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Aneurin Leisure will soon be delivering a new project in Blaenau Gwent to help local people with their employment prospects. The Nurture, Equip, Thrive scheme will help under-employed people return to full employment and help people with work-limiting health conditions or disabilities to stay in work, return from sick leave or take on career development opportunities.

Aneurin Leisure will deliver the scheme in Blaenau Gwent and will offer mentoring, coaching, careers advice, skills development and childcare and transport to help people into sustainable employment. The scheme will attract £450,000 of EU funding and will benefit over 250 local people.

The South Wales Valleys will also benefit from an extra £8.8 million of EU funding to extend 2 existing projects – Working Skills for Adults II and Bridges into Work II, led by Torfaen Council in partnership with Aneurin Leisure in Blaenau Gwent, plus Bridgend, Caerphilly and Merthyr Tydfil councils.

Working Skills for Adults II in Blaenau Gwent will receive an extra £340,000 to help employees gain new skills to improve their job security and career prospects. The scheme has already supported more than 300 people in the area to enhance their careers.

Michelle said of the Working Skills for Adults II project “I can’t believe how far I have come since starting the project, I have had wonderful support from day one and without this project I may never have changed career or considered further learning.”

In Blaenau Gwent Bridges into Work II project will be supported by an additional £600,000 of EU funding to deliver training and mentoring to improve the skills and employability of long-term unemployed people. The funding will help around 400 people over the next 4 years.

Mark Drakeford, Welsh Government Finance Secretary said: “It is vital we continue to invest in the areas which need it most, removing barriers to work, reducing in-work poverty and helping people move towards a brighter and more prosperous future.

“EU funds have already helped thousands of people throughout the South Wales Valleys improve their chances of getting a job. This extra investment will help build on this success.”

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure added: “Aneurin Leisure are delighted to be delivering on these three projects helping local residents find and sustain work that meets their needs and aspirations.”
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Toy Appeal Banner Blog

Throughout December all our Aneurin Leisure venues across Blaenau Gwent joined the St David’s Toy Appeal to collect toys to help make Christmas special for children in Wales. Whether they’re poorly, have challenging family circumstances, or are living in poverty, the children who the appeal aims to help are really deserving of an extra gift.

Thanks to kind donations from our customers, visitors and staff we collected 145 toys across the Trust, which were donated to a variety of charities, one of which was Follow Your Dreams, who tweeted to let us know that some of the toys from the appeal would be going to their Special Movers group based in Rassau.

The charity, which helps children and young people with learning disabilities to follow their dreams, tweeted everyone involved with the appeal and said; “You are all amazing. Thank you for supporting our charity through this appeal. You have helped to make so many children happy across South Wales with disabilities through us.”

Over 20 charities took part in the appeal including: Valleys Kids, Ty Hafan, Barnardos Cymru, Noah’s Ark, Follow Your Dreams, Home Start, The Salvation Army, Y Bont, Kidney Wales, Dreams & Wishes, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity and City Hospice.

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Post Office Outreach Service Blog


The Post Office has restored Post Office services to Cwm with the opening of a Hosted Outreach service located at Cwm Library.

The Hosted Outreach Service, which launched on Tuesday 8th January, is operated by the postmaster from Crumlin Post Office who will visit the community every Tuesday between 10am and 1pm.

During these weekly sessions visitors to the library will be able to access a variety of Post Office services and will also be able to take advantage of a range of banking services including cash withdrawals and balance enquiries for customers of all the main UK banks.

Gareth Shylon, Post Office Network Operations Manager said: “We are confident that this new Hosted Outreach service at the heart of the local community will meet customer needs.”

Tracy Jones, Library Services Manager for Aneurin Leisure added: “This is a great opportunity for the library service to engage with new customers, and enhance our support service to the local community.”

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Last week Alun Davies AM, Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services announced three new Discovery Gateways within the Valleys Regional Park, naming Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar as one of the new sites.

“Further to the publication of the Valleys Regional Park prospectus in October and my Oral Statement on the Our Valleys, Our Future Delivery Plan on 27th November, I can now announce that Ynysangharad War Memorial Park (Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC) , Parc Bryn Bach (Blaenau Gwent CBC) and Parc Slip Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre (Bridgend CBC/Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales) will also be developed as Discovery Gateway sites, with Parc Slip Nature Reserve and Wildlife Visitor Centre, working closely with Bryngarw Country Park, as a regional gateway for the Ogmore, Garw and Llynfi Valleys.

I have already announced Dare Valley Country Park, Caerphilly Castle, Cwmcarn Forest, Blaenavon World Heritage Visitor Centre, Cyfarthfa Park and Bryngarw Country Park as Discovery Gateways.

In addition, work is continuing with Neath Port Talbot and Caerphilly County Borough Councils to develop plans for a further two Discovery Gateways in their areas. I also want to explore further options for a site in the upper Swansea Valley.

Over the coming months officials will work with the Valleys local authorities and the site operators to assess the strength and weaknesses of each of the sites with a view to putting in place development plans. These will deliver improvements to provide consistently high quality facilities and to strengthen the visitor experience for the people of the Valleys and visitors to the Valleys, as well as improving the iconic trails that join up the Valleys. These plans will be supported by the £7m of capital funding, over two years, which the Cabinet Secretary for Finance announced in the draft Budget 2019-20.

These sites are well located across the Valleys, will tell the stories of the Valleys and will work together to connect the Valleys as a region. The Discovery Gateways will use our rich cultural and industrial heritage to encourage people to be more active and to explore the beautiful Valleys landscapes.”
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little red tree lights


This year Ebbw Vale Library has been thrilled to be able to make a real difference to the Ebbw Vale town centre Christmas lights display, thanks to the efforts of The Little Red Tree group.

The group was established in 2016 with an aim to raise funds to supplement the Christmas lights in Ebbw Vale town centre, and within a year had succeeded.   At the end of 2018 funds were ear-marked for the Library, which was chosen for it's iconic appearance in the centre of the town.

Our Aneurin Leisure Library staff worked with the council to source and install the commercial lights for the official town centre switch-on, which took place on Saturday 24th November.

A spokesperson for The Little Red Tree group said; “The library windows are the final project for the Little Red Tree which has now ceased.  We would like to thank Aneurin Leisure Trust and Blaenau Gwent Council for their help in making the library lights so resplendent."

Tracy Jones, Libraries Service Manager for Aneurin Leisure added; "It has been a great opportunity to work in partnership with the Little Red Tree and Blaenau Gwent Council to support the local community.  The lights look amazing and we will be able to use them every year, thanks to the funding."

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