Get creative in the great outdoors this Half Term with Arty Parky!
Head4Arts is proud to announce the return of Arty Parky for a 5th consecutive year, a series of free events taking place in four fantastic parks across four counties. The Blaenau Gwent instalment will be taking place in Bedwellty Park on Saturday 27th October between 10.30am – 3pm.
Arty Parky presents the opportunity for people of all ages to work with environmental artist Kate Raggett to create spectacular giant land drawings.
During the events, participants will be encouraged to get muddy and forage for foliage such as leaves, sticks, seeds and conkers to help create four unique outdoor artworks composed entirely of natural materials. The final pieces will showcase the natural colours of Autumn which makes this time of year a favourite for many.
The more people who take part, the more remarkable the results will be so please come along and help out! Participants are welcome to join in at any time throughout the day and stay as long as they like – just dropping in or staying all day.
Arty Parky events will still take place in light rain, but may be postponed in the event of severe weather. More information - and weather updates - can be found on the Head4Arts website and social media pages:
www.head4arts.org.uk / Facebook: Head4Arts / Twitter: @Head4Arts #ArtyParky
Get creative in the great outdoors this Half Term with Arty Parky!
Our hugely popular Playscheme sessions are back at all three of our Sports Centres at Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar this October, offering children aged 8 – 12 years a mix of fun sports and activities including netball, football, basketball, racquet sports, inflatable fun, swimming and more. Each session costs £7 per child (including lunch) or if you’re planning to visit regularly, why not take advantage of our special Playscheme Offer of 1 day for £7, 2 days for £12 or 3 days for £15.
Our Sports Centres will also be offering some Halloween hijinx with our Freaky Friday Family Night on 26th October at Tredegar Sports Centre, an Under 10’s Halloween Party on 29th October at Abertillery Sports Centre and an Open 4 Youth night with Blaenau Gwent Youth Services on 27th October at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre for ages 11+. For more information on any of these activities please visit www.bglife.co.uk or call Abertillery on 01495 357779, Ebbw Vale on 01495 357777 and Tredegar on 01495 353395.
That’s why The World Federation for Mental Health is focusing today’s #WMHDAY campaign on Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World. The campaign aims to bring attention to the issues our youth and young adults are facing in our world today and begin the conversation around what they need in order to grow up healthy, happy and resilient.
At Aneurin Leisure we have a broad range of services that are perfectly suited to help people of all ages improve their well-being, so here are some useful tips on how to improve your mental health along with some suggestions on how we can help: -
1. Be Active
The benefits of regular exercise are well known; not only does it improve your health and wellbeing and reduce your risk of major illnesses, but it also promotes all kinds of positive changes in the brain, including neural growth and new activity programmes that promote feelings of calm and wellbeing.
Regular exercise also releases a whole host of natural hormones that can improve the quality of your sleep, boost your mood, enhance your concentration and make you feel more motivated.
At Aneurin Leisure, our three Sports Centres offer a wide range of exercise possibilities for people of all ages and fitness levels; whether you’d like to enjoy a refreshing swim, join a group exercise class, take to the gym or even play a game of badminton or football with friends.
Throughout Half Term all our centres will also be offering a range of fun and friendly activities for children of all ages to join in with, ranging from our popular Playschemes to Football Camps and of course some spooky Halloween fun!
Find out more at www.bglife.co.uk
2. Read a Book
It’s been scientifically proven that curling up with a good book is not only an enjoyable pastime, but it can also have a positive impact on your mental and emotional health. According to a recent study by the University of Sussex, individuals who read for just six minutes exhibited slower heart rates, less muscle tension and reduced stress levels.
The benefits of reading to promote good mental health are so well known that doctors in the UK have adopted ‘Books on Prescription’ to aid patients with anxiety and depression.
If you’re looking for your next great read, our six Libraries throughout Blaenau Gwent provide a huge and varied range of free books, e-books and e-magazines suitable for people of all ages and interests. Our Better with Books scheme also supports children and families, providing a range of titles which are available on a number of topics including behaviour problems, bullying, starting school, sadness, confidence and self-esteem etc.
Find out more at https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries
3. Take a Break
Something as simple as a change of scene or pace is good for your mental health, and the great outdoors is an excellent place to start since research has shown that time spent in natural habitats can improve your self-esteem and mood.
A report published by Natural England even demonstrated that taking part in nature based activities helps people who are suffering from mental health issues and can contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress and depression.
At Aneurin Leisure we have two country parks that provide a diverse choice of landscapes to explore, from the beautifully maintained lawns and flowerbeds of Bedwellty House & Park to the stunning lakeside views and woodland trails of Parc Bryn Bach.
But if you’re looking for more than just a scenic walk, there are also lots of hidden treasures to be found at our parks. You can take your relaxation a little further at Bedwellty House and venture into our cosy Orchid House Tea Room for a spot of lunch or a delicious Afternoon Tea or you can bring your children/grandchildren along to join in with our programme of fun and creative half term activities – find out more at www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk.
You can even embrace your wild side at Parc Bryn Bach and experience one of our thrilling Adventure Activities such as tandem paragliding, caving, climbing, archery or watersports. Throughout Half Term we also have a range of activities specially designed for children aged 8 – 15years for just £15 a day - find out more at www.parcbrynbach.co.uk
4. Learn a New Skill
Learning can boost your self-confidence and self-esteem and help to build a sense of purpose, and since learning often involves interacting with other people it can also help us to make social connections and strengthen relationships.
Learning doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go back to school as there are lots of ways to bring learning into your life, especially at Aneurin leisure. Our Adult Community Learning service provides a wide range of courses to suit everyone, whether you’d like to improve your employment potential with some new qualifications, brush up on your IT skills or even learn a new hobby and get involved with a club. Find out more at http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/community-education
If you’re looking for something a bit more active, you could even learn an exciting new skill such as kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, climbing or navigation with our fully qualified and experienced Parc Bryn Bach Adventure team - find out more at www.parcbrynbach.co.uk
5. Do Something you Enjoy
This week marks our fourth anniversary as a charitable trust, providing a wide range of well-being services to promote healthy lifestyles to communities across Blaenau Gwent.
Our Blaenau Gwent Libraries will be celebrating National Libraries Week with a range of activities on the theme of well-being as Libraries across the country showcase how they bring communities together, combat loneliness and provide spaces for reading and creativity.
Dementia Friendly 'Remembrance and Reminiscence' Sessions are being held at Brynmawr Library on Monday 8th October 2pm - 5pm and Cwm Library on Friday 12th October 2pm - 5pm. The sessions will be themed on local history and using reminiscence to help stimulate conversation and bring back happy memories. A range of information for anyone affected will also be available.
Stress Busting sessions are being held at Tredegar Library from 10am - 12.30pm and at Abertillery Library from 2pm - 5pm on Wednesday 10th October which will provide free taster sessions in hand, foot and face reflexology (places will need to be booked in advance at the library).
Tredegar Library is holding an open day on Thursday 11th October from 10.30am - 2.30pm to raise awareness of library services for visually impaired people. Various activities will be delivered including storytelling, mindfulness, singalongs, stress awareness and local history sessions. Demonstrations on accessing our new e-audio service will also be available and information on our home delivery service and talking books.
For more information contact your local library:
Abertillery 01495 355646 • Blaina 01495 290312 • Brynmawr 01495 357743 • Cwm 01495 370454 • Ebbw Vale 01495 355055 • Tredegar 01495 357869