peace of mind, swimming is also a requirement of the National Curriculum, which states that by the end of Key Stage 2 all children should be able to swim 25 metres with clothes on, tread water for 30 seconds, demonstrate action for getting help and move into the Heat Escape Lessening Position H.E.L.P.

One parent said; “My son has been attending the swimming lessons at Ebbw Vale for two years now and has progressed really quickly through to Wave 4, he gets great instruction and isn’t far off swimming full widths in a number of strokes, it gives me great confidence before our holiday abroad.”

For more information on our range of swimming lessons and activities call our Customer Advisor Team on 01495 355958.

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Easter half term banner

There’s plenty to do this Easter with Aneurin Leisure; whether you’d like to get creative, discover adventure, enjoy a magical extravaganza or get sporty – we have something for everyone!

If you’re looking to improve your skills this half term, our three Sports Centres are the place to be!  All three venues will be hosting Netball Camps and Football Camps, with Ebbw Vale Sports Centre hosting the prestigious Cardiff City Football Camp on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th April, to book online simply visit www.cardiffcityfoundation.org.uk

The fun doesn’t end there though; each Sports Centre also has a range of fun activities and events to keep your children entertained.  Join us at Abertillery Sports Centre for StreetGames, sporting camps and a fabulous Roller Disco on 13th April from 4.30pm – 6pm, for more information call 01495 357779.  Try out the daily Junior Gym at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre or make a splash with Inflatable Fun on Tuesday 11th April from 10am – 2pm, for more information call 01495 357777.  Tredegar Sports Centre also has lots of fun on offer with Wheelie Wednesday, pool inflatables and an Easter Eggstavaganza party for children up to 12 years.  For more information on activities and events at our Sports Centres call 01495 355958 or visit www.bglife.co.uk.

Our six libraries across Blaenau Gwent have lots of fun activities throughout the Easter holidays, from face painting at Ebbw Vale on Friday 21st April to Easter Egg Hunts at Abertillery, Brynmawr, Blaina, Cwm, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar.  Ask at your local library for more information.

Join the madcap magical fun for all the family with Simon Sparkles Magical Eggstravaganza at The Met, Abertillery on Tuesday 11th April at 2pm.  Tickets are priced at £6.50 per person.  To book your tickets call our Box Office on 01495 355800 or book online at https://aneurinleisure.ticketsolve.com/#/shows

For the adventure seekers out there Parc Bryn Bach will be hosting five days of exciting Adventure Activities from 10th – 13th and 18th – 21st April.  Activities include canoeing, bush craft, climbing, archery, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, caving, laser tag and gorge walking.  The activity days are suitable for ages 8 - 12 years and cost £15 per person and include expert tuition from our qualified instructors, transport to activity sites and all equipment.  For more information call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

At Bedwellty House & Park we have a fun filled fortnight of activities for children of all ages, ranging from a whole host of Easter themed family fun days, workshops and Breakfast with the Easter Bunny from 10th – 14th April.  If you’re looking for something a bit different this Easter why not come along to our Beauty & the Beast themed Belle’s Princess Pamper Party on 18th April or enjoy our themed Mrs Potts Treat Tea (available until 29th April on selected days). There’ll be lots of messy fun to be had at our Peppa Pig Themed Play Day on 19th April and a great Beat Box Music Workshop for budding rappers on 20th April.  For more information call 01495 353370 or visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

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AL-LogoSL4C

At Aneurin Leisure we are committed to improving community life and with that in mind we will be reducing the prices of our Concessionary and Student life memberships from £20 per month to £17.50, in the hope that we can make them more accessible to members of our local communities.


Our concessionary life membership is for those on Income or Employment Support, PIP, Job Seekers Allowance or Disability Living Allowance (for a full list of eligibility criteria please call 01495 355958).  Anyone currently in full time education (regardless of age) is eligible for our Student life membership.

As a Trust, we have also decided to freeze the prices of our Single, Double and Family life memberships.

All of our life memberships are unlimited and all inclusive (terms and conditions apply) offering access to:

·         100+ fitness classes including Les Mills

·         Lifestyle Studio

·         Free Weights *Terms and conditions apply*

·         3 Swimming Pools

·         Racquet Sports

·         Health Suite *Terms and conditions apply*

·         Free Gym Induction

·         Free Parking


We would like to take the opportunity to thank our customers and visitors for their support.

For more information on any of our memberships please call our Customer Advisor Team on 01495 355958 or pop into one of our three Sports Centres at Abertillery, Tredegar or Ebbw Vale and have a chat with a member of staff.

Don't forget we have a huge array of services and events taking place across Aneurin Leisure, so don't forget to like our facebook page!

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For many students of all ages, the weeks and months leading up to exams can be a challenging and stressful time, but recent studies have shown that regular exercise can also boost mental performance as well as improving physical health, making it a vital element in helping students with revision and exam preparation.


With this in mind, we have reduced the cost of our Student life membership to just £17.50 per month, and introduced a fantastic Easter holidays offer of £9.99, which you can sign up to from the 5th April, ready for the start of the holidays on 8th April – that’s 2 weeks membership for just £9.99! 

The benefits of regular exercise are well known, not only does it improve your general health and wellbeing it can also reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.  But less well known are the benefits to our mental health and brain function that regular exercise can affect.

Exercise increases the production of a whole host of natural hormones that improve your mental wellbeing and help with revision including; serotonin, which helps to regulate your sleep cycles and boost your mood; dopamine, which positively influences learning by increasing your attention span and norepinephrine, which can improve your motivation and mental stimulation.

Regular aerobic exercise has also been found to directly stimulate the hippocampus, the part of the brain that deals with learning and memory systems, which means that taking a break from your studies to exercise could have memory boosting effects.

In addition to aiding brain function and cognition, exercise is also a great way to combat the stress and anxiety caused by upcoming exams.  Virtually any type of exercise from aerobics to yoga can act as a stress reliever as physical activity increases the production endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters.  This in turn can boost self-confidence, reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress and improve your quality of sleep.

Our Student life membership, normally £20 per month, is now just £17.50, that’s just over 50p per day.  Giving you full access during public opening hours to all three Sports Centres, including swimming, gym, group exercise classes, racquet sports – an All Inclusive Membership!

So if you are in full time education and studying for your exams especially, then please call us on 01495 355958 to start your life journey.

 

Student Life Web Banner WF

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Red Nose Day

On Friday 24th March 2017, 27 determined runners and 4 cyclists from Aneurin Leisure took part in an epic 30 mile challenge around Blaenau Gwent to raise money for Red Nose Day.

The runners set off at 9am from Aneurin Leisure’s central base at the Regain Building on the Works Site in Ebbw Vale, running through Cwm, Aberbeeg, Abertillery, Blaina, Brynmawr, and Tredegar before returning back to Ebbw Vale just six hours later.

The core team of 10 runners were made up of members of staff from all over Aneurin Leisure as well as life members from our three Sports Centres, who were joined at various stages along the 30 mile route by another 17 eager runners from Aneurin Leisure and the Sports Centres, who together have raised approximately £1,100 so far for Red Nose Day.

Throughout the day, the group stopped at a variety of Aneurin Leisure venues across Blaenau Gwent to get some much needed refreshments and collect donations, and were astounded by the amount of support they received from everyone, even people on the streets who cheered them on as they passed.

If you’d like to show your support for the team you can still make a donation to their Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/ANEURINLEISURE?

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure said of the challenge: “It was such an inspiring experience to join the group on their 30 mile challenge today and help raise money for such a worthy cause.  I would like to congratulate everyone who took part and thank all our supporters for their encouragement and kind donations.”

Ashley Owen, Sport & Fitness Manager at Aneurin Leisure, and one of the runners to complete the 30 mile challenge added:It was fantastic to see so many of our customers participating alongside staff and supporting such a worthy cause.  Many thanks to all those that contributed to the event, from Aneurin Leisure staff, our customers, support cyclists and the wider community.”

Tom Kivell, Fitness Development Officer at Aneurin Leisure, and one of the organisers of the challenge said: “I want to thank everyone that either took part in the gruelling event or donated to the great cause. I also want to thank David Williams for coming up with the challenge. On personal reflection of the event I didn’t expect it to be that difficult, but when you train to run for 200 metres and then do a 30 mile run I guess my body was screaming for me to stop, but I was always going to complete it for a fantastic cause. I look forward to the next challenge that can again bring the community together.”

Autumn Mason, Miss Blaenau Gwent 2016, met the runners at the finish line at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre and said of the fundraising challenege: “A massive congratulations to the Aneurin Leisure team that completed their 30 mile challenge.  They’ve run more than the London marathon in just one day, and everyone crossed the line with a smile - a fantastic achievement, they should be very proud of themselves.”

Feedback from some of the runners included:

Gareth Edwards: “Great effort by everyone, met some brilliant inspiring people, it was a pleasure to be part of it.”

Zowie Tovey-Shaw: “What a fantastic day!  Brilliant support and loved every minute of it. Well done everyone.”

Hayley Edwards: “I can’t believe Zowie and I set out to do 5 miles and ended up doing 13! It was a pleasure to run with you all, well done everyone.”

Carly Turner: “Brilliant.  Thanks for all the encouragement guys today, especially Zowie Tovey-Shaw, Hayley Edwards, Gareth Edwards and Tom Kivell for all the support over the last few months… already looking forward to the next challenge.”

Hayley King: “A fab day – worth all the pain! Best start training for next year!” 


The 30 Mile Challenge Route:

§  Regain Building in Ebbw Vale to Abertillery Sports Centre (approx. 8.5 miles)

§  Abertillery Sports Centre to Brynmawr Learning Action Centre (approx. 6.2miles)

§  Brynmawr Learning Action Centre to Parc Bryn Bach, Tredegar (approx. 7.2miles)

§  Parc Bryn Bach to Bedwelty House, Tredegar (approx. 2.5miles)

§  Bedwelty House to Tredegar Sports Centre (approx. 0.5miles)

§  Tredegar Sports Centre to Ebbw Vale Sports Centre (approx. 5miles)

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Comic Relief 30 Mile Challenge

Pictured Left to Right: Tom Kivell, Danielle Phillips and Ashley Owen of Aneurin Leisure

On Friday 24th March 2017, nine intrepid members of staff from Aneurin Leisure are planning a mammoth 30 mile run across Blaenau Gwent to raise money for Comic Relief.

The gruelling route starts at Aneurin Leisure’s central base at the Regain Building on the Works Site in Ebbw Vale and travels to Abertillery, Brynmawr and Tredegar before returning again to Ebbw Vale, where the 30 mile circuit will finish at the Sports Centre.

The team of runners are; David Williams aged 30 from Blaina, Tom Kivell aged 27 from Beaufort, Ashley Owen aged 50 from Tredegar, Danielle Phillips aged 32 from Brynmawr, Martin Thomas aged 28 from Ebbw Vale, Gareth Winmill aged 26 from Abertillery, Hannah Winmill aged 22 from Abertillery, Matthew Chard aged 37 from Ebbw Vale and Gethin Rose aged 44 from Ebbw Vale.

The team will be stopping off at a selection of Aneurin Leisure venues along the route to promote their fundraising challenge, chat to supporters and get some much needed refreshments. 

Tom Kivell, one of the organisers of the challenge said; “David Williams and I have both done endurance fitness challenges to raise money for charities in the past; David has cycled 150 miles for Sport Relief and I’ve cycled 130 miles for Children in Need, so this year we thought we would make it more of a challenge by putting on our running shoes and embarking on a 30 mile run around Blaenau Gwent to raise money for Comic Relief.

The support so far has been fantastic from everyone; we already have a number of other staff members that have pledged to join us, as well as some of our life members from the Sports Centres, so it’s going to be an amazing joint effort.”

If you’d like to show your support for the team you can make a donation to their Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/ANEURINLEISURE? or even come along to one of our venues and cheer them on!


The Route:

§  Stage 1: Start 9am - Regain Building in Ebbw Vale to Abertillery Sports Centre (8.4 miles approx. time 1 hour and 10 minutes)

§  Stage 2: Start 10:30am - Abertillery Sports Centre to Brynmawr Learning Action Centre (6.2miles approx. time 1hr) 

§  Stage 3: Start 11:50am - Brynmawr Learning Action Centre to Parc Bryn Bach, Tredegar (7.2miles approx. time 1hr 10mins)

§  Stage 4: Start 1:20pm – Parc Bryn Bach to Bedwelty House, Tredegar (2.5miles approx. time 20-30mins)

§  Stage 5: Start 2pm - Bedwelty House to Tredegar Sports Centre (0.5miles approx. time 10mins)

§  Stage 6: Start 2:30pm - Last leg from Tredegar Sports Centre to Ebbw Vale Sports Centre (5miles approx. time 1hr)

§  Finish at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre at approximately 3:30pm - 4pm.



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Libraries Digital Communities Award

Pictured left to right are: Jonathan Levy from Class Networks, Allyson Roberts, Tracy Jones and Donna Hardman from Blaenau Gwent Libraries, Sian Lloyd BBC Presenter and Matt Lloyd from Digital Communities Wales.

Blaenau Gwent Libraries Service has recently been commended for its very popular digital inclusion services which are delivered across all six libraries throughout Blaenau Gwent.

The service was nominated for the Digital Inclusion Award at the annual Third Sector Awards Cymru, organised by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, which took place in St David’s Hotel, Cardiff on Thursday 16th February.  Out of twenty five entrants from all over Wales, Blaenau Gwent Libraries Service was proud to receive the runner up award.

Supported by Class Networks, the annual Third Sector Awards Cymru honours the hard work and inspirational achievements of the third sector in Wales.

Matthew Lloyd, Senior Coordinator for Digital Communities Wales and judge for the Digital Inclusion Award, said: “Digital Communities Wales is delighted to sponsor the new Digital Inclusion Award this year. We received over 25 excellent entries from across Wales, with an impressive variety of digital inclusion engagement projects.   We would like to thank and congratulate all entrants that are helping to make a positive difference to the lives of people in Wales through their digital inclusion work."

Tracy Jones, Library Services Manager for Aneurin Leisure added; “The service is extremely proud to be awarded runner-up, particularly as the calibre of the other entrants was at such a high level.  It has given us recognition for our contribution to tackling the digital divide in Blaenau Gwent by working with a range of partners and volunteers to provide vital IT support.”


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HayleyEdwards before and after

For International Women’s Day we’re sharing an inspiring story from one of our life members at Abertillery Sports Centre.

In August 2011 Hayley took a life changing decision to join Slimming World, at the time she weighed 23 stone and was a size 30-32.  Here’s her story in her own words: -

“I was fed up of being a burden and scared that my children and husband would end up living a life without me. As soon as I joined the slimming group I followed the food plan and started to lose the weight immediately. 

By January 2013 I was down to 15 stone, but my weight loss had started to slow down, so I decided to sign up for a life membership at Abertillery Sports Centre.  I wasn’t quite confident enough to go straight into gym work, so I started swimming most days and was covering up to 50 lengths each time.  Along with swimming I also started power walking with my husband and by February 2013 I had shed another stone.  I decided I wanted to run a 5k race for life, so in June 2013 I completed my first 5k and decided I was in love with fitness and was determined to get fitter and stronger.

In September 2013 I was down to 13 stone and feeling confident enough to start fitness classes like Fit Step, Aqua Aerobics and Spin.  I started spending more and more time at the Sport Centre and got lots of support from the other life members.

In January 2014 my mum was taken seriously ill and was on a life support machine in intensive care; so me and my sister decided to run the Swansea Bay 10k to raise money for the hospital.  By this time I was at my target weight of 11 stone and was happy.  After running the 10K, I discovered a love of running and decided that I wanted to complete a half marathon and pushed myself to train for the Cardiff Half Marathon.

In October 2015 I felt the benefits of the weeks of training; not only running but by completing classes at Abertillery Sports Centre such as Spin,  Plyometric Strength and Kettlebells, I was feeling stronger and could finally run my first half marathon.  Since then I have run another six half marathons and numerous 10k runs.

Running and training in the gym go hand in hand to keep you fit and healthy, along with a healthy balanced diet.  I now train at the centre five days a week, enjoying both the Virtual and Live Les Mills group exercise classes and Boot Camp.”

Hayley’s passion for fitness has also led to her developing a social running group for her local community called ‘Edd’s Eagles’ which meet every Wednesday at 6pm at Abertillery Sports Centre.  For more information on Edd’s Eagles call Hayley Edwards on 07449 626753 or Daniel Thorne on 07506 905507.

If you’re interested in starting your own life journey and would like to find out more anout our life membership options and Sports Centres visit our website at www.bglife.co.uk or call our Customer Advisor Team on 01495 355958.

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IWD 15 women authors

This year we’re celebrating International Women’s Day with a list of 15 inspiring female authors and their incredible literary works, which definitely deserve to make it onto your ‘must read’ list.

Collectively these books span the last 200 years and a variety of genres, inspiring people of all ages, from small children to adults.

Many of these titles are available in print, e-book and via the Books 4 U request service at your local library, so stop by and pick up your next great read!


1.      JK Rowling – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

2.      Ursula K LeGuin – Tales from Earthsea

3.      Maya Angelou – I know why the Caged Bird Sings

4.      Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre

5.      Jane Austen – Pride & Prejudice

6.      Enid Blyton – The Famous Five

7.      Danielle Steel – Rushing Waters

8.      Toni Morrison - Beloved

9.      Stephanie Meyer - Twilight

10.  Alice Walker – The Colour Purple

11.  Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games

12.  Julia Donaldson – The Gruffalo

13.  Mary Shelly - Frankenstein

14.  Catherine Cookson – The Cinder Path

15.  Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express

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marinecolliery1

To commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Marine Colliery Disaster, which claimed the lives of 52 men in 1927, Cwm Library will be holding a special exhibition.

If you have any photographs, documents, artefacts or memories about the event, the staff at the library would love to hear from you.

Please pop along to Cwm Library throughout February and March and the staff will photocopy any documents and pictures you may have.

Cwm Library Opening Times

Tuesday 10am - 1pm, 2pm - 6:30pm

Thursday 10am - 1pm, 2pm - 5:30pm

Friday 10am - 1pm, 2pm - 5:30pm

For more information call 01495 370454

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BreezeBannerPic

Do you love cycling for fun and meeting new people?

Are you passionate about getting your local community on a bike?

As interest in women’s cycling reaches heights undreamt of only five years ago, and cycling superstars like Laura Trott, Becky James and Lizzie Armitstead add an extra dose of girl power, British Cycling are leading the way in getting more women on their bikes, with an ambitious vision to get one million more women cycling by 2020.

The Breeze network is British Cycling’s exciting programme to get more women riding bikes for fun. Led by women, for women, Breeze relies on a hugely important group of volunteer champions to make the programme happen. Their amazing energy, enthusiasm, passion and commitment to get women riding bikes is infectious. They bring the programme to life.

British Cycling is currently looking to recruit new champions, there’s no need to be a cycling expert, just be confident on a bike and keen to help others. They’re looking for enthusiastic people to get involved in the Breeze network and inspire women to get more out of their bike, have fun with friends and get a recognised qualification at the same time.

To become a Breeze champion:  

·         You’ll take part in a fun one day ride leadership course where you’ll have a chance to meet like-minded women.

·         The certificate qualifies you to independently plan, deliver and promote rides to groups of women.

·         In addition to free training, you’ll be provided with a Breeze kit, British Cycling Ride membership and plenty of support along the way.

·         Furthermore, to ensure you’re able to deliver safe bike rides, British Cycling will support you to gain a first aid qualification.

·         In return British Cycling asks champions to deliver on average 12 rides over the year to local women in their area.

For more information visit www.letsride.co.uk/breeze

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feb half term banner

There’s plenty to do this February Half Term with Aneurin Leisure; whether you’d like to get creative, discover adventure, enjoy a fantastical family musical or get sporty – we have something for everyone!

Take a trip down the rabbit hole this half term with a fantastical family musical that you’d be mad to miss – Alice in Wonderland at The Met, Abertillery on Tuesday 21st February at 1.30pm and 4.30pm.  Tickets are priced at £6.50 per person.  To book your tickets call our Box Office on 01495 355800 or book online at https://aneurinleisure.ticketsolve.com/#/shows

For the adventure seekers out there Parc Bryn Bach will be hosting five days of exciting Adventure Activities from Monday 20th to Friday 24th February.  Activities include canoeing, bush craft, climbing, archery, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, caving, laser tag and gorge walking.  The activity days are suitable for ages 8 - 12 years and cost £25 per person and include expert tuition from our qualified instructors, transport to activity sites and all equipment.  For more information call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

At Bedwellty House & Park we have a fun filled week of activities for children of all ages, ranging from LUSH workshops on Monday 20th and Thursday 23rd February where participants can make their very own bath bombs, to interactive LEGO workshops on Tuesday 21st February and Pancake Parties on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd February.  For more information call 01495 353370 or visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

Come along to Ebbw Vale Library for some face painting fun on Thursday 23rd February from 2pm – 4pm, sessions are £1.00 per child.  Call 01495 355055 for more information.

If you’re looking to improve your skills this half term, our three Sports Centres are the place to be!  All three venues will be hosting Netball Camps and Football Camps, with Ebbw Vale Sports Centre hosting the prestigous Cardiff City Football Camp on 22nd and 23rd February.  If Rugby is more your thing, don’t miss the Rugby Festival with Newport Gwent Dragons on Friday 24th February at Tredegar Sports Centre.  All Sports Centres also have Pay and Play on their 3G pitches for just £1 per person throughout the week.

The fun doesn’t end there though; each Sports Centre also has a range of fun activities and events to keep your children entertained.  Join us at Abertillery Sports Centre for StreetGames, Roller Discos and an Under 10’s Welsh Party on 24th February, for more information call 01495 357779.  Try out the daily Junior Gym at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre or make a splash with Inflatable Fun Friday on 24th February, for more information call 01495 357777.  Tredegar Sports Centre also has lots of fun on offer with Wheelie Wednesday, pool inflatables and the Inspire Family Engagement session on 23rd February.  For more information on activities and events at our Sports Centres call 01495 355958 or visit www.bglife.co.uk.

To find out more about Aneurin Leisure visit our website at www.aneurinleisure.org.uk

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Aneurin Leisure Inspire Volunteer Awards 1copy

Pictured are all winners and nominees with Guest Speaker Nathan Stephens, Nick Smith MP and Anthony Hughes Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure

The Aneurin Leisure Inspire Volunteer Awards evening recently took place at Bedwellty House & Park, Tredegar, offering an evening of recognition to volunteers from all over Blaenau Gwent.

The awards ceremony, organised by our very own group of Young Ambassadors, were held to celebrate the fantastic work being done by young people in Blaenau Gwent, who inspire others whilst delivering and promoting sports and activities throughout the community.

Throughout the evening awards were given out for outstanding contributions from volunteers and clubs in the Inspire Sports programmes, while 76 year old Dorothy Penny MBE also received an Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of being an active volunteer since setting up the Gwent Valley Sports Club for the Disabled over forty years ago.

Guest Speaker for the evening was inspirational Paralympian athlete Nathan Stephens, who shared some insight into his sporting journey and achievements with the assembled audience.

Volunteer Award Winners:

Us Girls                                                Lowri Suter

Little Life                                             Victoria Morris

Sports Leader                                      Thomas Edwards                    

Street Games                                      Corren Cowell and William White    

Disability Sports                                  Lucie Davies

Young Ambassador                             Aled Davies

Thriving Clubs                                     Abertillery Bowls Club

Inspire Volunteer of the Year             Jordan Harford

The evening was a resounding success, and the organising committee would like to take the opportunity to thank all the nominees, guests and event sponsors Headland Civil Engineering and Arriva Trains Wales.

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure said of the event; “It’s wonderful to see the dedication and passion of our volunteers being rewarded with such an auspicious awards evening here at the beautiful Bedwellty House and Park.  All our volunteers play a vital role in getting people of all ages engaged in sports and active lifestyles, helping to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of our local communities in Blaenau Gwent, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them all and congratulate all the winners this evening.”

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TeresaGurmin before and after

In March 2014, Teresa Gurmin from Tredegar and a staff member Tredegar Sports Centre decided to take a huge step toward improving her health and wellbeing by embarking on a life changing journey with Aneurin Leisure.

At the start of her journey Teresa weighed over 19 stone, and after looking at photographs from a family party she decided to join an early morning exercise class, determined to turn her life around.

Even though she struggled with low confidence levels and felt aware of her size throughout the class, Teresa persevered and soon her confidence began to soar and continued with the routine she learnt every morning after the class had ended.

Teresa had a lot of support from her fellow work colleagues; who showed her new exercises, corrected her posture and gave her the motivation she needed to keep going.  Soon Teresa began to notice changes in herself and her body shape, and her confidence slowly started to improve.

A year after her journey began, Teresa had lost just over 3 stone and really began to start feeling good about herself and her friends and family also noticed the difference.  Then everything stopped with the sudden loss of a family member, leaving Teresa devastated and unsure how to continue.

It was on New Year’s Eve 2015 that Teresa decided the New Year was going to be a new start for her and she got back to her healthy eating and gym routine.

“Soon the pounds started to drop off me, I couldn’t believe how I started to feel, my confidence started growing and I felt great again.”

In September 2016, Teresa started the Les Mills BODYPUMP classes to tone up and get stronger. After the first class, Teresa definitely felt that she had worked out but thoroughly enjoyed it. She started going twice a week and could feel herself getting stronger with each class she attended.

Incredibly, since the start of her journey, Teresa has lost a total of 6 ½ stone, that’s a staggering 91 lbs - and has dropped four dress sizes from a 24 to a 14/16!

Teresa said of her incredible journey; “There’s no going back for me, I feel amazing and Les Mills classes are the best thing I have ever done.  The group are friendly and enthusiastic; the instructors motivate you and drive you when you feel like giving up.  I keep going and always push myself to give 100%.  For the first time in my life I feel great, losing weight and getting fitter has set me free.”

If you’re looking to start your own life journey, call our Aneurin Leisure Customer Advisor Team on 01495 355958 for more information on our range of life memberships and facilities.

Visit our website at http://www.bglife.co.uk/#

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bodypump100

This week saw Ebbw Vale Sports Centre host the launch of Les Mills BODYPUMP 100, a special FREE taster session to celebrate 25 years of the popular BODYPUMP group exercise session that has taken the world by storm.

BODYPUMP is just one of a range of new and exciting Les Mills group exercise classes that are provided at each of our three Sports Centres around Blaenau Gwent.  BODYPUMP uses light to moderate weights with lots of reptitions, giving you a total body workout that will burn calories, shape and tone your entire body, increase core strength and improve bone health.

The event attracted 72 participants in total, 18 of which were new to the sports centre and Les Mills group exercise experience, generating lots of positive feedback for the fitness programme.

We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported and particiapated in the event, it was a great success and rewarding to see everyone enjoying themselves and improving their fitness at the same time.

There are similar events planned for the future, with the next big Les Mills latest release taking place in Tredegar Sports Centre - check our facebook page for more information in the coming weeks https://www.facebook.com/bglifecard/

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Here are our Chritsmas and New Year opening times for all our Aneurin Leisure venues: - 

 
Friday
23rd Dec

2016

Sat
24th Dec

2016

Sun
25th Dec 2016
Mon
 26th Dec 2016
Tues
27th Dec 2016
Wed
28th Dec
2016
Thurs
 29th Dec 2016
Fri
30th Dec 2016
Sat
 31st Dec
2016
Sun
 1st Jan 2017
Mon
2nd Jan
2017
Tues
3rd Jan

2017

Abertillery Sports Centres
Normal Opening
8.30am
-

11.30am
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
10am –4pm (Dryside)


1pm – 4pm (wetside)

10am –4pm (Dryside)


1pm – 4pm (wetside)

10am –4pm (Dryside)


1pm – 4pm (wetside)
Closed
Closed
Normal Opening
Tredegar Sports Centre
Normal Opening
8.30am
-

11.30am
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed

Closed

Closed
Closed
Closed
Normal Opening
Ebbw Vale Sports Centre
Normal Opening
8.30am -11.30am
Closed
Closed
9am –4pm (Dryside)


10am – 3pm (wetside)

9am –4pm (Dryside)


10am – 3pm (wetside)

9am –4pm (Dryside)


10am – 3pm (wetside)

9am –4pm (Dryside)


10am – 3pm (wetside)

9am –4pm (Dryside)


10am – 3pm (wetside)

Closed
9am –4pm (Dryside)


10am – 3pm (wetside)

Normal Opening
Beaufort Theatre
Close at 12.30pm



Closed


Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed

Normal
Opening

The Metropole
Close at 12.30pm



Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Normal
Opening

Libraries
Normal Opening
Closed

Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed


Normal

Opening

Learning Action Centre’s
Close at 12.30pm

Closed

Closed

Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed

Normal Opening
Bedwellty House and Park
Normal Opening
Closed

Closed
Park
Access Only
8.30am –
4.00pm
Park
Access Only
8.30am –
4.00pm
Park
Access Only
8.30am –
4.00pm
Park
Access Only
8.30am –
4.00pm
Park
Access Only
8.30am –
4.00pm
Park
 Access Only
8.30am –
4.00pm
Park
Access Only
8.30am – 4pm
Closed
Normal Opening
Parc Bryn Bach
Normal Opening
Closed

Closed
Park
Access Only
8.30am – 4pm

Park
Access Only
8.30am – 4pm

Park
Access Only
8.30am – 4pm
Park
Access Only
8.30am – 4pm
Park
Access Only
8.30am –4pm
Park
Access Only
8.30am – 4pm
Park
Access Only
8.30am – 4pm
Closed
Normal Opening
Regain Building
Close at 12.30pm
Closed

Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Closed
Normal Opening

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CycloCross

On Sunday 20th November, over 230 cyclists (including 83 under 12’s) braved the snowy conditions at Parc Bryn Bach to compete in Round 9 of the Welsh Cyclocross League.

Cyclo-cross is off-road cycle racing on grass and tracks on a circuit of up to one mile in length.  It’s usually held in public parks or on sports fields and is technically and physically less demanding than mountain biking.

The event was a great success with lots of positive feedback received from competitors and spectators alike.

The winners for each category were: -

Under 8’s
Finlay Storrie (Maindy Flyers)
Efanna Lewis (Ystwyth CC)

Under 10’s
Cian Evans (The Bulls)
Evelyn Nurse (Cardiff JIF)

Under 12’s
Kieron Heuberger (Gower Riders)
Evelyn Higgins-Worrall (Abergavenny RC)

Youth & Novice Women
Iwan Evans (The Bulls)
Ella Maclean-Howell (Cardiff JIF)

Veteran 40 Men
Tim Davies (CC Abergavenny)

Women & Veteran Men
Grant Johnson (Sunset Cycles)
Ffion James (Abergavenny RC)

Senior and Junior Men
Steve James (Hope Factory Racing)
Max Gibbons (Ludlow Brewery RT)

Ffion James, sister of Olympic track gold medallist Becky James, not only won in her category (Women and Veteran Men) but also became the new Welsh champion at the event!

Congratulations to everyone for taking part!

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AL 5K 1AL 5K 2AL 5K 3

On Sunday 11th December, Aneurin Leisure hosted its first ever Festive 5K run in Ebbw Vale and we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who participated and supported the event!

60 runners took part in the two lap circuit from Ebbw Vale Sports Centre across the bridge to the end of Pen Y Cwm School and back again.

13 year old Lloyd Sheppard was the fastest male, with a time of 17:49, which was an impressive personal best and Louise Evans was the fastest female, completing the course in 22:45.  Each participant received a medal on completion of the course and Claire Gittings won a prize for the best fancy dress!

The event was a great success, with lots of positive feedback being received: -

“Absolutely loved the festive 5k this morning.  Really well organised and brilliant support from all the staff.  Can't wait to do it again next year!” – Zowie Tovey-Shaw 

“Really enjoyed the festive 5k today.  The event was organised really well and the marshals were fab and very supportive.  Thank you for setting up an excellent new event for Blaenau Gwent.

Can't wait for next year.” – Hayley Edwards

“Well done to all who participated and Aneurin Leisure for organising the event.  Completed my 1st 5k. Looking forward to next year.” – Carly Turner.

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Bridges Into Work Gardeners

Pictured: Bridges into Work 2 participants Jeff Jones, David Thomas and Gareth Chambers on-site with Gwent Wildlife Trust

Bridges into Work 2 provides opportunities for it's participants to take part in voluntary work experience placements.   In recent months, the project has had a number of successful placements at Gwent Wildlife Trust, where volunteers have been able to gain experience of planting, ground clearing and given training to use specialist equipment. 

The participants enjoyed working outdoors and have gained knowledge of both plant and insect populations in the area.  There were also opportunities for the participants to work at a number of locations including Silent Valley, St Illtyd’s Church and Festival Park. 

Feedback from Gwent Wildlife has been excellent, and they have highlighted how well the volunteers have worked together as a team.  Feedback from participants has also been very positive, with a strong theme running through comments stating how the opportunity has given them more confidence: -  

“I have gained confidence and feel less anxious about returning to work.”

“Feel more confident with being able to interact with people, and more confident in applying for jobs.”

“Enjoyed the work and being part of the team, this has boosted my confidence as I have been out of work for some time.”

Since taking part in the project, David Thomas has gained employment and we would like to wish him and the other participants our best wishes for the future!

The Bridges into Work 2 Project provides opportunities for long-term unemployed people over 25 to access free training in Blaenau Gwent.  For more information contact 01495 355299 or 01495 355300.

 

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family swim

Feeling under the weather before you go swimming?

A refreshing dip in the pool may seem like a good idea if you’re feeling unwell, but by going swimming when you or your children are suffering with an upset stomach, can potentially cause health risks for other swimmers and result in the pool being closed for a period of time, which can often lead to the cancellation of swimming lessons and weekend pool parties.

Although all our swimming pools are chlorinated and monitored on a daily basis, some bacteria can be initially resistant to chlorine and survive for a short time, particularly with illnesses such as diarrhoea, in fact the NHS UK website recommends that adults and children should avoid swimming pools for up to two weeks after suffering from diarrhoea.

It’s also important to ensure that you report to a member of staff immediately, should you or your child have an accident and vomit or experience diarrhoea while in the pool, as we need to act quickly to safeguard other users.

After an incident of illness in the pool there are strict health and safety guidelines which must be adhered to in order to protect the health of our customers, this means that the pool must be closed and thoroughly cleaned, which is unfortunately having an ever growing impact on our users, often resulting in staff being forced to cancel swimming lessons and even pool parties on the weekends.

To help protect the health of others and to ensure that everyone enjoys their experiences at our swimming pools, we would ask our customers to please avoid swimming if they or their children are unwell.

For more information on our Sports Centres please visit www.bglife.co.uk or call our Customer Advisor team on 01495 355958.

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Yuletide-Crafts-at-PBB-1Yuletide Crafts at PBB2Yuletide Crafts at PBB3Yuletide Crafts at PBB4

Join us this December as we get ready for Christmas with a wonderful series of festive workshops within the cosy surroundings of our Visitor Centre at Parc Bryn Bach!


Each weekend our happy team of Elves will be welcoming children into their workshop and explaining the traditions of the Yule Log while giving them the opportunity to decorate their very own Yule Log to take home with them.  There’ll also be a special festive treat for everyone that makes a Yule Log!

Last weekend almost 30 children joined us and customer feedback has been very positive.  One visitor said; “We stayed on the caravan site this weekend and my grandsons attended the Yuletide Crafts workshop. It was amazing for them, the lady in charge and the elves could not have been friendlier, they made beautiful Yule Logs that will take pride of place in our home. Well done a date for next year’s diary definitely!”

Yuletide Crafts are also available on 10th, 11th, 17th & 18th December at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.  Tickets are £3.50 per child.  Booking is essential, so please call us on 01495 355920 to book your place!

Representatives from the RSPB will also be visiting Parc Bryn Bach on these weekends, providing a range of information and some fun craft activities.

We’ll also have a special selection of delicious Winter Warmers available in our café for visitors featuring a range of special Christmas inspired offers including; turkey and cranberry rolls, pork and apple rolls, beef and horseradish rolls and a selection of festive inspired sweet treats!

Find Parc Bryn Bach just off the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road at Tredegar!

FREE entry and FREE parking!

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Blaina Library Minister Visit Nov 16

Pictured left to right are Anthony Hughes Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure, Marc Davies Project Manager for Digital Communities Wales, Allison Roberts Senior Library Assistant, Julie James Minister for Skills and Science and Tracy Jones Library Services Manager

On Thursday 10th November the Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, visited Blaina Library to see how libraries in Blaenau Gwent help people access digital services and support volunteering opportunities.

The Minister was introduced to customers at the Workclub and heard about their experiences of getting on-line in the library.

The Work club provides vital community support for job-seekers needing digital help to access the Universal Jobmatch site, updating CVs and searching for jobs on-line.  A range of partner organisations also provide additional support for job seekers during the session, including Careers Wales and Communities First. 

Tracy Jones, Library Service Manager said; “The Welsh Government’s Digital Communities Wales (DCW) project provides vital support to staff and volunteers at Blaenau Gwent Libraries which enables our service to deliver high quality digital help and assistance to library users.  Staff and volunteers have benefited from training delivered from DCW, which has been tailored specifically to the needs of our service.  This has built confidence in our staff/volunteers and has equipped them with the relevant skills to further develop our digital offer to customers.  The learning materials produced by DCW provide a helpful, easy to understand resource regularly used with beginners, saving staff time and providing consistency for digital learning.  The service has recently signed the 'Digital Charter', this has given our service a quality assurance which is recognised by partners and other organisations.  This has helped raise the profile of our organisations, as being a key partner of the delivery of digital inclusion in Blaenau Gwent.”

Julie James, Minister for Skills and Science added: “Improving digital skills and connectivity in Wales is a key priority for this government and we are committed to working with others to ensure everyone has access to the internet and the skills and motivation to use it effectively.

“Basic digital skills are a vital part of our economy and everyday life, from staying in touch with family and friends, through accessing and sharing information and skills to buying and selling goods and services competitively. I am pleased that Aneurin Leisure Trust has signed up to the Digital Inclusion Charter and shown a real commitment to supporting people to tackle digital exclusion.”

David Gurl and Mike Thomas have volunteered at Blaina Library for the last two years, helping people attending the Work Club and assisting library users with a wide range of digital services, including taster sessions, setting up email and iPad support.  Their dedication to volunteering was recognised earlier this year when they both received awards   from the High Sheriff of Gwent, Andrew Tuggley, for “Volunteers who go Above and Beyond.”

Both Mike and David have overcome difficult personal circumstances to be able to volunteer in the Library and they both make invaluable contributions to the services offered to the local community.




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Blaenau-Gwent-foodbank

Do you have an overdue library book at home?  Now is the time to return it and contribute to a great cause at the same time!

Throughout November, our six libraries across Blaenau Gwent will be accepting donations of food in lieu of overdue fines for books.  All the donated items will then be given to the Blaenau Gwent Foodbank to help local people in need.

Blaenau Gwent Foodbank has distribution centres throughout the County Borough, and is part of a nationwide network of foodbanks supported by The Trussel Trust.  The Foodbank supplies three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food to support local people who are referred to them in crisis.

Donations can include items such as: -

Cereal, tinned soup, tinned spaghetti, tinned tomatoes, tinned peas, tinned carrots, tinned potatoes, tinned fish, tinned rice pudding, tinned custard, tinned fruit, biscuits, sugar, packets of pasta/rice/noodles, tea/coffee, squash, long life juice, pasta sauce, UHT milk, jam, meat paste.


Urgently needed items include: -

Jams/marmalade, tinned meat, juice cartons, squash, sachets of rice, pasta ‘n’ sauce, sugar (preferably small bags) and super noodles.

All our libraries will have a complete list of approved foods, so if you would like more information either pop in to your local library or contact them for more information: -


Abertillery: 01495 355646                  Blaina: 01495 355609

Brynmawr: 01495 357743                  Cwm: 01495 370454

Ebbw Vale: 01495 355055                  Tredegar: 01495 357869

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Job Clubs

Bridges into Work 2 and Getting Started have been busy supporting job seekers at clubs held in a variety of our Aneurin Leisure Libraries across Blaenau Gwent.

Since January 2016, 91 people have attended the Job Clubs, which offer help with using Universal Jobmatch, completing application forms, writing/updating CVs, writing covering letters, developing interview skills and much more!

The Job Clubs work in partnership with agencies such as Communities for Work, Job Centre Plus and Aneurin Leisure to ensure participants receive the support they need in their search for employment.  Brynmawr Job Club also provides support for participants who are employed and looking to gain new qualifications through Working Skills for Adults 2.

Those who attend the clubs often gain employment or go on to complete further learning with local providers such as Community Education. A number of attendees have also undertaken voluntary work with local businesses to gain valuable experience.

Bridges into Work 2 and Getting Started Job Clubs are held weekly on a drop-in basis at the following locations: Monday 10am -12pm at Tredegar Library, Wednesday 10am - 12pm at Brynmawr Library and Friday 10am - 12pm at Ebbw Vale Library.

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web-banner-autumn-half-term

We have a fabulous range of activities for children of all ages this October Half Term across our Aneurin Leisure Venues.

Whether you’d like to enjoy a children’s theatre show, get active with some fun sports, get creative with arts and crafts, enjoy some spooky Halloween fun or even find adventure, we have something for everyone!

Lose yourself in an afternoon of entertaining children’s theatre with Marty MacDonald’s Toy Machine, a fun and interactive adventure featuring the voices of CBeebies’ Justin Fletcher and Nicole Davies, at Beaufort Theatre on Tuesday 25th October at 2pm.  Tickets are £8.50 / £6.50 Children / £25 Family Ticket.  Or bring your little ones along to our Spooky Spectacular on Friday 28th October from 2pm – 4pm.  Tickets are £2.50 Adults / £5.50 Children which includes a children’s lunchbox.  To book tickets call 01495 355800 or book online at www.blaenaugwentvenuies.com

There’s lots of Halloween themed fun on offer at Bedwellty House and Park!  Why not join us for our Harry Potter themed Wonderful World of Wizards fun day on Tuesday 25th October 11am – 3pm (ages 5+), tickets £8 per child, or join our scare free Early Years Ugly Bug Ball on Monday 31st October 12.30pm – 2.15pm (12 months to 4 yrs).  For more information or to book a place call 01495 353370.

Prepare for a spooky and spine tingling visit to Parc Bryn Bach this October!  On Saturday 29th October our Fright Night Halloween Tours are guaranteed to scare as we take you on a terrifying tour through our woodland areas (ages 14+), tickets £10 and include a bowl of soup.  We’ll also have fun Halloween Craft Activities on Sunday 30th October at 11am, 1pm & 3pm for children aged 4 – 12years.  Call us on 01495 355920 for more information or to book a place.

If you’re looking to get active this Half Term come along to one of our Sports Centres at Abertillery, Ebbw Vale or Tredegar.  We’ve got a whole host of sports camps and fun activity days for children of all ages, ranging from Cardiff City Football Camps, Cheerleading & Gymnastics, StreetGames, Junior Gym, Les Mills Kids Virtual classes and family Halloween events.  For more information visit www.bglife.co.uk or call your local Sports Centre (Abertillery 01495 357779 / Ebbw Vale 01495 357777 / Tredegar 01495 353395).

Communities First Ebbw Fawr will be running FREE fun sessions for children aged 4 – 8 years during Half Term at our libraries; All About Bugs at Cwm Library on Monday 24th October 2pm – 4pm and Pirates & Princesses at Ebbw Vale Library on Tuesday 25th October 2pm – 4pm

For more information on our events and activities visit our website and check out our What’s On calendar at www.aneurinleisure.org.uk

I hope you enjoy the range of activities that we have on offer across our venues and would welcome any feedback you have.

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Adult Learners-MichelleClarke and SarahHiggins

Congratulations to two of our adult learners; Michelle Clarke and Sarah Higgins, on being accepted on a Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies course at the Learning Zone in Ebbw Vale.  Sarah and Michelle both returned to learning three years ago on the Family Learning programme at their children’s school, with tutor Jo Battman. 

Mother of three, Michelle was then inspired to enrol onto a Level 2 Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools course at Brynmawr LAC and then went on to successfully complete the Level 3 Award.  In addition to this, Michelle has been doing a voluntary placement at Ebbw Fawr Primary as well as coordinating an after school reading club there.  Michelle has told us that she would not have been able to succeed in these ventures had it not been for the support of her family and her fantastic tutors.

Sarah has a six year old daughter and says that she now feels an excellent role model for her daughter and is a completely different person to the one who first enrolled onto a Family Learning Course.  Sarah then enrolled onto a GCSE English course and was also named Aneurin Leisure’s Volunteer of the Year 2016, for her work at Ebbw Fawr Primary.

We wish Michelle and Sarah all the best for their future studies and, as if they weren’t busy enough; both girls have enrolled onto a GCSE maths course at Ebbw Vale LAC - best of luck both!

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happy birthday to us

October marks a very special milestone for Aneurin Leisure as we reach our second birthday as a charitable Trust.

Launched in October 2014, our vibrant community focussed charitable Trust seeks to support and improve community life through leisure, learning and culture in Blaenau Gwent through a diverse range of services and venues: -

  • Achieve your fitness and wellbeing goals with our three state of the art Sports Centres and Inspire Sports Development team.
  • Explore your possibilities and broaden your horizons with guidance, education and development through our Libraries and Adult Community Learning.
  • Discover a world of relaxation, fun and adventure with our two stunning country parks at Bedwellty House & Park and Parc Bryn Bach.
  • Experience the world of arts and culture either through participation or viewing, with our two performance venues at Beaufort Theatre & Ballroom and The Met.
In the two years since we launched, Aneurin Leisure has achieved a great many successes as we have strived to support and improve community life for the residents of Blaenau Gwent. 

Participation levels in sport and the arts have increased over the last year and there have been a number of exciting developments and refurbishments in many of our venues, including most notably the Visitor Centre at Parc Bryn Bach and Ebbw Vale Library. 

Our outreach programmes have also positively impacted communities in Blaenau Gwent, with many people gaining access to life changing services through Bridges into Work 2, Working Skills for Adults and the National Exercise Referral Scheme.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers and supporters for the continued patronage, support and encouragement they have shown us over the last two years.  There are exciting times ahead for Aneurin Leisure and we look forward to more success throughout 2017.

 

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Coffee.jpgAneurin Leisure Trust held a total of 10 Macmillan Coffee Mornings across its Venues during the week commencing Monday 26th September.


The annual event sees money raised for the Macmillan Cancer Support Charity.

Coffee mornings were held at each of the Trusts Libraries, Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre, Bedwellty House, Ebbw Vale Sports Centre and the Regain Building.  The events were well supported with a total of over £930 being raised for the charity.

Thank you to everyone who supported the events.

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Working Skills for Adults 29 Sept

After a successful Introduction to Teaching Assistant course (which had ten students engaged) eight learners have now committed themselves to join Community Education to complete their Essential Skills Level 2 'Communications'.

The group enjoyed the course so much that they wanted to progress onto the Level 2 'Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools', in order to do this they needed to gain the relevant qualification to progress.

The group will start their 'Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools' in January 2017 and Working Skills has supported these learners on their journey from the very beginning and will continue to do so until they complete their qualifications in late 2017.

Wishing them all the best!

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Roald Dahl Montage

On Sunday 25th September Bedwellty House & Park hosted a sell-out Roald Dahl themed event to celebrate the author’s Centenary.

Throughout the day each family experienced their very own trip in the special Bedwellty Glass Elevator with Willy Wonka, before embarking on a fun filled journey through the House to discover all sorts of treats like the lickable wallpaper, chocolate factory fun shoots and smoothie station before settling in the specially decorated Assembly Room for their Roald Dahl themed Afternoon Tea.

After tea the families moved onto the Carriage House, where the Human beans got to enjoy their tea and multi-coloured scones, while the kiddles enjoyed a variety of fun craft activities, storytelling sessions, a balloon drop and a book inspired treasure hunt.

Feedback from the children: -

“I liked the wallpaper...you could eat it”
“Willy Wonka told a story which was fun”
 “I liked making a dream jar it was fun”
“The farting putty was the best.”

Feedback from the adults: -

“The imagination showed by the staff to create the event was amazing - lovely afternoon - excellent staff.”

“The whole experience was wonderful, the children loved the way they were made to be very special people with their names on the tables and that everything was hands on for them. Gold Stars from us.”

“Everything was absolutely outstanding for adults and children....Top Marks Willy Wonka.”

“The food was lovely; the different things for the children to take part in were thoughtful and varied to keep them entertained.”

“5/5 for customer service, all staff were lovely and accommodating, my Daughter is dairy intolerant but was able to eat everything provided for her, everyone really went the extra mile.”

“The attention to detail was incredible from the well sharpened pencils to the sweets in the balloons, we loved it.” 

“Friendliness of the Staff - all helpful and smiling all the time, well-done.”

“The food was very well thought out...lots of yummy treats that we would never normally have...chocolate sweetie sandwiches were a big hit.” 

“Lovely venue, excellent staff would highly recommend."

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evsc sports hall flooring

We are pleased to report that lots of progress is being made on the replacement of the Sports Hall flooring at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre.

The sub flooring has been finished and contractors have started to tile the main floor (as you can see in the picture above), after this is completed the flooring will be sealed.  The next step will then be to mark the new lines on the flooring and re-seal it once more.

Once again we would like to thank our custonmers for their continued support and patience while we complete this essential work to the Sports Hall.

Further updates will be provided when we have more information, but if you have any queries please call 01495 357777.

 

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EV lib 1 EV lib 2

Pictured above are: Aneurin Leisure Managing Director Anthony Hughes, Vice Chair of Aneurin Leisure Board of Trustees Sian Hughes, AM Alun Davies, BGCBC Councillor Keren Bender and author Dan Anthony with pupils from Willowtown Primary School.

 

On Friday 23rd September Alun Davies AM for Blaenau Gwent officially opened Ebbw Vale Library following an extensive refurbishment project which was made possible by funding from Welsh Government.

The newly renovated and modernised building has transformed service delivery at Ebbw Vale, enabling greater community involvement, improved IT facilities including free Wi-Fi and providing opportunities to increase partnership work with a wide range of organisations.

In its first month after re-opening to the public, Ebbw Vale Library has received just over 10,000 visitors of all ages who have accessed a number of services, from book loans to computer and internet access.  In this time 4,635 books have been borrowed and 275 new members have joined the library.

It was pleasing to see so many people from across the area attending the official opening and sharing wonderful feedback on the newly renovated and modernised building, which has become a focal point at the heart of the local community.

Children from Willowtown Primary School visited during the day and enjoyed hearing stories and joining in with the activities offered by children’s author Dan Anthony.  The sessions formed part of the Welsh Government funded scheme ‘Every Child a Member’, which engages with children to promote the world of possibilities offered by libraries and encourages them to become regular library users.

Alun Davies, AM for Blaenau Gwent said; “The library is at the heart of the community and is a very important and positive development for local public services in Ebbw Vale, in which the whole community will benefit greatly.  This new, modern environment has the unique appeal of attracting all ages and all sections of the community, making a huge difference to people.  The great thing about this project is the opportunities it will bring – from help for jobseekers, digital inclusion services, Macmillan support, free children’s activities, reading groups, Knit and Natter, family history support and a whole range of community support initiatives.   It’s a place for inspiration, research, creativity, education, economic prosperity and enjoyment.  The new facilities will help people take pride in their community, providing a safe, welcoming space where people can meet, think, learn, create, take part and give back.”

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure added; “It is a proud day for the Trust and the local authority to see the end result of this very successful refurbishment programme.  On behalf of Aneurin Leisure and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council I would like to thank everyone who made the transformation possible.  I would also like to take the opportunity to thank our customers for the continued support and patience they showed during the refurbishment process.  The library will play a vital role in supporting the community and we welcome everyone to explore this exciting new facility.”

Daniel Heginbotham, National Sales Manager at Innova Design Solutions which designed, manufactured and installed the new library said: “The role of a library is no longer just to house books and provide an environment for readers. To truly serve now and into the future, libraries need to build on their literary foundations by offering digital technology and acting as multi-functional, community hubs that host activities such as mum and toddler groups, art classes and events for children.

“When planning the refurbishment of Ebbw Vale Library, bringing these various considerations together and adding a modern interior into the unique traditional building meant we had the opportunity to deliver something fantastic for the community.  The finished facility provides ample space and gives readers a relaxed, uncluttered, high tech environment where they can move effortlessly from one area to the next according to their needs.”


Staff at the library have been overwhelmed by the positive reactions and feedback from visitors so far, here’s some of their feedback: -

“Cool and stylish!  Everything a modern library should be, well done to everyone involved, a proud day for Ebbw Vale.”

“Awesome looking building, unrecognisable from before – great design!”

I've just visited the newly opened, refurbished library in Ebbw Vale. The ‘wow’ factor is often mentioned and this refurbishment has it in spades. The building is now a modern, funky light filled space which is perfect for a contemporary library, whilst still retaining the architectural features that make this building such a feature in the town.  For anyone who has not visited a library for any length of time, a visit to this one is an absolute must!”

Ebbw Vale Library opening times: -

Monday:          9am – 5.30pm
Tuesday:          9am – 5.30pm
Wednesday:    Closed
Thursday:        9am – 5.30pm
Friday:             9am – 5.30pm
Saturday:         9am – 1pm

For more information call 01495 355055 or if you would like more information on our library service please visit http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries





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Sam Cross Visit

Pictured above are: Sports Centre Manager Ashley Owen, Silver Medalist Sam Cross and Aneurin Leisure Managing Director Anthony Hughes.

 

Wednesday 21st September saw Ebbw Vale Sports Centre receive a very special visit from Rugby Sevens player Sam Cross, who was part of the team to win Silver at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

Sam, who lives in Brynmawr, has received a complimentary Life Performance card from Aneurin Leisure, which enables local sporting men and women over the age of 12 to develop their sporting talent by using the facilities at our three Aneurin Leisure Sports Centres situated across Blaenau Gwent.

It’s wonderful to be able to welcome an amazing local athlete and Olympic silver medal winner, Sam Cross, to our venue at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre.  It’s important for the aspirations of our local community, particularly its younger members, to be able to see and interact with athletes such as Sam, and we are grateful for the interest he has shown in working with us at Aneurin Leisure to promote the importance of health and wellbeing across Blaenau Gwent.

Sam Cross said; "I would like to thank Aneurin Leisure for issuing me a performance card allowing me access to world class sporting facilities close to home which enables me to train to a high standard outside of the WRU national centre and I look forward to working closely with them in the future.

It is amazing to see the facilities that Ebbw Vale Sports Centre has and offers to the general public, while also supporting the school and college. The centre offers the kind of facilities and fitness classes that can be the breeding ground for the next generation of Blaenau Gwent Olympians."

 

How do I join the Life Performance Scheme?

The Aneurin Leisure Life Performance scheme is open to sporting men and women who meet the following criteria: -

  • Over the age of 12 and reside in the County Borough of Blaenau Gwent.
  • World Class Performance Potential (W.C.P.P.)
  • Elite Cymru Registered.
  • Member of a national team or squad.
  • Listed in the top ten national age group ranking – individual sports.

For more information on our range of Sports Centre facilities and services please call our Customer Advisor Team on 01495 355958 or visit www.bglife.co.uk

 

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3rd Mons Plaque Dedication 1 3rd mons plaque

On Wednesday 21st September 2016, a ceremony was held to dedicate a new memorial plaque placed in the grounds of Bedwellty Park in Tredegar, which honours the locally recruited men of the ‘3rd Mons’ Battalion who gave their lives during their the 1914-18 ‘Great War’.

The Monmouthshire Regiment had been formed in 1908 as a Territorial Army unit, comprising three Battalions drawn from different areas of the county.  Abergavenny was the headquarters of the 3rd Battalion (“3rd Mons”) which included two companies from Abertillery, one each from Blaina, Sirhowy, Tredegar, Ebbw Vale and Cwm and one company from Abergavenny.

The memorial and ceremony was arranged by Blaenau Gwent Heritage Forum to mark the centenary of the destruction of the 3rd Mons, and featured readings from Volunteer Chaplain Pierre Cornlouer, Mike Pescod who represented the British Legion and Steve Liversage BEM who represented the Welsh Guards.

Following the short ceremony at the memorial plaque, which situated beside the circular garden and near the War Memorial, the guests relocated the Assembly Room within Bedwellty House for a presentation.

Ralph James and Peter Morgan-Jones of Blaenau Gwent Heritage Forum offered a brief history of the Monmouthshire Regiment’s 3rd Battalion that was involved in several notable battles throughout the ‘Great War’, including the Second Battle of Ypres and the Battle of the Somme, and explained what life was like in the front line trenches for many soldiers.

Peter Morgan-Jones of Blaenau Gwent Heritage Forum said; “Blaenau Gwent Heritage Forum would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for providing funding for the memorial plaque.  We are also extremely grateful to Aneurin Leisure and Tredegar Town Council for their invaluable support.  Special thanks are also due to two local businesses, namely Gryphonn Quarry Trefil that donated the limestone block on which the plaque is mounted, and Gwent Building Supplies that both transported the stone from the quarry to the park, and provided its foundation materials free of charge.”

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure added; “Firstly I would like to thank Blaenau Gwent Heritage Forum for arranging this memorial to the brave men of the 3rd Mons Regiment, who sacrificed their lives in the First World War.  I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the Heritage Forum for the wonderful work they do within Bedwellty House & Park, providing a programme of historical talks and activities which keeps the history of this area alive for so many people, particularly for the younger generations.  Our partnership with the Forum is very important to us at Aneurin Leisure, and we hope it continues for many years to come.”  


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macmillan-logo

Help us raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support this month by taking part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning!

We've got lots of Coffee Mornings taking place this month at a variety of our Aneurin Leisure venues:

Monday 26th September
Brynmawr Library 9:30am – 12:30pm

Wednesday 28th September
Abertillery Library 10am – 12pm
Tredegar Library 10am -12pm

Thursday 29th September

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre 10am – 2pm

Friday 30th September
Bedwellty House 10am – 4pm
Blaina Library 10am – 12pm
Cwm Library 10am – 12pm
Ebbw Vale Library 10am – 12pm

Bore Coffi at Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre 10am - 12pm

 

Come and join the fun!

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Les Mills Taster Sessions at ASC

Last week marked another exciting development in our dynamic Les Mills Group Exercise Class provision at Aneurin Leisure.

On Thursday 15th September 96 people attended two FREE taster sessions from 6pm – 8pm at Abertillery Sports Centre, which showcased all new music and moves for our popular Grit Cardio and Bodypump Group Exercise Classes.

Our three Sports Centres based at Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar all provide a varied range of live and virtual Group Exercise Classes which are accessible for people of all fitness levels, enabling participants to work through the routines at their own pace and level of intensity.

The sessions were streamed live via facebook with over 2,860 views, drawing the following customer feedback: -

“This looks amazing, really need to try it!”

“Absolutely brilliant!”

“Loved every minute of it.”

“Grit is the best, but I love all the classes.”

For more information on our range of exciting classes and state of the art facilities visit www.bglife.co.uk

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group exercise classes

Next week marks another exciting development in our dynamic Les Mills Group Exercise Class provision at Aneurin Leisure.

On Thursday 15th September at Abertillery Sports Centre we will be providing FREE taster sessions from 6pm – 8pm showcasing all new music and moves for our popular Grit Cardio and Bodypump Group Exercise Classes.

To book your FREE place call Abertillery Sports Centre today on 01495 357779.

Les Mills is a global organisation that mixes great music and cutting edge science to help people fall in love with fitness.  At all three of our Sports Centres customers will be able to access an exciting range of instructor led fitness classes as well as virtual classes, which combine fitness programmes with pumping sound and motivation from some of the world’s leading instructors.

Our three Sports Centres based at Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar all provide a varied range of live and virtual Group Exercise Classes which are accessible for people of all fitness levels, enabling participants to work through the routines at their own pace and level of intensity.

“Brilliant Grit class will definitely be doing more and would highly recommend.” – Craig

“Awesome BodyPump Class in Abertillery Sports Centre today withLesley! Such a supportive and motivating instructor… pop along guys to either one of the Sports Centres and try it out! You'll never look back” - James

For more information on our range of exciting classes and state of the art facilities visit www.bglife.co.uk

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Giant-Peach-Picture

This September all our Aneurin Leisure Libraries are joining libraries across Wales to provide a fantastic competition for children aged 12 and under, which has some fantastic Roald Dahl prizes up for grabs!

The competition runs from 1st – 30th September and coincides with the Roald Dahl centenary celebrations and the end of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, the Big Friendly Read.

All children need to do to enter, is explore their local library and see if they can find where the staff have hidden the Giant Peach!  Once they’ve found it they just need to fill in a short form and their entry is complete!

There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs including Roald Dahl stationery packs, jigsaws, key rings and Roald Dahl themed games.

So, take a trip to your local library, and see what you can find!

Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates said of the competition: “This is a creative idea offering young people across Wales the chance to embrace and celebrate Roald Dahl’s Centenary year while also making the most of their local library facilities.

“2016 marks the Year of Adventure in Wales and Roald Dahl’s books are certainly full of exciting journeys. This competition is a great opportunity for children and parents alike to get involved, explore their local library and discover some new adventures along the way.”

To find out more about the competition and to view the terms and conditions please visit: www.libraries.wales 

For more information on our Aneurin Leisure libraries and services please visit 
http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries

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Posted by on in general

GP Exercise Referral Games

Due to the success of the pilot Live Long Ping Pong initiative earleir in the year at Abertillery Sports Centre, our Exercise Referral and Sports Development Teams have been working together to develop new ways to engage more people aged 50+ in activities which keep their bodies and minds active in a fun and social setting.

The teams utilised the popularity of the Rio 2016 Olympic games to encourage people living in the Ebbw Fach Valley, which has traditionally been a challenging area to engage older adults to participate in exercise, to come together to celebrate the successes of Team GB and try out a variety of fun and engaging multi skills activities.

In total 30 people attended the event (the oldest of which was 87 and youngest was 56), participating in five fun activities that were adapted to ensure that people of all ability levels could take part and enjoy them, including walking netball, table tennis, boccia, bean bag boule and short tennis.

To ensure there were no barriers to people who wanted to attend the event, the Sports Development team linked with Gavo to hire the community bus to provide transport for church and community groups to Abertillery Sports Centre.

The day was a great success, providing positive interaction between different groups of people in a social and fun setting to aid in the improvement of their physical and mental wellbeing.

Positive feedback was received from all the participants, many of whom stated they would recommend Abertillery Sports Centre to their friends.

For more information on our Sports Centres and range of facilities visit www.bglife.co.uk

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GCSE Success

Students within Adult Community Learning at Aneurin Leisure have been celebrating their successes after gaining their GCSE qualifications.   

Through our Learning Action Centres based around Blaenau Gwent a total of 57 learners sat a combination of GCSE English and Maths, achieving an impressive 100% pass rate!

Another 14 learners also undertook the GCSE Maths Higher Level courses, with 65% achieving an A - C grade.  Lucy Harding was “absolutely delighted” with her results, never believing that she would be able to complete the course.

Grade A learner, Billy Crompton (pictured above with his Maths Tutor Ian Howells) also stated that he was very pleased with his Grade A at the Higher Tier Maths which will enable him to progress onto Coleg Gwent to study A Level Maths and Physics.

Karen Bennett, Assistant Learning Service Manager said; "We are delighted at the success rate of our learners, it is a testament to the hard work of both our learners and staff alike within Adult Community Leaning.  We would like to take the opportunity to congratulate all our learners and wish them every success in the future."


Looking to boost your chances of achieving GCSE success?

At Aneurin Leisure we offer GCSE Maths and English tuition which can be offered on a one-to-one basis or in small groups.  Our tuition service provides an excellent opportunity to improve your grades whilst increasing your confidence.

For more information on GCSE tuition call 01495 355895 or email liz.watkins@aneurinleisure.org.uk

For more information about Adult Community Learning please visit http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/community-education

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bank holiday ahead

Here are our opening times for our venues on Monday 29th August 2016: - 

Bedwellty House & Park: 
Open as normal – Call 01495 353370 for more information


Parc Bryn Bach: 
Open as normal - Call 01495 355920 for more information


Beaufort Theatre & The Met: Closed


Learning Action Centres: Closed


Libraries: Closed


Sports Centres :

Abertillery & Tredegar are closed

Ebbw Vale is open 8am – 4pm with swimming available from 10am – 3pm


Please note: From Tuesday 30th August

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre summer swimming time table continues until Friday 2nd September

Tredegar Sports Centre summer swimming time table continues until Friday 2nd September


Abertillery Sports Centre swimming programme will be as follows

Tuesday

10.00am-12.00pm Free Swim

12.20pm-1.10 Lunchtime swim

1.30pm-3.00pm Public swim 


Wednesday 

10.00-12.00pm Free Swim 

12.20pm-1.10 Lunchtime swim 

1.30pm-3.00pm Public swim

Normal term time swimming time table runs from Thursday 1st September.

Abertillery 01495 357779  Ebbw Vale 01495 357777  Tredegar 01495 353395

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Boot-Sale-Bonanza-header

Join us at Tredegar Sports Centre on Saturday 27th August from 10am - 2pm for our spectacular Bank Holiday Boot Sale Bonanza!

If you’re looking to have a summer clear out, or would like to pick up a bargain come along to our Car Boot Sale!  Pitches cost just £5 per car – call us on 01495 353395 to book a place.

Throughout the day we’ll also have a variety of activities and events taking place to keep everyone entertained:

We’ll have a selection of FREE taster sessions for some of our most popular group exercise classes including Spin, Grit and BodyPump taking place within the sports centre.

To keep the little one’s entertained we’ll have a fabulous range of children’s activities on offer, from StreetGames inflatable football targets and scooter ramps to wheelie sports and a bouncy castle plus much more!  Activities cost £1 per person.

There will be a selection of refreshments on offer throughout the day.

For more information call Tredegar Sports Centre on 01495 353395

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