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Posted by on in general
Participatory Arts blog
The Arts Service are pleased to have successfully completed the second strand of our Arts Participatory Delivery Programme which is funded by Arts Council of Wales.  
The Musical Theatre & Dance Summer Schools took place at the beginning of the summer holidays and were both very well attended by young people aged 6-18yrs.

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

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

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

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

"Well organised and incredibly enjoyable" - Beth Tidey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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animal agents banner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge call in to your local library or visit

For more information on our six libraries located across Blaenau Gwent and the varied services they offer please visit our website at

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Posted by on in general

summer holidays banner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on any of these events and activities take a look at our Events Calendar at

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Posted by on in general

Alice 1 crop

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

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

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

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

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

To find out more about the project, ask at your local library or email Head 4 Arts at
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