daleevans, Author at Monlife

MonLife Active Tier 4 Lockdown

Following the announcement made by the First Minister at 5pm on Saturday 19 December, all MonLife Active Centres are closed as we enter into the Tier 4 Lockdown.

As you are aware following the Welsh Government announcement on 19th December, all MonLife Leisure Centres are now closed while we await a further update from the First Minister at the end of January.  Therefore, we will not be taking any payment for your membership for the month of January.

Our staff, as well as the community, are our priority and we would like to thank you for the support that you have shown MonLife over these last few months.  We have received the most amazing feedback from our customers and we will look forward to welcoming you all back following the Welsh Government review in January.

Your health and wellbeing is very important to us and we continue to explore opportunities to ensure that you can carry on with your wellbeing journey at home.  We have a fantastic NEW product that will allow MonLife members to carry on training with their favourite instructors and participants they know from their homes with the NEW MonLife LIVE & ON DEMAND membership. This membership will give you an exciting Virtual Live group and personal fitness experience.  Please click HERE for further information.

To keep up to date, follow our social media accounts, like our Facebook Page, follow our Twitter account and subscribe to our Youtube Channel.  We also have a MonLife App – click HERE to download.

Our membership teams are happy to help with any questions you may have so please email monmemberships@monmouthshire.gov.uk or call 01633 644499.

Please take care and ensure that you follow the government guidelines at all times, click here for more information  Alert level 4 | GOV.WALES


We’re Making The Comeback

MonLife Active

We are pleased to announce that all 4 Leisure Centres are now open, this includes the gym, swimming pool and group exercise classes as well as swimming lessons. For further information please click on the Active section at the top of this page to view the individual Leisure Centres.

MonLife Heritage

We are delighted to announce that we are reopening our museum in Abergavenny and Chepstow from 18th May, on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 11am and 4pm. We have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to get our museum and shop ready to welcome you all back through our doors! We cannot wait to see you all!

Please note Monmouth Museum remains closed whilst we continue to work on the collections.

  • There is no need to book ahead of your visit, you can simply walk in.
  • Please be aware that we will be limiting the number of visitors allowed in the museum at any one time.
  • Visitors will need to wear a mask or face covering and follow social distancing whilst in the museum.
  • Hand sanitiser will be provided at various points throughout the museum.
  • Visitors will be required to fill in a contact Track & Trace form – all of which are in accordance to Welsh Government Covid guidelines.
  • Where possible please use card to purchase goods.

Abergavenny Castle grounds will be open daily to the public between 11am and 4pm.

We are also please to announce that Old Station Tintern is now open!

Please see the individual venue and service pages on the website for detailed information.

MonLife Outdoors

Countryside Access sites and public rights of way remain open for use.  For a safe and enjoyable visit please follow the guidance and rules which are found here


Our staff, as well as the community, are our priority and we would like to thank you for the support that you have shown MonLife over these last few months.  We have received the most amazing feedback from our customers.

To keep up to date, follow our social media accounts, like our Facebook Page, follow our Twitter account and subscribe to our Youtube Channel.  We also have a MonLife App – click HERE to download.

If you have an enquiry regarding your MonLife membership then please email monmemberships@monmouthshire.gov.uk or call 01633 644499.

As a valued customer we would like to thank you for your continued support and look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Stay Safe 


Grassroots heroes – this one’s for you.

In March 2020 grassroots sport came to a standstill as the global pandemic hit Wales, but it’s at this toughest of times our grassroots clubs, coaches and volunteers became heroes and made Welsh sport really proud. Local clubs, groups and organisations quickly came together at the beginning of the national lockdown to help care for people in their community. You raised money for charities, delivered food parcels to NHS workers, distributed sport equipment to people’s homes and set up online quizzes to help people keep in touch with each other. That’s why, on the 16th December, we will be supporting the National Lottery in dedicating a whole campaign to you! We will dedicate our channels to your inspirational stories to thank you for your kindness and commitment to keeping the nation going, mentally and physically! If you know someone at your club or project who deserves a whole load of recognition on the 16th December – post your story to your social platform, tag us in the post and use the hashtags #ThanksToYou and #NationalLottery We will keep our eyes peeled and be sure to share your post so the whole [insert sport] family can be inspired. We can’t wait to hear how you’ve played your part.

CIL-Y-COED NETBALL CLUB IN SPOTLIGHT FOR KINDNESS

We have been blown away by the commitment, kindness and creativity of netball clubs up and down Wales over the past few months.

Faced with closed courts and lockdown restrictions, you have met these challenges with a positive, can-do attitude that makes Welsh Netball very proud.

This week, we are highlighting the work of Cil-y-Coed Netball Club in Monmouthshire as part of the National Lottery Dedicated To…campaign. A family-run club, Chloe is Head Coach and looks after the youth sides. Her Mum Jill is coach to the under 10s and Ladies team while sister Lauren pitches in when she can.

Of course, lockdown put an end to ordinary training sessions and get togethers but the club was quick to get creative and get online:

“We started with an Easter challenge. Each day for two weeks, members were set a challenge such as how many chest passes can you do in two minutes or how many figure of eights can you do through your legs. They were all a bit of fun but designed to maintain fitness. Our members would post their videos and photos on our social channels so there was a lot of camaraderie.

“Another time, we had a 15-day plan which would include fitness skills and ball skills. It was just something to keep people active and entertained. It helped maintain the sense of belonging at our club.”

When we reached May half term, we asked members to bake and decorate cakes with a netball theme. One member designed an entire netball game out of lego and animated it with stop motion. We have discovered our members have all sorts of skills!,” laughs Chloe.

Chloe may joke but the work undertaken to keep a club together with Zoom quizzes and online content takes time and is typical of netball clubs right across Wales.

The club recently received more than £1000 in National Lottery funding which has been spent on PPE, hand sanitisers, first aid kit and extra equipment so that coaches and players can avoid sharing and cross-contamination:

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to all National Lottery players because this funding will allow us to restart safely. It makes us feel more confident to come back and play because we know it will be within a safe environment. It wouldn’t be possible without the National Lottery.”

With the help of National Lottery funding, thousands of grassroots sports workers and volunteers from local clubs and organisations across the UK, have been be able to continue to help the nation to remain active, happy and motivated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, many of which are supporting the most vulnerable in our communities across the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.


MonLife Live & On Demand

MonLife Active Offers An Exciting Live & On Demand Group & Personal Experience From Your Home. Sign Up Today And Get 6 Months for £24.99. That’s Just £4.17 Per Month!

MonLife members can now train with their favourite instructors and participants they know from their homes with the NEW MonLife LIVE & ON DEMAND membership. This membership will give you an exciting Virtual and Live group and personal fitness experience The Live journey is designed to include social moments at the start and at the end of each class whilst focusing on your training. You will be able to track activities, monitor progress and generate results!

As with any activity performed with the Mywellness app the Live or On Demand classes will generate results that count towards the total daily movement and can be used to track progress over time. If you are wearing Heart Rate devices connected to the Mywellness mobile app, the measurement will be based on each member’s unique HR values.

Alternatively, users can join the class and the results will be based on the intensity set by instructors. We know that you want choice, different types of classes and different styles of instructors at the most convenient time for YOU. You will be able to choose your favourite activity and train at any time.

For a list of FAQ’s please click HERE

To register for MonLife Live & On Demand, click here!

DISCOVER CHOOSE TRAIN PROGRESS


The 2020 Green Flag UK People Choice Award: Caldicot Castle & Country Park

Caldicot Castle is set within 55 acres of idyllic Country Park. Founded by the Normans, developed in royal hands as a stronghold in the Middle Ages and restored as a Victorian family home, the castle has a romantic and colourful history. Travel through time from a medieval castle to a Victorian mansion.

The Green Flag Award® scheme recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world.

The Green Flag Award’s Purpose & Aims

  • To ensure that everybody has access to quality green and other open spaces, irrespective of where they live.
  • To ensure that these spaces are appropriately managed and meet the needs of the communities that they serve.
  • To establish standards of good management.
  • To promote and share good practice amongst the green space sector.
  • To recognise and reward the hard work of managers, staff and volunteers.

We would like to invite you to vote for Caldicot Castle & Country Park in the 2020 Green Flag UK People Choice Award. To vote, click here: https://www.greenflagaward.org/park-summary/?park=2143


Get Creative: Make Decoration This Halloween

Make a Vampire Hallowe’en Decoration

You will need:

  • Vampire template
  • 1 A4 sheet of white paper
  • 1 A4 sheet of black card
  • 1 scrap of tissue paper or other coloured paper
  • A glue stick Colouring pencils or pens Scissors

What to do:

  1. Print out your vampire templates on to a sheet of A4 paper. Cut out the vampire body and glue it to the back of the black card, using it as a guide to cut out your vampire’s body. Remember to cut along the dotted lines under the arms.
  2. Cut out the vampire face and chest piece and draw on your vampire’s face.
  3. Stick your vampire face and chest piece on to the body piece (black cardboard side facing up), leaving the V-shape of black showing at the top of the head for the vampire’s hair (see the picture above).
  4. Take a small square of tissue paper (around 3cm) or other coloured paper and pinch it together in the middle to make a bow tie shape, then glue to your vampire’s neck. Draw four buttons underneath the bow tie to make the vampire’s shirt.
  5. With the vampire laid out flat on the table, take each of the arms and fold them inwards so that they stand out from the body.
  6. Glue along one straight edge of the vampire’s body piece as shown on the template, then roll the body into a cone shape, sticking the glued edge under the other straight edge. Hold in place until the glue dries.
  7. Use your finished vampire to decorate your home ready for a super spooky hallowe’en!

Make a Witch Hallowe’en Decoration

You will need:

  • Witch template
  • 1 A4 sheet of white paper
  • 1 A4 sheet of black card
  • Some scraps of wool for the hair
  • A glue stick Felt pens or colouring pencils
  • Scissors
  • A few shiny star stickers or scraps of coloured paper to make your own

What to do:

  1. Print out the witch templates onto A4 paper.
  2. Cut out the witch body template and glue it to the back of your black card. Use the template as a guide to cut out the body of your witch. Don’t forget to cut along the dotted lines under the arms.
  3. Cut out the witch face template and colour it in then draw on a smiley face.
  4. With the black cardboard side of the witch body piece facing up, stick the witch’s face on to the body underneath her black hat (see the picture above).
  5. Glue on a few strands of wool to make the witch’s hair.
  6. With the witch laid out flat on the table, take each of the arms and fold them inwards so that they stand out from the body.
  7. Glue along one straight edge of the witch’s body piece as shown on the template, then roll the body into a cone shape, sticking the glued edge underneath the other straight edge. Hold in place until the glue dries.
  8. Stick a few shiny stars on to the witch’s body and hat, or cut out your own decorations from scraps of coloured paper.
  9. Use your finished witch to decorate your home ready for a super spooky hallowe’en!

Make a Spiral Ghost Hallowe’en Decoration

You will need:

  • 1 A4 sheet of white printer card
  • Colouring pencils or felt pens
  • Scissors

What to do:

  1. Print out your ghost template on to the white card. If you don’t have a card suitable for your printer, you can print onto ordinary paper and glue it on to a piece of scrap cardboard e.g. an old cereal packet.
  2. Use a pair of scissors to carefully cut around your ghost head and arms, then continue to cut following the lines all the way around the inside in a continuous spiral.
  3. Use a colouring pencil or felt pen to draw a face on to your ghost. You can make it funny or scary or surprised—you could even draw a different face on the front and back of your ghost so that it looks different from each side when it’s hanging up!
  4. Hang up your ghost by the bottom of its spiral tail, or by its head, ready for a super spooky hallowe’en!

Make a Bat Hallowe’en Decoration

You will need:

  • 1 A4 sheet of white paper
  • 1 A4 sheet of black card
  • 1 black pipe cleaner for the legs
  • A glue stick
  • Felt pens or colouring pencils
  • Scissors

What to do:

  1. Print the bat template onto A4 paper. Carefully cut out the eyes and fangs and place them to one side for the moment, then glue the wings and body templates to the back of your sheet of black card.
  2. Cut out the wings and body from the black card, using the printed template as a guide. Lay your bat pieces out flat on the table, black side up.
  3. Colour in the eyes then cut them out and glue them into position on your bat’s face, just below the top curved edge.
  4. Cut out the fangs and glue them on to the bat’s face underneath his eyes.
  5. Using the glue stick, make a line of glue along one straight side of your bat body, then roll the body into a cylinder, and stick the two straight edges together. Hold in place while the glue dries.
  6. Glue the wings on to the back of your bat, covering the joined edges from the previous step. Hold in place while the glue dries.
  7. Take a black pipe cleaner and fold it in half. Glue the folded end to the inside of your bat (see the picture above)
  8. Curl the two cut ends of the pipe cleaner to make the bat’s talons
  9. Hang the bat upside down at home ready for a super spooky hallowe’en

We’d love to see your finished crafts — please tweet us a photo @MonLifeLearning @MonLifeOfficial Decoration


Welsh Government Introduces Firebreak Lockdown

Dear MonLife Customer,

Following on from the announcement made by the Welsh Government to introduce the ‘Firebreak’ we will be re-opening all MonLife facilities from Monday 9th November.

Unfortunately, however, following the announcement made by the UK Government on Monday 2nd Nov, we are unable to facilitate any bookings from our customers currently residing in England during the month long national lockdown starting from Thursday 5th November. All members affected will have their memberships automatically frozen during this time. We hope you stay active and safe during this difficult time and we look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Please follow our daily countdown posts on social media for updates and ensure that you always follow the Welsh Government Guidelines. 

The areas that remain open for local use during the ‘Firebreak’ include all countryside sites, Caldicot Castle Country Park (toilets will be open 10 am – 4:30 pm), the grounds at Old Station Tintern (toilets will be closed) and Abergavenny Castle Grounds as well as car parks and play areas in Monmouthshire.

Our staff as well as the community are our priority and we would like to thank you for the support that you have shown MonLife over these last few months. We have received the most amazing feedback from our customers and we will look forward to welcoming you all back on the 9th November.

If you have made any bookings please bear with us as we will be in touch with you, however, if your query is urgent then please call the relevant MonLife venue.

Your health and wellbeing are very important to us and we will continue to explore opportunities to ensure that you can carry on with your wellbeing journey at home. Please visit our MonLife Health and Wellbeing hub https://www.monlife.co.uk/monlife-health-wellbeing-hub/ for further information. Here you will also find over 140 fitness sessions for you to do at home. Les Mills On Demand is also still available with over 1000 online workouts including Body Pump, Yoga and RPM that members can try for free for 30 days, then pay a reduced monthly fee of £7.94 per month To keep up to date, follow our social media accounts, like our Facebook Page, follow our Twitter account and subscribe to our Youtube Channel. We also have the MonLife app which you can download from the Apple and Play store now https://claritylive.myfitapp.de/a/8HRD?p=5?pv=1

Our customers, partners and colleague’s safety and wellbeing are at the heart of what we do. Please stay safe and try to stay as active as possible, we have some amazing places for you to explore in your local area by clicking here but please adhere to the Government guidelines to protect the NHS and save lives.

Memberships

We would like to reassure you that you do not need to do anything we will arrange any alteration to your November direct debit payment to reflect opening up on the 9th November and the days lost in between.

Swimming Lessons

As with the memberships, your swimming lesson direct debit will be amended to reflect the time lost during the ‘Firebreak’.

Our membership teams are happy to help with any questions you may have so please email monmemberships@monmouthshire.gov.uk or call 01633 644499.

As a valued customer we would like to thank you for your continued support, we will be dealing with a high volume of calls so please bear with us. For further updates please follow us on social media, download our MonLife app or visit www.MonLife.co.uk.

We would also like to extend our thanks to all the NHS Heroes, carers and keyworkers keeping us safe and looked after during this time.

We look forward to seeing you all again on the 9th November.

Stay safe, protect the NHS and save lives.


Countryside Sites And Public Rights Across Monmouthshire Soar 400% As Residents Enjoy The Outdoors

Figures from our counters show that there has been a dramatic increase (400% on Wales Coast Path) in the use of our sites and public rights of way since lockdown. Unfortunately, this increased usage has also come at a price of a rise in anti-social behaviour with more litter and problems with dogs. We are working on a campaign to promote responsible behaviour and safe outdoor recreation with Brecon Beacons National Park, National Trust, Cadw and Welsh Water. To help Natural Resources Wales have launched a new countryside code.

Only 1 route in Monmouthshire remains closed under COVID regulations but remains under constant review. Our web page “Stay Active, Stay Safe” is being constantly updated to reflect any changes. We have also updated our website to include the final Countryside Access Improvement Plan, our Delivery Plan and Countryside Access Policy, Protocol and Operational Management Report.

With our colleagues in Highways and Planning, Countryside Access is working in partnership with the National Trust and we are promoting the use of Fairfield Car Park in Abergavenny as an alternative to the Llanwenarth car park, to seek to minimise issues at that honeypot arrival point. The National Trust is finalising a new Sugar Loaf path guide to assist. Also, waymarkers have been sprayed on the pavements for the public to follow.
The team has been busy inspecting and ensuring our promoted routes are safe to use and we are pleased that we have now been able to assist The Narth Footpath Group to restart its activities to help with this. “Friends of Castle Meadows” have also returned and increased their usual task days, carrying out essential hog weed surveys and other environmental tasks. Their work has contributed to Castle Meadows Countryside Site in Abergavenny, being awarded a coveted Green Flag Award.

We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a new improvement grant, by Welsh Government, of £83,412. The funding is being spent on materials for Penallt Volunteer Group to improve paths which will then help them promote a series of local walks. A new bridge and signage improvements are also being purchased to provide a new circular route in Llanfair Kilgeddin. Other funding is being spent to improve accessibility on routes at Llanbadoc, Undy and Rogiet Country Park, along with a new recycled boardwalk at Mathern and Shirenewton. Other funding for on-going maintenance and improvement projects has also been obtained for the Wales Coast Path and Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail and also for two Active Travel projects. Watch out for more information on these projects in next month’s newsletter and on social media as they evolve.

“Many thanks for enabling our Footpath Group to restart its activities. We had a good first working group on Friday with five volunteers and the new arrangements worked very well. Thank you for keeping them straightforward and practical and trusting us to get on with the job.

We have plenty more work to do over the coming months and look forward to when we might be able to set up some working groups with the wardens again to deal with some of the bigger tasks.”

Brian Mahony The Narth Footpath Group


Destination Management in Monmouthshire

The coronavirus pandemic, following shortly after February’s severe floods, hit Monmouthshire’s tourism and hospitality businesses particularly badly so we’ve been busy supporting their recovery.

We have launched a new town and village ambassador pilot programme in partnership with MCC, local town and community councils, GAVO, and Volunteering for Well-being. Ambassadors are already out and about in Abergavenny and Tintern ready to welcome residents and visitors and signposting them to local shops, services and attractions.* If you’re interested in becoming an ambassador click on the links to register your interest for Abergavenny and Tintern.

Most of Monmouthshire’s tourism businesses, including accommodation and attractions have also reopened. We’re encouraging visitors to look out for the ‘We’re Good to Go’ tourism and hospitality industry kitemark for reassurance that the business is following government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, ensuring processes are in place to maintain cleanliness and physical distancing.

We’re also encouraging visitors to look at our Plan your Visit page before they set off and check the things they want to see and do are open and where facilities like toilets are available. Many of our attractions need booking in advance such as our newly reopened museums located in Abergavenny, Chepstow and Monmouth, and staffed Cadw sites at Chepstow and Raglan castles and Tintern Abbey.

For more ideas on what to see and do in the area, check out the Visit Monmouthshire website.

For more information, the full role description, criteria and applications visit:
Tintern Ambassador Pilot Programme
Abergavenny Ambassador Pilot Programme


MonLife Outdoor Adventure

The Adventure ahead

Undy Primary school were one of the last school groups to attended Gilwern Outdoor Education Centre before the lockdown restrictions were introduced. 44 smiling faces appeared on Wednesday morning full of anticipation and a dash fear about the adventurous program Mr Jones and I had planned and for many the first few nights away from home. Caving, canoeing, forest skills and a session in the high ropes were planned over the two and a half-day residential so it was busy from the start.

Beds made, sandwiches packed, equipment issued and they were off to the beautiful locations that surround the centre and over the next few days’ memories and experiences are made that stay with you for a lifetime.
I can always tell how a school group is engaging by the instructors’ feedback and as normal Undy were fantastic. The staff pride themselves on supporting and encouraging individuals when it’s needed but also allowing those who require that extra challenge the chance to test their abilities. For one young person just putting on the climbing harness and being on the wall is a massive achievement as is racing to the top as many time as possible for another. This is where the skill and experience of the staff are required and that’s why when outdoor learning is done correctly, it’s so positive for the development of pupils and translates back into the classroom and life. I look forward to the day when we can start delivering adventurous outdoor activities and seeing those smiling faces again.

The Adventurer seeker “I enjoyed this trip it showed that I could do much more than my belief. The caving was very fun because I can challenge myself, forest fun was good because I could learn to survive and canoeing was fun because we learnt how to save someone if their boat sunk. All around Gilwern was a life-changing experience. I am very thankful that we went. I enjoyed caving the most because I learnt not to give up and I tried things that I hadn’t done before”

Undy Pupil