Case Studies - Monlife

Case Study: Developing new Active Travel routes in Caldicot


Monmouthshire County Council is working to improve the local walking and cycling network around eastern Caldicot, Crick and Portskewett, to make local active travel more accessible, more enjoyable and safer for the whole community.


Two sections of interconnected route are being developed: one through Caldicot Castle Country Park (the 1km long Caldicot Multiuser Route) and one along the former MOD railway line, now disused, from Portskewett to Crick, running alongside the castle country park and the Severn Bridge Industrial Estate (the almost 3km long Caldicot Links).

As part of the project development a stakeholder consultation was undertaken by connecting with over 200 people in live engagement sessions, working with pupils and staff from two local schools, setting up a project webpage inviting feedback, sending out letters and posters locally and holding online stakeholder meetings.


Results showed significant local support for the proposals, resulting in over 800 ideas being shared with us for consideration in the detailed design.

Current progress (as at July 2022):

  • Caldicot Links Phase 1 (southern section below the castle country park) – a wide range of surveys and assessments completed, the old rail has been removed, currently applying for permissions, funding secured for construction by March 2023 (subject to permissions being in place).
  • Caldicot Multiuser Route and the Links Phases 2&3 – further ground and ecological surveys and assessments and design development are underway, working up to applying for all permission.

Case Study: Gwent Green Grid Partnership


The Gwent Green Grid Partnership (GGGP) is a three-year project running from March 2020 to March 2023. The partnership includes the five Local  Authorities of Gwent (Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Newport and Torfaen), as well as Natural Resources Wales, Forest Research and Severn Wye Energy Agency.

The GGGP aims to improve and develop green infrastructure – a term used to describe the network of natural and semi-natural features, green spaces, rivers and lakes that intersperse and connect villages, towns and cities – as well as provide green job opportunities within the area. Green infrastructure has a crucial role to play in addressing nature, climate change and health emergencies.


The GGG Partnership is delivering across five workstreams:

Workstream 1: Regional Green Infrastructure Strategy and Partnership:

The GGGP demonstrates a pioneering way of working collaboratively to deliver strategic and local outcomes to provide a regional approach to Green Infrastructure in Gwent.

Workstream 2: Gwent Green corridors

Looking at access issues at a regional scale will support best practice and support the delivery of works of the ground locally and regionally. Four trainee countryside rangers are employed by the partnership to delivery access improvements and gain skills and qualifications in countryside management.

Workstream 3: i-Tree Eco Study

i-Tree is a software application which is used to quantify the structure and environmental effects of urban trees. The data from these surveys can be used to help those who look after trees to make informed management decisions.

Workstream 4 : Gwent Green Projects

In this workstream green infrastructure improvements are being delivered across the region, including landscape enhancements, implementation of pollinator friendly management, tree planting and access improvements.

Workstream 5 : Pollinator Friendly Gwent

Green spaces are being managed the ‘Nature isn’t Neat’ way, letting grassland in parks and along verges grow in the spring and summer to create meadow areas and provide better habitats for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies as well as a variety of other wildlife.


On the ground works can be seen across Gwent. Some improvements being made in Monmouthshire include:

  • Tree planting across the county
  • Pollinator friendly grassland management
  • Engagement events with local communities

The GGGP team will be buzzing with activities and events in 2022, so follow us on Twitter @Gwentgreengrid for all the latest news and please re-tweet and share widely.

For more updates please CLICK HERE.

Case Study: MonLife Active 60

Case Study: MonLife Active 60


The MonLife Active 60 Programme was made possible with funding from Sport Wales. The programme seeks to encourage lifelong physical activity for people aged 60 plus by offering them support to become more physically active through in-person or online classes.

Members of the Active 60 programme have access to:

• Fitness Suites with a 1 to 1 tailored programme’s / programme reviews.
• Designated Fitness Classes (Fit4Life, Stretch & Tone, Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, Fit4Life Dance, Fit4Life Multi Sports; Fit4Life Walking Netball; Aqua; Aqua Running; Les Mills Virtual BARRE, Les Mills Virtual Body Balance, Les Mills Virtual Sh’Bam)
• Casual Swimming Sessions
• Health Suite & Saunas (Except Monmouth).

Members are encouraged to link their physical activity to our My Wellness App via their smart phone’s or watches. This creates an online dashboard where activity can be monitored by attending gym/class, use of virtual class and outdoor activity such as sport, walking and cycling.

The MonLife Sport Development team also aims to connect members of the programme into local community clubs such as walking hockey; bowls; touch rugby and park run. By helping to create these pathways into the community it provides a wider variety of activities for members to participate in. this in turn helps members continue their health, wellbeing and enjoyment of physical activities as part of their everyday lifestyle.

The Active 60 Programme is also open to members that complete the National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERs) to help support them into lifelong physical activity and health.


  • Fitness Suites with a 1:1 Customer Journey with tailored programme’s / programme reviews.
  • Designated Fitness Classes (Fit4Life, Stretch & Tone, Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, Fit4Life Dance, Fit4Life Multi Sports; Fit4Life Walking Netball; Aqua; Aqua Running; Les Mills Virtual BARRE, Les Mills Virtual Body Balance, Les Mills Virtual Sh’Bam) Casual Swimming Sessions
  • Health Suite & Saunas (Except Monmouth).

We’re continually looking to improve the programme to encourage participation by introducing alternative activities like: Dance, Walking Netball and Multisport.


All members that join the Active 60 Programme will complete a fitness assessment on week 1 and week 8 . This is reported back to Sport Wales to highlight improvements to health and wellbeing for this age group.

Since the start of the programme in April 2021:

  • 157 members have registered with us.
  • 140 members have programmes on the MyWellness App.
  • 83% have stayed for their first month of the programme.

“After the long layoff due to Long Covid it was good to get back to the gym not only for physical but also mental reasons. Being able to attend the gym is good for the head as it gives me a focus and something to look forward to. The attendance can still be interrupted by days where the energy levels are low, but the improvement is obvious to me, and the programme is now beginning to return to normal and adjustments have been made to keep the progress.”

Active 60 Member

Case Study: Green Infrastructure through Section 106

Case Study: Green Infrastructure through Section 106


Develop and / or improve community facilities and various open spaces in Monmouthshire via Section 106 funding.


Funding known as Section 106 (S106) can be used to develop and / or improve community facilities and various open spaces. This funding has been secured through a planning obligation request which is a deed or agreement attached to the land that is the subject of a planning permission. Contributions secured through planning obligations are used to mitigate or compensate for the negative impacts of a development. As a result, MonLife’s GI team carried out the following projects:

The Caldicot Corridor Improvements project – Aimed to create enhancements along Woodstock way and Newport road in Caldicot.

Caldicot GI enhancement project – Green Infrastructure (GI) improvements in the eastern part of Caldicot town as part of the Council’s Green Connections project, made along a selection of green route ways and in parks and amenity spaces in Caldicot which form important Active Travel routes through the town.

Caldicot Castle Country Park Pollinators project – Aimed to deliver a grassland enhancement and tree planting scheme. The project delivered a grass cutting plan to maximise wildflower meadows at the site and included ‘over-seeding’ of some areas with native wildflower seed.

The Monmouth Community Nature Spaces project – Complimented the WG Local Places for Nature funding to deliver a total of 11 significantly enhanced greenspaces. The scheme will also result in a reduction in the use of pesticides across the area. Local interest groups have been involved in the site development and are keen to undertake tree and food growing once the sites are complete.

Link Road Corridors Enhancement project (Monmouth) – Fully funded S106 project delivering species and habitat management and enhancement to compensate for loss of habitat to facilitate development nearby.


The Caldicot Corridor Improvements project:

  • – 31 trees, 40 fruit trees, 100 bee friendly shrubs, 4 climbing plants, 1685 indigenous hedgerow plants, 8 sacks of daffodils, 20 trays of pollinator friendly bedding plants.
  • – 100 volunteer hours ( Keep Caldicot Tidy, Caldicot in Bloom, Keep Wales Tidy, Caldicot Castle Community Garden, Local Sustrans rangers, Caldicot Comprehensive School)

Caldicot GI enhancement project:

Caldicot Castle Country Park Pollinators project:

The Monmouth Community Nature Spaces project :

Figure 1: Significant tree planting has taken place across the area including at the Hendre Close open space where a tree nursery will also be located
Figure 2: Tree shrub and hedge planting has been complemented by pollinator plants and wildflower seed to deliver a more diverse space including wild play

11 sites improved for pollinators

9 sites with improved mowing practices

11 areas of pollinator planting

11 tree planting sites

9 areas of community orchard planting

3 community food growing beds

1 tree nursery

11 Improved seating areas

Link Road Corridors Enhancement project (Monmouth)

– 0.4ha grassland /scrub to maintain and enhance grassland species; supporting habitats for slow worm & dormice.

– 1.3ha woodland management supporting a variety of species of breeding birds

– Installation and monitoring of 44 dormice boxes and 2 reptile refugia.

– The scheme involved the Building Bridges group (young people with additional needs) to make dormouse boxes and undertake nut searches in the woodland.

Case Study: Ladies Stronger Together


Ladies Stronger Together was developed to encourage women to engage with fitness and wellbeing. Several studies proved that women reduced exercise much more frequently than comparison to their male counterparts. Many barriers were highlighted such as; child care, confidence, finance, times, expectations and unknown. The ladies Stronger was designed to reduce barrier by providing  a low cost taster of a variety of fitness classes . Ultimately, the main objective was to create a support system for women and therefore create friendships!


The ladies Stronger Together program was introduced in 2018 as an 8 week block booking and has since seen a wide variety of activity classes provided to it’s members.

In 2018 the group encountered many different activities: including kettlebells, circuits, core work and tai chi. Each year since, the schemes has continues to follow an 8 week block with each week offering a different activity. Each year, our groups have seen a range of different ages and backgrounds. At the start of each program we start with some icebreakers, as everyone starts rather quiet and not all the group know each other. Therefore, the group introduces themselves and we ask the reasons for their participation. The majority of the time we saw members wanting to try fitness after not keeping active for some time. Others wanted to  have a bit of time out from a busy family /work life and whilst others wished to lose weight.

After that, we discuss the layout of the sessions with the groups so they know about the different sessions they will be taking part in each week. The latest layout included:

SESSION 1: Introduction/ icebreakers

SESSION 2: Circuit Class

SESSION 3: Tai Chi

SESSION 4: Stretch and Tone

SESSION 5: Couch to 5k Introduction

SESSION 6: Box-fit

SESSION 7: Positive Mindset Session

SESSION 8: Review

The driving force behind each session is that of wellbeing. Within these sessions the topic of well-being is frequently discussed as we looked to open dialogue about how our minds react to physical exercise and the importance of taking time out in a busy day to unwind . As a results, throughout the course we ask participants to do some work with the team of life framework and were given gratitude journals to use during the week to write out what they are grateful for each day. Each session also ended on a mindful mediation to celebrate mindful Mondays.


This project has grown each year since it’s inception in 2018, with last year seeing a particularly large increase in members to the scheme:

2018/19: 15 women introduced to different fitness opportunities and create new habits.

2019/20: 17 women introduced to different fitness opportunities and create new habits.

2020/21: 45 women too part in the scheme whilst also creating a partnership with Mind Monmouthshire. This has led to many events and sign posting for members new and old.

Over this time, members have frequently given feedback relating to creating good friendships and improving both health and well being. Some have even gone on to get involved in the local park run together whilst others have became fully pledged fitness members, attending yoga and Pilates frequently.

Case Study: Monmouthshire Under 5s Provision

Case Study: Monmouthshire Under 5s Provision


Utilise funding to provide young children with opportunities to engage in various sports and physical activities across Monmouthshire.


Since January 2022, MonLife Sport Development have co-ordinated and delivered an extensive foundation phase/TOTS provision aimed at young children aged between 0-5 years old across the whole of Monmouthshire. This provision has provided young children the opportunity to engage in various sports and physical activities, many of whom were engaging in physical activity for the first time. This project has been facilitated through a collaborative effort of a wide range of service areas within MonLife and MCC including our Sport Development Team, Leisure Centres, Flying Start, and our Early Years teams. The overarching aim of this project has been to provide physical activity opportunities for young children who due to the Covid – 19 pandemic have had their opportunities reduced during this important stage of their development. Below is a summary of the project with headline figures and feedback that demonstrates the impact of the offer provided to young children across Monmouthshire.

TMG Tots Sessions

MonLife’s four Leisure Centre’s have been providing free accessible opportunities for children aged 3 – 5 years old to attend an 8 week block of Multi Skills Sport sessions. Over 40 children have been engaged in the sessions in which children have been taught fundamental movement skills through fun and inclusive activities delivered by MonLife staff. The children attending these sessions have been allocated spaces through Flying Start and Early Years services we have been working closely with. Each child that has been signed up for the session has been allocated a MonLife membership card, which in turn has enabled parents’ access to our Clarity live program which will display the children’s achievements. This will also provide data for flying start around the physical competencies of the children and track their performance.

Bespoke Parent and Child Swimming Sessions

An authority wide approach has been taken to provide Parent and Child Swimming sessions for allocated families within Monmouthshire. These bespoke Swimming sessions have been provided for children as young as 6 months old as an opportunity to experience the water for the first time and build their confidence with the supervision of parents and Swimming Instructors. These sessions across the authority have continued to demonstrate the partnership with Flying Start and has helped support children with a barrier to entry into our Aquatics pathways. Three of four MonLife Leisure Centre’s have co-ordinated the delivery of a Bubbles and a Splash session, with 65 children targeted through the provision. Abergavenny Leisure Centre will be launching their provision over the upcoming weeks.

Flying Start Physical Activity Sessions 

The Sport Development team have been delivering a series of physical activity sessions focused on fundamental skill development and physical literacy messages for Flying Start and Early Years settings across Monmouthshire. The team have visited 31 Nursery settings over a 4-week period to deliver 4 sessions of physical activity, in which sessions have been devised to cover 4 themes: week 1 safari, week 2 Nature, week 3 seaside and week 4 farm animals. The sessions that have been delivered encompass elements of the new curriculum where children will be able to explore decision making, physical movement, healthy eating and mindfulness. Through the delivery within these pre – school settings over 500 children have had the opportunity to engage within the sessions.


Please see a few of the testimonials we have recived as a results of this project:

“I was surprised at how well my child has managed to grasp the concept of healthy eating at such a young age (aged). We now continue the good work at home and discuss food options more than we ever did before” – Parent.

“I feel like this is such a great initiative from MonLife, the Physical Literacy sessions will help children and their parents to make healthier choices and set the path to a healthier lifestyle” – Parent.

“These sessions have provided excitement for the children, encouraging their confidence to develop both in and out of the sessions. These sessions have also given the staff a variety of new ideas for physical activities that we can implement at the setting. It also provided the children to get out of their usual learning environment and change their routine”. – Early Years Setting.

Case study: Walking Football in Monmouthshire


Develop and provide opportunities for men and women aged 40+ to participate in a variety of walking sports in order to promote positive mental health.


Through initial taster sessions and blocks of sessions, numbers soon started to increase and social groups formed to support not only the physical activity but to develop friendship. A three way friendly tournament between our Caldicot Leisure Centre, Newport County and Merthyr Town took place to provide the first competitive experience for the players, this was a fantastic success.

Caldicot Walking Football club, in partnership with the local sport development team ran their very own walking football tournament in October 2019, with over 10 teams participating from across the UK and hundreds of players in attendance.

As a result of the success at Caldicot, the Sport Development team then took the initiative to Chepstow. 10 people participated in the first session,
with the majority of these being GP Referral members at our leisure centres.

The development of walking football in Chepstow has been influential to many, and as result has led to the team running their very own tournament in February. There are also ambitions to start up their own Chepstow Walking Football Club, replicating what has been established at Caldicot.

The Sport Development team have also begun the first steps of expanding the walking football initiative to the North of the county, with the initial plans of starting this at Abergavenny and Monmouth leisure centre’s over the summer period. The team also has ambitions of creating a winter tournament between the four Leisure Centre sites.


Since May 2019, Monmouthshire Sport Development have developed and provided opportunities for men and women aged 40+ to participate in a variety of walking sports, our most noticeable impact has come through Walking Football. Walking Football in Monmouthshire has seen a huge impact in 2019. Not only were we seeing a positive impact on physical activity levels, we saw a reduction in social isolation.

The Caldicot walking footballers have now become an affiliated and recognised club, which has allowed them to start entering the Wales walking football league and local tournaments, as well as receiving a recent community chest grant. The club has also represented Wales in national tournaments and currently has 3 players as part of the Welsh national team.

In addition to this, during March 2020, the club are working in partnership with Mind Monmouthshire to run an Active Healthy month, which in turn will work as a fundraiser for the charity to promote positive mental health. We have seen 83 adults engage in walking football with numbers continuing to increase each week.