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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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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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Ebbw Vale Library Innova LR

The newly renovated and modernised Library at Ebbw Vale has been a massive hit with visitors of all ages since it re-opened to the public this month, following completion of an extensive refurbishment project which was funded by Welsh Government.

During the first week:

  • 2,505 people visited the library, 605 of which were on the first day!
  • 1,507 books were borrowed
  • 107 new members joined the library
  • 55 children had their faces painted during two FREE sessions
  • 95 children enrolled in the Summer Reading Challenge
Staff at the library have been overwhelmed by the positive reactions and feedback from visitors so far, which have included returning customers as well as many first time visitors of all ages, who have been curious about the refurbishment and eager to explore the new look library and it’s variety of services.

Here’s some of the feedback from customers so far: -

“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!”

“Having the library re-opened has made my summer.”

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!”

“Really impressed with the new renovated library – smart, friendly environment and staff are friendly and welcoming.  Great use for an old chapel and preserving local heritage.”

“At last something good has happened to Ebbw Vale.  Well impressed and will be a regular customer.  Excellent staff.  Well done.”

“Wow, Wow, Wow… missed our library so much!!! A town without a library is a town without a soul.”

“I have never seen so many young people using the library.”

“A wonderful place to come and browse for books, it really is amazing, I’m so pleased.”

“Definitely has the feel good factor and the staff made me feel so welcome.”

“Fantastic facility, light and inviting, very sophisticated in design.  I love it.”

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 libraries service please visit http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries
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Green-Flag Bi-lingual Colour

Keep Wales Tidy have unveiled this year’s Green Flag Award winners, and we are thrilled to announce that Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar is one of them.

The Green Flag Award is the international mark of a quality park or green space and Wales has recently seen a huge increase in the number of award-winning sites, with 161 parks and green spaces meeting the high standard needed to receive the coveted Green Flag Award or Green Flag Community Award.

We at Aneurin Leisure are extremely proud to earn the right to fly the prestigious Green Flag at two of ourparks; Bedwellty House and Park and now 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.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Green Flag Award scheme, which is delivered in Wales by 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, sustainability and community involvement.

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme.

Our parks and green spaces play an important role in our communities, but their benefits are often taken for granted. As well as providing havens for wildlife, having accessible, high quality green space can have a big impact of our health and well-being, and local economy.

All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the hundreds of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. It is thanks to them that we have so many fantastic facilities available on our doorstep.

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Further to our recent blogs we would like to confirm that work has now started within the Sports Hall at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre to replace the flooring.

The first phase of the work has involved the removal of the bleacher seating in the Sports Hall, which has now been completed by contractors.  The next phase will be to remove the current floor covering and assess the condition of the space beneath it, which is scheduled to start next week.

Throughout this process we will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum and provide regular updates and progress reports to our customers to ensure you’re kept informed.

We would like to remind everyone that during this period of work at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre, all our other facilities will remain open and available for use.

Once again we would like to thank everyone for their continued patience and support.

If you have any queries please ask a member of staff or call our Customer Advisor Team on 01495 355958.
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photography

Aneurin Leisure would like to offer up to 10 photographers (beginners and professionals of all skill levels) the opportunity to participate in the Decisive Moments Project.

Decisive Moments is funded by Creu Cymru and is FREE to participate in.  The project will be facilitated by Ann Sholem and Roy Campbell-Moore and will run over 4 days at The Met Theatre in Abertillery,  from August 30th – September 2nd 2016, 10.30am – 5pm each day.

The project will consist of artistic and technical Photography workshops, looking at photography as an artform for image creation, photographic print exhibition techniques, and also how to work in environmental settings including procedures for health and safety, permissions, accessibility, etc.

The project emphasises street photography, focusing on contemporary dance as this has rich potential to show decisive moments in movement and stillness, making people stop, look and be moved.

You will be given the opportunity to photograph live dance in a number of situations, including rehearsals and performances along with combined showings of work between dancers and photographers, followed by discussions regarding artistic and technical outcomes. The residency concludes with a photo exhibition of the participants’ work.

The ambition for Decisive Moments is to enable photographers to achieve greater skills and a higher level of artistic creativity, empowering them to move into new territory with their work. The project intends to change perceptions of critical analysis, enlarge artistic imaginations and teach photographers how to become involved in presenting work to the general public.

Each photographer needs:

1.      A digital camera! This should have manual override controls. Photographers will be expected to know how to use the manual controls of their cameras before starting the project.

2.      Access to a laptop.

3.      Enthusiasm, curiosity and energy.

If you're interested and would like to be considered for this project or require further information then please e-mail nyree.davies-jones@aneurinleisure.org.uk or call on 01495 355945.

Please note the project is FREE

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Following our recent blog on the work which is due to be carried on the Sports Hall flooring at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre, we would like to advise our customers that we have now received confirmation that the work is due to start on Monday 1st August 2016.

We appreciate the impact that this will have on our current and potential hirers and we are fully committed to ensuring that the Sports Hall returns to full operation at the earliest possible opportunity.

Please note that during this period of work at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre, all our other facilities will remain open and available for use.

The reason for this work stems from the flood we experienced at the start of February this year, and while the Sports Centre was only closed for 17 days, we have undertaken a lot of work in the intervening months to rebrand and improve the internal look of the facility, which has received many favourable comments from our customers.

Again we would like to thank all our customers for their continued patience and would like to reassure you all that we are working to complete this essential work as quickly as possible. 

We will continue to provide regular updates through this blog as soon as they become available, but if you have any queries please ask a member of staff or call our Customer Advisor Team on 01495 355958.
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PBB book activities online

Visit Wales has declared 2016 to be the Year of Adventure, encouraging people to step outside their normal lives and do something different, and we have just the thing to help you #FindYourEpic!

At Parc Bryn Bach, not only do we specialise in an amazing range of fun Adventure Activities, but now thanks to our brand new Book Online feature on our website, you can find your next adventure and book online from the comfort of your own home!

Our selection of activities, courses and trips offer a wonderful range of experiences for people of all ages and ability levels, and with tuition and support provided by our highly experienced AALA qualified instructors, you’re guaranteed to have an engaging and enjoyable experience you won’t soon forget!

For beginners we have an array of courses which provide an introduction to activities such as Caving, Climbing, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Watersports, as well as full day activities for more experienced adventurers.  There’s also a fabulous range of fun activities such as Gorge Walking, Coasteering, Tandem Paragliding and Hill Walking that are perfect for all ability levels. 

If you’re looking for an enjoyable activity with a difference, why not try one of our new Pembroke Coastal Tours?  Join us as we explore the beautiful coastal regions of Pembroke on Stand Up Paddle Boards, providing the perfect mix of spectacular scenery and leisurely exercise!

To view our full range of activities and make a booking visit our website at http://parcbrynbach.co.uk/shop/

 

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Ebbw Vale Library Concept Art

On Monday 1st August Ebbw Vale Library will be re-opening its doors to the public following an extensive refurbishment project made possible by funding from Welsh Government.

The newly renovated and modernised building will transform service delivery at Ebbw Vale, enabling greater community involvement, improved IT facilities and will provide an opportunity to increase partnership work with a wide range of organisations.

Ebbw Vale is the last of the six libraries in Blaenau Gwent to benefit from refurbishment works.  Now, all six of our Aneurin Leisure libraries are able to offer modern services in comfortable, attractive environments that suit the need of the community. 

To celebrate the launch of the Summer Reading Challenge face painting will be offered to all children enrolling for the scheme on Monday 1st of August at Ebbw Vale Library.  Readers will also be able to take advantage of a large range of new titles that have been added to our current stock, as well as new IT facilities and free Wi-Fi which are also available. 

Job seekers in the area will also be able to attend a new Job Club every Tuesday morning at Ebbw Vale Library, starting from 2nd August, where they will be able to access a range of services including help with Universal Job Match.

While Ebbw Vale Library has been undergoing refurbishment, a temporary library within Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre has been made available, but this facility will be closed from Monday 25th July to Friday 29th July to allow staff to transfer stock back to the main library ready for its re-opening.  Any customers wishing to return their borrowed books during this week can take them to Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre.

The new telephone number for Ebbw Vale Library will be 01495 355055 and the opening times will be as follows:

Monday:          9am – 5.30pm

Tuesday:          9am – 5.30pm

Wednesday:    Closed

Thursday:        9am – 5.30pm

Friday:             9am – 5.30pm

Saturday:         9am – 1pm

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure said; “This is exciting news for library services in Blaenau Gwent, a fully refurbished library at Ebbw Vale will play a vital role in supporting the community.  It will provide a valuable, multipurpose community space, with something for everyone and will enable us to transform the library, making it relevant to the community today, having a huge potential to change lives.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for the support and patience they have shown during this time of refurbishment and look forward to welcoming them to our vibrant new look venue.”


For more information on our library service please visithttp://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries

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We have recently received confirmation that the flooring in the Sports Hall at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre will soon need to undergo work in order to replace the floor covering. 

The need for this work stems from the flooding incident we experienced in February.  Although the Sports Hall has remained open since the incident, and remains safe to use, we must carry out this essential work in order to return the facility to the highest standard possible for our customers.

The new flooring will be an exact like for like replacement, and although a date has not yet been set for work to begin, we will provide full information on the schedule of work as soon as it becomes available.

We will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum throughout this process and will provide our customers with regular updates through this blog.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for their continued support and understanding while we work to make these improvements.

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Advisor Team on 01495 355958.
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Summer

This summer we have a fantastic range of events and activities for children of all ages at our Aneurin Leisure venues.  Whether you’d like to get active with some fun sports sessions, get creative at Bedwellty House, discover adventure at Parc Bryn Bach, learn some new dance skills at Beaufort Theatre and The Met or even take over the Library at Abertillery or Tredegar, we have something for everyone!

On Monday 25th July we’ll be inviting children to join us for a gloriumptious day of FREE frothbuggling fun as Kids Take Over the Library for a day of Roald Dahl themed fun at Abertillery Library from 10am – 1pm and Tredegar Library from 2pm – 5pm.

There’s also lots of fun on offer at Bedwellty House and Park this summer!  We’ve got a fabulous range of workshops which take place every Thursday, including toy making, LUSH bath bomb making, LEGO, Minecraft and even a Magic School!  In addition we also have a variety of themed fun days throughout the summer which include all sorts of storytelling and craft sessions.  For more information call 01495 353370 or visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

Our annual Dance Summer School takes place at Beaufort Theatre and The Met from Monday 25th to Friday 29th July, offering children and young people the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals, to create a dance piece which will be performed in front of family and friends at the end of the week.  For more information call 01495 355800.

Get a taste of adventure this summer at Parc Bryn Bach – every weekend throughout the holidays we have an exciting selection of adventure activities for you to try including; archery, mountain biking, climbing, kayaking and canoeing, bush craft and orienteering.  Activities cost £5 per person which includes all equipment and instruction.  Each Sunday we also have Wildlife Adventures from 1.30pm – 3pm which enable children of all ages to learn about our local wildlife and habitats (£1.50 per child).  For more information call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

If you’re looking to get active this Summer come along to one of our Sports Centres where we have a whole host of activities, events and camps to entertain children of all ages.  We have everything from Olympic themed sports, football and swimming to Junior Gym, StreetGames and Us Girls sessions.  Abertillery Sports Centre also have an amazing Introduction to Aerial Skills course for children aged 8+ which teaches the basics of circus skills like the static trapeze, aerial loops and silks!  For more information visit www.bglife.co.uk or call your local Sports Centre: Abertillery 01495 357779 / Ebbw Vale 01495 357777 / Tredegar 01495 353395).

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Ani and Hristo

The Bridges into Work 2 and Getting Started projects have been supporting Ani and Hristo since March 2016 when they sought help to find employment.  The family faced financial hardship and risked losing their home as they were struggling to find work.

The projects helped Ani and Hristo to look for work every week by completing application forms, compiling CVs and liaising with numerous employment agencies and companies on their behalf to find suitable work.

Bridges into Work 2 also provided support to help with the additional barriers faced by the family.  This included helping them to develop their English language skills and engaging with organisations such as Job Centre Plus, the Wallich, Citizens’ Advice and Families First.

After three months of intensive support, Ani and Hristo started work on Monday 20th June at St Merryn Meats in Merthyr Tydfil through Staffline.

The family is very grateful for the support they have received and would like to thank all parties concerned.

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Who do I think I was LRcopy

Community Exhibition: 13th – 22nd July at Gwent Archives 

This great new exhibition, which features visual arts, creative writing, music, film and craft, will celebrate the achievements of community groups from across the South East Wales Valleys region who took part in Who Do I Think I Was?

Who Do I Think I Was? is an arts and heritage project led by Head4Arts and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.  During the project, community groups visited their local archive centre to explore World War One history from a personal perspective.  Based on their research, the groups imagined what their lives might have been like if they had been alive a hundred years ago and interpreted their findings through the arts. 


Groups involved include Blaenau Gwent Senior Youth Theatre and Blaenau Gwent Rhythm & Ukes.

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Learner of the Year 2016 Amanda Smith

Adult Community Learning across Gwent recently held their annual Celebration of Achievement Awards at Croesyceiliog Community Centre, where they crowned Amanda Smith as Aneurin Leisure’s Learner of the Year 2016.

Amanda is currently learning Welsh at Hyfedredd level at Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre, with tutor Steffan Webb.  She was nominated for her passion and commitment to all aspects of Welsh Language and Culture, being described as “an inspiration and support to other learners and she embraces all opportunities to use her Welsh”. 

Amanda began learning Welsh shortly after leaving school, but had to give up due to work and family commitments.  However, she always longed to learn Welsh and returned to learning 10 years ago and has never looked back since.  Amanda progressed through the levels and 3 years ago felt confident enough to start work as a support assistant in Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Helyg, a Welsh medium primary school, where she supports children with their reading at Key Stage 2.

The Welsh Language is such a large part of Amanda’s life that she often works at Welsh for the Family events for the Welsh for Adults Centre and takes an active role in organisations such as Menter Iaith, Blaenau Gwent Welsh Society and is a mainstay of the weekly coffee mornings and chat clubs in the LACs in Blaenau Gwent.  In addition to this, she was also nominated for the Learner of the Year Award at the forthcoming National Eisteddfod.

During the Awards Amanda was asked to share her learning journey, she confidently delivered her bi-lingual speech recounting how on holidays she felt embarrassed to be a Welsh woman who could not speak Welsh.  Amanda also highlighted how in addition to her role as a support assistant, she is a children’s entertainer, where the ability to speak Welsh has given her a unique selling point leading to work with the National Eisteddfod and the Senedd.   Amanda closed her speech at the Celebration Awards with the following advice for anyone wishing to  commence their learning journey:

“Give it a go – at whatever new skills you fancy trying.  You may surprise yourself – I have.”

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Taste of Adventure at parc Bryn Bach

Every Saturday throughout the Summer holidays Parc Bryn Bach will be offering an exciting range of fun and challenging Adventure Activities for people of all ages to experience – so come along and discover if you could be the next Bear Grylls!

Our Adventure Activity taster sessions will be available every Saturday from 16th July to 27th August 2016, running hourly between 9.30am – 11.30am and 12.30pm – 4.30pm and include: -

  • Archery
  • Mountain Biking
  • Climbing
  • Kayaking and Canoeing
  • Bush Craft
  • Orienteering
Activities cost £5 per person – which includes all equipment and instruction.

Our qualified and highly experienced team of instructors will be on hand to provide guidance and support throughout each activity, ensuring that participants have an enjoyable and engaging experience that they won’t soon forget.

Places on each session are limited so pre-booking is advisable to avoid disappointment – simply call us on 01495 355920.

At Parc Bryn Bach we specialise in a range of adventurous outdoor activities, and with 340 acres of beautiful parkland and a freshwater lake at its heart, we are ideally situated for a fun day out for the whole family!  In addition to a range of fun activities we also have a lakeside café, children’s adventure playground, BMX track and cycle hire shop all in site – and of course FREE car parking – so come along for a visit!

Find us just of the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road at Tredegar.

To find out more about us visit our website at www.parcbrynbach.co.uk
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DB Max 2016 Winners

Last weekend saw 200 athletes take part in the gruelling Titan Brecon Triathlon at Parc Bryn Bach, with 186 participants successfully completing the course.

The event sets out a 1.2 mile swim of the lake, a 60 mile bike course that travels through the Brecon Beacons and a 13.1 mile run around Parc Bryn Bach, providing a great opportunity for spectators to enjoy the event.

The Titan Brecon winners for 2016 were Pleuni Hooijman from Bicester Tri Club in the Ladies race with a race record time of 05:21:49 and Oliver Simon of Tenby Aces/Five Frogs/Team NBCC in the Men's race at a time of 04:49:21.

Congratulations to everyone that took part!

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As the summer term draws to its conclusion, many of our learners within Adult Education are preparing to submit their portfolios of work and sit examinations to obtain a qualification in their chosen subject.

As part of the quality process the Awarding and Examination bodies visit the Learning Action Centres to ensure that all the guidelines and procedures are being adhered to.    This month Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre has received glowing reports from three of the Awarding bodies:

“This is a well-run centre, Karen and Sheila work as a cohesive team to ensure the integrity of the exam.”  - Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Board

“A Grade A centre” - British Computer Society

“An excellent centre” - WJEC Welsh Joint Education Committee

Ceri Waters Learning Services Manager said: "Building on the success of the Estyn inspection in 2015 it’s pleasing to see that Adult Education continues to offer a high quality learning experience  to the residents of Blaenau Gwent, enabling local people to gain recognised qualification at local accessible venues."

The Adult Education brochure is available at the beginning of July detailing the new classes which are on offer from September 2016, for further information or to request a brochure  please contact Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre 014195 355300 or www.aneurinleisure.org.uk
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mhw 2016logo

The theme for this year’s Men’s Health Week 2016 is stress and how people deal with it.

Everyone experiences a degree of stress in their lives and if left to build it can cause serious illness, but the good news is that there are lots of things we can do to beat it.

Not only can exercise help to reduce the risk of a number of serious illnesses, but it’s also a great way to improve your mood, boost your self-esteem and combat stress.  At our three Sports Centres across Blaenau Gwent we offer a range of state of the art fitness facilities and activities to help people of all ages and abilities to achieve their health and fitness goals, whether that’s through swimming, group exercise classes, playing a sport with friends, taking a gentle exercise class or using the gym.  Visit www.bglife.co.uk for more information.

Did you know that reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68%?  It doesn’t even matter what you read, as long as you enjoy reading it!  Our Libraries Service stock a fantastic range of titles for all reading ages and interests; from fiction to autobiographies, reference books to graphic novels and a wonderful variety of children’s titles.

Hobbies can provide a vital slice of work-free and responsibility-free time in a busy schedule, allowing you an important diversion from your stresses while taking part in a purposeful activity.  Within our Adult Community Learning and Library services we have a diverse range of classes and clubs that can help you to learn new skills or develop your creative side with an engaging new hobby.  Our cultural venues at Beaufort Theatre and The Met also provide the opportunity for people to explore the performing arts by watching a show, participating in a dance class or joining one of our many local societies.

Research has shown that spending time in the great outdoors can help you to feel healthier and happier, particularly if you escape into natural landscapes such as forests and parks.  Both our venues at Parc Bryn Bach and Bedwellty House & Park are teeming with wildlife and provide tranquil and idyllic settings where you can enjoy the fresh air and beautiful surroundings while going for a walk, run or even have a relaxing family picnic.

Parc Bryn Bach also offers a variety of relaxing walking, cycling and nature trails as well as a range of adventure activities that can provide fun and challenging alternatives to your usual exercise routine, such as stand up paddleboarding, canoeing, gorge walking and mountain biking – for our full range of activities visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk


As well as providing stunning views and opportunities for relaxation, Bedwellty House & Park also offer a range of weekly activities that can help with stress reduction such as Tai Chi and Mindfulness classes.  There are also a number of volunteering opportunities enabling people to make fulfilling contributions to the venue and local community, whether they would like to get involved with gardening or supporting events.  Visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk for more information.

For more information on Men's Health Week 2016 please visit https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/mhw

 

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EV Lib9
 



I’m pleased to report that Ebbw Vale Library is now in the final stages of modernisation and will soon be opening its doors once again to the public.

There has been a two phased approach to the funding, with a Welsh Government Museums and Libraries grant and a contribution from the Welsh European Funding Office Convergence Programme, allowing the library to  benefit from improved disabled access, a re-designed IT suite, a new community room and a complete internal re-fit, designed by library specialists Innova.   

Ebbw Vale Library will have a modern feel, without losing the traditional features of the historic building, with a mix of old and new.  The refurbishment will transform service delivery at Ebbw Vale, enabling greater community involvement, improved IT facilities and providing an opportunity to increase our partnership work with a wide range of organisations. 

This is exciting news for library services in Blaenau Gwent, a fully refurbished library at Ebbw Vale will play a vital role in supporting the community.  It will provide a valuable, multipurpose community space, with something for everyone and will enable us to transform the library, making it relevant to the community today, having a huge potential to change lives.

While Ebbw Vale Library has been undergoing refurbishment, we have operated a temporary library within Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre which has provided a range of stock and services for our customers. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support and patience while we work to refurbish the facilities at Ebbw Vale Library.

For more information on our library service please visit http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@Aneurinleisure

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AneurinLeisure

Website:www.aneurinleisure.org.uk

For more information contact:
Aneurin Leisure Communications and Marketing Team

Rebecca Perry 01495 355959 rebecca.perry@aneurinleisure.org.uk

Ceri Coffey 01495 355978 ceri.coffey@aneurinleisure.org.uk

Emma Williams 01495 354766 emma.williams@aneurinleisure.org.uk
 
 
EV Lib7
 
EV Lib8
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happy-father-day

If you’re looking for a unique Father’s Day gift this year we have a fabulous range of ideas for the special man in your life!


Looking for some Luxury?

Join us at Bedwellty House & Park for a very special Afternoon Tea with a difference on Sunday 19th June – Our Lord Tredegar’s Afternoon Tea features a mini homemade soup, selection of sandwiches, an assortment of five homemade savoury treats, three sweet treats and a warm scone served with clotted cream and preserves, all served with tea or coffee – perfect for an afternoon of indulgence!

Throughout the afternoon we’ll also have live music and gift making activities to keep the children entertained. 

Prices are £15 Adults / £10 Children.

For more information or to make a booking contact Bedwellty House & Park on 01495 353370


Discover Adventure with Us!

If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous for the action man in your life, why not treat them to an Adventure Activity gift voucher for Parc Bryn Bach?

Try out our new Stand Up Paddle Boarding sessions at Parc Bryn Bach – we’ll provide four hours of training and instruction before embarking on a half day journey where you can perfect your technique and admire the beautiful scenery from a unique perspective – all for just £45 per person.

We also have a wide range of fun and exhilarating Adventure Activities that are suitable for all ages and abilities guaranteed to provide an experience you’ll never forget, from Tandem Paragliding and Caving to Gorge Walking and Climbing priced at £120 for up to 3 people - so why not make it a family outing or let your Dad take his friends!

For our full range of Adventure Activities visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

For more information call us on 01495 355920.

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Victoria Price and Neil Vincent

Neil Vincent and Victoria Price from our Inspire Sports Development team recently undertook a mentor training programme with the University of South Wales as part of the Active Gwent partnership work.

Mentoring is all about supporting and encouraging people to manage their own learning in order to maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.

Neil and Victoria successfully completed the course and carried out the required number of mentoring hours and produced a portfolio to be presented with this award by the University of South Wales at a short ceremony at Treforest Sports Park last Friday.

Both are now mentoring individuals from sports clubs in Blaenau Gwent with the aim of increasing participation and sustainability.

If you’d like to know more about Inspire or would like to get in touch with the team visit https://www.facebook.com/bginspire

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bank holiday ahead

Here are our Spring Bank Holiday opening times for our venues on Monday 30th May 2016: -

Bedwellty House & Park:

Open as normal – we also have live music from Rod Lewis and lots of soft play to keep the little ones entertained from 12.30pm – 4.30pm.  The Orchid House Tea Room and licensed bar will be open.

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 that Abertillery and Tredegar Sports Centres will be open as follows on Sunday 29th May:

Abertillery Sports Centre will be open 8.15am – 5pm

Tredegar Sports Centre will be open 8.30am – 4.45pm

 

Abertillery 01495 357779 w Ebbw Vale 01495 357777 w Tredegar 01495 353395

 

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Please be advised that as of Monday 30th May 2016 the Café serving area in Abertillery Sports Centre will no longer be available.

We will however still have the seating area for you to sit and relax and enjoy the quality vending offer available to you where you can purchase a selection of the following:

A variety of salad and pasta pots:
Salad Pots and boxes - Tuna, Ham or Cheese served on a bed of salad
Pasta Pots - Cheese, Ham or Tuna served on a bed of salad


Brown and white rolls or baguettes with various fillings:
BBQ Chicken on a bed of lettuce
Chicken Tikka on a bed of lettuce
Tuna and Mayonnaise
Cheese and Ham
Chicken Salad


A daily selection of freshly filled sandwiches on either white or brown bread with various fillings:
Egg and Cress
Ham Salad
Cheese Ploughman’s   


Other Options:
Jelly Pots – Various flavours
Yoghurt – Muller Light


Fruit Options:
Fruit Pots with a selection of mixed fruits
Individual portions of apples, oranges and bananas


We would like to thank you for your understanding during this time of change and welcome any feedback regarding the service.

If you have any queries please contact us on 01495 357779

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Les Mills Launch at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre-copy

Last week we launched a brand new range of exciting Les Mills Group Exercise Classes with a series of FREE open evening taster sessions at all three of our Aneurin Leisure Sports Centres across Blaenau Gwent.

Over 400 people attended the launch sessions in Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar over three days, getting the opportunity to sample two of our new Les Mills group exercise classes; Bodypump and Grit.   In addition to the people who attended these sessions, our live streaming posts on facebook reached a further 34,237 people.

At Aneurin Leisure we are passionate about encouraging people to think about their well-being and providing quality services that can help them to achieve their aspirations and improve their general health and fitness.  With this in mind we have combined our most popular fitness classes such as Spin and Kettlebells with a brand new range of Les Mills group exercise classes, which merge physical and digital techniques to provide an innovative new experience.  As with all our group exercise classes, our new range of Les Mills live and virtual classes are accessible for people of all fitness levels, enabling participants to work through the routines at their own pace and level of intensity.

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.

I'd like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who came along to support our launch events and try out our new classes, we hope that you enjoyed the experience and will be back to try more of our exciting new classes.

Here's a sample of some of the feedback we've received so far: - 

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

“Tried my first virtual Les Mills class last night, and I must say BodyCombat was absolutely brilliant, really enjoyed it, so much energy in that room!” – Lyndsey

“Awesome BodyPump Class in Abertillery Sports Centre today withLesley! Such a supportive and motivating instructor;like I said about GRIT, 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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group exercise classes

The next few weeks will see a very exciting range of developments being launched for our Sports Centre customers, adding a whole new dimension to their fitness programme.

Leading the way is our development of the fitness class programmes at each of our Sports Centres.  From Monday 16th May we will be combining our most popular fitness classes with a brand new range of Les Mills fitness classes, which merge physical and digital techniques to provide an innovative new experience.

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.

Whether you’re looking to get lean toned and fit with Body Pump, have a fun loving dance workout with Sh’Bam, improve your mind body and life with the yoga-based Body Balance, release your inner warrior with Body Combat, build your core strength with CX Worx or push yourself with Grit high intensity interval training, we have something for everyone!

Don’t forget as with all our classes, the new Les Mills live and virtual classes are accessible for people of all fitness levels, enabling participants to work through the routines at their own pace and level of intensity.

**FREE TASTER SESSIONS**

Come along and try out two of our new group exercise classes BODYPUMP and GRIT for FREE:

-          Monday 16th May 6-8pm at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre
-          Tuesday 17th May 6-8pm at Abertillery Sports Centre
-          Wednesday 18th May 6-8pm at Tredegar Sports Centre

Click on the links below to get a taste of our exciting new classes: -

Bodypump       http://bit.ly/1ROCF1S
Sh’bam           
http://bit.ly/21Tpuw2
Bodycombat   
http://bit.ly/21TpuvX
CXWORX         http://bit.ly/21TpuvZ

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Lesley Jones before and after

In August 2012, Lesley Jones from Abertillery decided to take a huge step toward improving her health and wellbeing by embarking on a life changing journey at Abertillery Sports Centre.

At the start of her journey Lesley weighed 17 stone and had borderline Type 2 Diabetes, she decided to join a local weight loss club and take out a life membership at Abertillery Sports Centre on the same day, determined to turn her life around.

Even though she struggled with low confidence levels and initially felt intimidated walking into the gym at the Sports Centre, Lesley persevered and soon her confidence began to soar.

Lesley’s true passion for her new active lifestyle started when she decided to try some of the fitness classes on offer at Abertillery Sports Centre as part of her life membership, and as her determination to succeed grew, she began participating in two or three classes a day.

A year after her journey began, Lesley had lost 6 ½ stone and dropped seven dress sizes from a 22/24 to a 10.  Six months later Lesley lost another stone, taking her total weight loss to 7 ½ stone, that’s a staggering 105lbs!

Following her amazing transformation, Lesley decided to pursue her new found passion and studied to become a qualified fitness class instructor and will soon be delivering a range of fitness classes within our Sports Centres at Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar.

Lesley said of her incredible journey; “Being a 'big' girl I was very low in confidence when I started, so walking into the gym was very intimidating and I really did think everyone was looking at me and judging me!  But I kept coming back and slowly my confidence grew.  Now, after achieving my own fitness goals I’ve decided to follow my passion and start my fitness training to help people just like me, who would never think it’s possible to ever achieve their goals and show them that they can succeed if they truly want to.”

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.

**FREE OPEN DAY**

Don’t miss our FREE taster sessions for the new Les Mills fitness classes at all three of our sports centres: -

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre – Monday 16th May 6pm – 8pm
Abertillery Sports Centre – Tuesday 17th May 6pm – 8pm
Tredegar Sports Centre – Wednesday 18th May 6pm – 8pm

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We are currently looking to recruit Personal Trainers at our three Aneurin Leisure Sports Centres in Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar.


It’s an exciting opportunity for someone who has the passion and drive to make a difference to people’s lives, offering support and helping them to achieve their goals.


There is also the potential to take fitness classes such as Kettlebells, Step Aerobics, Zumba, Aqua and Circuits at the Sports Centres.


If you would like more information on these recruitment opportunities or would like to join the team please call us on 01495 355958.
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AL-LogoSL4C

Here are our opening times for our Aneurin Leisure venues on Monday 2nd May 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 that Abertillery and Tredegar Sports Centres will be open as follows on Sunday 1st May:

Abertillery Sports Centre 8.15am - 5pm

Tredegar Sports Centre 8.30am - 4.45pm

 

Abertillery 01495 357779 w Ebbw Vale 01495 357777 w Tredegar 01495 353395
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 Food For Fines Copy

Throughout May, our six libraries across Blaenau Gwent will be accepting donations of food in lieu of overdue fines for books.

So, if you have any overdue books at home – bring them to your local library any time in May and you can have your fines cleared if you donate some food, all donated food items will then be passed on to The Trussell Trust food banks situated throughout Blaenau Gwent.

Donations can include items such as: -

Cereal, tinned soup, tinned baked beans, 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.


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 on: -


Abertillery 01495 355646 w Blaina 01495 355609 w Brynmawr 01495 357743

Cwm 01495 370454 w Ebbw Vale 01495 303069 w Tredegar 01495 357869

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I’d like to take this opportunity to provide an update on the latest phase of repair work to be carried out at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre following the flooding incident in February.

Since the initial incident and subsequent two week closure we have strived to work as quickly as possible to get the facility and services operational again, and now there are only a few areas of ongoing work to be completed: -

This Week

This week we will be transferring our reception from the temporary area back to the main reception at the front of the building, which will be re-opened at midday on Friday 22nd April 2016.

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council have also started work on installing new wooden barriers along the pavements of Lime Avenue, which includes the area outside the Sports Centre and outdoor pitches.  With this in mind, we would like to encourage all our customers to utilise the nearby multi storey car park which is open from 5.30am – 10.30pm and offers free and secure parking which is monitored by Smart Solutions.

Next Week

Once the main reception is open, we will begin minor repairs and redecoration work at the temporary reception site and atrium at the end of the first floor corridor.  This means that there will be some scaffolding erected and access restrictions for a short time.

We will also be recommissioning the barrier system, which means that only customers with a blue badge will now be able to access the disabled parking bays outside the Sports Centre.

During this period we will also be carrying out essential work to the Weights Room, which means that we will be transferring the free weights to the spin zone in the gym temporarily while the work is completed.

Once again I would like to thank our customers and visitors for their continued support and patience during this time.
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Country Fair Web Banner

Join us at Parc Bryn Bach for an entertaining and fun day out for all the family on Sunday 22nd May from 10am – 6pm.

We’ll have a range of countryside crafts on offer for visitors to enjoy throughout the day, ranging from wood turning and weaving to spinning and farrier work, as well a selection of Falconry and Sheepdog displays taking place in the main arena.

In addition to our country themed crafts, there will also be a variety of exhibitions, stalls, children’s activities and a performance from Kidz R Us to keep visitors entertained.

Could you be the next Bear Grylls?  Why not try out our range of fun and exciting adventure activities with one of our Taste of Adventure sessions!  All our activities are suitable for ages 8 years and upwards and are carried out under the expert supervision of our qualified team of instructors.  Taster Sessions cost £5 per person.

Find us just off the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road at Tredegar!

Entry to the Country Fair and car parking is FREE

For more information call us on 01495 355920 or visit our website at www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

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The Armed Forces Free Swimming scheme is a great new national initiative launched by the Welsh Government as part of its Package of Support for the Armed Forces Community, which complements the existing help and support available to the armed forces community across Wales.

The scheme offers free swimming for anyone currently serving, or who has served in the Armed Forces at all three of our Sports Centres in Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar, during public swimming sessions throughout the year.

We all know that swimming is a great form of all-round exercise and is ideal if you want to be more active and stay healthy, whatever your age or ability.  Studies have shown that regular swimming can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.  It can also help with weight loss and improving both physical and mental wellbeing.

Members of the Armed Forces and Veterans will be eligible for free swimming at our centres by using their MOD Defence Discount/Privilege Card, which is available through the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Discount Service.

For more information on the MOD Defence Discount/Privilege Card please visit https://www.defencediscountservice.co.uk/

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Visit Wales has declared 2016 to be the Year of Adventure, encouraging people to step outside their normal lives and do something different, and at Parc Bryn Bach we have just the thing to help you #FindYourEpic!

Parc Bryn Bach, a stunning 340 acre park with an idyllic lake at its heart, is situated in the foothills of the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales, making it the perfect location for a variety of leisure and adventure activities, certain to make your day trip or holiday one to remember!

As an Approved Activity Provider, we specialise in a range of exciting adventure activities that can be tailored to suit all ages and abilities: -

Archery                             Mountain Biking                                 Gorge Walking
Caving                               Tandem Paragliding                           Team Building
Climbing                            Canoeing & Kayaking                          Orienteering
Coasteering                       Stand Up Paddle Boarding                  Hill Walking

Don’t take our word for it – get a taste of our exciting adventure activity experiences by watching our great new film: - https://vimeo.com/161000937

We also have a variety of orienteering, cycling, walking and nature trails within the park which are guaranteed to show you a wonderful range of local landscapes and provide opportunities to spot our resident wildlife.  Once your exploration is done, why not enjoy a coffee and bite to eat while admiring our lakeside views in our Visitor Centre – we have a delicious range of refreshments, light bites and meals served daily.

There’s plenty of adventure for everyone at Parc Bryn Bach - and if you’re bringing your little ones along we have a great children’s adventure playground and crazy golf course, as well as a fun and friendly programme of children’s adventure activities throughout the school holidays.

Throughout the year Visit Wales will be challenging everyone to #FindYourEpic amongst Wales’s rugged landscapes, waterways and towns, so why not join us at Parc Bryn Bach and discover adventure with us!

To find out more visit the website at www.parcbrynbach.co.uk
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Volunteer Award Blaina Library

On Friday 18th March the High Sherriff of Gwent, Andrew Tuggley, paid a special visit to Blaina Library to present awards for “Volunteers who go above and beyond” to two of our volunteers who work at the library, Mike Thomas and David Gurl.

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.

During their time at the library, Mike has assisted countless job seekers through the stressful and complex system of job searching, completing application forms and CVs with people.  David, who possesses excellent ICT skills, has also been able to assist individuals, not only with job searching, but with their general digital enquiries. 

Both volunteers were thrilled at receiving the Awards, and although David was unable to attend on the day of the visit, Joe McCarthy from Blaina Library graciously accepted the Award on his behalf.

The presentation was attended by Mike’s friends and family as well as Aneurin Leisure Board Members Lyn Evans, Sue Lewis and Donna Hardman.

Volunteers form an integral part of our organisation, helping us to deliver services which have a tangible impact on our local communities, and it’s fulfilling to see people like Mike and David receiving the recognition they deserve.  I would like to extend my thanks on behalf of Aneurin Leisure to Andrew Tuggley for visiting today, and would like to congratulate Mike and David on their Awards.

Pictured left to right: Anthony Hughes, Mike Thomas, Lyn Evans, Sue Lewis and High Sheriff Andrew Tuggley

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Here are our venue opening times for the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Bedwellty House & Park
We are open as normal throughout the Bank Holiday weekend: -

  • Park Gates are open 8am – 5pm
  • Bedwellty House is open 10am – 5pm
  • Orchid House Tea Room is open 10.30am – 4.30pm
If you have any queries please contact 01495 353370.

Parc Bryn Bach
We are open as normal throughout the Bank Holiday weekend: -

  • Main Gates are open 8.30am – 6pm
  • Visitor Centre is open 8.30am – 4.30pm
  • Café and shop are open 9.30am – 3pm
  • Golf Course is open 9am – 4pm (last tickets tokens sold 3.50pm)
If you have any queries please contact 01495 355920.

Sports Centres



Good Friday

Saturday 26th March

Sunday 27th March

Easter Monday

Abertillery Sports Centre

(01495 357779)

Open

8.30am – 5pm

Open as normal

7am – 5pm

Open

8am – 5pm

Closed

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre

(01495 357777)

Open

7.30am – 4pm

Open as normal

7.30am – 4pm

Open

7.30am–8.30pm

Open

7.30am – 4pm

Tredegar Sports Centre

(01495 353395)

Closed

Open as normal

7.30am–4.45pm

Open

7.30am–4.45pm

Closed

Our Easter Holiday Swimming Timetables can be viewed at http://www.bglife.co.uk/half-term-pool-times.aspx


Arts Venues
The Met and Beaufort Theatre & Ballroom will be closed from Good Friday to Easter Monday, but will re-open as normal on Tuesday 29th March.

Learning Action Centres
All our Learning Action Centres will be closed from Good Friday to Easter Monday, but will re-open as normal on Tuesday 29th March.

Libraries
All our libraries will be closed from Good Friday to Easter Monday, but will re-open as normal on Tuesday 29th March.

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Sports Relief at Abertillery SportsCentre 1Sport Relief at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre 1Sport Relief at Tredegar Sports Centre 1

Last weekend saw a great range of fundraising activities taking place across Blaenau Gwent at each of our three Sports Centres, raising over £700 for Sport Relief.

Abertillery Sports Centre – The Abertillery Mile
On Sunday 20th March participants of all ages joined staff from the Sports Centre on the 3G pitch to walk, run, skip, jump or hop for a distance of one, three or six miles, raising a total of £261.15 for Sport Relief.

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre – Cross Channel Challenge
On Friday 18th March staff and customers embarked on an epic challenge to row the distance from Dover to Calais (an impressive feat at 20.6 miles), which combined with the efforts of participants from the sponsored Spin and Body Conditioning classes also taking place throughout the day, raised a total of £400 for Sport Relief.

Tredegar Sports Centre – Dodgeball Tournament
Also on Friday 18th March, teams of participants from across a number of organisations including Communities First, Inspire Sports Development, Tredegar Sports Centre, Tredegar Comprehensive School, Sports Leaders and a volunteer group competed in a fun filled Dodgeball Tournament, raising approximately £100 for Sport Relief.

It truly is wonderful to see so many of our customers, life members and partner organisations working with our staff across all our Sports Centres to raise money for such a good cause.  Our vision for the Trust is to support and improve community life through leisure, learning and culture, so it’s great to see so many people getting active and participating in sporting activities, whatever their ability level, in order to raise money for Sport Relief and ultimately help to change the lives of people both in the UK and in some of the world’s poorest communities.  On behalf of Aneurin Leisure I would like to thank everyone for their support, whether you participated in an activity, provided sponsorship or cheered on the side-lines, be assured your contribution has made a difference.

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This Easter we have a fabulous range of varied activities across our Aneurin Leisure venues which reflects our commitment to providing leisure, learning and cultural activities for all the family.

Whether you’d like to enjoy a children’s theatre show, get active with some fun sports, get creative with arts and crafts, hunt for Easter Eggs or even enjoy Afternoon Tea, we have something for everyone.

Lose yourself in an afternoon of children’s theatre this Easter with one of our enchanting tales.  Come on a journey with The Railway Children at Beaufort Theatre on Thursday 31st March at 2.30pm, tickets are priced £8 / £6 concessions.  Join us for a charming family musical of Rapunzel at The Met on Thursday, 7th April at 2pm, tickets are priced at £6 each.  Tickets for both shows can be purchased from the Box Office on 01495 355800 or online at www.aneurinleisure.org.uk.

There’s lots of Easter Holiday Fun on offer at Bedwellty House and Park!  Why not join us for Afternoon Tea or Sunday Lunch with the Easter Bunny from 21st – 24th March and on Sunday, 27th March.  We also have a great range of activities throughout the holidays, including a Jewellery Making Workshop on Thursday, 31st March (ages 7+), Alien Adventures fun day on Tuesday, 5th April (ages 3+) and a Kids Cookery Workshop on Thursday, 7th April (ages 7+).  For more information call 01495 353370.

Don’t miss our EGG-citing Easter Fun Day at Parc Bryn Bach on Sunday, 27th March from 10am!  We’ll have storytelling sessions and a woodland Easter Egg hunt to keep your little one’s entertained this Easter.  For more information call 01495 355920.

If you’re looking to get active this Easter 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 Football, Basketball and Netball Camps to Playschemes and Swimming Inflatables.  For more information visit www.bglife.co.uk or call your local Sports Centre (Abertillery 01495 357779 / Ebbw Vale 01495 357777 / Tredegar 01495 353395).

Join us as we work in partnership with Head 4 Arts at Abertillery Library on Friday, 1st April for Tall Tales & Ukuleles, a wonderful day of silly stories and terrific tunes!  We also have a great selection of Easter Egg Hunts taking place at all six of our libraries throughout the Easter Holidays as well as Storytelling Sessions at Tredegar Library on Tuesday 5th April (10.30am and 3.30pm) and Cwm Library on Thursday, 7th April (10.30am and 3.30pm). 

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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Sport Relief logo 2016

Join us this month as we get active and have fun to help change lives for Sport Relief!

We’ve got a great range of fundraising activities taking place within our three Sports Centres this month to raise money for Sport Relief, and we would love our customers to get involved and join in the fun!  Whether you’d like to participate in the challenges or provide support and sponsorship – we’ve got something for everyone!

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre – Cross Channel Challenge
Join our epic rowing challenge on Friday 18th March as we endeavour to row the distance from Dover to Calais (20.6 miles) in a rowing relay challenge based in the Lifestyle Studio! 

If rowing isn’t your thing - we’ll also have a fabulous fancy dress spin class and body conditioning class for people to join in with to raise money for Sport Relief.

For more information, or to get involved contact Ebbw Vale Sports Centre on 01495 357777

Tredegar Sports Centre – Dodgeball Tournament
On Friday 18th March at 3pm teams from Inspire Sports Development, Tredegar Sports Centre, Tredegar Comprehensive School, Sports Leaders and Communities First will be competing in a mad-cap Dodgeball Tournament to raise money for Sport Relief.

For more information contact Tredegar Sports Centre on 01495 353395

Abertillery Sports Centre – The Abertillery Mile
Take a sponsored stroll with the family or race with friends on Sunday 20th March at Abertillery’s 3G pitch.  Participants can choose to walk, run, skip, jump or hop for a distance of one, three or six miles to raise money for Sport Relief.

You can register to join the Abertillery Mile on the Sports Relief website at www.sportrelief.com or if you would like more information contact Abertillery Sports Centre on 01495 357779.

To find out more about our Sports Centre or services visit our website at www.bglife.co.uk


What is Sports Relief?

Sport Relief is brought to you by Comic Relief which, since 1985, has helped countless people thanks to the amazing generosity and fundraising of the British Public. 

Of all the money raised by the public through Sport Relief, 50% is used to make a difference right here in the UK.  The other 50% goes towards transforming lives across the world’s poorest communities.

In the last two years Sport Relief cash has helped to enable:

  • Over 189,000 children to attend school and get an education.
  • 16,500 people get the support they need to improve their mental health.
  • Over 734,000 children to be given life-saving vaccine
  • Funding for 23 projects that support people living with dementia.
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Wales Tourism Week Adventure Activities at Parc Bryn Bach

Last week saw Aneurin Leisure and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council celebrate Wales Tourism Week by highlighting activities linked to Visit Wales ‘Year of Adventure’ theme for 2016.

Local Member of Parliament, Nick Smith and Assembly Member, Alun Davies AM, paid a visit to the new interpretation totems and benches in the rest bay at the highest point on the A465 Heads of the Valley road, before moving on to Parc Bryn Bach to enjoy a selection of adventure activities and to discuss the role that the park plays in welcoming activity visitors to Blaenau Gwent.

Hywel Diplock and Craig James, Adventure Activity Instructors at Parc Bryn Bach, led them through activities including golf and archery, sharing their experiences of getting visitors to participate in a range of exciting and fun outdoor activities.

Nick Smith MP said; ‘Wales Tourism Week gives us a great opportunity to visit and listen to local tourism businesses. This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience with top notch instructors ensuring we were right on target and I can see why visitors keep coming back to Parc Bryn Bach.’

Alun Davies AM added; ‘We have had a wonderful experience with first rate instructors at Parc Bryn Bach. Their enthusiasm and ability shines through. Here they have the perfect setting to deliver all sorts of activities whether on land or lake and nearby underground and in the air. I’ll be back next month to run the 10k and I hope it stops snowing by then!’

This has been a great opportunity for the Trust and I would like to thank Alun Davies AM and Nick Smith MP for taking time out of their busy schedules to take advantage of the fantastic facilities we have at Parc Bryn Bach.  The destination is perfect to help celebrate the ‘Year of Adventure’ with activities ranging from paragliding to paddle boarding, putting Blaenau Gwent on the map as an exciting adventure activity destination and attracting tourism to support the area.

Pictured Left to Right: Alun Davies AM, Anthony Hughes MD Aneurin Leisure, Nick Smith MP, Craig James & Hywel Diplock from Parc Bryn Bach.

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February has been a challenging month for Aneurin Leisure as we have strived to re-open Ebbw Vale Sports Centre following the flood damage that occurred on Saturday 6th February, which resulted in the Trust and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council taking the necessary decision to close the venue to ensure the safety of our customers and staff.

Since the closure, staff from Aneurin Leisure and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council have shared a commitment to re-open facilities swiftly in order to minimise the disruption to our customers, and have worked together to ensure that comprehensive safety checks and repairs have been completed as quickly as possible.

During the closure, our customers have been able to utilise facilities at Abertillery and Tredegar Sports Centres, and in a number of cases these venues have been able to offer additional fitness classes to accommodate the increase in customers.

I am pleased to report that the following facilities have this week re-opened at their usual times at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre:

·         Swimming Pool and Hydroslides

·         Lifestyle Studio (gym)

·         Free Weights Room

·         Dance Studio

·         Health Suite

·         Sports Hall

·         3G Pitches

·         Café

Our swimming lessons and fitness classes (with the exception of Spin on a Wednesday and Thursday evening) have also re-started and are now operating at their usual times.

There are now just two areas of the building where repair work is still ongoing; the Main Reception area and the Spin Zone.  Whilst we work to get these areas operational we will make every effort to keep any disruption to a minimum for our customers.

As a gesture of goodwill we will be automatically crediting Ebbw Vale Sports Centre members for the 17 days that the Sports Centre has been closed.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for the support and understanding they have shown us while we have worked tirelessly to re-open the Sports Centre, and would also like to extend my thanks to staff from Aneurin Leisure and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council for their commitment and determination which has allowed us to re-open the facility within just 17 days of its initial closure.

If you have any queries, or would like further information please don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Service Team on 01495 355958

 

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I’m pleased to announce that as of today all of the following facilities have been re-opened at their usual times at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre:


·         Swimming Pool

·         Lifestyle Studio (gym)

·         Free Weights Room

·         Dance Studio

·         Health Suite (the sauna and Jacuzzi are open but the steam room is currently unavailable)

·         Sports Hall

·         3G Pitches

·         Café

The Hydroslides will be re-opening on Friday evening and on Saturday and Sunday as normal.  All our swimming lessons have restarted this week at their usual times, but due to restrictions resulting from the work being carried out to the main staircase, we are unable to open the pool spectator gallery at this time.


Our Fitness Classes will be re-starting at their usual times from Thursday 25th February, with the exception of our Wednesday and Thursday evening Spin classes.


Currently there are two areas of work which are ongoing; this includes the Main Reception (including the staircase) and Spin zone, but we will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum.


If you have any queries, or would like more information please contact our Customer Services Team on 01495 355958
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Yesterday was the first step in our phased re-opening of Ebbw Vale Sports Centre and we successfully opened our new temporary reception, 3G pitches and changing rooms.


Today saw the swimming pool open as normal and it has been heartening to see so many of our customers and swimming clubs return for their early morning swim.  From today our swimming lessons have also restarted at their usual times, the sports hall is once again available and the café is providing hot and cold drinks from 5pm.


From tomorrow the following facilities will also be open:


·         Lifestyle Studio (gym)

·         Free Weights Room

·         Dance Studio

·         Health Suite

We would like to remind customers to use the temporary reception and entrance opposite the 3G pitches (same side of the building as the main entrance) while work is being carried out in the main reception area.


As a gesture of goodwill the Trust plans to credit Ebbw Vale Sports Centre members for the 17 days the Sports Centre has been closed.  More information on this will be provided in future blog updates.


I would like to re-iterate how important the support from our customers has been and we are grateful for your continued patience.  I would also like to take the opportunity to thank staff from both the Trust and BGCBC for their tireless efforts to re-open the Sports Centre since the incident on 6th February.


If you have any queries or require further information please contact our Customer Services Team on 01495 355958.
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Aneurin Leisure are pleased to announce that after just 2 weeks of the significant flooding incident that took place in Ebbw Vale Sports Centre, as of 5pm this evening the phased opening began as planned.  This included the temporary reception area, outdoor sports pitches and external changing rooms which are now fully operational.

We can now confirm that we will be opening the following facilities at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre:

Opening tomorrow:

·         Swimming Pool (please be advised that a temporary staircase has been installed on poolside as an interim emergency exit whilst ongoing repairs take place)

·         Café

·         Sports Hall

Wednesday 24th February:
·         Lifestyle Studio (gym)

·         Free Weights Room

·         Dance Studio

·         Health Suite

Ongoing Work:

The Spin Zone requires repairs to be completed and will remain closed this week.

The main reception will remain closed for the time being as this area sustained the most damage.  Work will be ongoing over the coming weeks but we will make every effort to keep disruption to a minimum for our customers.

Once again we would like to thank our customers for their continued support during this time.


Please check our blog for further updates on Tuesday 23rd February and if you have any queries please contact our Customer Services Team on 01495 355958.


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Aneurin Leisure is grateful to all our customers at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre for their patience following the significant flooding incident on 6th February.  We have been undertaking essential and necessary repairs to the centre and this will continue over the coming weeks.

We can now confirm that we intend to open the facilities at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre as follows:


Open on Monday 22nd February from 5pm:

·         Temporary reception

·         Outdoor pitches and external changing rooms


Open on Tuesday 23rd February:

·         Swimming Pool

·         Café

We also hope to have the Heath Suite and Sports Hall open on Tuesday, but this is dependent on final health and safety checks, so please check the blog or contact us on 01495 355958 before visiting to confirm.


Open on Wednesday 24th February:

Work is progressing well on the upper floor and we plan to re-open the Lifestyle Studio (gym), Free Weights Room and Dance Studio on this day, subject to final health and safety compliance checks.  We will provide a further update on the opening of the upper floor facilities at the start of next week.


Ongoing Work:

The spin class area requires repairs to be completed and will remain closed next week.

The main reception will remain closed for the time being as this area sustained the most damage. Work will be ongoing to make repairs over the coming weeks, but we will make every effort to keep disruption to a minimum for our customers.

Once again we would like to thank our customers for their continued support during this time and offer our reassurance that we are committed to re-opening all the facilities at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre as soon as we can.

Please check our blog for further updates on Monday 22nd February and if you have any queries please contact our Customer Services Team on 01495 355958.

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We continue working toward a phased opening of Ebbw Vale Sport Centre from Monday 22nd February 2016.

Further to my previous update, we are planning for:

·         A temporary reception to be in place for Monday 22nd February, which will allow use of the outdoor pitches and changing rooms;

·         The gym, sportshall, pool and cafe will reopen during the week upon the completion of the testing of the fire alarm and all health and safety obligations being satisfied.

We would like to remind you that Abertillery and Tredegar Sport Centres remain unaffected and offer a wide range of fitness classes and facilities to our customers.

We will keep you updated and if you have any concerns that you wish to discuss, then please contact the Customer Services Team on 01495 355958.

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MD Anthony Hughes - update on Ebbw Vale Sport Centre

I would like to thank you for your patience regarding the re-opening of Ebbw Vale Sports Centre and I am pleased to report we have made considerable progress since my last update.  This incident took place just 6 days ago and the work carried out by staff from Aneurin Leisure, Blaenau Gwent Council and contractors have made a significant impact on getting this facility back open for you.

We plan a phased opening of the Sports Centre week commencing 22nd February.  During this week we plan to re-open the outdoor pitches, gym, sports hall and pool. We will confirm the actual dates and times next week. We will be using a temporary reception area whilst restoration work is undertaken to the main entrance. 

As I am sure you will understand your safety is paramount to us so this will all be subject to final health and safety testing.

I will endeavour to update you further early next week but if you have any concerns in the meantime that you would like to talk about then please contact the Customer Services team on 01495 355958.

Thank you 

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We are currently working towards a phased opening of the Sports Centre during the month of February and we continue to work constructively with the local authority & their contractors to progress the necessary repair work so that we can resume service provision to our customers as soon as it is safe to do so.

There have been a few rumours going around that the roof had collapsed in the Sports Centre but I can assure you that this is not the case. Part of the ceiling in the reception area did come down as a result of water ingress and effort is now being focussed on this area so that it can be reopened to the public. Whilst the refurbishment of the reception area is being undertaken, the Trust will provide an alternative entrance for our customers to use on a temporary basis.  Our priorities are to reopen the gym, pool and sports hall following completion of essential remedial work.

We can also confirm that the Outdoor pitches are unaffected and we intend to make these available to the public as soon as we have completed a temporary reception area early next week.

We are confident that the café area will be operational when we reopen the gym, pool and sports hall.  

We continue to have daily dialogue with the local authority around the proposed timescales for when all the safety checks and repairs will be complete and we will share this information with you as soon as we have a clearer picture. As I’m sure you can appreciate, there is a lot of work that needs to be undertaken before this facility can be fully brought back on-line and we are committed to re-opening sections of the building as soon as they have been returned to a fit state of repair.

We recognise that you have been inconvenienced as a result of this unfortunate incident and we hope that you have been able to make use of our other facilities at Tredegar & Abertillery.

If you have concerns that you would like to talk about then please contact the Customer Services team on 01495 355958 so that we can work with you to resolve any queries you may have. We ask you to please be patient and bear with us whilst we do our utmost to re-open sections of the Sports Centre as quickly as possible.

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Hi my name is Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure which is a charitable Trust responsible for delivering Leisure, Learning and Cultural services across Blaenau Gwent.

This is my first blog and this will be one of the methods of communicating to our wide range of customers moving forward covering all aspects of the business.  I thought this blog should focus on Ebbw Vale Sports Centre which suffered a major flood on Saturday 6th February.  Since then both Aneurin Leisure and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council have worked very hard to deal with situation.

After visiting Ebbw Vale Sports Centre this afternoon I am pleased to say that there has been considerable progress made in our efforts to re-open the facility following the incident on the weekend.

The main area to be affected was the reception, but there was also water penetration across the front of the building and a loss of power to the whole venue.

The main areas of progress that we’ve made today are:

·         Technical officers accessed the roof and released blockages in the main guttering system, which allowed a significant amount of water to be drained preventing further flooding in the building;

·         80% of all lights within the facility are now operational and further testing continues today;

·         Underfloor heating in changing rooms is operational;

·         De-humidifiers have been placed around the building to aid in drying out the facility;

·         Air conditioning is functioning normally;

·         A full assessment of the light fittings is taking place today;

·         The intruder alarm is now fully operational;

·         Ebbw Fawr Learning Community PE Department has started to use the 3G pitches today for examination purposes only by using their own changing rooms; and

·         The Mixed Martial Arts event scheduled for 5th March will go ahead.

I will endeavour to update you with information on a frequent basis but please be reassured that every effort is being made by Aneurin Leisure and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council to re-open the facility when it is safe to do so.

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As a result of the extreme weather conditions, at 11am on Saturday 6th February 2016 Ebbw Vale Sports Centre suffered a significant flooding incident and in order to ensure the safety of staff and members the Centre was immediately closed to the public. Water was entering the building via the roof and the necessary safety protocols were initiated, which allowed for there to be a full and safe evacuation of the building without incident. 

The safety of our customers and staff is paramount and therefore a joint decision between Aneurin Leisure and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council has been taken to keep the Centre and outdoor pitches closed.  The Council, Aneurin Leisure Trust and the Contractor are currently undertaking an extensive investigation to identify the extent of the damage and the remedial work required.

We are fully aware of the impact this decision to close will have on our loyal members and we appreciate your continued support at this time.  Aneurin Leisure understands the uncertainty you might be experiencing at this time and we are committed to getting the facilities reopened once it is safe to do so. In the meantime the Trust is dedicated to ensuring you remain a valued member and we are currently looking at options to mitigate the impact this temporary closure may have on you.

Customers are reminded that their membership entitles them to make full use of the Abertillery and Tredegar Sports Centres, which remain open as normal. In order to cope with the additional demand, Aneurin Leisure has increased the number of staff at these alternative venues so that we can continue to provide a great service to our members.

If you would like to speak to an advisor please call the Aneurin Leisure Customer Services team on 01495 355958 alternatively you can follow updates on our web page: www.aneurinleisure.org.uk

For full details on classes, swimming times, opening hours plus much more please visit www.bglife.co.uk
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Inspire Awards Evening 2015

This month saw the Inspire Sports Development team hosting their first ever StreetGames awards evening at Blaina Community Centre on Thursday 17th December.

The Awards Evening was delivered in partnership with Communities First, who have been integral in the Brynmawr, Blaina and Nantyglo clusters, assisting with the delivery of StreetGames activities.

Thirty volunteers attended the event, all of whom were presented with a certificate in recognition of their hard work, dedication and commitment by Jess Morgan from StreetGames Wales.

The evening also saw a number of volunteers receiving recognition in the following categories:

·         Volunteer of the Year

·         Project of the Year

·         New Comer of the Year

·         Most Improved

The winners were John Wood and Jacob Hillman (Volunteer of the Year), Tredegar Sports Centre (Project of the Year), Nicky Curtis (New Comer of the Year) and Billy Roberts (Most Improved).

Well done and thank you to everyone who's involved with the StreetGames project!      

 

 

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Aneurin Leisure Christmas Opening Times 2015
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Accessibility for our customers is of great importance to us at Aneurin Leisure and with this in mind we will soon be improving the designated parking provision for Blue Badge holders at one of our venues.

Work will soon be starting on a new system at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre which will ensure that only customers who require disabled parking and have the relevant Blue Badge, will have access to the designated bays situated near the main entrance.

A new barrier and intercom system will be installed on 9th December, protecting the disabled bays and surrounding areas from being misused or blocked by other customers.

Any customers who do not have a Blue Badge, but have been parking on or near the disabled bays, will in future have to use either the multi storey car park, situated opposite the sports centre, or the designated roadside parking bays.

The installation work is estimated to only take a few days and every effort will be made to keep disruption to a minimum throughout this time.

Ashley Owen, Sports Centre Manager said of the planned works; “With many of our customers using the sports centre to access a wide range of facilities, from gentle exercise classes to rehabilitation and physiotherapy, it is vital that we do all we can to make our sports centre as accessible as possible to Blue Badge holders.”

For more information please contact Ebbw Vale Sports Centre on 01495 357777
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cake international comp

Congratulations to Emma Phillips, one of our Adult Community Learning tutors, for scooping up a Silver Prize at the recent Cake International show at Birmingham NEC for her amazing Terry Pratchett inspired cake.

The annual Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating and Baking Show attracts cake enthusiasts, renowned industry experts and professional cake decorators and sugar crafters from all over the world. 

Emma, a Cake Decoration Tutor, entered the prestigious competition for the very first time this year and was “thrilled to bits” with her success.

Also at the competition was one of Emma’s former students, Jay Humphris, who was awarded a Gold Prize in the same category of ‘A Decorative Exhibit’ for her staggering two feet high goblin and fairy cake, which took her over 40 hours to complete!

Ceri Waters, Learning Services Manager for Aneurin Leisure said of the achievements; "We are delighted with the success of Emma and Jay at such a prestigious national competition, the attention to detail on both cakes was inspirational."

If you’d like to find out more about our Cake Decorating Courses, please contact Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre on 01495 355300 or Brynmawr Learning Action Centre on 01495 355300.
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Youth Theatre

Our Blaenau Gwent Youth Theatre recently provided an evening of first class entertainment as they performed their annual drama showcase at Beaufort Theatre & Ballroom.

The young people from our senior section of the Youth Theatre, who are aged 14+, showcased their talents to a large and supportive audience as they expertly performed a selection of scenes from Chatroom, an uplifting play that tackles the issues of teenage life head on. 

Our Youth Theatre are based at Beaufort Theatre and provide weekly workshops for children aged 7-13 years and young people aged 14+.

If you'd like to get involved with our Youth Theatre or would like more information contact us on 01495 355800.

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Gold Ambassador Conference

On 21st October, the Youth Sport Trust hosted a conference at Cardiff City Stadium, inviting Gold and Platinum ambassadors from across Wales. Luke Rees and Aled Davies, two of Blaenau Gwent’s accomplished platinum Young Ambassadors, helped organise the conference and mediated a professional presentation on the School Sport Survey.  Proceedings began with the acknowledgment of the continued success of Welsh grass roots sports in raising participation.  Helen Bushell the Community Sport Director for Sport Wales gave appraisal of the endeavours, recognising that the new heights of having 50% of children hooked on sport could not be achieved without the work of the young ambassador programme.

The day was enriching, with Welsh hockey player Beth Fisher and GB Olympic Swimmer Tom Haffield providing an insight into their elite sport development. The workshops gave Gold Young Ambassadors the opportunity to exchange knowledge of the qualities of mentoring and effective leadership. Whilst the staff discussed ways to include children who are harder to reach, external services were offering advice on setting up Olympic themed events, disability sport and Welsh Baccalaureate facilities, most of these supported by international athletes.

The Young Ambassadors were required to complete an action plan for the forthcoming year and with the Silver Young Ambassadors we are better prepared and excited to help organise the upcoming Blaenau Gwent Young Ambassador Conference and Awards Evening.         

Pictured are the Blaenau Gwent Ambassadors who attended the conference, from left to right; Aled Davies (Platinum Ambassador) Hannah Winmill (Platinum Ambassador) Morgan Hadley (Gold Ambassador) Dave Croft (Platinum Ambassador) and Luke Rees (Platinum Ambassador).

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We’re pleased to announce that Blaina Library has won two awards at the GAVO Blaenau Gwent Voluntary Sector Annual Awards Evening, held at the EVI on Thursday, 4th November.

Mike Thomas, a volunteer at the library won the first award for 'Inspirational Volunteer' and David Gurl, also a volunteer at the library, won 'Senior Volunteer of the Year'. 

Well done everyone!
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The Working Skills for Adults 2 project, backed by £2.7 million EU funds through the Welsh Government, will help 1,700 individuals gain new skills leading to improved job security and career prospects.

Aneurin Leisure in partnership with neighbouring local authorities will deliver the project across Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Merthyr Tydfil over the next three years.

Those taking part will benefit from job-specific technical training in areas including construction, accounting and IT, as well as opportunities to develop key skills such as digital literacy. Training will take place at community venues and will be designed to fit around a variety of working patterns.

The Finance Minister announced the EU funding on Wednesday 15th October  2015.

Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, said:


“Raising skills is a key priority of the Welsh Government and I am delighted we are investing vital EU funds to help achieve this goal.

“This EU investment will boost the prospects of thousands of working people by raising both basic and higher level skills, helping to tackle poverty, improve job security and career prospects.

“Building a skilled workforce will increase productivity which will benefit employers and the wider Welsh economy.”

Anthony Hughes, Director  Aneurin Leisure said

“Blaenau Gwent is an area with many smaller employers who are not able to assist their employees in upskilling, we are delighted to be able provide support to employed adults to enable them to gain qualifications which they require to progress in the workplace or to improve their chances of securing promotion or changing their career. Working Skills for Adults 2 will provide a range of learning and training opportunities in community venues at times to suit a range of working patterns”
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Bore Coffi Glyn Ebwy-Ebbw Vale Coffee MorningUwch 4 Glyn Ebwy-Uwch 4 Ebbw ValeJulie Sussex

 

An awards evening was held on the 6th October by the Gwent Welsh for Adults Centre, hosted by Nia Parry. This was a great opportunity to celebrate the success of our learners and tutors throughout Gwent in 2014/15. Blaenau Gwent succeeded in winning three big awards on the night.

The Uwch 4 class at Ebbw Vale was nominated by the tutor, Steffan Webb and they won the Class of the Year award. According to Steffan, the members of the class help to organise Welsh social events through a variety of Welsh societies such as Blaenau Gwent Welsh Society. The learners attend the Gwent Reading Club, Ebbw Vale Coffee Morning, Abertillery Chat Club and also day schools and weekend courses. Some even work, volunteer and blog in Welsh!

The Ebbw Vale Coffee Morning group were nominated by the Informal Learning Officer, Mair Turner and they won the Informal Learning Group of the Year award. According to Mair, they are a welcoming crew who are full of life and in their element talking and singing in Welsh! A variety of interesting activities are organised for the learners e.g. quizzes, guest speakers, singing sessions and seasonal celebrations. They not only attend the Coffee Morning but also a number of other informal learning events e.g. going to see dramas, parties organised by the WFA Centre etc. When the Coffee Morning “Party Bus” arrives, we know the party has started!

Exam certificates were also received by a number of Blaenau Gwent learners across the four levels – Mynediad, Sylfaen, Canolradd and Uwch.

The Tutor of the Year award was won by Delyth Rees, a likeable tutor who is often praised by her leaners for her hard work in the classroom. She has been working for the Centre and Blaenau Gwent for a number of years now. She works on a wide number of courses throughout Gwent and she has taught a variety of levels. She has also taught on many day schools, weekend courses, revision courses preparing learners for exams, as well as working as an interviewer in the WJEC exams. She is a valued and experienced member of the Centre’s Self-Assessment team and is also a keen supporter of informal learning where she holds a number of informal groups herself in Blaenau Gwent.

Congratulations to all!

Cynhaliwyd Noson Wobrwyo ar y 6ed o Hydref gan Ganolfan Cymraeg i Oedolion Gwent yng nghwmni Nia Parry. Roedd hyn yn gylfe gwych i ddathlu llwyddiant dysgwyr a thiwtoriaid Gwent yn 2014/15. Llwyddodd Blaenau Gwent i ennill tair gwobr fawr ar y noson.  

Enwebwyd y dosbarth Uwch 4 yng Nglyn Ebwy gan y tiwtor, Steffan Webb ac enillon nhw’r wobr “Dosbarth y Flwyddyn”. Yn ôl Steffan, mae aelodau’r dosbarth hwn yn helpu trefnu gweithgareddau cymdeithasol Cymraeg drwy amrywiaeth o gymdeithasau Cymraeg megis, Cymdeithas Gymraeg Blaenau Gwent. Mae’r dysgwyr yn mynychu Clwb Darllen Gwent, Bore Coffi Glyn Ebwy, Clwb Clonc Abertyleri a hefyd ysgolion undydd a chyrsiau penwythnos. Mae rhai, hyd yn oed, yn gweithio, gwirfoddoli a blogio yn y Gymraeg!

Enwebwyd grwp Bore Coffi Glyn Ebwy gan y Swyddog Dysgu Anffurfiol, Mair Lenny ac enillon nhw’r wobr “Grŵp Dysgu Anffurfiol y Flwyddyn”. Yn ôl Mair, maen nhw’n griw croesawgar sy’n llawn bywyd ac wrth eu bodd yn siarad a chanu yn Gymraeg! Trefnir pob math o weithgareddau diddorol ar gyfer y dysgwyr er enghraifft, cwisiau, siaradwyr gwadd, sesiynau canu a dathliadau tymhorol. Dyw’r criw yma ddim yn unig yn mynd i’r Bore Coffi ond i nifer o ddigwyddiadau dysgu anffurfiol eraill hefyd e.e. mynd i weld dramâu, partion y Ganolfan ac ati. Pan mae “Party Bus” Bore Coffi Glyn Ebwy yn cyrraedd dyn ni’n gwybod bod y parti wedi dechrau!

Derbyniwyd tystysgrifau arholiadau gan sawl dysgwr Blaenau Gwent ar draws y pedwar lefel – Mynediad, Sylfaen, Canolradd ac Uwch.

Enillydd “Tiwtor y Flwyddyn” oedd Delyth Rees, tiwtor hoffus sydd yn aml yn derbyn clod gan ei myfyrwyr am ei gwaith caled yn yr ystafell ddosbarth. Mae hi wedi bod yn gweithio i’r Ganolfan a Blaenau Gwent ers nifer o flynyddoedd bellach. Mae hi wedi gweithio ar nifer eang o gyrsiau ledled Gwent ac wedi dysgu amrywiaeth o lefelau. Mae hi wedi dysgu ar nifer fawr o ysgolion undydd, cyrsiau penwythnos, cyrsiau adolygu yn paratoi ymgeiswyr at arholiadau, yn ogystal â gweithio fel cyfwelydd yn ystod arholiadau CBAC. Mae hi’n aelod gwerthfawr a phrofiadol o Dîm Arsylwi’r Ganolfan ac yn gefnogwr brwd o ddysgu anffurfiol, gan gynnal nifer o grwpiau anffurfiol ei hun ym Mlaenau Gwent.

Llongyfarchiadau i bawb! 

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AL-LogoSL4C

Situated in the heart of the South Wales Valleys, Aneurin Leisure is an exciting new venture which delivers leisure, learning and cultural services across Blaenau Gwent.


Launched on 1st October 2014, Aneurin Leisure is a community focussed charitable Trust which is passionate about making a positive impact to people’s lives by not only improving physical health and wellbeing, but also their mental and social wellbeing through a diverse range of services: -

  • Achieve your wellbeing goals with our three state-of-the-art sports centres and dedicated Inspire Sports Development team.
  • Explore your possibilities and broaden your horizons with guidance, education and development through our Libraries, Heritage section 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 observation with our two performance venues, Beaufort Theatre and The Met.
Managing Director Anthony Hughes of Aneurin Leisure said; “From our creation in 2014 we set our primary goal as Improving Community Life, a mission that all of us within Aneurin Leisure feel passionately about.  Our venue staff and developmental services have worked diligently over the past year to provide the local community in Blaenau Gwent with opportunities to improve their health and wellbeing, whether that’s through physical activity, community learning or access to services and technologies they wouldn’t otherwise have.

“As we reach the milestone of our first birthday, it’s rewarding to see the impact our work has had on the community and the great range of success stories that we’ve had throughout our first year of operation, including highlights such as; our Inspire Leadership Academy gaining national recognition at the House of Lords, Bedwellty House & Park evolving into a first class wedding venue and hub for the local community, funding opportunities from the EU and Welsh Government for Bridges into Work 2  and an exciting refurbishment plan for Ebbw Vale Library.”
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The Family Information Service provides free impartial expert advice, information and guidance for children, young people and their families in Blaeanu Gwent and they will shortly be providing a series of information sessions at our libraries.

Do you need information on:

-          Registered child minders

-          Day nurseries

-          Playgroups

-          Parent and toddler groups

-          Baby massage sessions

-          Play and leisure activities

-          Out of school activities

-          Careers in early year childcare and play

 
Pop along to your local library on the dates below and have a chat to Linzi or have a look at our on-line search facility:

Abertillery Library on 2nd October from 2pm-5pm

Tredegar Library on 12th October from 2pm-5pm

Ebbw Vale Library on 16th November from 10am-1pm

Brynmawr Library on 7th December from 10am-1pm 

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coffee morning logo

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is fast approaching and we’ve got a great range of Coffee Morning events taking place at Aneurin Leisure venues throughout Blaenau Gwent to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Last year Macmillan Cancer Support raised a staggering £25,102,796 through their World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event, so why not join us at a venue near you:

  • Tredegar Library – Monday 21st September 10am to 12 noon
  • Bore Coffi at Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre – Friday 25th September 10am to 12 noon
  • Abertillery Sports Centre – Friday 25th September 11am to 2pm
  • Blaina Library – Friday 25th September 10am to 12 noon
  • Brynmawr Library – Friday 25th September 10am to 12 noon
  • Cwm Library – Friday 25th September 10am to 12 noon
  • Ebbw Vale Library – Friday 25th September 10am to 12 noon
  • Abertillery Library – Friday 2nd October at 3pm to 5pm
Did you know...

Every day in South Wales, 36 people are given the news that they have cancer, and by 2030 there will be an estimated 143,590 people living with cancer in South Wales.

Last year, Macmillan gave £536,177 in grants to people living with cancer in our region, helping them meet the financial needs that can arise from cancer or its treatment.

So far, there are 207 Macmillan nurses and professionals working in our area to support local people affected by cancer.
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Ffion 1 copyFfion 2 copy

 

Ffion has been a life member since 2004 and her regular training regime mainly consisted of using the range of cardiovascular machines at our Lifestyle Studios. 

In May this year Ffion changed up her usual routine and started to attend a few early morning fitness classes such as HIIT, Spin and Short, Sharp Burst and also introduced a high weight/low rep weight training element to her routine.

Enjoying the change to her routine, Ffion expressed an interest in using weights more often and set about utilising the free weights in our dedicated Weight’s Room at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre.  At first Ffion felt a little intimidated by the room, but her perception quickly changed and alongside two fellow weight room regulars, Katrina and Catherine, Ffion started to really enjoy her training sessions and also reap the rewards.

Ffion said of her experiences; “I really didn’t think I’d like the new type of training, but as the weeks rolled on the sessions become more enjoyable and the results were instant. Training at 6:45am is hard for me but the sessions are quick and effective. Also the weights room in EVSC really is not at all what I expected. Everybody using and working in the area are really supportive and a great help.”

If you’d like more information on our services or some advice on how to get the best out of your training regime, ask a member of staff at your local sports centre.

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Fire Safety 1 LRcopyFire Safety 2 LRcopy

 

We all know how devastating fires can be for communities and businesses, and the sad fact is that many of them can be prevented through awareness of fire safety training, which is why Abertillery Sports Centre recently teamed up with local fire fighter and Crimes and Consequences Practitioner, Daniel Bradley to provide a special awareness training session.


As part of Abertillery Sports Centre’s summer activity programme, staff took a group of young people to Abertillery Fire Station for a special afternoon of fire safety training.  Not only did the group receive vital information on fire safety, but they also got the chance to become a fire fighter for the day; running out fire hoses and reels, squirting water and wearing the uniforms.

The group also received a full tour of the fire station and truck, learning how everything works and seeing all the equipment needed to help in a variety of emergency situations.

Throughout their visit, staff from the fire station and sports centre educated the group in fire prevention, emphasizing how dangerous and costly fires can be and addressing the problem of the high number of fires started in the local area, particularly during the summer by acts of deliberate vandalism.

The young people all had a fantastic time during their visit and said that they felt much safer as a result of the knowledge they had gained, some even expressed an interest in becoming fire fighters when they are older.

Ashley Owen, Sports Centre Manager for Aneurin Leisure said of the training session; “This educational visit provided a great opportunity for us at Aneurin Leisure to work with the local Fire Service to get involved with promoting the importance of fire safety training within the community by engaging with many of the young people that visit our centre.”

For more information on facilities and activities at Abertillery Sports Centre call us on 01495 212206.

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Hannah at Brynmawr Library

Brynmawr Library has recently relocated to Brynmawr Learning Action Centre in order to enable the Community Cinema Group to develop its business at the Market Hall Cinema by providing a second screen.  The move has been supported by Welsh Government, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and Aneurin Leisure.


For the Trust, the library’s move to the nearby Learning Action Centre has enabled both services to strengthen their role in providing community learning opportunities by offering a wider range of community support initiatives and services in one location.

Co-location of services such as this has been actively encouraged by the Welsh Government as a sustainable model of future library provision, and we would like to emphasize to customers that the opening hours, contact telephone number and staff at the library remain unchanged.

Pictured is one of our first visitors to the newly relocated library, Hannah came along to receive her Summer Reading Challenge certificate and her mother Cath said of their visit; “The move is a good one, the staff at Brynmawr are brilliant, they have helped Hannah feel welcome today and showed her round the new library, she can't wait to visit again.”

For more information on the services we provide at Brynmawr Library please contact us on 01495 357743.

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CUSTOMER NOTICE: Please be advised that due to engineering works Tredegar Sports Centre will be closed tomorrow 11th August at 8am and will re-open at approximately 12pm. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
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fourdays
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IT Maintenance
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Mike Lewis and Hayley Barnett

The first Gwent Adult Community Learning Partnership Celebration of Achievement ceremony, took place at Pontypool Community Education Centre on 30th June. Learners and staff from Aneurin Leisure joined learners and staff from Caerphilly, The Learn IT Centres, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen to celebrate adult learning in what was described by former Estyn Inspector Liam Kealy, as “The best community learning partnership in Wales”, who was one of the guest speakers for the evening. The other guest speaker was Rhydian Thomas from NIACE Cymru.

The Adult Learner of the Year for Aneurin Leisure, was Hayley Barnett, who was nominated by her tutor Sheila Williams. Hayley has been a learner at Brynmawr Learning Action Centre for over 2 years and in that time has gained a number of Agored Cymru certificates in IT. This is no mean feat for Hayley, who has an illness that makes it very difficult to control her muscles. In her nominating statement, Sheila said that “Hayley has always been determined and feels so rewarded when she has been able to complete a task independently. Joining the course has changed Hayley’s life in so many ways. She is now able to help her care workers with their IT problems and is able to keep in contact with family and friends via email and Facebook. Hayley’s condition has also improved, as she now has improved posture and dexterity due to her computer classes.”

Aneurin Leisure’s Learning Group of the Year was the Monday afternoon computer group from Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre - Chris Melia, Andrea King, Susan Powell, Julie Randall, Lynne Exton-Jenkins, Peter Foreman and Stan Freeman. They again were nominated by their tutor Sheila Williams, who tells us that they have gained a wide range of computer skills since beginning their course in September. They were presented with their award by Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure.

It was a “hat trick” for Tutor of the Year Sheila Williams, who received no fewer than 11 nominations from her learners. The winning nominator was Andrea King, who said that Sheila made her feel at ease on joining the course as she was “extremely nervous” and that her teaching skills are “second to none”. Andrea feels that Sheila has given her the confidence that she was lacking and goes above and beyond her role as an adult tutor.

There was also a special award given to administrative staff, following an Estyn inspection in which they were described as “consistently welcoming, knowledgeable and helpful” by the inspection team. The representatives from Aneurin Leisure were Alyson Davies and Sharon Llewellyn-Chambers, who received their certificate from Liam Kealy.

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Aneurin Leisure Adult Community Learning has ‘excellent prospects’ for improvement and its current performance is good according to a recent Estyn inspection.

Adult Learning in Blaenau Gwent was inspected by Estyn, her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales, as part of the Gwent Adult Community Learning Partnership which also includes Caerphilly, Torfaen, Monmouthshire and Newport.

The quality of provision was also judged to be Excellent and the partners were praised for the way they have worked together, to greatly improve the consistency of teaching and learning across the region. The partnership was rated as good in all 3 key questions which relate to outcomes, the learning experience and the quality of leadership and management – an outstanding achievement!

These sentiments were echoed by learners in the last Welsh Government Learner Voice survey; 95% of learners who took part in this survey felt that their course was better than they had expected and 93% thought that the quality of teaching and learning was good or very good.

If you would like any further information on the courses offered by Aneurin Leisure in Blaenau Gwent, or would like to be on the mailing list for the new course brochure, please contact your local Learning Action Centre:

Abertillery Learning Action Centre on 01495 355895 or email Julie.griffiths@aneurinleisure.org.uk

Brynmawr Learning Action Centre on 01495 355595 or email Julie.sussex@aneurinleisure.org.uk

Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre on 01495 355300 or email Karen.bennett@aneurinleisure.org.uk

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On Saturday 13th June, Aneurin Leisure’s Library Service and Bedwellty House held a jungle themed event to celebrate National Bookstart Week.

Over 135 children (plus accompanying adults) attended the special activity day which followed the theme of the popular children’s book Rumble in the Jungle, with a variety of storytelling sessions, face painting, mask making and cake decorating.

Throughout the day children got the chance to meet the Bookstart Bear and were invited to explore the Jungle Trail as it snaked its way through Bedwellty House, finding hidden animals along the way! Certificates were awarded to the intrepid children who completed the trail, along with a Rumble in the Jungle booklet and a baby Bookstart Bear.

Bookstart is a national initiative that offers the gift of free books to all children at two key ages before they start school to inspire a love of reading that will give children a flying start in life and to help families enjoy reading together every day. Bookstart has been running since 1992 and so far over 10 million children have received more than 35 million books.


For more information on Bookstart contact your local library:

Abertillery: 01495 355646                              Blaina: 01495 355609                       Brynmawr: 01495 357743

Cwm: 01495 370454                                         Ebbw Vale: 07891 433429              Tredegar: 01495 357869

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Laurence Jones-LRcopy

Following his hugely successful appearance at Beaufort Theatre in October we are thrilled to welcome Laurence Jones back, this time to The Met, Abertillery on Friday 10th July at 8pm.

In recent times, the hotshot British bandleader has barely stopped for breath. There’s been the release of 2014’s all-conquering second album, Temptation. The triumphant Blues Caravan tour that saw him raise roofs across Europe. The auspicious nod to represent his country at this year’s European Blues Challenge, and the prospect of his performance at the Albert Hall for Lead Belly Fest in June.

At this juncture, a less passionate artist might cool their heels and count their royalties. No chance!  Laurence is back with his stunning new album, What’s It Gonna Be.

“Laurence Jones is head boy of the new blues breed” – Classic Rock Magazine

Tickets are on sale priced at £10 / £8 Blues Club Members and available from the Box Office on 01495 355800 or www.blaenaugwentvenues.com  

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Two members of our Inspire Sports Development team recently travelled to London to attend the annual Sports Leaders UK Awards Ceremony at the House of Lords, providing support for Blaenau Gwent’s very own Inspire Leadership Academy in their bid to be named UK Community Academy of the Year.

The prestigious event was supported by former Paralympian, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and former NBA Basketball player John Amaechi OBE, while Luke Rees, an 18 year old Sports Leaders Platinum Ambassador from Blaenau Gwent had the honour of compering the whole event.

The event provided the opportunity to highlight the work of Sports Leaders UK through the network of volunteers, centres and young leaders, which have seen over 100,000 people become sports leaders and contribute over 420,000 volunteering hours in their community each year.

The afternoon provided a wonderful atmosphere of celebration for the young leaders programme and was made all the better with news that our Inspire Leadership Academy had received the runners up award for Sports Leaders UK Community Academy of the Year 2015.

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure said of the achievement; “Our young Sports Leaders play a pivotal role in increasing engagement and participation in our local communities, and it’s so rewarding to see all the hard work our staff and volunteers have poured into the Inspire Leadership Academy receive recognition by finishing second in this national award category.   It’s also particularly inspiring to see one of our own Sports Leaders, Luke Rees, getting the chance to compere such a prestigious award ceremony.”

To view the entry video submitted by our Inspire Leadership Academy, simply click on the following link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z52yLhqkM_o&feature=youtu.be
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AM visits Bora Coffi at EV Learning Action Centre

Assembly Member, Alun Davies, recently joined Welsh learners of all abilities at a very exciting Bore Coffi to celebrate Digital Day, part of Adult Learners’ Week, at Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre.

The special ‘Clic a Chlonc’ event was organised by Coleg Gwent’s Welsh for Adults Centre, in partnership with Aneurin Leisure Adult Community Learning, and was an opportunity for Welsh learners to discover what resources are available on line to help them with their “Cymraeg”.

Over 25 learners of all ages attended the event and even though Alun Davies had only planned to stay for a brief visit, he enjoyed the activities so much that he stayed for over an hour.

The session provided a variety of free refreshments for the participants to enjoy as they practiced their Welsh and used iPads to access a variety of online services; with many people using tablets for the first time ever.

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure said; “Adult Community Learning is a priority area for Aneurin Leisure. We are keen to promote Welsh language and Culture both through our classes and informal events such as Bore Coffi. As always, we are pleased to work in partnership with Coleg Gwent’s Welsh for Adults Centre to celebrate Adult Learners’ Week.”

Bore Coffi is held every Friday morning from 11am - 12 noon at Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre and is open to any Welsh learners who would like the chance to practice their skills.

If you are interested in learning Welsh, or brushing up on your existing skills, a wide range of courses of all levels will begin in September. Courses are held in adult education centres throughout Blaenau Gwent, at various times of the day and evening – so there’s something for everyone. For more information contact Julie Sussex 01495 354703 or email Julie.sussex@aneurinleisure.org.uk

Adult Learners’ Week is an event celebrated in 55 countries worldwide. Over 20,000 adults in Wales participate in Adult Learners’ Week events in Wales each year, coordinated by NIACE Cymru and supported by the Welsh Government.

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The Aneurin Leisure Trust has announced its whole-hearted support for the visit of the National Eisteddfod to south-east Wales in 2016. The Trust’s Heritage Officer, Frank Olding, has been elected chairman of the organising committee for 2016 and the Trust is offering support in kind by supporting him in his new role.

“We see this as a great opportunity for Aneurin Leisure to give real, practical support to the National Eisteddfod as it prepares to visit south-east Wales,” said Anthony Hughes, the Trust’s Managing Director. “The National Eisteddfod is sure to have a positive impact on the people of Blaenau Gwent in terms of cultural activities and custom for local businesses. We hope that the people of the area will benefit economically and culturally from its visit and we are glad to offer in-kind support to ensure that the Eisteddfod is a success.”

The Trust has agreed to allow Frank Olding time to fulfil his challenging role as chairman of the organising committee and to represent Greater Gwent at this year’s National Eisteddfod at Meifod in Montgomeryshire.

“It is a great honour to serve as chairman of the organising committee for 2016,” said Frank Olding. “Without the Aneurin Leisure Trust’s generous support in terms of officer time, it would be impossible to meet these challenges and make the most of these opportunities. I will be working hard to maximise the benefits of the National Eisteddfod for the people of Blaenau Gwent and will represent the area to the best of my ability.”

The Eisteddfod will be held at Abergavenny in August 2016.

Mae Ymddiriedolaeth Hamdden Aneurin wedi datgan ei gefnogaeth lwyr i ymweliad yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol i dde-ddwyrain Cymru yn 2016. Mae Swyddog Treftadaeth yr Ymddiriedolaeth wedi cael ei ethol yn gadeirydd y pwyllgor gwaith ar gyfer 2016 ac mae’r Ymddiriedolaeth yn cynnig cefnogaeth ymarferol i’w gefnogi yn ei rôl newydd.

“Rydym yn gweld hyn fel cyfle ardderchog i Ymddiriedolaeth Hamdden Aneurin roi cefnogaeth ymarferol i’r Eisteddfod Genedlaethol wrth iddi baratoi i ymweld â de-ddwyrain Cymru,” meddai Anthony Hughes, Cyfarwyddwr Rheoli’r yr Ymddiriedolaeth. “Mae’r Eisteddfod Genedlaethol yn sicr o gael effaith bositif iawn ar drigolion Blaenau Gwent yn nhermau gweithgareddau diwylliannol ac o ran lles i fusnesau lleol. Ein gobaith ni yw y bydd pobl yr ardal yn elwa’n economaidd ac yn ddiwylliannol o’i hymweliad ac rydym yn falch i gynnig cefnogaeth mewn amser a gwasanaethau i sicrhau llwyddiant yr Eisteddfod.”

Mae’r Ymddiriedolaeth wedi cytuno i roi amser i Frank Olding i gwrdd â’i her newydd fel cadeirydd y pwyllgor gwaith ac i gynrychioli Gwent eleni yn yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol ym Meifod, Maldwyn.

“Mae’n anrhydedd enfawr gwasanaethu fel cadeirydd y pwyllgor gwaith ar gyfer 2016,” meddai Frank Olding. “Heb gefnogaeth hynod hael Ymddiriedolaeth Hamdden Aneurin yn nhermau amser a gwasanaethau, ni fyddai’n bosibl imi lwyddo yn fy rôl newydd nac i fanteisio ar y cyfle hwn. Byddaf yn gweithio’n galed iawn i sicrhau bod pobl Blaenau Gwent yn cael y budd mwyaf posibl o ymweliad yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol ac fe af ati i gynrychioli’r ardal orau a allaf.”

Cynhelir yr Eisteddfod yn y Fenni ym mis Awst 2016.

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Regain Wildflower Planting

 

Last week saw Gwent Wildlife Trust working in partnership with Aneurin Leisure to plant a wild flower meadow in the grounds surrounding the Trust’s main offices on The Works Site in Ebbw Vale.

Gwent Wildlife Trust’s People & Wildlife Team provided hundreds of plugs of fledgling plants which they helped staff from Aneurin Leisure to plant on Tuesday afternoon at the Regain Building situated on the former steelworks site.

The meadows have been created for staff and visitors to enjoy, and will also be a vital source of pollen and nectar for honey bees, solitary bees, butterflies and a whole host of other natural pollinators, providing a real benefit to local wildlife.

As well as offering our thanks to Gwent Wildlife Trust for their help and support, a special thank you also has to be made to staff from Parc Bryn Bach who cleared and prepared the ground before helping to plant the area.

The wildflowers and grasses planted included; Wood Forget-me-not, Wild Thyme, Self Heal, Great Burnet, Yellow Rattle, Wild Carrot, Devilsbit Scabious, Greater Knapweed, Quaking Grass, Pendulous Sedge.

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PBB WWII Plaque

On Wednesday 10th June a commemorative plaque was unveiled at Parc Bryn Bach in honour of the Whitley T4232 bomber squadron that crash landed on the nearby Pen Bryn Oer Farm on November 13th 1940.

After an introduction from Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure, Eifion Lloyd Davies of Blaenau Gwent Heritage Forum gave a brief speech before handing over to local historian Wayne Morris, who gave an account of the ill-fated mission and unveiled the memorial plaque as cadets from 2167 (Tredegar) Squadron ATC lowered their Standard.

The five strong crew of RAF Whitley bomber ZA VT4232 of 10 Squadron had taken off from RAF Leeming on 12th November 1940 to attack the German U Boat pens at Lorient, in southern France. On its return flight at around 2.00am, the plane struck the highest point on Rhymney Hill, tearing off it’s under carriage, causing the plane to nose dive down the hillside before coming to rest near Pen Bryn Oer farm.

Mr Hawthorne of Pen Bryn Oer Farm and his son came to their rescue and gave them shelter at the farm before taking the injured crew to Rhymney Cottage Hospital, sadly Pilot Sgt Peter Dickens Goldsmith later died of his injuries.

Following the unveiling Wayne Morris gave an information board on the crash to Anthony Hughes which will be installed in the visitor centre at Parc Bryn Bach.

Wayne Morris said of the memorial; “While most WWII crash sites in and around the Brecon Beacons are well documented and memorials set up in respect of perished airmen, this particular crash site seemed to have been forgotten, maybe because the landfill site altered the landscape.

"While the plaque was my idea, none of this would have happened without the support and co-operation of members of the Blaenau Gwent heritage Forum and Aneurin Leisure, to whom I am gratefully thankful. Although the plaque is not on the exact spot of the plane crash, I hope you all agree that this chosen area outside the Visitor Centre is quite fitting.”

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WHITSUN BANK HOLIDAY
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As part of Sports Leaders UK latest marketing campaign "Give More. Become More" they choose Brynmwar Foundation School to evidence the impact the programme is having on Young People in Wales. They have uploaded the following video to their YouTube channel take a look at the great work acheived

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itF5DNNRrhE

For more information on Sports Leaders please email mark.howells@aneurinleisure.org.uk
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MAY BANK HOLIDAY
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New Funding Announced for Ebbw Vale Library

We’re pleased to announce that Aneurin Leisure has secured a Welsh Government grant of two hundred and fifty thousand pounds of funding to complete the refurbishment on Ebbw Vale Library. 

This latest round of funding was announced last Friday by the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates and is part of the Welsh Government’s Community Learning Library Capital Development Programme, which aims to establish libraries as community hubs, where customers can access a range of services as well as the traditional library amenities.  

This second phase of funding will be used to provide disabled access between the floors at Ebbw Vale Library and a complete internal refit.

Tracy Jones, Library Services Manager said; “This is exciting news for library services in Blaenau Gwent, a fully refurbished library at Ebbw Vale will play a vital role in supporting the community.  It will provide a valuable, multipurpose community space, with something for everyone.    It will also enable us to transform the library, making it relevant to the community today, having a huge potential to change lives.”

As the building renovation continues the library will remain closed with the temporary library in Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre continuing to offer a smaller selection of stock, wi-fi and support with IT.

For further information contact Ebbw Vale Library staff on 07891 433429 or Tredegar Library on 01495 357869.
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Young Leaders Academy

With only recently being awarded Academy status by Sports Leaders UK our Leadership Academy is going from strength to strength and been shortlisted for UK Leadership Academy of the Year. Leadership Academies not only deliver Sports Leaders UK's awards and qualifications with high levels of success and enthusiasm, but have a very positive impact on the local community with regards to increased voluntary hours, community placements and events.

This is a prestigious Award to recognise best practice within the UK. The award will be presented to the winning Academy on the 11th June at the House of Lords by Sports Leaders UK President Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE.

It is an honour for the Inspire team to be shortlisted and good luck to the team.

In order to enter the competition a short video clip was produced to highlight the good practice within Blaenau Gwent.

Here is a link to view the video online

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z52yLhqkM_o

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Please click on the link below for a list of all our venues opening times over the Easter holidays 

Easter_Opening_Times_2015.jpg

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Latest Events

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  • Date: Fri Nov 16 @ 7:00PM -
    Location:Bedwellty House & Park
    This globetrotting show is truly quite legendary, selling out in places like Edi...

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  • Date: Sat Nov 17 @ 7:30PM -
    Location:The Met
    Renowned for blending traditional Welsh music with their own compositions, Allan...

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  • Date: Sun Nov 18 @ 9:30AM -
    Location:Ebbw Vale Sports Centre
    More information to follow

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  • Date: Fri Nov 23
    Location:The Met
    Off to Neverland we go, heading for the second star to the right and straight on...

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  • Date: Sat Nov 24
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    Off to Neverland we go, heading for the second star to the right and straight on...

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  • Date: Sun Nov 25
    Location:The Met
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  • Date: Sun Nov 25 @10:30AM -
    Location:Parc Bryn Bach
    Join our festive Fun Run and help raise money for the Hospice of the Valleys!Min...

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  • Date: Mon Nov 26
    Location:The Met
    Off to Neverland we go, heading for the second star to the right and straight on...

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  • Date: Tue Nov 27
    Location:The Met
    Off to Neverland we go, heading for the second star to the right and straight on...

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  • Date: Wed Nov 28
    Location:The Met
    Off to Neverland we go, heading for the second star to the right and straight on...

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