New Season of Shows at The Met, Abertillery
Try a game of Footgolf at Parc Bryn Bach this Summer
Try a game of Footgolf at Parc Bryn Bach this Summer
Try a game of Footgolf at Parc Bryn Bach this Summer
Try a game of Footgolf at Parc Bryn Bach this Summer
Try a game of Footgolf at Parc Bryn Bach this Summer
Try a game of Footgolf at Parc Bryn Bach this Summer
Try a game of Footgolf at Parc Bryn Bach this Summer
New Courses for Adults brochure available to download
New Courses for Adults brochure available to download
New Courses for Adults brochure available to download
New Courses for Adults brochure available to download
New Courses for Adults brochure available to download
New Courses for Adults brochure available to download
New Courses for Adults brochure available to download
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Following a number of recent updates from Welsh Government and the FAW we would like to clarify our position as a facility provider.

We will continue to follow the FAW guidelines for all ages; including mini, junior, youth and senior football. As clubs it is your responsibility to understand those guidelines and implement them at training and during matches.

There are to be no spectators at any of our venues and this needs to be enforced by the clubs.

Every affiliated club must have a Covid compliance officer and that person is responsible for communicating with the Sport Centres. This includes booking the facilities.

We will not be hosting any mass participation events such as tournaments or round robins at any age. We will allow matches of up to two teams at any one time.

We would like to encourage all clubs to follow their league association in terms of match day formats.

If you have any queries please contact your local Sports Centre:

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

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From Monday 9th November we are pleased to confirm that our services will return to their pre-firebreak operations:


Adult Education

All our courses will take place as normal at our Learning Action Centres across Blaenau Gwent.


Libraries

Library members are able to access our Call & Collect service to order a selection of books/audiobooks at our libraries across Blaenau Gwent. A contactless home delivery service is also available for those who are unable to travel to their local library.

Computer Sessions by appointment are also available in which customers can access emails, printing services and also carry our job searches etc

Library members also have access to free ebooks, eaudiobooks, emagazines and ecomics via apps such as BorrowBox and RB Digital.


Bedwellty House & Park

The park gates are open daily from 8.30am – 5.30pm and Bedwellty House is open 9.30am – 5pm.

The Orchid House Tea Room is open but all visitors must pre-book a table before visiting and all dining sessions will be in timed slots. Please call 01495 353397 to make a reservation.

For information on the Registrar Services currently available visit: https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/births-deaths-marriages/ if you have any queries please call them directly on 01495 353374 or email them at registrars@blaenau-gwent.gov.uk


Parc Bryn Bach

The main park gates will be open daily from 8.30am – 5.30pm and the Visitors Centre (and public toilets) are open 9am – 5pm.

The Lake View Café kiosk at the rear of the Visitor Centre is open daily from 10am – 4.30pm for takeaway refreshments. Please note that last orders for hot food is 4.15pm

The Children’s Play Area is open daily from 8.30am – 5.30pm, with Quiet Sessions for children and young people with additional needs every day from 9.30am – 10.30am and on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday evenings from 4pm – 5pm.

The 9 hole golf course, foot golf and driving range are open daily from 9am – 5pm.

The Caravan and campsite is now closed for the Winter season


Sports Centres

All our Sports Centres will be open with gym sessions, swimming and group exercise classes available at all 3 venues – please note all sessions must be pre-booked before you arrive.

Bookings can be made via our Aneurin Leisure app, website at www.bglife.co.uk or by calling your local centre:

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


IMPORTANT: Please note that face masks/coverings are required in all our venues and social distancing guidelines must be followed at all times.







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Firebreak Blog Banner

 

Further to the recent announcement by the First Minister of Wales regarding the national firebreak planned for 23rd October to 9th November, we would like to confirm that many of our venues will be closed, with some exceptions in line with Welsh Government guidelines:

·         Sports Centres: closed

·         Libraries: closed

·         Parc Bryn Bach: park remains open with takeaway service available; the Visitor Centre and all other facilities will be closed.

·         Bedwellty House & Park: park remains open with takeaway service available, the House will only be open for the Registrar service.

·         Learning Action Centres: closed with teaching resuming from 2nd November for most classes with remote learning where possible

Bedwellty Park and Parc Bryn Bach

We have all seen how important local green spaces are to communities throughout the lockdown, so as per Welsh Government guidelines, our parks at Bedwellty Park and Parc Bryn Bach will be open daily from 8.30am – 5.30pm for local visitors to enjoy.

At Bedwellty House the Orchid House Tea Room will be open for takeaways from 10.30am - 4pm and the Registrar’s Office will be open as usual, the rest of the house (including the toilets) will be closed to the public.

At Parc Bryn Bach our Lake View Café kiosk will be open for takeaways daily from 10am – 4.30pm (please note last orders for hot food is at 4.15pm). The Play area will be open daily from 8.30am - 5.30pm with Quiet Sessions for children with additional needs every day from 9.30am – 10.30am and on Monday to Wednesday from 4pm - 5pm.

Fishing is permitted for members of the angling club only, but anglers should walk to the park with their equipment to avoid making a non-essential car journey.

The Visitor Centre, public toilets, campsite and all golf facilities will be closed from 6pm on Friday 23rd October until Monday 9th November.

Please note that any cars remaining in the car park after the gates close at 5.30pm will be subject to a call-out fee.

We would like to remind everyone that the Welsh Government guidance states that; “Exercise should be undertaken locally – from home or as close as possible to the home. In general, this should not involve people driving to a location away from home for this purpose.”

Libraries Services

All of our libraries will close as of 6pm on Friday 23rd October.

Cwm Library will continue to open on Tuesday mornings from 10am - 1pm to provide Post Office services only.

There will be no home delivery or call and collect services available during the firebreak lockdown but our library members can still access our free digital services such as BorrowBox and RBdigital UK to download eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and eComics 24/7 from their homes.

If you haven't signed up for Borrowbox yet, contact your local library to request your PIN number.

If you would like to join the library, you can do this online at https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/.../libraries/join-the-library

Don't forget - all loans have been extended and we no longer have late return charges, so there's no rush to return your books.

If you want to take the time during lockdown to explore your family history, you can also use your library card number and PIN to get remote access to Ancestry.com via our library catalogue at https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/libraries/external-resourcess

Learning Action Centres

All our Learning Action Centres will be closed from 6pm on Friday, however most classes will resume week commencing 2nd November 2020 with teaching taking place remotely where possible.

Bridges into Work, Working Skills for Adults, plus Nurture Equip, Thrive projects can be accessed via their facebook pages (links below) or by calling 01495 355258

Adult Community Learning: https://www.facebook.com/aneurinleisureadultcommunitylearning

Bridges into Work 2: https://www.facebook.com/BiW2BG

Nurture, Equip, Thrive Project: https://www.facebook.com/Nurture-Equip-Thrive-Blaenau-Gwent-533606913807872

Working Skills for Adults: https://www.facebook.com/Working-Skills-For-Adults-2-Blaenau-Gwent-1632640600195901

Sports Centres

All of our sports centres will close at 5pm on Friday 23rd October and reopen on Monday 9th November.

We would like to reassure our life members that we will automatically be reducing your monthly membership costs to ensure that you will not be paying for any services that you cannot access during this firebreak closure period.

Most life members will have this reduction applied to their November payment, but any new life members that have joined us since 15th October will have this applied to their first monthly payment which is due in December.

If you have a cash paying monthly membership we will extend the end date of your last payment so that you won’t lose any days you’ve paid for and can have a full month’s access to our facilities.

For more information on the firebreak and it’s specific restrictions, please visit the Welsh Government FAQs page at https://gov.wales/coronavirus-firebreak-frequently-asked-questions

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Keep Wales Tidy has unveiled this year’s Green Flag Award winners – the international mark of a quality park or green space.

The flags will be flying proudly at Parc Bryn Bach and Bedwellty Park in Tredegar this week in recognition of their excellent visitor facilities, high environmental standards, and commitment to delivering great quality green space.

Parc Bryn Bach and Bedwellty House and Park are two beautiful parks set in the heart of Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent. Parc Bryn Bach, a local nature reserve, boasts 340 acres of stunning grass and woodland including a 36-acre lake situated right at its heart. It’s the perfect venue to relax, have fun and learn something new with the exciting family and adventure activities on offer. Bedwellty House and Park provides a vibrant history of Tredegar, being synonymous with Aneurin Bevan and the beginnings of the NHS, with stunning parkland for visitors to enjoy (including a sensory garden) and the Orchid House Tea Room which provides a variety of refreshments, afternoon teas and Sunday lunches. It also has the pleasure of hosting many weddings and the grounds provide the perfect backdrop for these special days.

Catherine Hares, Manager of both parks said: "We're absolutely delighted to have been awarded the Green Flag Award for our parks, for the fifth year running. The team works incredibly hard to maintain the parks and to make sure that they're in the best condition possible for people to enjoy. This award represents their commitment and dedication to creating outstanding environments and improving community life."

224 parks and green spaces across the country have received the prestigious Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award – from country parks and formal gardens, to allotments, woodlands and churchyards.

The Green Flag Award programme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government. Independent green space experts volunteered their time in early autumn to judge applicant sites against eight strict criteria, including biodiversity, cleanliness, environmental management, and community involvement.

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said: “The pandemic has shown just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities. For many of us, they have been a haven on our doorstep, benefitting our health and well-being.

“The 224 flags flying this year are a testament to the hard work of staff and volunteers who have maintained excellent standards under the most challenging circumstances. I’d like to congratulate and thank them all for their outstanding commitment.”

A full list of award winners can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru
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Bookstart-1---Bilingual

 

We all know that it’s never too early to start sharing books, stories and rhymes with your children, so libraries across Wales are working together with BookTrust, the UK’s largest reading charity, to help them provide free book packs to support families across Wales to help them read together.

From Monday 12th October our libraries across Blaenau Gwent will have free Bookstart packs for local families in two age categories that aim to encourage children into a lifelong love of reading:

·         Bookstart Baby Pack

This pack contains an English and Welsh language book, carefully chosen to appeal to very young children, and a special booklet with ideas for sharing books, stories and rhymes together.

·         Bookstart Early Years Pack

This pack contains an English and a Welsh language picture book, and a booklet full of ideas for sharing books, stories and rhymes together. The pack also contains a green Bookstart Early Years bag which is designed for your toddler to hold – perfect for taking to the library!

To claim your free Bookstart pack all you need to do is call your local library and arrange a day and time to collect your pack:

Abertillery Library: 01495 355646

Brynmawr Library: 01495 357743

Cwm Library: 01495 370454

Ebbw Vale Library: 01495 355055

Tredegar Library: 01495 357869


Bookstart-2---Bilingual

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Following the most recent announcement from Welsh Government, additional lockdown restrictions have been put into place in several areas across South Wales. The importance of physical activity has never been more important and with this in mind leisure providers have joined together across Gwent to help keep customers active.

Customers who have a membership with a leisure provider in counties across Gwent, which they will be unable to access due to local lockdown restrictions, will instead through this innovative partnership be able to attend their local gyms or leisure centre whilst the local lockdown remains in place.

This new initiative, called Active Gwent, includes Aneurin Leisure (Blaenau Gwent), Caerphilly County Borough Council Sport & Leisure Services, MonLife (Monmouth), Newport Live and Torfaen Leisure Trust.

This means that customers who live in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Monmouthshire or Newport who are currently members of leisure providers outside of their local area which they are now unable to access, can be given an Active Gwent membership to attend leisure services in their own county as part of this new partnership.

This will be available until 31st October 2020 initially and kept under review following Welsh Government updates. Customers continue to pay their existing membership fees and will remain members of their usual leisure provider. When local lockdowns are lifted, they will be able to return to their usual facilities. Members who are eligible for this will be contacted by their local leisure provider with more details on how to gain access.

The Active Gwent initiative has been introduced to help support communities in Gwent with remaining physically active whilst restrictions remain in place. All of the leisure providers taking part remain committed to the safety of staff and customers with additional guidelines in place including enhanced cleaning regimes and social distancing.

Steve Ward, Chief Executive at Newport Live said; “We are thrilled to be joining with other leisure organisations across Gwent to strengthen the Active Gwent partnership. It is important to be able to help people with keeping active and to support their health and wellbeing, even more so during these challenging times. This new initiative means that despite local lockdowns, customers will still have seamless access to take part in sports and activities in their local area.”

Phill Sykes, Director of Operations at Aneurin Leisure Trust added; "Our mission is to improve community life. We're delighted to work in partnership with Active Gwent to provide members outside of the borough with the opportunity to continue their fitness activity whilst the local restrictions are in place, through this reciprocal agreement."

Angharad Collins, CEO Torfaen Leisure Trust said “We are delighted that in the face of adversity in our sector that we have been able to collaborate with other colleagues in Gwent for this ground-breaking project. Our ultimate aim is to ensure that the citizens of Gwent can continue to be physically active in our COVID safe environments. I strongly encourage you to get in touch with your existing provider to take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

Cllr Richard John, Cabinet Member for MonLife said; “This fantastic news means that people can continue to keep fit and well at a local leisure centre as winter approaches – regardless of their home address in Gwent. This is a great example of how we are working in partnership across Gwent to support people – I would like to thank everyone who has made this happen.”

Cllr Ross Whiting, the Caerphilly County Borough Council Cabinet Member for Learning and Achievement commented; “The collaboration between leisure trusts and councils from across Gwent is a fantastic initiative that will allow residents of Caerphilly and the wider Gwent area to keep active in a time when customers need physical activity the most.

“I am delighted that leisure providers from across Gwent have come together to find a solution that is in the best interest of the people that matter - our residents. Thank you to all officers who have made this possible and to our customers who have been patiently waiting to return to their favourite facilities once again.”


More details about participating leisure providers can be found at the websites below.

Blaenau Gwent – Aneurin Leisure -
aneurinleisure.org.uk
Caerphilly – Caerphilly County Borough Council Sport & Leisure Services
www.caerphilly.gov.uk/Things-To-Do/Sports-and-Leisure/Leisure-centres
Monmouthshire – MonLife –
www.monlife.co.uk
Newport – Newport Live –
www.newportlive.co.uk
Torfaen – Torfaen Leisure Trust -
torfaenleisuretrust.co.uk


The latest information on local lockdowns from the Welsh Government can be found here: https://gov.wales/local-lockdown

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Following yesterday's Welsh Government announcement about the local lockdown restrictions for Blaenau Gwent, which come into affect from 6pm on Tuesday 22nd September, we would like to reassure everyone that our venues and services will remain open for local Blaenau Gwent residents.


If you have made a booking at any of our venues, and can no longer attend because of the lockdown restrictions, please get in touch with us to re-arrange it.

During these difficult times we are exploring ideas with partners on how to make it easier to help keep people fit and active and will update you on our progress as soon as we can.

We ask that everyone please follow the guidelines which are in place to keep us all safe while using our venues and parks:

  • Wear a mask/face covering while entering/exiting our venues and using communal spaces
  • Clean your hands regularly with the hand sanitiser provided
  • Adhere to social distancing guidelines at all times

All of our venues will continue to collect contact information for Track and Trace purposes.

Thank you all for your continued support and co-operation

Stay Local - Stay Healthy - Follow the Guidelines

Together we can keep Wales safe

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This year we will be celebrating Adult Learners Week a little differently, by going digital!


Throughout the week we will be sharing a number of free taster sessions, tutorials and bite size courses via our YouTube and social media channels on a variety of topics, including:


·         Word processing for beginners

·         How to make sugar flowers

·         Virtual exercise classes

·         First aid demonstrations

·         Digital basics session on internet safety

·         Digital coffee morning featuring special guests from the Museum of Wales

·         An introduction to hedgehogs


Adult Learners Week will also see the launch of an innovative new Creative Writing project, which marks the first collaboration between The Open University and Aneurin Leisure Adult Community Learning.


The project aims to encourage people of all ages to try creative writing by providing a series of easy to follow videos that are short, practical and lots of fun. After watching these Creative Writing films and completing the step-by-step exercises, participants will have the opportunity to further develop their skills with a series of free courses via The Open University.


We’ll be sharing our full timetable of online events soon, so check our social media pages for more information.

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Aneurin Leisure Trust continues to resume its services with libraries offering an appointment only service for their IT resources, and adult community learning courses will be starting as of 14th September 2020.

The 'call and collect' service for libraries has proven popular amongst residents and the resuming of IT services is hoped to provide those who need it the most with essential support to computer access to enable them to look for employment, access essential services and benefits and learning support. This service will initially be available at the libraries in Ebbw Vale, Abertillery, Tredegar and Brynmawr, by appointment only.​

Adult community learning courses are again proving very​ popular given the disruption to learners' education since March this year. Priority has been given to learners whose learning ceased due to lockdown in March. In addition, to ensure the safeguarding of all our learners and staff, the first session will be an induction on how to stay safe within adult community learning including the need for social distancing, adherence to one-way systems throughout the centres and the importance of regular hand washing and hand sanitising. In addition a blended learning approach is being implemented and two Welsh Government Grants have been received to provide new PCs in all four ICT suites and to pur​chase laptops and iPads to assist with adopting a blended learning approach. For details on how to enrol on a course please contact Ebbw Value Learning Action Centre.

Councillor Joanna Collins, Executive Member for Education commented:

‘We know that Covid-19 has had an impact on schools and young learners but it is also had an equal impact on adult learners. So this really is great news for adult learners who are now able to access a wide range of courses. Access to IT equipment in libraries is also a valuable service and will be a great help to job seekers in particular as the economy starts to recover.

The safety of service users is vital and we will use the procedures of the Government’s Test Trace Protect Strategy to provide added reassurance.’

Phill Sykes, director of operations for Aneurin Leisure Trust said, "We're delighted that our services are beginning to get back to normal during the pandemic. Initially we'll be offering an hour slot for each customer per week, from 7th September, which can be made by telephoning their local library. We hope to extend this service further once the initial phase has been tried and tested and our procedures are working to ensure the safety of our customers and colleagues. We fully appreciate the importance of these resources to our customers and the essential benefit it provides to those who do not have computer access at home.

Our adult community learning courses up-take has been exceptional and we're confident we can provide our high standard of education in a safe and secure environment."

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They are the valleys that helped shape and change the world – and today, they offer not only some of the finest scenery and heritage in Wales and the UK, but also a wide range of outdoor activities such as mountain biking, kayaking and trail walking.

Brought together under the Valleys Regional Park, the natural and cultural heritage of the South Wales Valleys are being promoted as a region linked by 10 sites currently named as Discovery Gateways.

Now, in a new Valleys Regional Park website residents, visitors and local businesses will be able to find out more on what they can see and do across the Valleys.

Check out the Welsh-language website here: www.ParcRhanbartholYCymoedd.Cymru 

And the English-language website here: www.valleysregionalpark.wales

Phil Lewis who is leading Valleys Regional Park said: “Using a whole valleys approach, the Valleys Regional Park is here to promote and celebrate the restoring of our valleys landscape, making sure we bring together the health of the land, people and the economy in everything that we do. This new website will help us to do that.”

The Discovery Gateway sites include the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre, Bryngarw Country Park and Caerphilly Castle as well as Cwmcarn Forest Drive, Cyfarthfa Park and Dare Valley Country Park.

In total ten places are featured, with the other sites being Parc Bryn Bach in Blaenau Gwent, Parc Penallta in Caerphilly, Parc Slip in Bridgend, and Ynysangharad War Memorial Park in Pontypridd.

Bridgend County Borough Council Leader Huw David said: “The Valleys Regional Park aims to make the most of the wonderful landscape, natural resources and cultural assets we have in our valleys for those who live in our communities, for the environment and for the economy.

“Linking our towns and villages in the Valleys together is a vast network of uplands, woodlands, nature reserves, country parks, rivers, reservoirs and canals, heritage sites and attractions.

“With their history and beauty, they deserve a national and international profile.”

The new website includes a map of the region with information provided on the Discovery Gateway sites which then link through to the relevant site’s main website. In addition to activities and events taking place, volunteering opportunities will also be listed.

The Valleys Regional Park was announced by Welsh Government in 2018 with £7m investment to help make the most of the area’s rich natural and cultural heritage.

In addition to promoting the Valleys as a destination, the Valleys Regional Park also involves encouraging partners to work towards best practice in landscape management to help improve biodiversity.

The regional partnership is hosted by Bridgend County Borough Council with the board comprising the council leaders of the 13 local authorities within the region.

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We’re delighted that we now have the go ahead to reopen our sport centres and can confirm that we will be reopening Ebbw Vale and Abertillery sports centres from Saturday, 15th August 2020 initially to our monthly-paying members only.

Unfortunately, due to essential maintenance being carried out at the site that houses Tredegar sports centre we are unable to open the facility until Tuesday, 1st September 2020.

However we have extended our opening times at Abertillery and Ebbw Vale sport centres to accommodate members from Tredegar so that you can continue to work out at a time suitable to you.

As you know we froze all membership payments during lockdown and can confirm that we will be unfreezing direct debit payments from 1st September 2020. This means that you’ll be able to use the facilities during August, without additional cost.

We’ve been working hard during lockdown to improve our facilities and to ensure that they are safe and secure for all our customers and staff.

You’ll notice a number of changes when you next come to work out including:

§  Signage around the building to direct you to where you need to go;

§  Perspex screens in reception;

§  Clear demarcation on what equipment can and cannot be used;

§  Clear guidance on how we request you conduct yourself during your visit. To assist you in this, we ask that you familiarise yourself with our Customer Code of Conduct

§  Social distancing to be maintained throughout the facilities;

§  Hand sanitising stations situated throughout;

§  Contactless payment is encouraged and welcomed.

Our primary focus is to ensure your safety. This means that we will limiting the number of members that can use our facilities at any one time so we urge you to book early to avoid disappointment!

You will be requested to book your gym session, exercise class or swimming session via the Aneurin Leisure app. Please download this now at the App Store or Google Play. Alternatively book online at www.bglife.co.uk or please call reception who’ll be able to assist you.

You can find out about the classes we will be running by logging on to the app or online and book these directly.

Swimming sessions will also be available to book via the app however please note that currently we are not running swimming lessons due to the need to socially distance, and that our Ebbw Vale changing rooms are being upgraded and the repairs won’t be completed until the beginning of September. However, you can still enjoy your swimming workouts at Abertillery sport centre in the short term.

We’re working with our sports groups which are Covid-compliant to utilise our outdoor pitches and will continually reassess how we can extend our services over the coming months to all customers.

If you’d like to see how we’re making our centres as safe as possible, just call our reception and they’ll be able to book you into a tour of the facilities. These tours will be held on 13th and 14th August.

From 15th August, our sport centres will be open during the following times:


Ebbw Vale Sport Centre

Gym facilities: Monday - Friday: 6am – 8pm | Saturday and Sunday: 8am – 1pm

Outdoor facilities: Monday - Friday: 10am – 6pm | Saturday and Sunday: 9am – 1pm



Abertillery Sport Centre

Gym facilities: Monday - Friday: 6am – 8pm | Saturday: 8am – 1pm | Sunday 9am – 1pm

Outdoor facilities: Monday - Friday: 10am – 6.30pm | Saturday and Sunday: 9am – 1pm

Pool facilities: Monday - Friday: 6.15-7.15am; 7.30-8.30am; 12-1pm; 7.15-8.15pm | Saturday and Sunday: 10-11am; 11.15am-12.15pm


We look forward to seeing you soon so we can help you to get and remain fitness ready!

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Following the Welsh Government's latest update with regard to the reopening of leisure facilities, we're delighted to confirm that Aneurin Leisure Trust, which manages Ebbw Vale Sport Centre, Tredegar Sport Centre and Abertillery Sport Centre on behalf of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, is working to make all facilities as safe as possible for customers and staff.

The centres will be reopening on a phased basis with more details available on our website and social media sites in the coming days.

Councillor Joanne Collins, the Council’s Executive Member for Education, says:

“The health and well-being of local communities is important to us and we know that people are keen to get back into their fitness and sport activities so this is very welcome news. We’ll be working closely with Aneurin Leisure Trust to support them with their plans for a phased safe re-opening of sports centres across Blaenau Gwent.”

Phill Sykes, Operations Director for Aneurin Leisure Trust said:

"We're excited that the Welsh Government has made this announcement and we can't wait to see our members back at the centres soon. Sport and leisure activities are fundamental to the wellbeing of the community and our priority is to ensure that we can provide these services to help improve community life whilst ensuring that they are as safe as possible for members."

Each of our centres will be staffed by team members for phone enquiries during the following times from Monday 3rd August:

Ebbw Vale Sport Centre: Monday - Friday 9.00am - 3.30pm

Abertillery Sport Centre: Monday - Friday 9.00am - 3.30pm

Tredegar Sport Centre: Monday - Friday 9.30am - 12noon
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Blaenau Gwent Council is renewing and strengthening its working partnership with the Aneurin Leisure Trust to continue to provide sports and cultural facilities for the people of the county borough.


The organisations will work together, supported by a robust Business Plan, to deliver high quality, sustainable and innovative services which will support the Council’s 10-year Leisure & Culture Strategy. A new Strategic Partnership Board, made up of key representatives from both organisations, will work closely together to oversee the maintenance and future growth of the leisure and culture sector in the area.


This means that the Aneurin Leisure Trust will continue to manage the following:


·         Sports centres in Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar

·         Parc Bryn Bach, Tredegar

·         Bedwellty House & Park, Tredegar

·         Adult Education Centres

·         Libraries


Councillor Joanne Collins, Executive Member for Education at Blaenau Gwent Council, says:

“I’m delighted that the Full Council has supported the move to renew and strengthen our relationship with Aneurin Leisure Trust, so that we can continue to work together to provide sustainable, high quality services for the people of Blaenau Gwent. With the approval of a new Leisure & Culture Strategy it was considered the right time to look at the future provision of these services, and a far reaching review involving elected members and industry experts was carried out. The conclusion from this was that continuing to work with the Trust, which has proven experience of running leisure services in the area and had developed a robust 10-year Business Plan, was the preferred option.


The decision gives reassurance about the future of leisure and culture services in the borough, and supports the Council’s commitment to our partnership wellbeing goals of enabling people to take healthy lifestyle choices in to improve their wellbeing. The decision will also help to safeguard many local jobs, which in this current uncertain climate is very welcome news.


We recognise the importance of continuing to provide good leisure services especially as we look to grow our economy and encourage new employment and housing to the area.”


Phill Sykes, Operations Director at Aneurin Leisure Trust said:

"This is fantastic news and we're very excited about continuing the work of Aneurin Leisure Trust across Blaenau Gwent. We're committed to delivering our 10-year Business Plan which has the overall objective of improving community life at its heart. Our different areas of expertise in Leisure, Culture and Education will serve the community in the long-term and secure employment opportunities for local residents."


The contract between the Council and the Aneurin Leisure Trust was agreed for five years – with a progress review to be carried out after three years.

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As part of a phased approach to restarting Library Services in Blaenau Gwent a new Call & Collect Service will be available from Abertillery and Ebbw Vale from next week. For anyone unable to collect from these venues, a contactless home delivery option will be available.

From Wednesday, 22nd July customers will be able to pre-arrange to collect books and other library stock from these venues safely and in line with the latest Welsh Government guidance on social distancing. The service will initially be trialled in libraries in Abertillery and Ebbw Vale, with a view to extending to other areas if successful. There will also be a home delivery option for those unable to collect.

The popular Summer Reading Challenge will also launch online later this week. Although a digital approach this year, many families will need access to physical books and this can be done through the new Call and Collect Service. All aspects of the challenge including stickers, folders etc will be digital.

Throughout the lockdown period Blaenau Gwent Libraries have continued with their digital offer and e-resources usage has increased approximately 40% compared to the same period last year, with online library membership increasing by 60% compared to the same period.

Councillor Joanne Collins, Blaenau Gwent Council’s Executive Member for Education says:

“As a Council, together with our partners, we are continuing to ease cautiously out of lockdown and slowly beginning to re-introduce services where it is safe to do so. It is important to stress, however, that services will not immediately return to the way they looked before Covid-19.

Borrowing books, physically or online, is a much more sustainable way to enjoy reading and libraries across the borough are popular with people of all ages. I’m delighted that more people have been taking advantage of the digital offer, but we acknowledge that this is not an option for everyone, and some people just like the feel of a proper book in their hands, so I’m pleased that Call & Collect and home delivery will be an option from next week.

It’s also great news that the Summer Reading Challenge will be going ahead as I know this is extremely popular with families in Blaenau Gwent and a great opportunity to top up those reading skills over the holidays ready for a return to school in September.”

Phill Sykes, Operations Director of Aneurin Leisure Trust said:

"We're working closely with Blaenau Gwent Council to work towards opening up all of our sites in line with the Welsh Government's guidance and the Call & Collect and Delivery services for libraries will enhance our online resources which have been available throughout the pandemic."

Customers will be asked to contact the Library Service to pre-arrange either collection or a contactless doorstep delivery.

The service will initially be available between Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm:

  • Call Ebbw Vale Library on 01495 355055
  • Call Abertillery library on 01495 355646
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We are very excited to launch our brand-new outdoor seating area for visitors to Bedwellty House & Park in Tredegar this week from Thursday 16th July.

Our new picnic benches will be placed outside the entrance to the Orchid House Tea Room, at socially distanced 2 metre intervals, and will provide visitors with beautiful views of the park while they enjoy our range of take away food, summer refreshments or even a cool glass of beer or wine.

This week we are also launching brand new range of Picnic Boxes which are available to pre-order before your visit, and are filled with a variety of sandwiches plus sweet and savoury treats:

Summer Picnic Box £6.75
4 sandwiches, packet of crisps, carton of juice, jam and coconut slice and a fruit pot

Deluxe Picnic Box £9.50
4 sandwiches, mini corned beef pastie, 2 chicken satay skewers, packet of crisps, bottle of Fentimans real lemonade, slice of zingy lemon cake, slice of coconut and raspberry cake and a fruit pot.

Children’s Picnic Box £4.00
2 sandwiches, packet of crisps, small packet of sweets, fruit pot, chocolate brownie chunks and a chocolate chip cookie

Each Picnic Box can be adapted for a number of dietary requirements – please be sure to tell us your dietary requirements when ordering. To place an order call 01495 353397 between 10.30am – 4pm.


The outdoor seating area will be open each week from Thursday to Sunday as follows:

·         Thursday's 11am - 4pm

·         Friday's and Saturday's 11am - 8pm

·         Sunday's 11am - 6pm


In order to keep everyone safe, we do have some important guidelines for our everyone to follow:

·         Tables must be pre-booked in advance (3 hour time slots) - Call us on 01495 353397

·         We will need a name and contact number for each table/group for track and tracing purposes

·         Social distancing guidelines must be followed at all times

·         Do not move any of the seating

·         One person to use the toilet at any time (this will be cleaned at regular intervals)

·         Please make use of the hand sanitiser provided

·         Please respect our staff and be considerate of other visitors

*If you or any member of your group are unwell or showing symptoms of coronavirus please do not visit*

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sports-centre-update---july-blog-banner

The Welsh Government has recently made changes to regulations allowing larger gatherings of up to 30 people outdoors for organised and supervised sports and other leisure activities/classes.

We have carefully examined the guidance and will be working closely with all of our sports group partners to determine a way forward which allows us to prioritise their needs and to ensure the safety for all group members and staff engaging in sport.

Some national governing bodies have also provided return-to-sport guidance and information and while we understand that many local sports clubs would like to get back to training as soon as possible, we do not feel that it is practical or safe for us to open our outdoor pitches until we have completed our consultation. There is guidance and procedures provided to sports groups to follow:


In addition to this consultation with sports groups, we are working with national governing bodies and the Welsh Government to plan the safe reopening of our sports facilities. During this time, we will be providing two new virtual classes per week – free of charge – via our Facebook and YouTube channels. We believe this is the safest way to deliver classes at this time and will be working towards a safe return to our facilities as soon as possible.

All of our membership costs are currently frozen and will remain so until we are in a position to reopen our sports facilities as fully as possible in the current situation, we don’t believe it is fair to our members to re-start these payments with minimal interaction.

We are continuing to monitor the guidance from Welsh Government and are busy preparing for the safe re-opening of all of our sport and leisure facilities and look forward to welcoming all our members and clubs back as soon as it is safe for us to do so.
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COVID-19-Update-1

It’s been 14 weeks since we closed our sports centres as part of the UK wide lockdown to protect our communities from the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are continuing to follow the Welsh Government’s safeguarding strategy, so until the lockdown restrictions are eased for leisure centres and indoor gyms our centres will remain closed.

We have been putting the lockdown time to good use though, working hard to improve each of our centres ready for our customers return:

·         Tredegar has had a new 3G pitch installed

·         Abertillery is having it’s changing rooms refurbished

·         Ebbw Vale is having new carpets in the 3G cages, refurbishment to its wet-side changing room and solar panels installed on the roof


Getting Ready for Re-opening

In preparation for the eventual re-opening of our venues, we will be undertaking a deep clean of all of our sports centres and preparing them to ensure that social distancing can be maintained by all our customers and staff. 

We’re implementing a number of safety measures including:

·         Perspex screens at reception

·         Training for all staff to ensure the high levels of awareness

·         PPE will be provided to all staff

·         A one-way system will be implemented in all of our centres where appropriate

·         Hand-sanitising stations will be provided for all customers

·         New ways of working out and timetables are being developed


Taking Care of Yourselves

To help us to help you, we urge all our customers to follow the Welsh government’s guidance relating to safeguarding yourself and the wider community:

Full information can be found at  https://gov.wales/coronavirus-covid-19-advice

To help protect yourself and keep active:

  • If you feel unwell and have the symptoms of a high fever, persistent dry cough and/or loss of taste or smell please self-isolate and contact the NHS for a test.
  • Please ensure you wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with hot water and soap or use hand sanitiser to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Help prevent yourself from contracting Covid-19 and maintain good hygiene at all times ensuring you keep your hands away from your mouth, eyes and nose.


Further Updates

As soon as we have more details on how and when our centres will be opening safely, we will post updates on our social media channels and via our Aneurin Leisure app, which can be downloaded free from Google Play and Apple App Store.

We’ll also be continuing to share virtual workouts, livestream classes and activity challenges on our facebook pages and YouTube channels – so be sure to follow us at:


·         https://www.facebook.com/bglifecard/

·         https://www.facebook.com/Bgreferral/

Take care, stay safe and we hope to see you all again soon.
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golf

Following the re-opening of the main gates and car parks on wednesday 3rd June at Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar, we are now preparing to re-open more facilities for our visitors.

On Friday 19th June our 9 Hole Golf Course will re-open to the public, and will be available from 9am - 3.30pm each day.  Please note that our golf driving range will remain closed for the moment.

We have implemented a new online booking system via our website, which will enable people to pre-book and pay for their round of golf before arriving at the park.  This booking system combined with our new policy to separate every tee time throughout the day with a 15-minute gap, will enable us to control the amount of people using the golf course at one time and therefore help golfers to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Book your round of golf online here

In order to keep our golfers and staff as safe as possible, we also have a new set of rules and procedures for the golf course which can be found below:

BOOKING:

·         All sessions MUST be booked prior to your visit.

·         To book a session click here 

·         Maximum of 2 players per hole.

·         Please bring your own equipment (including golf balls).

·         The Golf Driving Range will remain closed at this time.


ARRIVAL

·         Check in no earlier than 10 minutes before your tee time. Please bring your proof of purchase email.

·         Tee off times are separated by a 15 minute gap.

·         Please wash your hands at the facilities provided.


DURING YOUR ROUND

·         Adhere to social distancing at all times.

·         Grounds staff have priority at all times.

·         Do not touch or remove flags. Upturned cups will be in position.

·         Do not shake hands.

·         After your game finishes please leave the course immediately.

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Following the partial easing of the Welsh Government lockdown guidelines we have made some changes to the status of some of our venues, which were closed at the start of lockdown:



Parks

Our parks at Bedwellty Park and Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar are now open once again for local visitors; the gates at both parks will be open daily from 8.30am – 8.30pm.

Our cafe's at Parc Bryn Bach and Bedwellty House have re-opened to provide visitors with a variety of take away refreshments:

·         The Lake View Cafe at Parc Bryn Bach is open daily from 11am - 4pm

·         The Orchid House Tea Room at Bedwellty House is open Thursdays to Sundays from 11am - 4pm

Our 9 hole golf course and golf driving range are now open daily at Parc Bryn Bach - please note all sessions must be booked and paid for online at least 24 hours before arriving at the park, bookings can be made using the following links:

·         Book your round of golf

·         Book your driving range session

For the moment all other facilities at Parc Bryn Bach and Bedwellty House remain closed – including the children’s play areas and toilets.

Libraries

We are working closely with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council to finalise the details of the reopening of libraries in the county. Our priority is to make sure that we have the requisite procedures in place to ensure the safety of our customers and staff, and we are working hard to make sure that all of our libraries are as safe as possible before we reopen.

In the meantime, we are continuing to welcome new library members via our website and encourage all our members to the free online Borrowbox service so that they have access to e-books and e-audiobooks whilst our physical sites are closed.

Sports Centres

All our centres remain closed until we receive confirmation from the Welsh Government that we can reopen. During this closure period all direct debit payments for life membership and our swim school have been frozen. All cash paying swim school customers’ lessons will be transferred to the next block when we re-open.

For ideas on how to exercise at home follow our Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/bglifecard/ and https://www.facebook.com/Bgreferral/

Other Venues

Our Learning Action Centres and The Met remain closed at this time, but we will provide further updates on these as soon as we can.
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Following the recent lockdown, an easing of the regulations will allow parks in Tredegar to start to reopen from Wednesday, 3rd June.

Aneurin Leisure Trust which manages Bedwellty House and Park and Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar on behalf of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council will start with a phased reopening of facilities to support local residents.

From 3rd June, car parks at Parc Bryn Bach will reopen to visitors and the local angling club will resume its activities; the gates at Bedwellty House and Park will reopen to allow local people to enjoy walking around the gardens.

Joanne Collins, Executive Member for Education for Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council said, “In line with the Welsh government’s easing of restrictions, we’re working closely with Aneurin Leisure to ensure that residents have access to amenities in their local area whereby they can exercise more than once a day.  We will continue to monitor the situation and increase full access to the sites in accordance with the government’s instructions.”   

Phill Sykes, Operations Director of Aneurin Leisure Trust added, “We’re delighted that we can begin to reopen the parks which will enable people to start to return to a more normal way of life.  We are taking precautions to keep our sites as safe as possible and we urge all our visitors to maintain social distancing at all times. Our team is working hard to bring the parks back to their best and this means that the golf course will take a little longer to reopen but we hope that members can start to enjoy a round from mid-June.  We’re also working to reopen a take-away service at the café and will confirm this as soon as possible.”

The visitor centre at Parc Bryn Bach will remain closed at this time therefore fishing access is for members of the angling club only and the driving range will remain closed.  In accordance with the Welsh Government’s regulations, all play areas will also remain closed to visitors at this time and the parks are only accessible to local residents.
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Exciting-News

Updated on 13 May 2020 at 13:50

Following the Welsh Government's recent announcement we are delighted to advise our customers that we are developing plans to reopen our libraries across Blaenau Gwent.

MAALD (Museums, Archives, Arts and Libraries Division of Welsh Government) is working closely with Public Health Wales to ensure the safety of both our customers and staff to enable us to reopen our services as soon as possible.

We will continue to update you on our progress and when the libraries will formally reopen.

Update on Post Office Services at Cwm Library

We are also happy to announce that Post Office services at Cwm Library will resume every Tuesday from 10am – 1pm starting from Tuesday 26th May for local residents.

Please note that there will be no library provision on these days yet as we are still finalising our plans for the safe reopening of our libraries.

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WelshLibrariesComics Twitter-min

Welsh Libraries are proud to be offering an enhanced eComics service from April 2020 to all library users throughout Wales, which will include over 3,500 titles.

The enhanced collection will include popular Disney titles such as Frozen, Mulan & Finding Nemo, as well as Marvel classics such as Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk, and other top comics such as Transformers, Star Trek, and Ghostbusters.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “It is fantastic that the ComicBook collection has been enhanced as individuals across Wales self-isolate.  Libraries have always played an important role across Wales and, as communities are affected by Covid-19, the e-resources offered by Libraries are a great resource to turn to.  I hope the addition of Disney comics to the current ComicBook collection will entertain children during this difficult time and support them to develop their literacy skills.”

Dr. Mel Gibson, Associate Professor, Northumbria University & Comics scholar also commented “It is lovely to see this free collection of mainstream eComics made available for readers of all ages.”

Being able to offer this great service to our users means not only do they have a wider range than ever to choose from, they will be able to access the content instantly, without any waits.

The eComics collection can be accessed through either the RBdigital app or website, which are available free through your library membership in Wales – simply download the app and then use your library membership number (found on your library membership card) to set up an account an start reading!

For more information visit the Welsh Libraries website at https://libraries.wales/my-digital-library-rbdigital-comics/

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covid-19

(Updated at 13:30 on 31-03-20)

Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of our enduring commitment to the health and safety of our customers, employees and the communities we serve, we have temporarily closed all sites that we manage until further notice:

·         Bedwellty House & Park (including the Orchid House Tea Room)

·         Learning Action Centres

·         Libraries

·         Parc Bryn Bach (including the Visitor Centre, Café, Golf Course and Campsite)

·         Sports Centres

·         The Met


Sports Centre Customers

During this closure period all direct debit payments for life membership and our swim school have been frozen.  All cash paying swim school customers’ lessons will be transferred to the next block when we re-open.  For ideas on how to exercise at home follow our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/bglifecard/


Libraries Services

While our Libraries are closed there will be no overdue charges issued and extended loan periods will cover all books.  Library members are also able to access free e-book, e-magazine, e-comics and e-audiobooks which are available online 24/7 via the BorrowBox, RB Digital and Zinio apps.


Parks

In conjunction with Blaenau Gwent Council’s decision to close all council owned parks, open spaces and outdoor play facilities, both Bedwellty Park and Parc Bryn Bach are now closed.

This is in line with the Welsh Government’s announcement to close all national parks, caravan parks, campsites, tourist hotspots and popular beauty spots to visitors with the aim to reduce public gatherings and unnecessary travel.

Please note that Bedwellty House & Park is only open for people to access the Registrar Service during their office opening hours.  For more information on these services click here.


Bridges into Work 2

The Bridges into Work 2 Team is still available to offer support via telephone, Facebook and email. The team can help with: CVs and job searches, job applications, interview preparation, volunteering, training, essential skills (literacy, numeracy and IT) and ESOL. If you need support call 07398 546 437 or 07398 546 286 or email BiW2@aneurinleisure.org.uk


We would urge you to follow us on social media - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep updated with developments and for specific details regarding individual sites within Aneurin Leisure Trust.

Aneurin Leisure Trust works in partnership with a number of public bodies including Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and we will continue to work to help our customers by supporting our partners with staff, where possible, being redeployed to assist where needed.



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We have been monitoring the Covid-19 situation closely and have made a joint decision with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council to close all our Libraries in Blaenau Gwent from 5.30pm on Friday 20th March until further notice.

During this closure period there will be no overdue charges issued and extended loan periods will cover all books. There is also no limit on the number of items you can borrow.

Don't forget – our Libraries Service offers free e-book, e-magazine and e-audiobook loans which are all available online 24/7 which will not be affected by this closure period.

To access these services, you just need your library card pin number (which can be provided by our staff). For more information on these services ask a member of staff or visit our website at https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/libraries/external-resourcess

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our library members for their continued support and we look forward to seeing you all again when we re-open our doors.


RB-Digital Borrowbox-App
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It is Aneurin Leisure Trust's duty of care to its customers, staff and the wider community to ensure it is following the government's safeguarding strategy.

We wish to reassure our customers that we are following government guidelines and continuing business as usual as far is operationally feasible to ensure that you can continue with your exercise routine.

We continue to ensure that all public areas are cleaned frequently and have increased the frequency of cleaning of high-contact surfaces such as door handles and hand rails. We also undertake regular deep cleans of the gym, weights room, spin room, changing rooms and swimming pool.

To help us to help you we urge all our customers to follow the government's guidance and assess the risk to themselves and others based on the information provided on the government's website when assessing your attendance to events and activities at our venues.

Information on this can be found at https://gov.wales/coronavirus-covid-19-advice


There are things you can do to help protect yourself further and keep active:

·         If you feel unwell or have been instructed to self-isolate please do not come to the centre.

·         Please ensure that you wash your hands regularly, before and after any visit to one of our sites, for 20 seconds with hot water and soap or use hand sanitiser to reduce the risk of infection.

·         Help prevent yourself from contracting Covid 19 and maintain good hygiene at all times; ensure you keep your hands away from your mouth, eyes and nose.

·         Please ensure that you use the cleaning equipment provided when you use the gym and ensure that you clean all surfaces with the paper towels provided - not your towel!

·         There are some pieces of equipment for classes - such as mats - which we provide however do think about bringing your own to classes given that absorbent surfaces are more difficult to keep clean.


If you are swimming at one of our sports centres, it is generally recognised that Covid 19 would not be active at the levels of chlorine used in swimming pools. We already ask our customers to ensure that they shower before and after using the pool (with hot water and soap), and we will be asking our lifeguards and front-line staff to remind you of this and enforce it if necessary.

We will continue to update our website and social media with the ongoing developments and guidance provided by the government and wish to take this opportunity to wish our customers continued good health.
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covid-19

It is Aneurin Leisure Trust's duty of care to its customers, staff and the wider community to ensure it is following the government's safeguarding strategy.

We wish to reassure our customers that we are following government guidelines and continuing business as usual as far is operationally feasible; currently none of our sites are closing to the public.

We continue to ensure that all public areas are cleaned frequently and have increased the frequency of cleaning of high-contact surfaces such as door handles and hand rails.

We urge all our customers to follow the government's guidance and assess the risk to themselves and others based on the information provided on the government's website when assessing your attendance to events and activities at our venues. 


Please ensure that you continue to monitor each of our site's website to find out the latest information about events and classes.

Please also ensure that you wash your hands regularly, before and after any visit to one of our sites, for 20 seconds with hot water and soap or use hand sanitiser to reduce the risk of infection.
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It was announced today that Parc Bryn Bach is set to become an official Local Nature Reserve, one of five such sites designated by Blaenau Gwent Council across the county borough.

The Council Executive Committee today approved the new sites, recognising that these are important to both people and nature.

The sites are:

  • Parc Bryn Bach, Tredegar
  • Beaufort Hill Ponds & Woodland
  • Central Valley, Ebbw Vale
  • Garden City, Ebbw Vale
  • Sirhowy Hill Woodlands, Tredegar

 

 

The Council committed in its Corporate Plan to improve the access to and quality of open spaces for the benefit of our communities, businesses and visitors. Through the Blaenau Gwent Well-being Plan it is also committed to looking after and protecting the environment, and encouraging and enabling people to make healthy lifestyle choices in the places that they live, learn, work and play.

By designating and declaring five more Local Nature Reserves the Council is acting in line with the approved Biodiversity and Ecosystem Resilience Forward Plan (2019-2022), to meet its duty under the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 and maximise its contributions to the Well-being Goals.

It is also a part of the Council’s commitment to work with partners on mitigating the impact of climate change and encouraging sustainable communities.

Councillor Garth Collier, the Council’s Executive Member for the Environment said:

“I’m delighted that we are able to designate five new sites as Local Nature Reserves.  We have some outstanding areas of natural beauty here in Blaenau Gwent, rich in wildlife, habitats and eco systems, and it is important that we recognise these and look after them for everyone to enjoy.  We will be working closely with a range of partners and some enthusiastic community groups to preserve these important areas for the benefit of our future generations.”
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Head4Arts will be holding free family friendly events to celebrate Earth Hour on Saturday 28th March 2020 at four fantastic locations throughout the eastern Heads of the Valleys area.  Each event will offer a creative exploration of climate change using storytelling, lanterns and butterfly-themed crafts.

These free events which are suitable for all ages will be taking place at Parc Bryn Bach, Tredegar - Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil - Blaenavon World Heritage Centre and Library and Penallta Park.

Earth Hour is a WWF global campaign during which millions of people turn off their lights to raise awareness of climate change.  Earth Hour 2020 will take place between 8.30-9.30pm on 28th March 2020.

Head4Arts activities taking place throughout the day are designed to connect families with Earth Hour and encourage them to switch their lights off for one hour later in the evening to show their shared concern for the planet.  Participants also be invited to pledge one thing they can change to slow down climate change.

The day’s activities will culminate in a grand finale taking place at Penallta Park.  This evening event will be a unique, time-travelling, interactive experience with spectacular lanterns featuring animals from around the world.

The theme for this year’s events is It’s About Time, highlighting how climate change is threatening the health of our planet and the wildlife (and humans) that depend on it.  Butterflies have been chosen as the symbol for the events to represent the decline of biodiversity on a local and global scale.  Since 1976, butterflies and moths are among the species that have suffered greatest falls in abundance, with a 52% decline in the average species’ abundance of butterflies being reported in Wales.

This is the fifth year that Head4Arts has organised events for Earth Hour, Creative Director, Kate Strudwick says “We are living in a changing world and we hope that our events for Earth Hour 2020 will give families an opportunity to explore climate change in a creative way, and inspire them to embrace the lifestyle changes we will all have to make in future.  Ultimately, addressing climate change and protecting the environment is everyone’s responsibility.”

To get involved go to www.head4arts.org.uk, email info@head4arts.org.uk or phone 01495 357816.  Keep an eye out for additional information via social media @head4arts on Facebook and Twitter

 

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Blog-montage---february-2020

This February Half Term we have a fun filled week of activities planned for children of all ages at our Aneurin Leisure venues.

Throughout half term all our Libraries across Blaenau Gwent will be offering a range of free arts and craft activities for children to enjoy.  Cwm Library will also be hosting a free Family Art Session with Shanti-Ray on Tuesday 18th February from 2.30pm – 5pm, and Abertillery Library will be hosting a Lego Club on Saturday 22nd February from 10am – 1pm.

The Met in Abertillery are inviting families to get crafty on Wednesday 19th February with their Kites & Lanterns workshop, making an eco-friendly lantern and a colourful kite with Head4Arts as part of their preparations for Earth Hour.  The workshop is suitable for children aged 5 - 12 years and tickets are £4 per child (which includes a soft drink).  Call the Box Office on 01495 355945 or book online at www.the-met.co.uk

Our popular Playscheme days will be returning at all three of our Sports Centres during half term week, offering a fun mix of basketball, dodgeball, rugby, netball, inflatable fun and swimming for children aged 8 – 12 years.  Abertillery Sports Centre will also have a Racket Sports session for ages 7 – 15 years on Tuesday 18th February and a Basketball session on Thursday 20th February for ages 8 – 12 years.  For more information visit www.bglife.co.uk or call: Abertillery on 01495 357779 / Ebbw Vale on 01495 357777 / Tredegar on 01495 353395.

For the football fans out there Ebbw Vale Sports Centre will be hosting another Cardiff City FC Foundation Soccer School on Tuesday 18th February for boys and girls aged 4 – 12 years.  To book a place visit https://www.cardiffcityfcfoundation.org.uk/Event/ebbw-vale-18th-feb

Looking for soemthing a little different this half term?  Bring your family along to The Dinosaur Show at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre on Friday 21st February to meet a whole host of cretaceous creatures like Terrance the T-Rex, Sylvie the Stygimoloch baby, Princess Tia the Triceratops and Vinnie the crazy Velociraptor!  Shows start at 12pm and 6pm,  tickets are priced at £8 children and £10 adults and can be purchased online at https://marvellousencounters.com/events/

There’s also lots of outdoor fun to be had at Bedwellty House & Park this half term.  Join the Louby Lou team for a special Goldilocks Storytelling Trail on Tuesday 18th February from 11am – 12pm as they try and track down whoever has been leaving splatters of porridge all over the park.  The trail is suitable for children aged 3+ and costs £6.50 per child.  Nerf Wars will also be returning on Thursday 20th February for more nerf themed fun for children aged 5+, sessions are 10am - 11.30am and 12pm - 1.30pm.  Tickets are £12.50 per child.  To make a booking for any of these activities call 01495 353397 or for more information visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

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Work is due to begin this week on our new adventure play area at Parc Bryn Bach!

The existing play area will be dismantled at the end of this week, and then we will have lots of exciting new play equipment and specialist flooring which will be installed over the following few weeks.

To ensure the safety of our visitors and their families, the play area will be closed from 14th February until 31st March while we carry out this work.

Funding for the new Play Area and other developments at Parc Bryn Bach, including new Bunkhouse accommodation, was secured in partnership between Aneurin Leisure Trust and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council through the Welsh Government’s Valleys Regional Park initiative.

#ValleysRegionalPark  #DiscoverMoreAtParcBrynBach

Treetop-Village

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Our plans to improve the facilities at Parc Bryn Bach with a new Adventure Play Area and Bunkhouse accommodation are off to a flying start this year.

Following on from the community engagement sessions we held last year to find out what kind of things children wanted to see in our new Play Area, we invited contractors from all over the country to submit their designs and proposals for it.

Over the last few weeks, we have been working closely with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council to go through the proposals and are delighted to announce that Eibe have been selected to carry out the work.  You can see an illustration of their winning Adventure Play Area design below.

Enchanted-Village


This new Adventure Play Area project has been made possible by Welsh Government funding through the Valleys Regional Park initiative, which has named Parc Bryn Bach as one of 11 new Discovery Gateway Sites across South Wales.


#DiscoverMoreAtParcBrynBach #ValleysRegionalPark

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A new community sensory garden will be developed to support the residents of Blaenau Gwent thanks to Bedwellty Park’s dedicated group of volunteers.

Following Cllr John Morgan’s donation of £2,800 for the initial development of a sensory garden and bluebell trail, the Friends of Bedwellty Park have been successful in raising even more money with the support of local businesses and Aneurin Leisure Trust. Their aim is to complete the sensory garden at the park where residents of Tredegar and further afield can relax and enjoy the tranquility of a garden setting while stimulating different senses.

Further funds were raised through the Moondance Foundation, Pen Oer Bryn and through events organised by the volunteers, and hosted at Bedwellty House. These included a successful fashion show exhibiting the chic Pebbles and Welch Designs of Tredegar, an inspiring concert by Can Aderyn Singers and a dance-a-thon held in the newly renovated Carriage House room at the Park.

Janet Hatton, Chairperson of the Friends of Bedwellty House and Park said, “We were absolutely delighted to receive the funding to add to the fund-raising that our volunteers have already done; we’re very grateful for the support we’ve received from everyone so far. The design for the garden is already underway and we’re excited to work with the design team to make sure we have a community sensory garden that can be enjoyed by all.”

Phill Sykes, Operations Director of Aneurin Leisure Trust added, “The volunteers have done a truly amazing job of raising the funds and know that the sensory garden will be a tremendous enhancement to Bedwellty House and Park. We’ll continue to support the volunteers through ongoing activities and advice and guidance whenever they need it.”

The community sensory garden is in development and the official launch is planned for August 2020. More information about activities to support the development of the garden will be communicated in the coming months on www.bedwelltyhousehouseandpark.co.uk
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Following on from the success of last year's inaugural creative writing competition, our Blaenau Gwent Libraries Service are once again running a Short Story and Poetry Competition for people of all ages across the County Borough.

The theme for this year's competition is A Welsh Connection, and it's split into three categories:

Children’s Short Story Competition

Children must be aged 12 or under to enter this competition, their short stories must be a maximum of 1,000 words and be on a theme of A Welsh Connection. This competition is FREE to enter.

Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places and will include a goody bag and book tokens.

Adult Short Story Competition

Entrants must be aged 16 or over and write a maximum of 1,500 words using the theme of A Welsh Connection. There is no limit to the number of entries per person, but there is a fee of £5 per adult short story submitted.

Prizes for this category will be: 1st Place - Sue White Award and £50, 2nd Prize £25 and 3rd Prize £20.

Adult Poetry Competition

Entrants must be aged 16 or over and write a poem on the theme of A Welsh Connection. There is no limit to the number of entries per person, but there is a fee of £5 per adult poem submitted.

The closing date for all entries is Sunday 1st March 2020, all entries will be read and judged by Professor Anne Rowe, with the winners being invited to attend a special Awards Ceremony at Ebbw Vale Library on Monday 18th May 2020.

The Rules:

  1. Each entry must be on a theme of A Welsh Connection.
  2. Entries must not have been previously published.
  3. Adults must be aged 16 or over, children must be aged 12 or under.
  4. The author’s name, address, email and telephone number must be written on a separate piece of paper.
  5. Adult stories must be a maximum of 1,500 words, children’s stories must be a maximum of 1,000 words.
  6. Entries will be read and judged anonymously by Professor Anne Rowe.
  7. Entries will not be returned, so please keep a copy for yourself. No corrections or alterations can be made once the entry has been submitted.
  8. The judge’s decision is final.
  9. Winners must be available to attend the Winners Presentation Event on Monday 18th May 2020, failure to attend will result in the prize being forfeited.
  10. All winning entries will be displayed during the Award Ceremony and in Ebbw Vale Library.

How to Enter

In Person:       Take your entry and fee (where applicable) along to any library in Blaenau Gwent and hand it in to the staff.

By Email:         Send your entries to pincwritingcomp@yahoo.com – once your entry is submitted, you’ll be directed to a payment screen.

By Post:           Post your entry and entry fee to: Ebbw Vale Library, 21 Bethcar Street, Ebbw Vale, NP23 6HH. Cheques should be made payable to: pinc


For more information on the competition, please call Ebbw Vale Library on 01495 355055.
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NY-Memberships-CropA4Port-WF


Whether you have specific health and fitness goals for 2020, or you’ve just over-indulged during the Christmas holidays and want to get back on track, Aneurin Leisure can help you!


We have three Sports Centres at Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar which offer people of all ages (and fitness levels) a wide range of facilities and services to help you on your health and well-being journey.

Our life membership options start from just £18.50 per month and provide unlimited access, during public hours, of our three Sports Centres including:

  • Gym and Free Weights
  • Swimming
  • Over 100 Group Exercise Classes
  • Racket Sports (Abertillery only)
  • Health Suite (Ebbw Vale only)
  • Free Parking
  • Free Induction
In addition to our gyms, swimming pool and 3G pitches, each of our Sports Centres have a fantastic variety of fun and challenging group exercise classes, ranging from classics like Spin, Aqua Aerobics and Kettlebells to some of the hottest high intensity interval training such as Les Mills BODYCOMBAT, BODYPUMP and GRIT.

For those just getting started on their well-being journey, or dealing with health issues, we also have a wide range of gentle exercise classes and activities such as Yoga, Pilates and Yogalates (a mix of both) – which all help improve flexibility and mindfulness.

As a life member, you can also access FREE regular health MOT’s and chat with an experienced member of our team who can help you to set your goals and monitor your progress.

For more information, or to sign up for a life membership contact your local Sports Centre:

Abertillery 01495 357779 | Ebbw Vale 01495 357777 | Tredegar 01495 353395
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If you’re looking for a post-Christmas treat to enjoy with the family, join us for a one-night wrestling extravaganza at The Met in Abertillery on Saturday 4th January with the Superstars of Welsh Wrestling!

You've seen it on the TV, now come witness the glitz, the glamour and the highflying body-slamming action of live superstars of wrestling as they steam roll their way into town for an evening of fun and all action entertainment that’s suitable for the whole family!

Welsh Wrestling is the leading brand of live sports entertainment in Wales, and the only wrestling tour that covers the whole of the country. Its talented roster is full of international stars including audience favourites like Big Dog, Kid Cymru, John ‘The Machine’ Titan and of course, current (and three time) Welsh Heavyweight Champion Stevie Starr, to name just a few!

Tickets are priced at £12 for Adults, £9 for Children and £35 Family Ticket (2 adults and 2 children). 

To book your tickets call the Box Office on 01495 355945 or book online at www.the-met.co.uk
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Christmas-Opening-Times---Banner

 

Christmas Eve Opening Times 2019

Abertillery Sports Centre


8.30am – 11.30am

Tredegar Sports Centre


8.30am – 11.30am

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre


8.30am – 11.30am

The Metropole


Closed

Abertillery Library


9am – 12pm

Blaina Library


Closed

Brynmawr Library / LAC


9am – 12pm

Cwm Library


10am – 12pm

Ebbw Vale Library


9am – 12pm

Tredegar Library


9am – 12pm

Learning Action Centres 8.30am – 12.30pm

Ebbw Vale LAC closed

Bedwellty House & Park

House 8.30am – 12.30pm

Park Access 8.30am – 5.30pm

Parc Bryn Bach

Visitor Centre 8.30am – 12.30pm

Park Access 8.30am – 5.30pm


 

 


Christmas Opening Times 2019




Abertillery Sports Centre

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre

Bedwellty House & Park

Parc Bryn Bach

Christmas Day

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Boxing Day

Closed

Closed

House: Closed

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre: Closed

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Friday

27 Dec

Closed

Gym 9am – 4pm

Pool 10am – 3pm

House: 10am – 2pm

(Registrar Only)

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre:

9am – 5pm

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Saturday 28 Dec

Gym 9am – 4pm

Pool 9am – 1pm

Gym 9am – 4pm

Pool 10am – 3pm

House: 10am – 2pm

(Registrar Only)

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre:

9am – 5pm

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Sunday

29 Dec

Gym 10am – 4pm

Pool 9am – 1pm

Gym 9am – 4pm

Pool 10am – 3pm

House: Closed

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre:

9am – 5pm

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Monday

30 Dec

Gym 10am – 4pm

Pool 9am – 1pm

Gym 9am – 4pm

Pool 10am – 3pm

House: Closed

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre:

9am – 5pm

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Tuesday

31 Dec

Gym 10am – 4pm

Pool 9am – 1pm

Gym 9am – 4pm

Pool 10am – 3pm

House: 10am – 2pm

(Registrar Only)

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre:

9am – 5pm

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Wednesday 1 Jan

Closed

Closed

House: Closed

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre: Closed

Park: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Thursday

2 Jan



Normal Opening

Normal Opening

Normal Opening

Normal Opening



The following venues will be closed from 25th December until Thursday 2nd January 2020:

All Libraries, All Learning Action Centres, The Metropole Abertillery & Tredegar Sports Centre.

 
All of our Aneurin Leisure venues will re-open as normal on Thursday 2nd January 2020.
 
 
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This month our Blalenau Gwent Libraries Service has launched a brand-new Short Story and Poetry Competition which is open to adults and children, encouraging people of all ages to compose a short story or poem on the theme of A Welsh Connection.

The competition is split into three categories:

Children’s Short Story Competition

Children must be aged 12 or under to enter this competition, their short stories must be a maximum of 1,000 words and be on a theme of A Welsh Connection. This competition is FREE to enter.

Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places and will include a goody bag and book tokens.

Adult Short Story Competition

Entrants must be aged 16 or over and write a maximum of 1,500 words using the theme of A Welsh Connection. There is no limit to the number of entries per person, but there is a fee of £5 per adult short story submitted.

Prizes for this category will be: 1st Place - Sue White Award and £50, 2nd Prize £25 and 3rd Prize £20.

Adult Poetry Competition

Entrants must be aged 16 or over and write a poem on the theme of A Welsh Connection. There is no limit to the number of entries per person, but there is a fee of £5 per adult poem submitted.

The closing date for all entries is Sunday 1st March 2020, all entries will be read and judged by Professor Anne Rowe, with the winners being invited to attend a special Awards Ceremony at Ebbw Vale Library on Monday 18th May 2020.

The Rules:

  1. Each entry must be on a theme of A Welsh Connection.
  2. Entries must not have been previously published.
  3. Adults must be aged 16 or over, children must be aged 12 or under.
  4. The author’s name, address, email and telephone number must be written on a separate piece of paper.
  5. Adult stories must be a maximum of 1,500 words, children’s stories must be a maximum of 1,000 words.
  6. Entries will be read and judged anonymously by Professor Anne Rowe.
  7. Entries will not be returned, so please keep a copy for yourself. No corrections or alterations can be made once the entry has been submitted.
  8. The judge’s decision is final.
  9. Winners must be available to attend the Winners Presentation Event on Monday 18th May 2020, failure to attend will result in the prize being forfeited.
  10. All winning entries will be displayed during the Award Ceremony and in Ebbw Vale Library.

How to Enter

In Person:       Take your entry and fee (where applicable) along to any library in Blaenau Gwent and hand it in to the staff.

By Email:         Send your entries to pincwritingcomp@yahoo.com – once your entry is submitted, you’ll be directed to a payment screen.

By Post:           Post your entry and entry fee to: Ebbw Vale Library, 21 Bethcar Street, Ebbw Vale, NP23 6HH. Cheques should be made payable to: pinc


For more information on the competition, please call Ebbw Vale Library on 01495 355055.
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Looking to get a head start on your health and well-being goals for 2020?

Don’t miss our fantastic 12 Days of Christmas life membership offer, which gives you full access to our three Sports Centres for just £15!

That’s just £1.25 per day for unlimited use, during public hours, of our facilities at Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar, which includes:

  • Gym and Free Weights
  • Swimming
  • Over 100 Group Exercise Classes
  • Racket Sports (Abertillery)
  • Health Suite (Ebbw Vale)
  • Free Parking
  • Free Induction
Both our Sports Centres at Abertillery and Ebbw Vale will be open between Christmas and New Year, so if you’re keen to keep training over the festive period, we’ve got you covered!

Our 12 Days of Christmas offer is available for 12 consecutive days and you can sign up anytime between 1st – 18th December 2019.

For more information, or to sign up for this fantastic offer contact your local Sports Centre:

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

 

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 Toy-Appeal-banner

 

The St David’s Toy Appeal is back for 2019, and it's bigger than ever, so we will once again be helping them to achieve their target of collecting 10,000 toys in 23 days to give to unwell or disadvantaged children across Wales this Christmas.

So, when you’re doing your Christmas shopping this year, consider choosing an extra gift for a child in need and drop it off at one of our Aneurin Leisure venues.

·         We will be collecting gifts from 30 November – 19 December 2019.

·         Don’t forget that we only accept new gifts with tags (no second-hand gifts).

·         We’re collecting gifts for 0 - 16 year olds, so don’t forget about the teenagers too!

·         Once you’ve purchased your gift, simply drop it off at one of our Aneurin Leisure venues (unwrapped) and we’ll make sure it's delivered to a child in Wales who really needs it.

The St David’s Toy Appeal are working with more than 20 brilliant charities for this year, who do amazing things like providing life-saving equipment, giving practical and emotional support, and helping kids fulfil their potential, all of these charities make a huge difference to the lives of children and families in Wales.

The Charities:

Action for Children, ADHD Cardiff, Barnardo's, Bobath, Cadwyn, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity, Children's Leukaemia Society, City Hospice, Dreams and Wishes, Follow Your Dreams, Gibbonsdown Children's Centre, Home-Start (Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Cardiff East, Monmouth, RCT), Kidney Wales, Latch, Noah's Ark, Sparkle, TGP Cymru, The Salvation Army, Ty Enfys, Ty Hafan, Vale of Glamorgan Hostel, Valleys Kids, Voices From Care Cymru, Y Bont

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 Facebook---Trustee-Ad---banner-no-text


Do you have the drive, vision and ambition to help shape the future for wellbeing across Blaenau Gwent and the Heads of the Valley region?


Aneurin Leisure is seeking to recruit four new Trustees to help lead the organisation in redesigning the business model during an exciting period of transitional change.

Our new Non-Executive Directors will bring breadth to our Board’s expertise.

For one of the roles we are looking for candidates with recent and significant financial leadership experience with a relevant professional qualification.

For the second, we are seeking candidates with Board level experience in either Strategic Human Resources or Organisational Development experience, again with a relevant qualification.

For the other two positions we are particularly keen to hear from candidates with Board level experience in either: Digital Transformation, Commercial Marketing, Facilities & Safety Management, or strong Service/Process Improvement expertise.

For all four positions we are seeking inspirational and resilient leaders who can bring robust challenge, support, innovation and energy to our ambitious team.  An understanding of corporate governance and an absolute commitment to our values and vision will be essential.

Aneurin Leisure exists to improve community life by delivering activities that promote sustainable health lifestyles. The Trust is responsible for the operation, management and development of indoor and outdoor sport and Leisure facilities, arts and culture, country parks, libraries and community learning centres across Blaenau Gwent.


Click on the following link to view the full Role Description & Person Specification

Click on the following link to view the full Duties & Responsibilities of Trustees


For an informal discussion or further information about these vacancies, please contact: Nichola Morden-Tew on 01495 355952.

To request an application form please contact Dione Morris on 01495 355606 or email dione.morris@aneurinleisure.org.uk 

The closing date for return of applications is Friday, 13th December 2019
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Cascading-Poppies---artwork-close-up

Ebbw Vale Library has been chosen to host a moving community display of ‘Cascading Poppies’ created by residents of The Rookery and Red Rose Care Homes in Ebbw Vale.

The community display forms part of a joint project between Four Seasons Health Care and Creative Mojo, a company that provides all-inclusive dementia friendly craft experiences for the elderly.

The project saw the care home residents and their families crafting and painting hundreds of individual poppies that were then put together in a stunning 6-metre-long display that spans the balcony at the library.

On Tuesday 5th November residents, family and staff from the care homes, made a special visit to the library to see their artwork on display and enjoy some refreshments.

Kerrie Davies, Home Manager at Red Rose Care Home, said of the project: “This has been a wonderful activity for our residents. Sitting round the table together painting is incredibly relaxing, as well as being great for dexterity and concentration, and has also prompted reminiscence and conversations about shared wartime memories. We’re all so proud to see the fruits of our effort on show in the local library, and would like to thank Sarah from Creative Mojo for leading the project and pulling it together into such a fantastic display.”

Sarah Craig from Creative Mojo added: "It was an absolute pleasure to work on this project with the residents and staff of The Rookery and Red Rose Care Homes. The residents were thrilled to see their beautiful poppies on public display. We are most grateful to the staff at Ebbw Vale library for making us feel so welcome and providing the opportunity for our artwork to be enjoyed by the whole community as we pay our respects on Remembrance Sunday."

Tracy Jones, Library Services Manager for Aneurin Leisure said; “We are very pleased that Ebbw Vale Library was chosen to host this fantastic piece of community art. The project has provided a great opportunity for the residents to get involved in local activities and to have their beautiful tribute showcased within the community.”

The exhibition will stay in Ebbw Vale Library until the end of November for anyone wishing to see this beautiful banner for themselves.

Remembrance-Montage

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If it’s non-stop laughter you’re after, then book your seats for Aladdin, this years’ fun-packed pantomime at The Met, Abertillery from 22nd November to 1st December!

Rainbow Valley Productions are returning to The Met this November with a brand new colourful adaptation of the much-loved classic fairy tale and pantomime Aladdin; starring one of Wales’ best loved entertainers, Owen Money; along with a fabulously talented cast.

Journey with us to the old walled city of Peking, China: a place full of mystery – the biggest one being “Why does everyone talk in a Welsh accent?”

Into the city arrives Abanazar, self-proclaimed ‘King Of Magicians and Magician Of Kings’ looking for someone gullible enough to help him retrieve his lost magic lamp from The Cave of One Thousand Terrors.

He is delighted to find that the two sons of eccentric, impoverished laundry owner Widow Twankey - the adventure-seeking romantic Aladdin and his none-too-bright brother Wishee Washee - can easily be talked-into helping him achieve his aims!

Between the jokes and japes, witty wordplay and silly slapstick, there’ll also be enough singing, dancing, romance, magic, mystery and excitement to entertain audiences of all ages!

Tickets are priced at 15.00 Full / £12.00 Concessions / £48.00 Family / £6.50 Groups and can be purchased from the Box Office on 01495 355945 or online at www.the-met.co.uk

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October 2019 Half Term Banner

We’ve got lots of great thrills and chills for families and children of all ages at our Aneurin Leisure venues this October Half Term. Whether you’d like to get creative with some creepy craft activities, enjoy some storytelling, go to a Halloween party, discover some outdoor adventures or get sporty, we’ve got something for everyone at Aneurin Leisure!

Looking for a spooky read to enjoy with your family this Halloween? We have a fantastic range of free books and e-books for children of all ages at our six Blaenau Gwent Libraries! When you visit your local library be sure to join in with our free Halloween Treasure Hunt and Craft Activities. Blaina Library will also have a free Welsh Family Fun Session on 28th October from 2.30pm – 4pm, and Brynmawr Library will be supporting Scare on the Square on 31st October from 4pm with trick or treat and Halloween activities. Contact your local library for more information or visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/BlaenauGwentLibraries/

Come along to The Met in Abertillery and make a spooktacular Halloween mobile with the Head4Arts team to get you ready for Halloween. Our Creepy Crafty Activities are suitable for children aged 4 - 9 years (please note children must be accompanied by an adult) Tickets are £4 and can be purchased from the Box Office on 01495 355945 or book online at www.the-met.co.uk

There’s a jam-packed programme of special Halloween themed fun at Bedwellty House & Park this October. Bring your little monsters along to our Fang-tastic Halloween Fun Day for children aged 2+ on Monday 28th October, and enjoy lots of tricks and treats – including, crafts, face paints, food related crafts, party games and of course lots of fun! Are you feeling good or bad this Halloween? No matter which side you choose you’ll have a spook-tacular time at our Hallowishes Ball on Tuesday 29th October with party games, singing, dancing, glitter tattoos, snacks, face painting and a chance to have a photograph with some of your favourite characters! On Thursday 31st October we’ll also have a spellbinding Witches vs Wizards story trail with Louby Lou that will see your children hunting down hidden clues, searching for magical objects and racing against time to determine whether team witches or wizards are the best team around! To book a place on any of these activities call 01495 353397 or for more information visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

Discover adventure at Parc Bryn Bach this autumn with our exciting range of Adventure Activity Days for children aged 8 – 12 years. Choose from exciting activities such as canoeing and kayaking, bush craft and archery or bush craft and climbing. Activities cost just £15 per person and include all equipment and expert tuition from our instructor team. For more information or to make a booking call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

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 fun mix of sports and activities including netball, football, basketball, racquet sports, inflatable fun, swimming and more. Each session costs £7 per child and includes lunch. Our Sports Centres will also be offering some Halloween hijinx with our Under 10’s Halloween Party on 31st October at Abertillery Sports Centre and Freaky Friday Family Night on 1st November at Tredegar Sports Centre.

Looking to improve your sporting skills over Half Term? Ebbw Vale Sports Centre will be hosting another Cardiff City FC Foundation Soccer School on 31st October and 1st November for boys and girls aged 4 - 14 years of any ability. Tredegar Sports Centre will also have a Football Fun Day on 28th October and Abertillery Sports Centre have a Racket Sports session on 29th October.

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.

A full list of all our events can be found on our Aneurin Leisure website at https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/

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Arty-Parky

As the weather changes to chilly winds, and parents wonder what to do with the kids during half term – Head4Arts has the answer: dig out the wellies, wrap up warm and join Arty Parky.

As featured recently on BBC Wales’ Off the Beaten Track presented by Kate Humble, this free outdoor event takes place at four beautiful parks in Tredegar, Pontypool, Merthyr Tydfil and Caerphilly.

Back by popular demand for its sixth year, families forage natural materials: fallen leaves, sticks, conkers and seeds.  Alongside environmental artist Kate Raggett, everyone makes them into spectacular land drawings.  The more people join in, the bigger the results.

Participants can take part in Welsh or English – and drop in or stay the day.  Most of the park cafés have a special offer on hot drinks or cake as a well-deserved treat.

The events will run from 10:30am to 3pm on the following dates:

·         Saturday 26th October – Bedwellty Park, Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent

·         Sunday 27th October – Pontypool Park, Torfaen

·         Thursday 31st October – Cyfartha Park, Merthyr Tydfil

·         Friday 1st November – Morgan Jones Park, Caerphilly

Arty Parky events will still take place in light rain but may be postponed in the event of severe weather conditions.

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

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New national objectives and an insight-led approach aims to get people across Wales swimming
 
A revised Free Swimming Initiative, funded by Welsh Government and delivered by Sport Wales in partnership with Local Authorities, will be introduced in public pools across Wales from October 2019 onwards.
 
Young people and people over the age of 60 from areas of deprivation will be the priority under the new national objectives. The aim is to attract people who face the most barriers in accessing a pool the chance to learn a life skill and to swim more frequently.
 
The revised initiative comes after an independent review of the current scheme found it to be no longer fit for purpose.
 
“The review made it very clear that change is needed”, says Graham Williams, Director of Community Engagement at Sport Wales. “There’s no denying the previous successes of free swimming, or the fact that it has helped to get thousands swimming since its inception in 2003. However, the review concluded that the current approach is not cost-effective, nor does it make the biggest contribution to increasing levels of activity. To highlight the extent of the current performance: The number of young people benefiting from the scheme is in significant decline and this has been the case since 2013-14. For the 60 plus age group, the review estimated that only 6% of the target population currently access the programme. It is against this very challenging backdrop that policy changes have been decided by The Welsh Government.”
 
From October, the changes will see a reduction in the overall budget available which will in turn impact on the number of sessions available. There will be a phased implementation depending on local circumstances, with all partners working towards all public pools offering free sessions at suitable times. For young people there will be free sessions every weekend throughout the year with additional sessions in the summer holidays. Pools will also be offering some free and possibly subsidised sessions for over 60s.
 
Graham Williams continued: “Using an insight-led and partnership approach to working with local organisations we can ensure free swimming continues to play a role in supporting people to swim. Not only is it a life skill but it can also be the start of a positive relationship with sport and being active for life which brings with it so many added physical and mental health benefits. We understand that change may not be positive for everyone and apologise to those who may find their normal sessions rescheduled or no longer free. We are working hard with our Local Authority colleagues to minimise impact and to ensure the funding that is available is used to maximum benefit.”
 
The new initiative will be delivered against a reduced budget of £1.5m per annum from April 2020. However, during 2019-20 Local Authorities will also have access to a share of £1m in capital investment allowing them to update swim facilities where needed.
 
People aged over 60 in Blaenau Gwent will be able to access free swimming during all Public and Adults Only sessions (in term time) on the following days at each of our Sports Centres:
 
  • Abertillery:     Every Monday
  • Ebbw Vale:     Every Tuesday
  • Tredegar:        Every Wednesday
Children aged under 16 years in Blaenau Gwent can access free swimming on the following days and times at our Sports Centres:
 
  • Abertillery:     Saturday’s from 11am – 12pm
  • Ebbw Vale:     Friday’s from 5.30pm – 6.30pm
  • Tredegar:        Saturday’s from 3pm – 4.15pm
Outside of these sessions, children under 16 years and people over 60 must pay for their swimming sessions. The cost for a swim session is £1.95 for over 60’s and £1.65 for under 16’s.
 
For those aged over 60 who would like to swim regularly outside of these free sessions, there is also the option to take out a Later Life membership at our Sports Centres which costs just £18.50 per month (direct debit), that’s as little as 61p per day. This membership not only gives people unlimited access to our swimming pools during public sessions at all 3 Sports Centres across Blaenau Gwent, but it also includes access to our gyms, health suite and group exercise classes - which include various gentle exercise options.
 
Students in full time education can also take out a Student Life membership for just £18.50 per month (direct debit) which provides unlimited access to our three Sports Centres, during public sessions, which includes use of the gym, free weights room, swimming pool and over 100 group exercise classes. Please note that students need to be aged 11+ to access the gym and group exercise classes (to access classes that use weights, participants must be aged 16+)
 
For more information on our Sports Centres and facilities visit www.bglife.co.uk
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Parc Bryn Bach, Tredegar, is to receive £500,000 funding to improve its bunkhouse and visitor centre, provide a new wooden play area and improve active travel routes linking the park to local communities.

Parks and heritage sites across Wales will receive a share of more than £6.6 million Welsh Government funding as part of a project designed to boost the potential of natural and cultural assets.

They are among 11 such sites to be named as Discovery Gateways for the Valleys Regional Park, the aim of which is to generate social, economic and environmental benefits.

Investment in Discovery Gateways sites is considered crucial to ensuring they have the capacity to provide safe and welcoming spaces that can be enjoyed by local communities and visitors from further afield.

“As well as becoming destinations in their own right, Discovery Gateways have a great opportunity to tell the stories of the Valleys and encourage local people and visitors to explore the surrounding areas, including local towns and villages, and the wider landscape," said First Minister Mark Drakeford.

Deputy Minister for Economy with responsibility for the Valleys Taskforce, Lee Waters AM, said the aim is for the projects to put the idea of a Valleys Regional Park on the map nationally and internationally, "as a place which can inspire, excite and attract visitors from near and far".

"They will also provide opportunities for economic growth which is a key aim of the Valleys Taskforce," he said.

“These plans have been developed through extensive engagement with Valleys communities, and I look forward to continuing to work together to bring the Valleys Regional Park to life.”

Parc Bryn Bach is currently managed by the Aneurin Leisure Trust. Blaenau Gwent Council and the Trust worked in partnership to submit a bid and secure the funding.

Councillor Garth Collier, Blaenau Gwent Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, says the Council is delighted that this joint bid for funding had been successful. He said:

“We are delighted by the news that there is going to be a significant investment into Parc Bryn Bach to improve and enhance facilities at this wonderful location.

We have enjoyed a steady growth in tourism here in Blaenau Gwent over the past few years and we know this brings significant economic benefits to our communities, so we are delighted by the opportunity to boost this even further. This investment will ensure that as a leisure destination the park can provide high quality user and visitor experiences for people of all ages and attract people from across the country.


As a Council we are committed to promoting and enhancing the well-being of local residents and we work closely with a range of partners to encourage and support healthy lifestyles and promote and celebrate the outdoors, so it is great to have this news about a recreational facility which is right on our doorstep.”

Phill Sykes Commercial and Operational Director for Aneurin Leisure, said:

“Aneurin Leisure are thrilled that Parc Bryn Bach has been named as one of Wales’ new Discovery Gateway Sites and are excited to have the opportunity to implement new ideas to improve the park’s facilities through the Valleys Regional Park funding.

Through a series of public engagement sessions, the community have chosen to develop new bunkhouse accommodation within the Visitor Centre and make improvements to the children’s play area. Both projects will be implemented in partnership with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and funded by Valleys Regional Park. Work will begin shortly, but facilities at the park will remain available throughout the improvement works.

Parc Bryn Bach has seen fantastic growth over the last few years, receiving almost 700,000 visitors in the last 12 months alone, with visitors travelling from all over the region to enjoy our lakeside walks, exercise, see the wildlife, play a round of golf or foot golf and enjoy a bite to eat in our dog friendly Lake View Café.”

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GCSE-results

 

Adult Community Learning in Blaenau Gwent is celebrating another strong year of GCSE English and Maths results.  

The GCSE Higher Tier Maths learners achieved a tremendous 100% pass rate, grade A-C, closely followed by the Intermediate Maths Learners achieving a pass rate 89% grade A-D.  The GCSE English learners also achieved a 100% pass rate grade A - D, completing an excellent set of results.

Ceri Waters, Partnership Manager for Aneurin Leisure said "We are extremely proud of all our learners who have worked so hard to achieve these results.  The commitment of both the teaching  staff and learners has been fantastic.  We wish all our learners the very best with their future plans and aspirations."

If you wish to see the range of courses on offer through Adult Community Learning please call into one of the Learning Action Centres in Abertillery, Brynmawr Ebbw Vale or Tredegar

To view or download our new Courses for Adult brochure visit https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/community-education

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LUP191122-23-Bedwellty-web-banner

 

Join Del Boy, Rodney and friends for a triffic night out with lots of wheeling, dealing and eating at Bedwellty House & Park in Tredegar this November!

From the people behind the worldwide smash hit, Faulty Towers the Dining Experience, Only Fools The (cushty) Dining Experience opened in the UK in September last year and it’s already winning fans across the country.

Guests will be transported to The Nags Head for the evening, for a fully immersive and highly interactive theatre show and delicious three course meal – which you’ be a plonker to miss!

The Trotters want to drum up some cash and make a cheeky saving on the side in this fun-filled knees up that has everyone stopping by – including fan-favourites like Cassandra, Trigger, Marlene, Uncle Albert and more.  Mayhem rules from start to finish as deals are brokered, schemes are hatched, and quizzes quizzed.

This fabulously new, and completely unique experience is a bang-for-your-buck event that includes shed-loads of laughs, one-off improvisation, side-splitting humour and an expertly-crafted, completely original script which all come together to make this loving tribute to the TV series a high-quality, seriously funny night to remember.

“Hugely entertaining”             ★★★★                    The Stage

“It’s a hoot!”                           ★★★★                    TimeOut London

“An excellent show”                ★★★★★                Love PopUps London

“A laugh a minute”                 ★★★★★                Daily Star Sunday

Get your tickets now for Only Fools The (Cushty) Dining Experience at Bedwellty House & Park on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd November at 7pm.  Tickets are priced at £48 per person and include a 3 course meal and 2 hour interactive show and can be purchased from Bedwellty House on 01495 353397.

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bank holiday clouds

Here are our opening times for all our Aneurin Leisure venues on Bank Holiday Monday 26th August 2019:

Abertillery Sports Centre: Closed
For more information call 01495 357779

Bedwellty House & Park: Open
Park Gates 8am – 8pm / House 9am – 5pm / Tea Room 10.30am – 4pm
For more information call 01495 353397

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre: Open
Gym open 8am – 4pm / Pool open 10am – 3pm (Adults Only Swim 9am - 10am)
For more information call 01495 357777

Learning Action Centres: Closed
For more information call: 01495 355300

Libraries: Closed
For more information call: 01495 355055

Parc Bryn Bach: Open
Park Gates 8am – 8.30pm / Visitor Centre & Café 9am – 5pm / Golf Course 9am – 4pm
For more information call 01495 355920

The Met: Closed
For more information call: 01495 355945

Tredegar Sports Centre: Closed
For more information call: 01495 353395

All our venues will be open as normal on Tuesday 27th August 2019

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6438-Aneurin-Cafe-Awards-Facebook-Banner

Last week saw our Orchid House Tea Room at Bedwellty House & Park triumph at the first ever Welsh Café Awards in Cardiff, winning the award for Best Café Food and also coming runner up for the Best Visitors Café award.

Over 200 café professionals from all over Wales gathered together at The Exchange Hotel to recognise and celebrate the very best in the coffee industry.

The gala awards night was hosted by radio persona, Polly James, and provided a platform to thank those in the café industry that always have fresh and delicious hot beverages, savouries and pastries ready to be served to their customers.

Irfan Younis, CEO of Creative Oceanic, the company behind the awards said: “Although in our first year, we are honoured by the fantastic response we have had from the public who was so keen to vote for their favourite cafés.

“The cafe industry has grown massively over the past years and we aimed to seek out, reward and thank those who have managed to make a real difference by introducing innovation in this industry.

“The awards also aimed to acknowledge everything that is coffee related and showcase that Welsh people are big coffee lovers. It was lovely to be part of this celebration and we would like to congratulate all finalists and winners for their achievements!”

Phill Sykes, Commercial Director at Aneurin Leisure, the charitable Trust that manages Bedwellty House said of their experience; "We are thrilled to have won the award for Best Cafe Food and to be a runner up for the Best Visitors Cafe award at the Welsh Cafe Awards. We have been overwhelmed by the response from our customers and the local community, and would like to take the opportunity to thank them all for their amazing support.

We take great pride in the quality of our food and afternoon teas, always striving to offer the best quality that we can, so to achieve recognition at such a prestigious event filled with top quality businesses from all over Wales, is a dream come true."

For more information Bedwellty House & Park visit their website at www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk 

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adult-community-learning-banner 

Our brand new Courses for Adults 2019-20 brochure is now available to download from our website!

Whether you're looking to gain a new qualification, learn a new skill or discover a new hobby - we've got lots of great courses to choose from.

Enrolments for our 2019-20 courses are open from Monday 5th August at our Learning Action Centres around Blaenau Gwent:

Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre
Monday to Friday throughout August, from 9.30am - 4pm.
Call 01495 355300 for more info.

Brynmawr Learning Action Centre
From 9.30am - 4pm Monday to Thursday and 9.30am - 12.30pm on Friday.
Call 01495 355595 for more info.

Tredegar Library
Monday to Wednesday 10am - 2.30pm throughout August.
Call 01495 357808 for more information.

Abertillery Learning Action Centre
Monday 5th August and Wednesday 7th August from 10am - 2pm, and then the same times on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from the 12th August.
Call 01495 355895 for more information.

Download our new Course for Adults 2019-20 brochure today at https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/community-education





















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2019 summer holidays blog

 

Throughout the summer holidays we have a fantastic range of events and activities for children of all ages and interests at our Aneurin Leisure venues across Blaenau Gwent.

Join the Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge at your local library and team up with futuristic family, the Rockets, for an exciting space mission to track down books nabbed by a mischievous band of aliens! Ask at your local library for more information or visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BlaenauGwentLibraries/

Discover adventure at Parc Bryn Bach with our exciting range of Adventure Activity Days from 19th – 30th August; Bush Craft and Archery on Mondays and Fridays, Canoeing and Kayaking on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Climbing and Archery on Wednesdays. Our activity days are suitable for ages 8 - 12 years and cost just £15 per person (includes all equipment and expert tuition). For more information call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

Our popular weekly Playschemes will be returning to our three Sports Centres this summer, offering a fun mix of activities for children aged 8+ such as netball, football, basketball, racket sports, inflatable fun, swimming and much more, for just £7 per day (which includes lunch). Tredegar Sports Centre will also have a Mini Playscheme every Monday from 10am – 12pm for children aged 3 – 7 years.

Do you have a little Novac Djokovic or Serena Williams at home who would like to try some tennis this summer? Why not bring them along to one of our Racket Sports Taster Days for ages 7 – 15 years at Abertillery Sports Centre (25th July and 20th August) or Tredegar Sports Centre (every Monday) for just £3 per child.

Abertillery Sorts Centre are also hosting Roller Discos on 30th July and 13th August (10am - 11am for under 5’s and 11am – 12pm for 8 – 12 years) and a Family Fun Day on 8th and 29th August. For more information on any of our Sports Centre activities please visit www.bglife.co.uk or call Abertillery on 01495 357779, Ebbw Vale on 01495 357777 and Tredegar on 01495 353395.

Bedwellty House & Park in Tredegar have a jam packed summer programme this year, with lots of activities for children of all ages. Join storyteller extraordinaire Louby Lou on a range of enchanted Story Trails through the park this summer; Fairy Hunt on 25th July, Giants & Goblins on 1st August, Teddy Bears Picnic on 14th August, Peter Pan’s Picnic & Story Trail on 29th August and The Frog Prince on 22nd August.

For the creative kids out there we have two great workshops this summer; get messy with our gooey Slime Workshop on 28th August, or join the fizzology experts from LUSH and create two fabulous bath products at our LUSH Workshop on 5th August. On 5th August we also have a day of Animal Fun with crafts, games, activities and a one hour animal encounter show where you may get to meet meerkats, pigmy hedgehogs or a bird of prey! If your children love Fortnite, they won’t want to miss our Fortnite Themed Nerf Wars sessions on 23rd July and 12th August where they can floss like a boss with our entertainment team.

Throughout the summer we also have a range of free activities happening in Bedwellty Park, including National Play Day on 7th August from 11am – 3pm, Turn Up & Play sessions every Thursday 10am – 12pm and Wild Tots Play sessions every Friday 10am – 11.30am. For more information on any of these activities call Bedwellty House on 01495 353397 or visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

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Green-Flag-logo

Keep Wales Tidy has unveiled this year’s Green Flag Award winners – the international mark of a quality park or green space – and we’re thrilled to announce that for the fourth consecutive year, Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar is one of them!

This year 221 parks and green spaces have met the high standards needed to receive the coveted Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award. They include a diverse range of sites, from urban parks and housing estates, to university campuses and farms.

Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar is set within 340 acres of idyllic grass and woodland with a stunning 36 acre lake at its heart, making it the perfect setting for a range of activities for visitors of all ages and abilities. The diverse park features a variety of picturesque walking and cycling trails, a golf course (including foot golf) and driving range, BMX track, caravan and campsite and children’s play area. The on-site Lake View Café provides a range of meals and refreshments and for a 6 week trial period throughout the summer, will also be dog friendly, allowing visitors to bring their four legged friends inside to enjoy the facilities and even get a dog friendly ice-cream.

Parc Bryn Bach is also a hub for a range of exciting adventure activities including stand up paddle boarding, canoeing and kayaking, climbing, hill walking and gorge walking, which are all led by a highly qualified team of instructors.

Phill Sykes, Commercial Director for Aneurin Leisure, the charitable trust that manages Parc Bryn Bach said; “We at Aneurin Leisure are extremely proud to earn the right to fly the prestigious Green Flag at Parc Bryn Bach again this year. 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 programme 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 biodiversity, cleanliness, environmental management and community involvement.

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said: “The Green Flag Award programme continues to go from strength to strength in Wales, thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of staff and volunteers across the country.

“We can’t underestimate how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities, our health and wellbeing, nature and economy. We want to encourage everyone to explore their local area and make the most of the award-winning sites on their doorstep.”

A full list of award winners can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru

For more information on Parc Bryn Bach please visit their website at www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

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This summer children all over Blaenau Gwent are invited to join the Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge at their local library and take part in an out-of-this-world adventure, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first ever moon landing by the Apollo 11 crew.

The Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at children aged 4 – 11 years, encouraging them to borrow and read any six libraries books of their choosing during the school holidays. It’s completely FREE to join the challenge and everyone who signs up will get their very own Mission Folder, to keep a record of their Summer Reading Challenge journey.

Children will team up with futuristic family The Rockets for an exciting space mission as they track down books nabbed by a mischievous band of aliens. As children read library books for the Summer Reading Challenge, they will receive special stickers, some with mysterious smells. By adding these stickers to their collectable mission folders, young readers will help the Rockets solve clues, dodge asteroids and discover the missing books, having lots of fun and adventures along the way.

Space Chase also has a website for children taking part in the Challenge where they can play games, enter competitions, and post book reviews. They can also use the brilliant Book Sorter to find great books recommended by other children – visit www.spacechase.org.uk to find out more.

Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency said: “At The Reading Agency, we tackle life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading. We know from our research that families and children love taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge, and we are proud to have been running the Challenge for twenty years this year. The space theme has been chosen to coincide with the 5Oth anniversary of the first moon landing. Last summer, children worked with illustrator Adam Stower to come up with ideas for the Space Chase adventure, and we hope the Challenge will inspire all children to use their local library and to read lots of great books throughout the summer and beyond."

The Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge will launch at our libraries in Blaenau Gwent from Saturday 13th July, ask at your local library for more information
 
Watch the trailer for this year's Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge here
 
 
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Dementia-Action-Week---picture-1

 

From Monday 20th May to Sunday 26th May, it’s Dementia Action Week – a week that unites individuals, workplaces and communities to take action and improve the lives of people living with dementia.

Every three minutes, someone in the UK develops dementia.  This means that almost all of us know someone affected by dementia – a family member, friend, neighbour or work colleague – and it doesn’t just affect older people.

We all have a role to play in making the UK a dementia-friendly place to live, so throughout the week some of our libraries in Blaenau Gwent will be offering free dementia friendly activities:

  • Dementia Friendly Sing-A-Long at Blaina Library on Monday 20th May from 2pm – 3.30pm.
  • Dementia Café at Tredegar Library on Thursday 23rd May from 12pm – 3pm offering free refreshments, reminiscence activities, information and support.
  • Memories of Cwm at Cwm Library on Friday 24th May from 2.30pm – 4.30pm, where people of all ages can come together to share their photos and memories of Cwm.
At each of our six libraries across Blaenau Gwent visitors can also access the free Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme, which is aimed at helping people to understand and manage their health and wellbeing using self-help reading.

Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia recommends books that you may find helpful if you have dementia, are caring for someone with dementia or want to know more about the condition.  The books have all been recommended by health professionals and include information and advice, help after diagnosis, practical support for carers and personal stories.

For more information on our libraries or their range of services visit our website at https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries

 

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bank holiday clouds


Here are our opening times for all our Aneurin Leisure venues on Bank Holiday Monday 27th May 2019:

Abertillery Sports Centre:  Closed
For more information call 01495 357779

Bedwellty House & Park:  Open as normal
For more information call 01495 353397

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre: Gym is open 8am – 4pm / Pool is open 10am – 3pm (Adults Only Swim 9am - 10am)
For more information call 01495 357777

Learning Action Centres:  Closed

Libraries:  Closed

Parc Bryn Bach:  Open as normal
For more information call 01495 355920

The Met:  Closed

Tredegar Sports Centre:  Closed

All our venues will be open as normal on Tuesday 28th May 2019


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April Stress Awareness Month

Since 1992 health care professionals have come together each April to raise awareness about stress, and the affects it can have on us.

Stress has become a prominent health concern over recent years, to the extent that in 2017/18 The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that 595,000 people in the UK reported work-related stress that was so bad it was making them ill.

In our busy modern lives it can be easy to neglect our own well-being, but with stress becoming a common part of life for many of us, it’s important that we do what we can to safeguard our health.

With that in mind, here are a few tips on how we at Aneurin Leisure can help you to beat stress:

1. Read More – Research has shown that reading for just six minutes can reduce your stress levels by up to 68%, that’s more than listening to music (61%) or going for a walk (42%). So why not make some time each day to do a little reading; whether it’s on your commute, while having your lunch or just before bed.

Our six libraries across Blaenau Gwent that provide a huge and varied range of free books that are available to borrow. If you’re too busy to make it to the library, we also have a hugely popular e-book and e-audiobook service called Borrowbox which you can access free of charge 24/7. We can also help you save money on magazines with our free e-zines service, just ask at your library for more information.

2. Get Active - Introducing some form of exercise into your routine can help to relive stress, as physical activity releases a whole host of natural hormones that help to improve your mood, concentration and even the quality of your sleep.

Our three Sports Centres provide a wide range of facilities to help you get active; from working out in the gym, to trying a group exercise class or playing a game of football, squash or badminton with friends.

If you’re looking for something that’s a little more relaxing or low impact, why not try a Yoga or Pilates class (we have weekly classes at all 3 of our Sports Centres) or join us for a swim. If workouts and sport don’t appeal to you – why not enjoy a relaxing walk around our parks at Bedwellty House or Parc Bryn Bach?

3. Connect with People – Activities that we do with friends often helps us to relax and have some fun, which is a great stress reliever.

Why not ‘buddy up’ and arrange to meet a friend at the gym or to go for a walk together, you could even make weekly plans for a catch up over coffee or lunch at Bedwellty House or Parc Bryn Bach.

If you’d like to meet new people with similar interests, our libraries have several reading groups and our Learning Action Centres host a variety of clubs.

4. Have Some ‘Me Time’ – Unfortunately in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, which means we rarely have time to look after ourselves and do the things that we enjoy. To counteract this, try to set aside a couple of night’s each week where you can break away from your usual routine and indulge in something you enjoy; a hobby, some exercise, meeting up with friends – the possibilities are endless!

5. Challenge Yourself – Setting yourself small challenges and goals can help to build your confidence, which in turn will help you to deal better with stress.

Whether you’d like to set yourself a fitness goal or learn a new skill, there are lots of ways to challenge yourself at Aneurin Leisure. Our friendly Sports Centre staff can help you achieve your fitness goals by offering advice and support where you need it. Or if you’d like to learn a new skill or language, our Adult Community Learning service provides a wide range of courses to suit everyone.

For more information on our facilities and range of services please visit www.aneurinleisure.org.uk

For more information about stress and how to deal with it, here’s some resources that may be of help:

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Aneurin Leisure Easter Opening Times 2019

 

  Good Friday

 

Saturday 20 April

Easter Sunday

Easter Monday

Adult Education Learning Action Centres

Closed

 

Closed

Closed

Closed

Abertillery Sports Centre

Closed

Open as normal

Gym: 8am – 4pm

Pool: 9am – 1pm

Closed

Bedwellty House & Park

Open as normal

Open as normal

Open as normal

Open as normal

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre

Gym:7.30am – 4pm

Pool: 10am – 3pm

Gym: 7.30am – 4pm

Pool: 10am – 3pm

Gym: 7.30am – 4pm

Pool: 10am – 3pm

Gym: 7.30am – 4pm

Pool: 10am – 3pm

Libraries

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Parc Bryn Bach

 

Open as normal

Open as normal

Open as normal

Open as normal

The Met

 

Closed

Box Office Closed

Box Office Closed

Closed

Tredegar Sports Centre

Closed

Open as normal

8.30am – 4.45pm

Closed

All our venues will be open as normal from Tuesday 23rd April 2019


For more information please contact:

Abertillery Sports Centre: 01495 357779

Abertillery Library: 01495 355646

Bedwellty House & Park: 01495 353397

Brynmawr Library: 01495 357743

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre: 01495 357777

Ebbw Vale Library: 01495 355055

Parc Bryn Bach: 01495 355920

Tredegar Sports Centre: 01495 353395

Tredegar Library: 01495 357869

 

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Easter-Activities-Banner-2019

 

Join us this Easter for a jam packed fortnight of fun, with activities for children of all ages taking place across our venues around Blaenau Gwent!

Follow us down the rabbit hole to The Met on Wednesday 17th April as we go on a madcap adventure with Alice and her friends in the The Magic of Wonderland! Packed full of magic, illusions, comedy, puppets and songs, this is a date you won’t want to be late for. Tickets are priced at £7 and can be purchased from the Box Office on 01495 355945 or online at www.the-met.co.uk

Throughout the Easter holidays all of our Libraries across Blaenau Gwent will be providing a variety of free Easter themed activities for children, including egg hunts and craft activities, so if you’re planning a visit to stock up on books for you and your family over Easter, be sure to join in the fun. For more information on our activities please visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BlaenauGwentLibraries/

There’s lots’ going on at Bedwellty House & Park this Easter! Join us for a scrumptious Breakfast with the Easter Bunny where you can enjoy soft play and Easter crafts while waiting for a visit from the Easter Bunny (sessions are available on 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th & 20th April). Popular storyteller Louby Lou will be returning for two exciting egg hunts with a twist; on 19th April we’ll be heading off on a prehistoric adventure for our Dino Easter Dash and then on 25th April we’ll be searching for something magical on our Unicorn Easter Dash! We also have a special Princess Pyjama Party on 16th April and Fortnite Themed Nerf Wars on 23rd April. For the little ones there’s also a Mini Movers Parent & Toddler Easter Party on 17th April and a Little Learners Messy Play Easter Eggstarvaganza on 26th April. For more information call 01495 353397 or visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

During the Easter holidays each of our Sports Centres will once again be hosting their popular Playsheme days, which provide a fun mix of activities including basketball, dodgeball, rugby, inflatable fun, swimming and much more! For those who want to work on their skills over Easter, Abertillery Sports Centre has some Football Fun and Netball Fun sessions on 16th and 23rd April and Tredegar Sports Centre has Football Fun sessions on 17th and 24th April. For more information visit www.bglife.co.uk or call Abertillery on 01495 357779, Ebbw Vale on 01495 357777 and Tredegar on 01495 353395.

Discover adventure at Parc Bryn Bach this Easter with our exciting range of Adventure Activities for children aged 8 – 15 years. Choose from activities such as bush craft and archery, canoeing and kayaking or climbing for just £15 per child. For more information call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

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Earth-Hour-banner
 
We are thrilled to be hosting one of four creative and community events which are taking place across the Eastern Valleys to encourage people to turn off the lights for Earth Hour to show their concern for the planet.
 
Head4Arts is spearheading activities on Saturday 30th March in Parc Bryn Bach Park in Tredegar, Blaenavon World Heritage Centre, Cyfarthfa Park and Castle in Merthyr Tydfil, and Parc Penallta in Ystrad Mynach.

Participants will be encouraged to pledge one thing they can change to slow down climate change. The pledges will be written on an origami crane and then strung together and become the central focus of a lantern parade at Parc Penallta.

“In Japan, the crane is a mystical creature and is believed to live for a thousand years,” said Head4Arts Manager Kate Strudwick. “Traditionally, it was believed that if one folded 1,000 origami cranes, one’s wish would come true. It has become a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times.”

With support from WWF, Head4Arts has set up lots of activities in Tredegar, Blaenavon, and Merthyr Tydfil during the day, leading up to the event in Ystrad Mynach:

  • In Parc Bryn Bach they will be making mini-gardens for bees to pollinate and floating them off across the lake. 
  • At the World Heritage Centre in Blaenavon there will be lots of eco-friendly food and storytelling.
  • In Cyfarthfa Park, children will be shown how to make healthy food to feed to the ducks and can follow a penguin trail.

At the end of the day, people will bring their lanterns to Parc Penallta for a big lantern parade with live music and willow sculptures. Everyone will then take their lanterns home to use from 8.30pm – 9.30pm – the time when lights are switched off across the globe.

To get involved visit www.head4arts.org.uk email info@head4arts.org.uk or phone 01495 357816.
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BookOnlineFB-820x310px-WF

If your New Year’s Resolution was to get more active this year or to step outside of your normal routine and do something different, we have just the thing for you at Parc Bryn Bach!

We specialise in a wide range of exciting outdoor adventure activities, and now thanks to our brand new online booking feature on our website, you can find your next adventure and book online from the comfort of your own home or on the go!

Our selection of activities, courses and trips offer a wonderful range of experiences for people of all ages and ability levels, and with expert tuition and support provided by our highly experienced AALA qualified instructors, you’re guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience.

Our range of activities and expeditions include:

  • Navigation
  • Gorge Walking
  • Introduction to Climbing
  • Introduction to Caving
  • Introduction to Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) Safety and Foundation Courses
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding Coastal Tours (Pembroke)
  • Wye Valley Canoe Adventure
With the versatility to tailor all our activities to suit the ages and abilities of the participants, we are able to provide a range of fun and challenging activity days that can be enjoyed with family, friends or even team mates and work colleagues. We also cater for Hen and Stag weekends.

In addition to fun days out, we also provide expert tuition in a number of disciplines such as climbing, canoeing, navigation and stand up paddle boarding, which can develop your skills and lead to you achieving an accredited qualification.

To view our full range of activities and make a booking visit our website at parcbrynbach.co.uk or call us on 01495 355920

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 1MTH-MembershipFB-820x310px-WF

Let us re-ignite your commitment to your 2019 health and wellbeing goals with our fantastic new life membership offer, buy a single life membership on 1st March and pay nothing until April 2019!

A life membership gives you access to all three Sport Centres in Blaenau Gwent at Abertillery, Tredegar and Ebbw Vale and unlimited use during public hours of all our facilities:

3 Swimming Pools
Hydroslides
100+ Group Exercise Classes
Gym
Free Weights
Health Suite
Racquet Sports
Free Induction
Free Parking

If you’ve started the year with specific health and fitness goals in mind, we have a range of services that can help you to stay focused and achieve success:

  1. Track your progress with our FREE Activate Life member benefit and get an in-depth and personalised health and fitness check with follow up sessions to track your progress.

  1. Get expert help from one of our resident personal trainers – find out more here

  1. Choose from over 100 group exercise classes to keep your fitness routine fresh and energised.

Call us on 01495 355958 and use promo code FREEMARCH19. This fantastic offer is valid from 1st to 15th March, but to maximise this amazing offer be sure to call us and join on Friday 1st March to get a whole month FREE!  Terms and conditions apply.

For more information on our facilities and range of classes visit www.bglife.co.uk

 

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With effect from Monday 25th February 2019, a revised admissions policy for our Aneurin Leisure Swimming Pools will be implemented.

These changes are based on national recommendations and guidelines from CIMPSA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sports and Physical Activity), which are being adopted throughout the UK and are already in place in many of our neighbouring local authorities across Wales.

Revised Admission Policy: -

  • Children under the age of 8 years will not be permitted entry to any of the pools unsupervised; they must be accompanied by a responsible person over the age of 16.
  • Children aged 3 and under must be accompanied by a responsible person over the age of 16 on a 1 to 1 basis (1 adult to 1 child).
  • Children aged 4 to 7 years must be accompanied by a responsible person over the age of 16 on a maximum 1 to 2 basis (1 adult to 2 children).

The ratios relate to casual public swimming sessions. They do not apply to school swimming lessons, centre-run swimming lessons or club sessions.

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Counterfeit-Stones

Join the The Counterfeit Stones as they celebrate over a quarter century of master forgery with their Street Fighting Sham tour at The Met on Saturday 2nd March at 8pm.

Described by Sir Mick Jagger as “the most famous Stones band in England”, the Counterfeit Stones latest tour offers the audience a new riff packed show that’s set to leave their fans gasping. This skillfully mixed cocktail of classic hits, retro costumes and humour continues to intoxicate young and old alike – 100% proof that a good shot of copy-rock always hits the target.

The show is essentially a mockumentary of the Rolling Stones’ colourful history and as well as perfect renditions of their greatest hit songs, it includes a series of spoof film clips depicting real and imagined events featuring Nick Dagger, Keef Rickard, Bill Hymen, Charlie Mott and the Unholy Trinity of Bryon Jones/Mick Tailor-Made/ Ronnie B. Goode.

“They’re hilarious.” – Jerry Hall

“The music and satire are spot on… I know which band is more fun!” – Daily Express

“Better than the originals.” – The Guardian

“Your contribution was much remarked upon.” - Buckingham Palace

“If I close my eyes, it’s like hearing a fresh and young version of the real thing.” - Tom Cox, Observer

So come on all you Honky Tonks, join us at The Met on Saturday 2nd March and enjoy an evening of phoney rock ‘n’ roll that’s a real bargain! Tickets are priced at £20 in advance and £22.50 on the door. Call the Box Office on 01495 355945 or book online at www.the-met.co.uk

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AL Feb Half Term 2019

This February we have a fun filled week of activities planned throughout our Aneurin Leisure venues across Blaenau Gwent to keep children of all ages entertained during Half Term.

Join us at The Met for a ‘whale of a time’ with a brand-new production of The Amazing Adventures of Pinocchio on Wednesday 27th February at 1.30pm and 4.30pm and on Thursday 28th February at 1.30pm. Tickets are priced at £6.50 per person, and we recommend booking early as this is sure to be a very popular event! Call the Box Office on 01495 355945 or book online at www.the-met.co.uk

During Half Term each of our Sports Centres will be hosting their popular Playsheme days which provide a fun mix of activities including basketball, dodgeball, rugby, inflatable fun, swimming and much more! We also have Football Fun at Abertillery and Tredegar Sports Centre on Tuesday 26th February and Netball Fun at Abertillery Sports Centre on Thursday 28th February. For more information visit www.bglife.co.uk or call Abertillery on 01495 357779, Ebbw Vale on 01495 357777 and Tredegar on 01495 353395.

Discover adventure at Parc Bryn Bach this February with our exciting range of Adventure Activities for children aged 8 – 15 years. Choose from bush craft and archery, canoeing and kayaking or climbing for just £15 per child. For more information call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

Bedwellty House & Park is brimming with fun things to do this February! Join us for an action packed couple of hours as Nerf Wars return on 26th and 28th February, with sessions for 5-7 years in the morning and 8 – 12 years in the afternoon. For the little ones we have Louby Lou’s Pirate Pandemonium for ages 3+ on 26th February, Mini Movers Parent & Toddler Session on 27th February and a Little Learners Messy Paly Session on 1st March. For more information call 01495 353397 or visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk 

For more information on any of our activities at Aneurin Leisure visit our website at www.aneurinleisure.org.uk 

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 Outdoor Cinema The Greatest Showman Bedwellty

This year Aneurin Leisure are working with Adventure Cinema to bring a series of exciting outdoor cinema experiences to our popular venues at Bedwellty House & Park and Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar.

We will, we will, rock you! Enjoy the critically acclaimed musical biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (12A) starring Rami Malek at Bedwellty Park on Friday 26th April.

The film is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, as it traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. Tickets are priced at £12.50 per person and can be purchased online here

This is the greatest show! Sit back and enjoy The Greatest Showman (PG) on a giant cinema screen under the stars at Bedwellty Park on Saturday 27th April.

Inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, this original musical starring Hugh Jackman celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary, who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. Tickets are priced at £12.50 for standard tickets, £40 for a family ticket (2 adults and 2 under 16’s) and £18.50 for VIP tickets (which include a luxury deck chair in prime position) and can be purchased online here

Welcome to Jurassic Park! Come and enjoy Spielberg's original blockbuster dinosaur hit Jurassic Park (PG) at Parc Bryn Bach on Thursday 15th August.

One of the biggest films in motion picture history, Jurassic Park takes you on an adventure to a remote island where an amazing theme park with living dinosaurs is about to turn deadly. Tickets are priced at £12.50 standard tickets, £9.50 for under 16’s and £18.50 for VIP tickets (which include a luxury deck chair in prime position) and can be purchased online here

Please note that VIP tickets for each movie include a luxury deck chair in prime position, all other ticket holders will need to bring their own camping chair or blanket to sit on.

The gates for each event will open at 6.30pm and the film will start shortly after sunset. There will be music to keep cinema goers entertained before each film, and there will also be opportunities to buy food, snacks and refreshments. Each venue will also have a licensed bar.

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Ian-Howells
 
Meet the 68-year-old, Bass-Playing Microbiologist Inspiring Adults to Learn in Blaenau Gwent

Rocking teacher Ian Howells doesn’t own a mobile phone or use e-mail and has a magnifying glass to read - and his classes have a 100% success rate.

A 68-year-old bass guitar-playing former scientist has won a major award after helping hundreds of people in Ebbw Vale to gain qualifications.

Part-time adult education tutor Ian Howells has been changing lives in the town since 2001, and his commitment to the learning of others has just earned him national recognition.

The Inspire! Tutor Awards celebrate the achievements of exceptional tutors and mentors in Wales who have shown outstanding passion and commitment to encourage, support and teach other adult learners to pursue their goals and transform their lives, whether it’s in their community or the workplace.

Run by Learning and Work Institute, with support from the Welsh Government, they reward outstanding individuals whose commitment, knowledge and communication skills have given adult learners the tools to transform their lives.

Ian, who has a serious visual impairment which means he often needs a magnifying glass to read, tutors at Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre, helping people aged 16 to 84 improve their skills in English and Maths.

Aneurin Leisure runs three centres across South Wales, offering education courses within the community.

Many of Ian’s learners on his 10 courses ranging from entry level in English and Maths to higher level GCSE Maths have had to overcome barriers to learning – such as drug and alcohol issues and poor mental and physical health.

Last year, 100% of his Essential Skills learners earned Agored Cymru qualifications, with all of his Higher Maths students progressing to PGCE courses after scoring As and Bs, and since Ian started, the centre has launched a foundation level class to help learners gain a Maths GCSE.

“I had an 80-year-old who didn’t know the alphabet,” said Ian, who lives in the South Wales town.

“By the end, he could write his name, which was a major thing for him as that’s all he’d wanted to do. Some people come here with no confidence, many have been out of work for years, and they go on to get a part-time job, then a full-time job, some have become nurses. I’ve had people who kept failing their Maths GCSE and they pass it here and go on to get the career they’ve always wanted.”

Ian discovered adult education after leaving his career as a microbiologist. He studied Microbiology at Aberystwyth University before spending years working for British Steel at Llanwern Steel Works.

After leaving science to work in fashion, aged 52, he completed his PGCE course in adult education at Coleg Gwent. He said: “I didn’t plan to become a teacher but it was the only course they had on!”

Ian finished the course over two years, attending twice a week while balancing running two clothing stores (including The Bomb on Commercial Street, Tredegar) and playing in his heavy metal band, Ruff Handfull [COR] several nights a week. He set up the band with friends when he was 23, and they had a Valleys following in the 70s and recently reformed just 18 months ago. Now his students go along to watch him play his Zoot Funkmeister in pubs and clubs across South Wales.
 
Inspire! Adult Tutor nominations were invited for ‘outstanding individuals’ who give ‘over and above’ what is expected of them, from areas including higher education, further education, the workplace, community education and schools.

“Life experience makes you a great teacher,” said Ian, who’s been married to Jan for 42 years.

He doesn’t own a mobile phone or use e-mail, he said: “I prefer to speak to people face-to-face. I’ve always believed in learning and I think it never ends. Learning can give you a job and a career, but more than that, it keeps your mind busy and alive.”

Ian, who’s worked with Victory Outreach UK to tutor people with alcohol and drug dependencies, added: “You’ve got to stay excited. Students can sense it and it’s infectious. If someone has a problem with their learning, I love finding a way to solve it.”

In his spare time, Ian, who cites the botany and zoology teacher at Ebbw Vale Grammar School, Idwal Davies, as his own inspirational tutor, spends hours devouring Maths books. His sessions are often full, and Ian can be teaching up to 30 students at a time, with many classes spilling into the cafe at the centre on James Street.

He continued: “I never turn a student away. The hardest part of adult learning is making that first step. I know what a big thing it is for them to walk through that door - if I asked them to come back next week, they probably wouldn’t. We make room. I love teaching in Ebbw Vale. People here are friendly, genuine and helpful. I wouldn’t be anywhere else.”

Karen Bennett, Ian’s manager at Aneurin Leisure, who nominated him, said: “Ian has changed the lives of hundreds of learners and his success rate is exceptional. He puts in so many hours, much of it unpaid, and I’ve never known him to be late or ill. The diversity in the class is amazing and all learners are treated according to their needs.

“Ian’s wide range of teaching methods allows learners who have a learning disability to access mainstream classes and ultimately gain the same level of qualifications as other learners. He’s amazing. I really don’t know what I’d do if he retired.”

Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education, said: “Good mentors are important at all stages of our lives.  The role of an adult tutor comes with additional challenges in helping someone returning to education achieve their goals.

“The Inspire! Tutor Awards are a great way to thank people like Ian whose skills, time and commitment continue to support so many journeys in learning, often with life-changing results.”

David Hagendyk, Director for Wales at Learning and Work Institute, said: “Behind every successful adult learner are the tutors, lecturers and support staff who work every day to help individuals unlock their potential and fulfil their ambitions.

“The Inspire! Tutor Awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise the excellent work of the individual winners, as well as to thank everyone working in our colleges, universities, schools, workplaces and communities for their hard-work and dedication.”

The Inspire! Tutor Awards are funded by The Welsh Government and the European Social Fund and organised by the Learning and Work Institute Wales.

For more information about adult learning or becoming a tutor, call 0800 028 4844.
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 Afternoon Tea LR Copy

This month has seen the return of our popular Monday Madness promotion at Bedwellty House and Park, which offers visitors the opportunity to buy one Afternoon Tea and get another half price every Monday!

Our signature Afternoon Tea is priced at £15 per person and includes a selection of finger sandwiches and savoury treats, which are served alongside an assortment of cakes, desserts and sweet treats and followed by a warm scone with clotted cream and preserves. Guests can choose from a selection of teas and coffee to enjoy with their afternoon tea, or they can upgrade their experience and add a small bottle of Prosecco for an additional £4.95 per person.

All of our Afternoon Teas can be tailored to suit a variety of dietary requirements, so if you’re taking part in Veganuary or living gluten free, there’s no need to miss out on this spectacular offer!

Monday Madness is available able every Monday from 12pm – 3pm at our Orchid House Tea Room, but pre-booking is essential.

For more information or to make a booking for Afternoon Tea please call us on 01495 353397.

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Blue Monday Banner

Monday 21st January 2019 has the dubious honour of being dubbed ‘Blue Monday’, the most depressing day of the year. The excitement and fun of the festive season is over and as the third Monday of January approaches many of us will be struggling with issues of low motivation, dissatisfaction with our routine, failed New Year’s resolutions, gloominess about the winter weather and worries over unpaid debts.

Although there are some factors that are beyond our control, this year people are being encouraged to tackle the impending gloominess by making a change and committing to setting aside some time on Monday to do something that they enjoy; so here’s some suggestions from us on how Aneurin Leisure can help:

  1. Get Active
Exercise releases a whole host of natural hormones, so why not visit your local Sports Centre for a mood boosting workout; you could hit the gym, go for a swim, join a group exercise class or even take your friends along for a game of football or badminton.

If you’re struggling to maintain your New Year’s Resolution to improve your health and fitness, why not have a chat with one of our staff? They can provide help and support to help you achieve your goals, and if you’re a life member you can access our free Activate Life service, which provides an in-depth health check that can be repeated every few weeks to track your progress.

Find out more about our range of facilities and services at www.bglife.co.uk

  1. Read a Book
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 that are suitable for people of all ages and interests.

Our new online BorrowBox service also enables you to browse through thousands of e-books and e-audiobooks for children and adults 24/7 from the comfort of your own home, so there’s no need to miss out even if you don’t have time to get to the library.

Find out more at https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries

  1. Go for a Walk
We’re lucky to be surrounded by beautiful natural scenery in Blaenau Gwent, and our two parks at Parc Bryn Bach and Bedwellty House & Park provide wonderful settings to enjoy some fresh air and a relaxing stroll. Both venues also have their very own cafes, providing a much welcomed refreshments stop and somewhere to warm up with a hot drink and bite to eat.

If you’re looking for a more exciting way to enjoy our local landscapes you could even try one of our adventure activities at Parc Bryn Bach. Taster sessions are available throughout the year allowing you to try out a variety of activities including canoeing and kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, climbing, caving, gorge walking, tandem paragliding and hill walking.

Find out more at www.parcbrynbach.co.uk and www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

  1. Sign up to a New Course or Join a Club
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 or brush up on your IT skills.

If you’d like to develop a new hobby, or meet like-minded people with the same interests, our Learning Action Centres and Libraries also host a variety of regular clubs that you could join, they range from subjects such as photography, crafts, reading and knitting to name just a few.

Find out more at http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/community-education

  1. Meet Some Friends for Afternoon Tea
Catching up with friends or family is a great way to cheer yourself up, so why not meet up at Bedwellty House to enjoy afternoon tea together? Our Orchid House Tea Room offers a wonderful range of Afternoon Teas for adults and children alike, featuring a mouthwatering range of sweet and savoury treats that can be tailored to suit a variety of dietary requirements; so if you’re taking part in veganuary or have a gluten intolerance – there’s no need to miss out!

Thanks to our current Monday Madness promotion, visitors can also take advantage of a very special offer every Monday - buy one afternoon tea and get a second half price!

For more information call 01495 353397 or visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

  1. Enjoy a Night at the Theatre
Whether you’re interested in live music, drama, comedy, children’s shows or musical theatre – there’s something for everyone at The Met in Abertillery.

The venue hosts a regular programme of high quality productions with upcoming highlights including; The Amazing Adventures of Pinocchio on 27th and 28th February, The Counterfeit Stones on 2nd March and Waterloo Live on 29th March.

To browse our full range of shows or book tickets online visit www.the-met.co.uk

To find out more about our full range of services at Aneurin Leisure visit our website at www.aneurinleisure.org.uk
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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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Aneurin Leisure Christmas & New Year Opening Times

Download a copy of our full Christmas & New Year Opening Times flyer here


Christmas Eve Opening Times

  Monday 24th December

Abertillery Sports Centre

Tel: 01495 357779

 

8.30am – 11.30am

Tredegar Sports Centre

Tel: 01495 353395

 

8.30am – 11.30am

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre

Tel: 01495 357777

 

8.30am – 11.30am

The Metropole

Tel: 01495 355945

 

Closed

Abertillery Library

Tel: 01495 355646

 

Closed

Blaina Library

Tel: 01495 290312

 

10am – 12pm

Brynmawr Library

Tel: 01495 311035

Learning Action Centre

Tel: 01495 355595

 

9am – 12pm

Cwm Library

Tel: 01495 370454

 

Closed

Ebbw Vale Library

Tel: 01495 355055

 

9am – 12pm

Tredegar Library

Tel: 01495 357869

 

9am – 12pm

Learning Action Centres

Tel: 01495 355300

 

Closed

Bedwellty House & Park

Tel: 01495 353397

House Closed

Park Access 8.30am – 5.30pm

Parc Bryn Bach

Tel: 01495 355920

Visitor Centre Closed

Park Access 8.30am – 4pm

 

Christmas & New Year

  Abertillery Sports Centre

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre

Bedwellty House & Park

Parc Bryn Bach

The Met, Libraries, Learning Action Centres   & Tredegar Sports Centre

Christmas Day

 

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Boxing Day

Closed

Closed

House Closed

Park Access:
8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre Closed

Park Access:
8.30am – 4pm

Closed

Thursday 27 December

Closed

Dry Side:
9am – 4pm

Swimming Pool:
10am – 3pm

Registrar Office:
10am – 2pm

Park Access:
8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre:
11am – 3.30pm

Park Access:
8.30am – 4pm

Closed

Friday 28 December

Dry Side:
9am – 4pm

Swimming Pool: Adults Only 
9am - 10am

Public Swim
10am-1pm

Dry Side:
9am – 4pm

Swimming Pool:
10am – 3pm

Registrar Office:
10am – 2pm

Park Access:
8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre:
11am – 3.30pm

Park Access:
8.30am – 4pm

Closed

Saturday 29 December

Dry Side:
10am – 4pm

Swimming Pool: Adults Only 
9am - 10am

Public Swim 
10am-1pm

Dry Side:
9am – 4pm

Swimming Pool:
10am – 3pm

House Closed

Park Access:
8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre:
9am – 3.30pm

Park Access:
8.30am – 4pm

Closed

Sunday 30 December

Dry Side:
10am – 4pm

Swimming Pool: Adults Only
9am - 10am

Public Swim 
10am-1pm

Dry Side:
9am – 4pm

Swimming Pool:
10am – 3pm

House Closed

Park Access:
8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre:
9am – 3.30pm

Park Access:
8.30am – 4pm

Closed

Monday 31 December

Dry Side:
10am – 4pm

Swimming Pool: Adults Only 
9am - 10am

Public Swim
10am-1pm

Dry Side:
10am – 4pm

Swimming Pool:
10am – 3pm

Registrar Office:
10am – 2pm

Park Access:
8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre:
11am – 3.30pm

Park Access:
8.30am – 4pm

Closed

Tuesday 1 January

Closed

Closed

House Closed

Park Access:
8.30am – 5.30pm

Visitor Centre Closed

Park Access:
8.30am – 4pm

Closed

Wednesday 2 January

Normal Opening

Normal Opening

Normal Opening

Normal Opening

Normal Opening

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sd toyappeal newsletter

This year Aneurin Leisure is working alongside more than 20 wonderful charities to help support the annual St David’s Christmas Toy Appeal, which aims to bring some Christmas cheer to sick, disadvantaged and vulnerable children around South Wales.

The Toy Appeal has made a big difference to the lives of local children in previous years, and this year it’s set to be bigger and better as they aim to collect 10,000 toys from 1st – 23rd December!

If you would like to help make a difference to a child’s life this Christmas, it’s super easy to get involved in the St David’s Toy Appeal - here’s what you do:

  • Buy a gift for a child of any age (from 0 – 16 years).
  • Gifts must be new with their packaging and tags still on, and unwrapped (the charities will wrap your gift).
  • Take your gift to any Aneurin Leisure venue by Thursday 20th December. (Our venues include Bedwellty House, Parc Bryn Bach, The Met, Abertillery Sports Centrre, Ebbw Vale Sports Centre, Tredegar Sports Centre, Libraries and Learning Action Centres).
We will then collect all the donated gifts and deliver them to St David’s, who will distribute them to the charities ready for Christmas.

This year the charities taking part in the appeal include: 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.

To find out more about the St David’s Toy Appeal and get some gift ideas, visit www.stdavidscardiff.com/toyappeal
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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.

Janet said of her experience; “Thanks to Bridges into Work I now have my dream job.”

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 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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Bethan-Lewis-and-Kate-Strudwick---Head-For-Arts
 
On Wednesday 31st October, Head4Arts attended a House of Commons event hosted by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), celebrating the contribution made by communities across the UK to mark the First World War Centenary.

Head4Arts was one of 12 organisations invited to attend the event out of over 2000 of those who received Heritage Lottery Funding over the First World War commemoration period.

At the event, Head4Arts showcased the Who Do I Think I Was project which was delivered across the South East Wales valleys region in 2016.  Working in partnership with Gwent and Glamorgan Archives, the project enabled community groups from all ages and backgrounds to encounter primary resource material that helped them to imagine what their lives might have been like during the First World War.

The event also provided an opportunity for Head4Arts to discuss plans for Exhibition in a Box, the final project in their series of activities linked to the First World War Centenary.  Exhibition in a Box, an arts and heritage project that will explore the theme of silence, has recently received funding through the Heritage Lottery First World War: then and now fund. The project will be delivered across the boroughs of Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil and Torfaen in early 2019.

Attended by the Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright MP, Head4Arts joined other National Lottery funded projects showcasing their First War Centenary projects.

Ros Kerslake, HLF’s CEO, said: “The First World War was a truly global conflict, stretching out across oceans and continents. But its impact at home was huge.  Communities, families and society were forever changed by this war.  National Lottery funding has empowered people to discover and share the thousands of stories of the First World War that matter to them. And the response from communities has been an inspiration.”

In 2012, HLF launched a community grants programme called First World War: then and now, offering grants between £3,000 to £10,000.  Over the Centenary, HLF awarded more than £14million to community projects.

In addition, HLF awarded larger grants to First World War projects.  Projects include Imperial War Museum’s First World War Galleries; HMS Caroline and the home of First World War soldier and poet Hedd Wyn.  Total HLF funding in the First World War Centenary comes to almost £100million.

For more information on Who Do I Think I Was / Exhibition in a Box, visit www.head4arts.org.uk or follow @Head4Arts on Twitter and Facebook.

For further information on HLF’s funding for First World War Centenary projects visit: www.hlf.org.uk/about-us/news-features/OneCentenary  or follow #OneCentenary100Stories on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
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Each year the 14th November marks World Diabetes Day and this year the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is focussing on the Family and Diabetes, as they urge families all over the world to learn more about the warning signs of diabetes.

New research from IDF has discovered that parents would struggle to spot this serious life-long disease in their own children. In a recent survey, the IDF discovered that four out of five parents would have trouble recognising the warning signs, and one in three wouldn’t spot them at all.

This highlights the need to increase everyone’s education and awareness to enable them to spot the warning signs early.

What are the symptoms of Diabetes?
Warning signs can include: excessive thirst, frequent urination, a lack of energy, blurred vision, slow healing wounds, and numbness in the feet and/or hands.

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition where your blood glucose level is too high. There are two main types, Type 1 and Type 2. They’re different conditions, but they’re both serious.


Type 1 Diabetes
Around 10% of people with diabetes in the UK have Type 1 diabetes – this has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle, it just happens and we’re still not quite sure what causes it.

When you have Type 1 diabetes, your body attacks the cells in your pancreas that make insulin, so you can't produce any insulin at all. This means that people with Type 1 Diabetes need to either inject insulin or use an insulin pump.

Type 2 Diabetes
Around 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes – this is when the insulin your pancreas makes can’t work properly, or your pancreas can’t make enough insulin.  The pancreas responds to this by releasing insulin. But because this insulin can’t work properly, blood glucose levels keep rising, so more insulin is released.

People with Type 2 diabetes may have to use insulin or tablets to control their blood glucose levels, though you might initially be able to treat your diabetes by eating well and moving more.

Can we prevent Diabetes?
There's nothing we can do to prevent Type 1 diabetes. But around three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and being active.

If you’d like to know there are lots of places to get online support and help:

Diabetes UK https://www.diabetes.org.uk/

NHS UK https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetes/

IDF also have an awareness assessment available at http://discoverdiabetes.idf.org/

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Bored of the same old weekend routine? Maybe it’s time to shun the shopping and say goodbye to lazy Sunday afternoons by joining us for our new range of seasonal Adventure Activity Taster Sessions at Parc Bryn Bach!

This winter we have fantastic range of taster sessions that are guaranteed to add some adventure to your life and allow you to experience the thrill of some of our outdoor adventure activities for just £40 per person!

Explore the underground realm with our Caving Taster Sessions - we'll be following stream ways and phreatic tubes, squeezing past boulders and undertaking challenges such as the cheese press, letterbox and washing machine! Along the way you’ll also learn about cave formations, cave life and hear fascinating stories of exploration. Sessions are available on Saturday 27th October, Sunday 4th November, Saturday 10th November, Sunday 18th November and Saturday 24th November.

Join us on a thrilling Gorge Walking Taster Session that will have you climbing, caving, jumping waterfalls, enjoying water slides and much more, all under the guidance of our experienced and dedicated Gorge Walking Instructors. No previous experience is necessary but you must be a confident swimmer. Sessions are available on Sunday 28th October, Saturday 3rd November, Sunday 11th November, Saturday 17th November and Sunday 25th November.

Scale the heights this December with our Introduction to Climbing Course which provides the perfect opportunity to experience climbing for the very first time – no previous experience necessary. Sessions are available on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December.

For more information on any of our activities or to book a taster session, call us on 01495 355920 or email adventure@aneurinleisure.org.uk

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Arty Parky 2018

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

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We’ve got lots of great thrills and chills for families and children of all ages at our Aneurin Leisure venues this October Half Term. Whether you’d like to get creative with some pumpkin carving and Halloween themed crafts, enjoy some storytelling, discover adventure, join a Halloween party or get sporty, we’ve got something for everyone at Aneurin Leisure!

Looking for a spooky read to enjoy with your family this Halloween? We have a fantastic range of free books and e-books for children of all ages at our six Blaenau Gwent Libraries! When you visit your local library to pick up your next set of books, be sure to join in with our free Halloween Treasure Hunt and half term activities. Contact your local library for more information or visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/BlaenauGwentLibraries/

Come along to The Met in Abertillery in your scariest Halloween costume on Thursday 1st November and join us for Crafty’s Halloween Spooktacular. Help Sally the Scarecrow solve the ghostly goings-on at Crafty’s Halloween Spooktacular, then play trick or treat with Crafty afterwards and receive a special Halloween present! Tickets £7 – call the Box Office on 01495 355945 or book online at www.the-met.co.uk

There’s a jam-packed programme of special Halloween themed fun at Bedwellty House & Park this October. Bring your little wizards and witches along to our Halloween Fun Day on 31st October, or if you’d like to get creative try one of our workshops; Pumpkin Carving on 29th October, LUSH Bubble Bar making on 30th October, Spooky Slime or Ice Scream making on 2nd November. Why not venture outside and join Louby Lou for a Witches and Wizards Story Trail on 31st October or if you’re feeling brave, explore our Ghost Trail around the park on 1st November! To make a booking call 01495 353397 or for more information on our activities visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

Discover adventure at Parc Bryn Bach this autumn with our exciting range of Adventure Activities - choose from exciting activities such as canoeing, bush craft, climbing, archery, caving and gorge walking. Activities are suitable for ages 8 - 12 years and cost just £15 per person. For your little adventurers we also have Pumpkin Carving Workshops on Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th October to help you prepare for Halloween. Workshops are £4 per child. For more information or to make a booking call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

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.
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 make it count

Did you know that half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14?

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
Not only is learning a new skill a great way to broaden your potential, but research shows that continuing to learn throughout your life can also improve your mental wellbeing.

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
What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in?

It’s important to find time to do the fun things that you enjoy; not only does it allow you to invest some time in yourself, but it can provide balance to your life and a much needed distraction if things are getting on top of you.

Having fun is a great way to beat stress, and doing something you enjoy can help stop you from becoming unhappy and irritable.

So, why not browse our list of up coming performances at The Met and enjoy a theatre show www.the-met.co.uk , invest some time into improving your fitness at our Sports Centres, go for a walk or get out for a spot of lunch with friends at one of our parks, maybe explore your interests and join a group at our Libraries or learn a new hobby at our Learning Action Centres - there’s lots to choose from!

To find out more about our full range of services at Aneurin Leisure visit our website at www.aneurinleisure.org.uk
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4th Anniversary

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.

Originally created in 2014 to deliver Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s leisure services portfolio, we’ve been working with multiple partners and private sector organisations to make a positive impact to people’s lives by not only improving physical health and well-being, but also their mental and social well-being through our diverse range of services which include sport and fitness, culture, community learning and hospitality.

This year has seen some great successes throughout the Trust, including a commendation of our libraries as the best in Wales in terms of customer outcomes and the delivery of the Working Skills for Adults 2 project, which is backed by £2.7 million EU funding through the Welsh government and in partnership with our neighbouring local authorities to help 1,700 individuals gain new skills leading to improved job security and career prospects in the next three years.

Our ambition for the next four years is to be a pivotal organisation leading a preventative approach to tackling well-being issues across Blaenau Gwent and making a positive impact across the Heads of the Valley region. Our services already provide a key enabling role for children and families to be both physically and socially active throughout their lives, but we aim to do more to encourage our communities as a whole to embrace healthy lifestyle choices.
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Libraries Week Banner 2018

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

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coffee morning banner

Next week all of our Libraries across Blaenau Gwent will be hosting Coffee Mornings to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, so why not pop along and join us for some coffee (or tea) and cake!

All donations will be given to Macmillan Cancer Support to help fund the vital work they do in our communities to help people affected by cancer.


Abertillery Library: Wednesday 26th September 10am – 2pm

Tredegar Library: Wednesday 26th September 10am – 2pm

Cwm Library: Thursday 27th September 10.30am – 12.30pm

Blaina Library: Thursday 27th September 10.30am – 12.30pm

Ebbw Vale Library: Friday 28th September 10am – 12pm

Brynmawr Library: Friday 28th September 10am – 12pm


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Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council has created an independent customer survey questionnaire to evaluate the five core community services that have been outsourced to Aneurin Leisure.

We value the feedback from users (past and present) of these services on how well you feel these services are being delivered and would like to capture your views on improvements that could be made, so that we can plan for future needs and aspirations for our public services across the County Borough.

The 5 service areas include 1) Sport and Leisure 2) Education and Learning Services including Libraries, 3) Destination Venues, 4) Outdoor Activity Centres and 5) Live Entertainment, Theatres and Arts Development; the specific venues associated with service delivery are included at the bottom of this page.

The survey should take no more than 5 minutes per service area, if you do not use one or more of the services you may move onto the next. For every service area you feedback on we will enter your details into a prize draw to win £250 of Argos vouchers. We hope that you will be able to participate in this important exercise. 

To take the survey please click here


Thank you for taking the time to contribute towards the future development of our shared community services, we continually aim to meet the expectations of our customers and plan for the future.


Venues within the core service areas:

1)      Tredegar Sports Centre
         Ebbw Vale Sports Centre

         Abertillery Sports Centre   

2)      Ebbw Vale Learning Action Centre
         Brynmawr Learning Action Centre
         Tredegar Library
         Ebbw Vale Library
         Cwm Library
         Brynmawr Library
         Blaina Library
         Abertillery Library


3)      Bedwellty House 

4)      Parc Bryn Bach

5)      The Metropole

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EVSC Open Day

Are you looking to improve your health and fitness? Maybe you’re interested in getting in shape before the office Christmas party? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a way to switch up your current training regime?

Whatever your motivation, you won’t want to miss our FREE Open Day at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre on Friday 21st September from 6am – 10pm.

For one day only we’re offering FREE entry in to the gym for non-members any time from 6am – 10pm.   So whether you’d like to have a look around, check out the equipment or come for a workout – everyone is invited!

In addition to FREE entry to the gym, we’ll also be offering a variety of FREE taster sessions throughout the day, showcasing some of our popular Group Exercise Classes:


  • SPIN                                      6.30am                 Experience the new generation of cycling
  • HITFIT                                   9.30am                 Maximum effort, maximum results
  • JUMP                                    12.30pm               Plyometric workout with a huge calorie burn
  • NUTRITION TALK              3pm                       Find out how to improve your diet
  • ENCORE                               5pm                       All your abdominal needs
  • SPIN                                      6pm                       Experience the new generation of cycling
  • HITFIT                                   7pm                       Maximum effort, maximum results

For more information on our Open Day or any of our classes please all us on 01495 357777.

If you’d like to know more about our facilities or download a Swimming or Group Exercise Class timetable for any of our Sports Centres please visit our website at www.bglife.co.uk
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This Incredible Life banner image

The Met, Abertillery will be opening its doors to people living with dementia and their families and carers next month for a day of activities and workshops, including a Dementia Friendly performance of This Incredible Life by Alan Harris, presented by Canoe Theatre in partnership with Theatrau Sir Gar.

The Dementia Friendly Theatre Day, developed in partnership the Alzheimer’s Society, will begin on Wednesday 3rd October at 10.30am with information stations open where members of the public can find out about activities and groups that support living well with dementia. The day also includes an opportunity to take part in Dementia Friends training, a nationwide initiative where participants can learn more about dementia and the small ways they can help. People living with dementia and their families and carers can also take part in a free creative workshop for family, friends and carers wishing to better manage Dementia.

The focus of the day will be a Dementia Friendly performance of This Incredible Life by Alan Harris which has been created to enable a relaxed audience experience. During the performance, the theatre will be well lit with comfortable sound levels, there will be plenty of space between seats and audience members can leave the theatre and re-enter as and when they need to. Refreshments will be served and there will be an opportunity to meet the cast. The play will also include local references from Abertillery in the 60s and 70s to spark memories and connections.
Canoe Theatre are working with local volunteers who will support visitors throughout the day by offering directions and assistance. Volunteers will join venue staff in a Dementia Friends sessions in the run up to the day to ensure that they understand what is needed to support people living with dementia.

This Incredible Life tells the story of retired journalist Mab and her nephew Robert. As they spend time together their family history unfolds with funny and moving consequences. Alan Harris’ latest comedy will sweep audiences off their feet with live music, film and a story that will lift the spirits and warm the heart, MGM style.

Mab and Robert will be played by Sharon Morgan (Hinterland, Torchwood, Under Milk Wood) and Christopher Elson (Da Vinci’s Demons, High Hopes, Torchwood), and will be joined on stage by a supporting cast of seven character parts who are being filmed on location in Wales. Local businesses from a chip shop to a dental surgery have opened their doors for filming to help bring the play to life. Actor Sharon Morgan is developing a bilingual text and the company have also been calling on local experts to suggest places that they remember from the 60s and 70s as locations will change as the play tours Wales. The film work will be created by Jorge Lizalde and the play will also feature a new score, written for the piece by composer Richard Barnard.

Director Julia Thomas explains where the idea for the play came from; “When I was younger I was forever asking my granny to tell me stories about her life and we would often get lost in afternoons of watching beautiful films full of love and hope with amazing dance routines. I wanted to see if we could create this feeling on stage. It is both epic and intimate, funny and touching. It is a story that is suitable for all. I feel that we have a responsibility to make sure that our theatres offer something for everyone and I am excited to be sharing this play with eight inspiring Welsh venues committed to the same cause.”

Canoe Theatre collaborated with Ffwrnes to present the first full production of This Incredible Life in 2016, including a highly successful day of activities that helped to establish Ffwrnes as a Dementia Friendly venue. They have come together to create the touring version of the play employing a dedicated co-ordinator in each area to plan a day of activity, refreshments and socialising. There will be over 150 young volunteers recruited across Wales to support the Dementia Friendly Theatre Days.

Marcia Vale from the Alzheimer’s Society stated that “The Dementia Friendly Performance was the first activity in the region that stepped out of the stereotypical dementia support activity. It was a wonderful event that has allowed people living with dementia to engage in an activity that is currently unavailable to them in this form.

The play was very thought provoking and enabled the audience to `live in the moment’. The play had a really good connection with the local area which added to the experience.

This connection drew on the long-term memories of the audience and brought the story to life.

The reactions that followed the performance confirmed that it was a huge success. It made the members of the audience feel part of a normal activity and was a warm and welcoming experience.”

Sharon Casey, Theatres Development Manager at Theatrau Sir Gâr, said; “We are proud to be working with Canoe Theatre again following the success of the first production of This Incredible Life. We are pleased to be supporting the play to visit more venues and reach more audiences across Wales.”

Canoe Theatre’s tour of This Incredible Life is made possible by the support of the Arts Council of Wales.
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Met Autumn Shows 2018

Welcome to a brand new season of entertainment at The Metropole Cultural & Conference Centre in Abertillery!

Our new Autumn/Winter season is packed full of energetic and engaging performances, so whether you’re looking for comedy, drama, music, opera or something for the children, we have plenty of top quality entertainment for you to choose from.

This season also sees the launch of our brand new website at www.the-met.co.uk which provides a full calendar of all our upcoming shows, as well as information on hiring the venue and a little bit about the history of The Met.

We kick off our new season of live music on 29th September with one of the UK’s most recognized tributes to the fab four, The Beatles Go On, followed by the amazing voice of Maggie Nestor in The Carpenters Experience on 27th October and renowned musicians Allan Yn Y Fan, who will be taking to the stage on 17th November with their unique blend of traditional Welsh music infused with their own compositions.

From Monday 1st to Friday 5th October we will be hosting a special Dementia Friendly Awareness Week at The Met in partnership with Head 4 Arts, which will show through participation in arts activities, how we can contribute to the health and wellbeing of people with dementia.

Wednesday 17th October will see the welcome return of Nye & Jennie: A Working Class Tale of Life, Labour and Love as it returns to The Met following its triumphant debut at the venue last year. Co-produced by Aneurin Leisure and Theatre na nÓg, this beautifully written drama spans the story of the partnership of Aneurin Bevan Jennie Lee and their remarkable life together.

Mid Wales Opera’s SmallStages will be bringing live opera with a Spanish beat to The Met on Saturday 10th November with Ravel’s exhilarating one-act clock shop comedy, L’heure Espagnole (A Spanish Hour).

Everyone’s favorite hoteliers Basil and Sybil Fawlty will be providing an evening of hilarious comedy and fine dining, ably assisted by Manuel or course, on 16th November as The Faulty Towers Dining Experience comes to Bedwellty House & Park in Tredegar. The laughs don’t stop there though; we’ll also have superb comedy drama at the Met with John Godber’s April in Paris on 3rd November and a sidesplitting evening celebrating all things Dibley with The Vicar of Dibley on 16th January 2019.

As the festive season draws near, we have a variety of fun filled entertainment guaranteed to appeal to the whole family. Our spectacular Christmas pantomime, Peter Pan, starring Owen Money runs from 23rd November to 2nd December, followed by the hilarious new show Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps on Saturday 15th December. After Christmas the superstars of Welsh Wrestling return to the Met on 5th January with their top rope flying wrestling extravaganza and we’ll be following the Amazing Adventures of Pinocchio on 27th and 28th February.

For more information on any of these shows or to book your tickets online you can visit our exciting new look website at www.the-met.co.uk or call our Box Office on 01495 355945

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Ocean Walker 2018 group
 
This month saw world renowned British swimmer Adam Walker return to Parc Bryn Bach to hold a special open water training session, where he shared insights on his revolutionary new 'Ocean Walker' swimming stroke technique.

Adam is the first British person to swim the ‘Oceans 7’, an incredible feat that consists of swimming the world’s seven toughest sea channels, an accomplishment made all the more impressive by the fact that he is only the fifth person in the world to complete the challenge, and only the second in history to do it on his first attempt.

It was during this challenge that Adam became injured and was advised not to swim anymore, but determined to succeed he set about finding a better way of swimming, which would enable him to carry on, and the Ocean Walker Technique was born.
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Susan Mitchell gcse 2018

Last week saw Aneurin Leisure’s Adult Community Learning celebrating successes in their GCSE English and Maths results.

Adult Community Learning achieved a 97% pass rate which shows the amazing commitment and dedication of the learners, many of whom attend evening classes whilst in full-time employment.

Ceri Waters, Partnerships, Funding and Contracts Manager at Aneurin Leisure said of the results; "We are extremely proud of the achievements of our learners and send them heartfelt congratulations and wish them every success in the future. We must also acknowledge the hard work of the teaching staff and the support of the learners' families which all contributes to enabling them to fulfil their aspirations and goals."

Pictured above is Susan Mitchell, who attained an A grade in Higher Tier Maths, and her tutor Ian Howells.

Susan enthused; “I am absolutely thrilled with my results, I never thought at the start I would be able to have achieved an A grade!”

If you would like more information on the new range of courses available this September in Adult Community Learning, you can view and download our 2018/19 brochure at https://aneurinleisure.org.uk/explore/community-education or call us on 01495 355300.

 

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bank holiday

Here are our opening times for all our Aneurin Leisure venues on Bank Holiday Monday 27th August 2018:

Abertillery Sports Centre - Closed

Bedwellty House & Park – Open as normal, for any enquiries please call 01495 353397

Ebbw Vale Sports Centre – The Gym is open 8am - 4pm, and the Pool is open from 10am - 3pm, for any enquiries please call 01495 357777

Learning Action Centres – Closed

Libraries - Closed

Parc Bryn Bach - Open as normal, for any enquiries please call 01495 355920

The Met – Closed

Tredegar Sports Centre - Closed

All our venues will re-open as normal on Tuesday 28th August 2018.

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ebooks-banner

Did you know you can access FREE on-line magazines, eBooks and eAudiobooks from our Libraries Service in Blaenau Gwent?

We have two fantastic FREE services that offer our library members access to huge range of titles for all interests and ages!

Love magazines?  There are over 200 magazines to choose from that are free to download to your tablet, ipad, phone or PC.  Titles include all the bestselling magazines such as Hello, Cosmopolitan, Men's Fitness, Running Times and Rugby World plus many more.

Browse the range of titles here: http://www.rbdigital.com/wales/service/magazines/landing

Looking for your next great summer read?  Our new eBook and eAudiobook service offers a wide range of titles for adults and children, great for going on holidays and saving money and space in your suitcase!

Browse the range of titles at: https://fe.bolindadigital.com/wldcs_bol_fo/b2i/mainPage.html?b2bSite=6352

To access all these FREE eMagazines, eBooks and eAudiobooks you just need your library card number and PIN (if you don’t know your PIN number just ask your local library)

Not a member of the library? Not a problem!

It's really easy to join - you can either call in to your local library or register on-line at http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries

Abertillery Library 01495 355646 / Blaina Library 01495 290312 / Brynmawr 01495 357743
Cwm Library 01495 370454 / Ebbw Vale Library 01495 355055 / Tredegar Library 01495 357869

Happy reading!

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Afternoon Tea Week runs from 13th – 17th August and is a celebration of one of the nation’s favorite traditions; the combination of savoury and sweet treats, accompanied by some of the 165 million cups of tea we drink each day in the UK.

To celebrate, we’re offering our visitors at Bedwellty House and Park an unmissable special offer - buy one Afternoon Tea and get another half price!  This fabulous offer is available for one week only from 13th – 17th August and includes our traditional Afternoon Tea, which is priced at £15 for Adults and £10 Children.

Our popular three course Afternoon Teas are served in our Orchid House Tea Room with a choice of tea or coffee and feature a mini soup and bread roll, followed by a selection of finger sandwiches and homemade savoury and sweet treats, finished off with a freshly baked scone served with clotted cream and jam.

Bringing the family along?  Let your little ones join in the fun with their very own Children’s Afternoon Tea which features a selection of finger sandwiches, savoury treats, crisps, fresh fruit and an assortment of cakes, sweets and treats, followed by a cookie or ice-cream and served with squash.

Our delicious range of Afternoon Teas are available for vegetarians and vegans and we can also cater for special dietary requirements – please be sure to make our staff aware of your requirements when booking.

So, whether you’re a cake connoisseur or are just looking for some mid-week luxury, be sure to join us for Afternoon Tea Week from 13th – 17th August and take advantage of our delicious special offer to buy one Afternoon Tea and get another half price!

For more information or to make a booking please call us on 01495 353397.
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Foot Golf Montage
 
If you’re looking for a fun activity to enjoy this summer with your friends and family – look no further than our brand new Foot Golf course at Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar!

As the name suggests, Foot Golf is a fun mix of football and golf, where players kick a football around our nine hole golf course, aiming to get them into the special foot golf holes in as few shots as possible.

Foot Golf is infectiously fun, competitive and a great activity for people of all ages and fitness levels to participate in – our nine hole golf course also provides stunning views of our Green Flag award winning park and the surrounding valleys, so you can admire the scenery as you play!

Our Foot Golf and Golf Course is open 7 days a week; Saturday & Sunday 9am - 7pm (last tee off 4.50pm) and Monday to Friday 9am - 9pm (last tee off 6.50pm).

Tickets can be purchased from the lakeside Visitor Centre and are priced at £7.50 for adults, £3.75 for juniors and OAP’s and £17.50 for a family of four (two adults and 2 children). Players must also pay a small cash deposit for use of the footballs, which will be refunded after your game; £5 ball deposit for individual players or £10 ball deposit for two or more balls.

As well as Foot Golf, players can also play the more traditional game of Golf and practice their swing at our Golf Driving Range.

Parc Bryn Bach is easily accessible just off the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road at Tredegar and has FREE on-site parking for all visitors.

For more information call us on 01495 355920 or visit us at www.parcbrynbach.co.uk
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green-flag-award-logo

Keep Wales Tidy has unveiled this year’s Green Flag Award winners – the international mark of a quality park or green space - and we’re excited to announce that Parc Bryn Bach is one of them!

This year a record-breaking 201 parks and green spaces, including universities, cemeteries, woodlands and allotments across Wales, have met the high standards needed to receive the coveted Green Flag Award and Green Flag Community Award.

Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure, the charitable trust that manages Parc Bryn Bach said; “We at Aneurin Leisure are extremely proud to earn the right to fly the prestigious Green Flag 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 programme 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: “We’re delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Awards in Wales. The 201 flags flying are a testament to the dedication and enthusiasm of the staff and volunteers across the country who work tirelessly to maintain Green Flag Award standards. I’d encourage everyone to get outdoors this summer and enjoy the incredible parks and green spaces we have on our doorstep.”

A full list of award winners can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru/greenflag

You can put your park or green space on the map by getting involved too. Visit the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru for more information.

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nye jennie cupcakes banner
 
Hundreds of cupcakes bearing the likeness of Tredegar-born hero Aneurin Bevan and Jennie Lee were gifted to the public last week to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS on Thursday 5th of July.

The cakes were organised by award-winning Neath based theatre company Theatr na nÓg, and aimed to help promote their autumn tour of Nye & Jennie, a co-production with Aneurin Leisure which visits 17 theatres across Wales and Scotland this October and November.

Exactly 70 years after the NHS was founded on 5th July 1948, cupcakes were handed out to local shoppers and townspeople in Abertillery, Aberystwyth, Edinburgh, Maesteg, Pontardawe, Ystradgynlais, Brecon and Newport.

Nye & Jennie is an intimate and poetic play offering a fascinating insight on the marriage of one of the most outstanding political partnerships of the 20th Century – NHS founder Nye Bevan and the first ever arts minister, Jennie Lee. The play saw writer Meredydd Barker nominated for Best Playwright at the Welsh Theatre Awards 2017. A notable cast features Gareth John Bale as Aneurin Bevan, who has recently returned from New York performing his celebrated role in Torch Theatre’s one-man show Grav, and fresh from touring with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Louise Collins as Jennie Lee. This is Theatr na nÓg’s first co-production with Aneurin Leisure Trust, a natural partner for a play about their local hero.

Aneurin Bevan, better known as ‘Nye’, and his wife Jennie Lee fought together for a new way of life for the people of Britain; he the Welsh Valleys’ firebrand on the Labour backbenches, who rose to become one of the greatest politicians this country has ever seen, and she the miner’s daughter from Fife who became a Socialist MP before she was old enough to vote. Together they navigated the turbulent world of politics to set up great British Institutions for the benefit of all - the National Health Service and the Open University.

Director of Nye & Jennie, and Theatr na nÓg Artistic Director Geinor Styles said; 

"The running theme through all of our work as a company is to tell stories of inspirational characters, whether it be a large scale musical, show for schools or main stage drama. We wanted to tell the story of two extraordinary individuals, who both from humble origins succeeded in changing the lives of generations of ordinary people.”

Tickets are now on sale for the full UK tour at nyeandjennie.com


2018 Tour Dates & Venues:

17 Oct – The Metropole, Abertillery


18 Oct – Blackwood Miners’ Institute, Caerphilly

19 Oct – The Welfare, Ystradgynlais

20 Oct – Aberystwyth Arts Centre

23 Oct – Maesteg Town Hall

24 Oct – The Riverfront, Newport

25 Oct – Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon

26 Oct – Galeri, Caernarfon

2 & 3 Nov – Edinburgh Festival Theatre

7 Nov – Garth Olwg, Pontypridd

9 Nov – Theatr Stiwt, Rhosllanchrugog

10 Nov – The Hafren, Newtown

13 Nov – Neuadd Dwyfor – Pwllheli

14 Nov – Pontardawe Arts Centre

15 Nov – The Ffwrnes, Llanelli

16 Nov – The Borough Theatre, Abergavenny

17 Nov – The Torch Theatre, Milford Haven
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Join us this summer for an amazing range of events and activities for children of all ages at our Aneurin Leisure venues – whether you’d like to discover adventure, get sporty, take to the stage, delve into a good book or enjoy a fun themed afternoon tea, we’ve got something for everyone at Aneurin Leisure!

Throughout the Summer holidays each of our Sports Centres at Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar will be hosting weekly Playsheme sessions offering a fun mix of activities such as netball, football, basketball, racquet sports, inflatable fun, swimming and much more for children aged 8 – 12 years. Playscheme sessions cost £7 per child (including lunch) or if you’re planning to visit regularly, why not take out our new Playscheme Membership which costs £59 for 6 weeks – that’s less than £10 per week!

For the under 8’s we will also be launching new weekly Mini Playscheme sessions at all three Sports Centres, which feature a range of activities like soft play, inflatable fun, arts and crafts and mini gym. Sessions are £4.95 per child or two sessions for £8, and are split into morning sessions for under 5’s and afternoon sessions 5 - 7 year olds.

If your little ones would like to work on their football or rugby skills during the holidays, we have a range of weekly Rugby and Football Camps running throughout the summer; on Mondays at Abertillery, Tuesdays at Tredegar and Cardiff City FC Foundation Soccer School at Ebbw Vale Sports Centre on 23rd – 24th July, 8th – 9th August and 20th – 22nd August.

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.

Discover adventure at Parc Bryn Bach this Summer with our exciting range of Adventure Activities from 23rd July to 31st August. Choose from a thrilling range of activities including canoeing, bush craft, climbing, archery, caving and gorge walking for a Summer break your children will remember for years to come. The activity days are suitable for ages 8 - 12 years and cost just £15 per person. For more information call 01495 355920 or visit www.parcbrynbach.co.uk

Bring your little Princesses and Superheroes along to Bedwellty House & Park this summer for our fabulous themed Afternoon Teas with a difference! In addition to a delicious array of sweet and savoury treats we’ll also have a range of fun filled activities for them to enjoy. Our themed teas are £10 per child – fancy dress is welcome! For more information call 01495 353397 or visit www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk

Join the Mischief Makers Summer Reading Challenge at your local library by borrowing and reading 6 books over the holidays. Throughout the challenge, Dennis, Gnasher and friends will help you solve clues and collect stickers, having lots of fun and adventures along the way! Ask at your local library for more information or visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BlaenauGwentLibraries/

Take to the stage with our Musical Theatre Summer School at The Met, Abertillery from 23rd July to 3rd August. Participants will get the opportunity to take part in a well-known stage production where they’ll learn new songs, meet new friends and develop their acting skills over the course of two weeks in a happy and relaxed arts environment. The Summer School costs £80 per person and is suitable for ages 10+. For more information call 01495 355945.

Click on the following link to view or download our full summer brochure: - Aneurin Leisure Summer Programme 2018
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Scott Morris 1

Congratulations to Scott Morris, from our Inspire Sports Development team, for successfully completing his fundraising challenge of 7 Olympic distance triathlons over 7 days to raise money for Neuroblastoma UK.

The challenge took place across our three Sports Centres at Abertillery, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar, with the final finish line at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community Primary Phase.

Each intensive Triathlon consisted of a 1500 metre swim, 24 mile bike ride and a 10 kilometre run – which means that over 7 days Scott swam 10,500 metres, cycled 168 miles and ran 70 kilometres!

Scott undertook the challenge in memory of a little girl called Eva, and this is her mother’s story…

"My beautiful little girl Eva (known fondly as Eva Diva) was diagnosed in February 2016 (age 6) with a rare aggressive children’s cancer, called Neuroblastoma which was located in her abdomen.

Neuroblastoma is the second most common solid tumour in children, with around 100 children in the UK diagnosed each year.

Her battle with this aggressive form of cancer lasted 15 months. Eva's strength was incredible and she never complained. After numerous rounds of chemotherapy, major surgery and radiotherapy, Eva's cancer could not be cleared from her bone marrow and she developed secondary tumours throughout her little body. She was sadly taken from us in May 2017 when she lost her battle, but her strength, courage and humour will never be forgotten."

If you’d like to make a donation please visit Scott’s Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/scott-morris7
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