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FIS BG 4 rdax 380x155

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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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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A New Community Group has started with funds provided for room rental thanks to Oxfam. The Learners’ Champion – Teresa Davies has promoted and worked with the group encouraging participants from Ebbw Vale, Brynmawr and Tredegar to attend this free course which is held at Brynmawr Learning Action Centre. Mary Eveleigh the 50+ Co-ordinator has encouraged the group to become constituted and apply for their own funding to sustain their growth and future. This group has now trebled in size in just three weeks – promoted in the community by word and mouth. The object of the group is to incorporate life-learning skills where everyone is invited to learn new skills and pass on their skills; it also provides companionship and a sense of belonging to a very diverse group.  Social inclusion is an important part of this group, three Blaenau Gwent areas join together to make this happen and some members have already said that if they did not have this to look forward to they would be socially isolated.



The members would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has kindly donated knitting needles, wool patterns, crochets hooks and for the warm welcome that they have received from all the staff at Brynmawr LAC.
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 Deputy Ministers visit

Aneurin Leisure was once again happy to welcome the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates to Ebbw Vale Sports Centre for his second visit in the space of 6 months. 

As he promised on his last visit, he returned to the Trust to launch the new Welsh Government toolkit which is aimed at supporting community groups who are interested in taking over a local facility, with step by step guidance on a range of issues from developing a community group, producing business plans and accessing expert advice and funding. www.wales.gov.uk/topics/cultureandsport/community-asset-transfer/?lang=en

 

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Tredegar Sports Centre is holding an event in aid of Comic Relief on Friday 13th March.  It will be based around a triathlon (swim, cycle, run) and will coincide with the street games session that takes place every Friday, 7pm-9pm. Willing participants will either endure the swim, cycle or run, and at the end of the event the total distance covered will be recorded.
Their aim is to try and cover the distance of an Olympic triathlon event, 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and a 10km run between those that take part. They are asking for willing participants to go along and help donate to a very worthy cause.

Also David Williams from Ebbw Vale Sports Centre will be attempting to ride a spin bike the distance from Ebbw Vale Sports Centre to the London Eye (158 miles). This will be recorded via a computer linked to the spin bike to track the number of miles completed. The spin bike will be placed in the middle of the fitness room with two support bikes. These will be for members of the public to go along and support the challenge and also ride a few miles of the route themselves.
Buckets collecting money on the day will also be placed at reception and in the fitness room. From Monday, Sponsorship forms will also be handed out to gym members to collect sponsors for the day. 
Your support at both these events would be very welcome.
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'Bonjour et Bienvenue'

This month saw two of our venues extending a ‘Grand Bienvenu’ to a visiting French Orchestra from the Auvergne region of France.

The 120 members of L'Orchestre d'Arverne visited Bedwellty House & Park and Beaufort Theatre & Ballroom during their visit to the area, stopping first for a traditional two course lunch at the Carriage House in Bedwellty before returning later to the Ballroom for supper.  The group were delighted with their traditional British dining declaring it to be 'très bon et délicieux'

The following evening the orchestra went on to perform at Saint David's Hall, Cardiff with Only Boys Aloud and two local Male Choirs to a packed house, before making their way back to France, promising to return very soon! 
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Sports Leaders UK Leadership Academies

We are happy to announce that our Inspire Sports Development Team have recently been successful in their application to become a Sports Leaders Academy.

Sports Leaders UK launched the Leadership Academy initiative as a scheme to reward and recognise some of its best Approved Assessment Centers who go beyond the call of duty.  

These Leadership Academies act as beacons of good practice to other organisations in the local area. They not only deliver Sports Leaders UK's awards and qualifications with high levels of success and enthusiasm, but by meeting the criteria, these organisations have a very positive impact on the local community with regards to increased voluntary hours, community placements and events.


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Introducing Aneurin Leisure

We are pleased to announce that following in depth discussions with our staff, Board members and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Life Leisure Trust will shortly be changing its brand name to Aneurin Leisure, whilst continuing to trade as Life Leisure Trust.

As an organisation which has set its primary goal as Improving Community Life for the residents of Blaenau Gwent, we believe that we needed a brand new name, to encompass and communicate our vision, which not only spoke to the heritage and location of our Trust, but also communicates our desire for innovation, our aim to improve Health and Wellbeing to users of our facilities and to pursue new ways of thinking.

Our first step in moving away from Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council was an important development for us, and one we felt needed an element of familiarity, so we decided to utilise our strongest brand, our Life membership scheme, in order to make our new Trust as visible as possible to the communities and businesses within Blaenau Gwent.

Now that we feel we have achieved this, it’s time to move forward again with the next step in our ongoing development.

Aneurin Leisure is a strong and diverse organisation which celebrates community engagement and encompasses the following facilities and services throughout Leisure, Learning and Culture:

  • Adult and Community Learning
  • Beaufort Theatre, The Met and Arts Development
  • Bedwellty House & Park
  • Libraries
  • Heritage
  • Inspire Sports Development
  • Parc Bryn Bach
  • Sports Centres

Customers to our venues will notice a name change over the next couple of days but all payment details for facilities/services will remain the same as the Trust will still be trading under Life Leisure Trust.

Phil Hodgson Chair of the Aneurin Leisure Board of Trustees said: “Life Leisure Trust has gone from strength to strength since its launch in October 2014 and it’s very exciting to build on our success with this next phase of our development as we transition to Aneurin Leisure.”

Anthony Hughes Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure added: “From both a local and national perspective Aneurin Bevan has become synonymous with innovation and striving to improve community living. These two aspects are very important to us as we move forward with Aneurin Leisure to improve the wellbeing of individuals and communities within Blaenau Gwent.”

For more information please visit our website at www.aneurinleisure.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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During the 2014 / 2015 financial year Blaenau Gwent Community Chest Panel have invested £73.500 into sports clubs and ventures across the area through Sport Wales Community Chest Grants. £34,820 of this figure was awarded during the Panel’s last meeting in January.

Sport Wales Community Chest offers grants of up to £1500 to community clubs and groups looking to increase sporting opportunities or improve sporting standards within their area.

Community Chest is funded from National Lottery investment and awarded through Sport Wales via the 22 local authorities in Wales. Grants are available across all areas of Wales. The scheme has been in place since 1999.

Community Chest is seen as a real success story in terms of supporting community clubs to develop and provide quality sporting and physical activity opportunities to people within their communities. Typically the grants are used to start new clubs from increased demand in specific sports from school sport programme and community initiatives, the grant can be used to develop coaches by funding their qualifications, purchasing start up and essential equipment as well as working with established clubs to grow their membership.

Sports Clubs and community groups across a wide range of activities are supported, with those seeking to make a difference among disadvantaged groups (women and girls, disability, those from an ethnic minority background or those living within a deprived community) being eligible for additional support and funding through the scheme.

Over the last financial year 44 individual clubs have been awarded Community Chest grants across Blaenau Gwent.

The most recent meeting awarded £34,820 cash injection into a number of local clubs including.

Ebbw Vale Junior Badminton Club, who received £1496 to train coaches and purchase equipment, following demand to start a new club from children attending 5x60 after-school and lunchtime sessions.

Silurian Boxing Club in Tredegar, who after taking over an old chapel were awarded £1250 to offer boxing and physical activity sessions to hard to reach young people in the local community, and widen their development to include girls self defence and fitness sessions.

Abertillery Junior Bowls club were awarded a grant to provide more opportunities for young people in the area to play ‘street’ bowls in attempt to make the sport attractive to the younger generation and ensure the sustainability of the club.

While the North Gwent Referees Association are to benefit from funding to train more referees in the area including females, this will allow the junior football game to grow with more officials being able to run leagues and games more effectively.  

Beaufort Hill Community Welfare Group also received a grant to provide training and equipment to provide physical activity sessions to a number of people within their community such as zumba, tap dancing and tea dancing.

Other clubs who were awarded a community chest grant to grow their membership and increase opportunities for local people to participate include, Blaenau Gwent Tennis Club, Tredegar Town Junior Football club girls and mini section, Tillery Dragons Netball, Tredegar Netball, Tredegar Torpedoes Swimming club, Freefallers trampoline club, Blaina & Nantyglo Air Squadron unit, Brynmawr Dance club and Valleys Gymmnastics academy.

It was great to see so many clubs apply for the funding and the panel awarding so many local clubs. If clubs would like any further information with regards to community chest grant scheme please contact the sports development officer in the area.

 

For further information on funding please call 01495 353394.

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StreetGames at Tredegar

With the New Year well and truly underway, Tredegar Sports Centre provided some great facilities for the StreetGames participants on a very wet and windy Friday night.

Despite the weather, a total of 81 young people came along and participated in the session, trying out a range of sports such as football, touch rugby and basketball all whilst keeping dry!

Active Young People Officer Gareth Winmill said of the initiative: "It’s really positive to see young people getting involved with all the activities and having a fun time. StreetGames sessions are all about young people becoming more active in a safe, relaxed and fun environment with all their friends participating. With this being the first session of the year, it’s very pleasing to see so many young people taking part".

This amazing evening of sporting activities takes place every Friday night 7pm – 9pm for just £1.50.

For more information on Street Games either contact Gareth Winmill on 07446988106, or alternatively Tredegar Sports Centre on 01495 353395.

 

 

 

 

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With experienced and knowledgable staff we can help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be!

Here at Life Leisure Trust Sports Centres we understand that everyone is different, we will sit down with you to discuss your goal and work on a fitness plan to suit you.

Carl Mould one of our Life Card members has praised staff at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre for turning his life around using this service.

Carl was recently diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic and as a result of tests had a raised sugar reading in the high 20s.  He was on the verge of insulin injections to control the condition but decided to take up a more healthy lifestyle option.

Carl ditched the sedentary lifestyle he once had, changed his diet and took out a life membership at the Sports Centre.  After an initial increased feeling of well being Carl was encouraged by his friend and Recreation Assistant Mr Rob Jones to start exercising in the Lifestyle studio.  Rob not only encouraged and oversaw Carls training but supported him by training alongside Carl after working hours.

Carl has recently informed us that his sugar levels are now in single figures and at the lowest they have been for many years, which has meant a huge change in his medication.

If you would like further information on how we can help you with your health and wellbeing then please contact:

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre - 01495 357777
Abertillery Sports Centre - 01495 212206
Tredegar Sports Centre - 01495 353395

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Luke Rees jpgLuke enrolled on the Inspire Young Leader Programme while he was at school and became a Platinum Ambassador representing Blaenau Gwent Sports Development on the UK Young Ambassador Steering group. Luke has accumulated over 800 hours volunteering with young people in programmes such as StreetGames, 5x60 and rugby in primary schools. Since volunteering with the Inspire Sports Development team, Luke’s has had many achievements. His impressive biography includes representing Inspire Sports Development at various events including:

-  attended  the 2013 UK School Games in Sheffield (chosen as one of only two young people from Wales) and spoke at the closing ceremony to an audience of over 5,000 people.

- attended  the Youth Sport Trust ‘Sport Changes Lives’ dinner at the Savoy Hotel in London to share his story with many international athletes and sporting people.

- spoke  at the Sport Wales ‘Team Wales’ event at Sophia Gardens and the National Volunteers Conference at Cardiff City Stadium.

- carrying the Queen’s Baton Relay through Abertillery.

- selected to become a Platinum Young Ambassador for Sport Wales on the Youth Sport Trust UK Steering group, only the third young Ambassador ever from Wales to be selected to the steering group.
 
- asked to be a part of the judging panel for the BBC Wales Sports Awards, which includes the Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2014.

Life Leisure Trust is very lucky to have a young person of such high quality and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are your children sitting their GCSE exams this summer?


Would they like more practice with their English/Maths or both?


If so, then the courses below could help them!

GCSE English

Starting Wednesday, 4th February 2015, 4.30-5.30 pm at

Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre

Covering topics included in GCSE English Language paper 1

(comprehension and narrative writing)



GCSE Maths

Starting Thursday, 5th February 2015, 4.30-5.30 pm at

Abertillery Learning Action Centre

(foundation level fractions, decimals & percentages)



Each course costs £90.00 and is for 1 hour per week x 6 weeks.

Courses are delivered by experienced tutors in an informal setting.

For more information or to book your place (maximum 8 students per class) please ring Alyson Davies on 01495 355595





Are you aged 14-16yrs & sitting your GCSE exams this summer?


Would YOU like more practice with your English/Maths or both?


If so, then the courses below could be for you!

GCSE English

Starting Wednesday, 4th February 2015, 4.30-5.30 pm at

Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre

Covering topics included in GCSE English Language paper 1

(comprehension and narrative writing)



GCSE Maths

Starting Thursday, 5th February 2015, 4.30-5.30 pm at

Abertillery Learning Action Centre

(foundation level fractions, decimals & percentages)



Each course costs £90.00 and is for 1 hour per week x 6 weeks.

Courses are delivered by experienced tutors in an informal setting.

For more information or to book your place (maximum 8 students per class) please ring Alyson Davies on 01495 355595


We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For information on all of the opening hours for the Life Leisure Trust venues please click on the link below:

Christmas and New Year Opening Times 2014/2015

If you have any further queries then please contact the relevant venue

Abertillery Sports Centre - 01495 212206
Ebbw Vale Sports Centre - 01495 357777
Tredegar Sports Centre - 01495 353395
Brynmawr Community Centre - 01495 355945
Beaufort Theatre and Ballroom - 01495 355800
The Metropole Cultural and Conference Centre - 01495 355945
Abertillery Library - 01495 355646
Tredegar Library - 01495 357869
Ebbw Vale Library - 01495 303069
Cwm Library - 01495 370454
Blaina Library - 01495 355609
Brynmawr Library - 01495 357743
Brynmawr Learning Action Centre - 01495 355595
Blaina Learning Action Centre - 01495 355807
Abertillery Learning Action Centre - 01495 355895
Tredegar Learning Action Centre - 01495 357834
Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre - 01495 355300
Bedwellty House and Park - 01495 353370
Park Bryn Bach - 01495 355920

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Success for Budding Construction Workers with Bridges into Work

John Preston from Bridges into Work has successfully piloted the new Health and Safety in the Construction Environment qualification through the British Safety Council for a group of eager students from around Blaenau Gwent.

The qualification is a vital pre-requisite for anyone interested in a career in the construction industry, as it enables workers to gain the licence necessary to enter construction sites.


The pilot course ran for a period of two days and we’re happy to report that a staggering one hundred percent pass rate was achieved by the group of students.


The success of this pilot scheme has resulted in the course being rolled out to the wider community in partnership with Job Centre Plus and Communities First.


Ceri Waters, Learning Services Manager said of the achievement “It’s excellent that we are able to offer the new qualification to enable local people progress into employment in the construction industry.”


If you would like further information on Bridges into Work please contact 01495 309951 or visit www.lifeleisuretrust.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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StreetGames Bonanza at Abertillery

This October half term saw Abertillery Sports Centre hosting another highly successful StreetGames Bonanza for children from all over Blaenau Gwent.

The main aim of the Bonanza was to launch a brand new StreetGames site and regular session at Abertillery Comprehensive, as well as to provide a fun range of activities as part of the sports centre’s Half Term Programme.


The Bonanza was a huge success with over 80 young people attending the event and participating in a whole host of activities including Dodgeball, football, hockey, netball, racketball (supported by Squash Wales) and lots of fun in the swimming pool with the Dominator inflatable obstacle course. Families First were also on hand to provide face painting and street dance workshops, while Blaenau Gwent Youth Service brought along their Sumo Wrestling kit and Big Inflatable Slide for some added excitement!

The event was a resounding success and we would like to take the opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to; Mike Howells, Jamie Davies and the staff at Abertillery Sports Centre, Greg Morgan from Blaenau Gwent Youth Service, Andrew Hamer from Squash Wales, the BG Inspire Sports Development team, Abertillery Comprehensive School Sports Leaders, Jade Clancy-Burgess and Families First.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Deputy Ministers Visit

Deputy Minister visits Life Leisure Trust

This week marked yet another auspicious milestone for Life Leisure Trust as Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism visited the area to find out more about the new Trust and its work to improve community life within Blaenau Gwent.

Life Leisure Trust started its exciting journey on 1st October this year and is responsible for delivering Leisure, Learning and Cultural facilities and services across Blaenau Gwent; which includes:

Sports Centres
Sports Development
Heritage
Community Education
Libraries
Parc Bryn Bach
Bedwellty House and Park
Beaufort Theatre
The Metropole Cultural and Conference centre
Arts Development

Over recent months the Life Leisure Trust has gone from strength to strength by embarking on some exciting initiatives including new partnership working with organisations and individuals and identifying areas of growth in the diverse range of business and services that are offered.  

The ambition of the Trust is to sustain and improve services within the community, with a commercial focus in order to develop and grow the business, providing opportunities to increase participation for families and individuals to access the service. This is an exciting time for the Trust and a significant milestone for the future of Leisure services within Blaenau Gwent.

During his visit to the new state of the art Ebbw Vale Sports Centre, the Deputy Minister Ken Skates said of the Trust:

“We are all facing tough challenges and as a result local authorities are being faced with difficult decisions about the provision of sport and leisure facilities. However, these facilities are important to the health and well-being of the people of Wales and it is important that the needs of the local community are considered in any existing and new delivery model plans”.

“It’s been interesting to meet with Life Leisure Trust to learn about their plans to enhance leisure provisions and services in Blaenau Gwent. They have a clear ambition to impact on the health and wellbeing of those who live in and visit the area and I wish them well.”

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Life Leisure Trust said

“The Trust would like to thank the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism for taking the time to visit Blaenau Gwent to discuss developments around Leisure, Learning and Culture. This is a very exciting time for the new Trust and the effective partnership between the Council remains committed to achieving the goal to secure a bright future for the services and the people of Blaenau Gwent”.

There are a range of projects and facilities that focus on improving the health and well-being of people in Blaenau Gwent and those who visit the area. To find out more on these please visit www.lifeleisuretrust.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Venue: Blaina Heritage Museum

The Institute

High St

Blaina, NP13 3BN

Time:   3p.m., Wednesday, October 29th

Since May 2002, digital Community Archives have been established in Brynmawr, Blaina, Tredegar, Cwm, Waunlwyd and Llanhilleth. These archives scan photographs and other documents relating to the history and heritage of their communities and record information about local people and events. This is one of the largest and most successful Community Archive networks in the UK and is now regarded as a model of best practise in this field.

As part of the Blaenau Gwent Access to Heritage Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, CyMAL and in partnership with CommunitySites, the digital community archives have now been hosted on their own websites. This means that people across the globe will be able to contribute their own pictures, memories and comments to the community archives.

Frank Olding, Heritage Officer with the Life Leisure Trust, said:

“Getting the community archives on line was one of our core outcomes for the Blaenau Gwent Access to Heritage Project and I am delighted that these amazing resources will now be available to a worldwide audience via the web.”

The official launch of the new Community Archive websites will take place at Blaina Heritage Museum,The Institute on Wednesday, October 29th at 3.00 p.m. All are welcome to attend and tea and coffee will be served.

 

If you would like for further information:

 

For further details, please contact:

Frank Olding

Heritage Officer, Life Leisure Trust

01495 355972

07971 081647

frank.olding@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Launch Day for Life Leisure Trust

official signingweb

Wednesday 1st October marked a momentous day for Blaenau Gwent as Life Leisure Trust officially came into being as an exciting new venture, charged with providing Leisure, Learning and Cultural services and facilities to the residents of Blaenau Gwent on behalf of the Council.

The official signing of the legal documents for the transfer took place in the grand surroundings of the Council Chamber with David McAuliffe and Andrea Jones representing Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Life Leisure Trust and Sian Hughes, Vice Chair of the Trust's Board of Trustees signing on behalf of the new Trust.

The official signing of the documents concluded a busy day of celebration for everyone involved with Life Leisure Trust, ranging from displays, showcasing the transfer, at all our community based venues as well as an informal gathering at the Trust's new base at the Regain Building in Ebbw Vale. Front line staff were on hand to chat to customers about the new venture and the ambition to develop and grow our existing services.

Sian Hughes, Vice Chair of the Life Leisure Trust Board of Trustees said of the momentous day: "The Trust recognises how important the development of Leisure, Learning and Culture is for the people within our community and surrounding areas. We have excellent facilities to work with, to develop on a commercial level and ensure their growth to serve these people. We also want to work with businesses and commercial organisations to ensure this growth, and are excited by the prospect of introducing a commercial mind to the Trust."

Hedley McCarthy, Leader of Blaenau Gwent Council added: "This is an exciting time for Leisure in Blaenau Gwent and I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Life Leisure Trust all the very best for the future. The Council remains committed to promoting leisure, culture and community learning services and acknowledges that the decision to transfer services to a non profit Leisure Trust was the best way to sustain and potentially enhance, those services. The Council and the Trust will have shared priorities, including a focus on improving the well-being of people who live in Blaenau Gwent, but we also understand that the Trust will have to develop a more commercial approach, in order to sustain and grow the business.

It is extremely important that the Council and Life Leisure Trust work in collaboration to continue to deliver good quality services to the people of Blaenau Gwent and I look forward to establishing an effective partnership between the Council and the Trust to achieve this goal. The calibre of the Life Leisure Trust Board and staff is impressive and bodes well for the new organisation. Leisure services are highly regarded in the communities across the County Borough, and therefore, we have a joint responsibility to secure a bright future for these services, which meets the ever increasing expectations of the people we serve."

For further information on all our facilities and services please visit www.lifeleisuretrust.org.uk or find us on facebook Life Leisure Trust or follow us on twitter @_lifeleisure

Notes:

● Leisure Services that are transferring to the Trust are:

- Sports centres

- Parc Bryn Bach

- Bedwellty House and Park

- Heritage

- Adult and community learning

- Libraries

- Development services

- Arts Venues

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Last week saw children from all over Blaenau Gwent 'Take over the Library' with a great range of fun activities to celebrate the launch of this year's Mythical Maze Summer Reading Challenge 2014.

On Monday 21st July children at Abertillery and Tredegar Libraries were invited along for a fantastic day of FREE events to mark the start of the Reading Agency's Summer Reading Challenge.

Each year the challenge takes on a special theme, and with 2014 being the year of the MYTHICAL MAZE, there were plenty of epic adventures for children of all ages to join in with. Activities ranged from mythical creature inspired face painting and craft activities to a fantastical treasure hunt around the library with iPads and even a live animal roadshow.

ZooLab were on hand throughout the day to entertain and enthral the children with a selection of furry, scaled and shelled creatures as they took them on an imaginative journey into the MYTHICAL MAZE; combining learning about each animal with fun mythical storytelling, and of course they also got the chance to meet and hold some of them too!

Donna Hardman, Children's Officer for Blaenau Gwent Libraries said of the event; "It was fantastic to see so many children take part in the second Cymal funded Kids take over the Library event. This helped to get this year's summer reading challenge off to a flying start, with children inspired to join in after a day of fun filled activities. Reading for pleasure has been shown to be more important to children's successes than education or social class, and the summer reading challenge is an excellent way for libraries to support this."

TredegarLibrary2

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As part of the StreetGames 'Give and Go' scheme 11 of our volunteers were given the opportunity to attend a variety of events at the Commonwealth Games this summer in Glasgow.

The tickets were allocated as a reward for all the voluntary hours they had given ensuring Street Games is a successful programme across Blaenau Gwent.

The trip included a four day residential stay at Auchengillan Outdoor Centre, where the volunteers took part in activities including raft building, para-jumping and Street Games pop up clubs. There was also time to venture into Glasgow and experience some of the Commonwealth events from the spectator seats such as netball, table tennis, hockey and badminton.

The volunteers even got the chance to meet up with three of our athletes from Blaenau Gwent who were representing Team Wales in Table Tennis; Charlotte Carey, Chloe Thomas and Daniel O'Connell.

It was a fantastic experience and the volunteers came away enthused to incorporate Commonwealth sports into the delivery of their sessions.

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Park Run Celebrates its 100th Event at Parc Bryn Bach!

Launched in July 2012 in conjunction with BGCBC and the Inspire Sports Development Team, ParkRun is a franchise that has taken Britain by storm and resulted in the biggest running boom since the early 80s when Ebbw Vale's Steve Jones was the marathon world record holder.

ParkRun is a free weekly timed 5K timed run which is open to people of all ages and ability levels at Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar. It started with 30 to 40 runners each week and now thanks to the dedication and hard work of the local volunteers has reached 70 plus.

To celebrate the milestone event on 26th July 2014, over 100 runners completed the timed 5K run around the lake, including first time runners, Amelia Elliott, who is partially sighted, and her dad Troy.

Many of our participants have great stories to share about their ParkRun journies;

• Sam Sanderwick has lost 8 stone and taken approximately ten minutes off her first run and continues to beat her own personal best times.

• Sian Hughes was the first participant to complete the course in a wheelchair and her personal best time has improved from 55 minutes to just 32 minutes in a matter of 8 months.

Parc Bryn Bach Running Club and Ebbw Vale Running Club have both provided regular support to the event which is always looking for volunteers to help out.

If you'd like more information on ParkRun contact Lee Aherne on 07456 021509 or check out the facbook page https://www.facebook.com/brynbachparkrun

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Blaenau Gwent Learning Festival Group recently held their 15th Annual Awards Ceremony at Llanhilleth Institute.

The overall winner was Sukee Roberts, who was the winner in the Community Learner Category. Sukee was nominated by no fewer than four Adult Education tutors, as she attends hairdressing, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and an Improve your English Class, as well as working as a volunteer in an ILS English class for learners with learning disabilities. Sukee was an outstanding nominee and well deserving winner, particularly when you consider the fact that English is not her first language. However, she has truly embraced adult community learning and is always very keen to encourage others to take part in adult education classes.

This year was the first time that a tutor prize was awarded and the winner in this category was Welsh tutor Delyth Rees, who was nominated by two of her classes from Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre. Delyth is a tutor who is truly inspirational and nothing is ever too much trouble for her. This is reflected in the achievements of her learners, who have nothing but praise for her.

Other winners on the evening were:

Alexandra McKenzie – The Sarah Cholewka Award for Junior Learner

Learning Group – ILS Drama groups, Brynmawr Learning Action Centre

Healthy Living Awards – ILS Cookery group, Winchestown Family Centre

Learner of Welsh – Amanda Smith, Dosbarth Uwch Tri Fideo – BG Learning Zone

Professional Development Award – Level 3 Group in Assessing, Abertillery LAC

Community Champion – Michelle Griffiths, Ebbw Vale LAC

Pictured: Sukee Roberts and Delyth Rees receiving their awards from Blaenau Gwent Mayor Bernard Willis and Mayoress Kym Lewis.

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This year, Wales' leading environmental charity, Keep Wales Tidy, has awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award to a record 65 parks and 36 community managed green spaces in Wales.

The award recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces in the country as well as driving up the quality of green space.

Manager Kathryn Stowers is extremely proud to earn the right to fly the Green Flag at one of its parks and to receive recognition of the high standards maintained throughout the year.

Kathryn Stowers – Manger of Bedwellty House and Park

"Since completing the Heritage Lottery funded restoration of Bedwellty Park, we have made every effort to maintain the high standard of the Park. Being awarded the Green Flag award for the third year in succession is a huge honour for the Park, and we hope that both local visitors and those from further afield will continue to enjoy this beautiful park for many years into the future."

Joanna Friedli, Keep Wales Tidy Green Flag Co-ordinator commented:

"Keep Wales Tidy is extremely proud that so many parks and green spaces in Wales have reached the high standards necessary to achieve Green Flag status. The feedback received from our experienced volunteer judges in regards to the dedication and effort shown by staff and volunteers at these parks has been fantastic. I would like to pass on our congratulations to every single park receiving the Green Flag Award 2014/2015 and the Community Awards 2014/15 and hope that together we can continue to raise the standards of parks and green space in Wales and provide our communities with fantastic facilities to enjoy throughout the year."

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Three of our very talented youth theatre members; Alice Weston-Haynes, Bronwen Davies and Jay Sweeny, have spent their last term with us in Blaenau Gwent. After all of their hard work the past 7 years they have successfully gained entrance to study Drama at Queen Mary in London and Falmouth University in Cornwall. We wish them all of the best in the next stages of their artistic journey.

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    Location:Ebbw Vale Sports Centre
    Join the fun this Easter at our playscheme at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre!10am - 1pm...

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    We will, we will, Rock you! An amazing outdoor cinema experience at Bedwellty Ho...

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    Following the sell-out success of Cats; AYDMS Juniors are back with the fabulou...

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