MonLife is launching an exciting new scheme offering support for people aged 60 and over to become more physically active. MonLife’s 60 Plus Fit4Life membership scheme provides six months’ free access to online classes to include yoga, pilates, tai chi and gentle exercise with virtual coffee catch-ups – and guidance and motivation to help achieve increased fitness are included in the package.
The service is currently available online but
as soon as the county’s four leisure centres at Abergavenny, Caldicot, Chepstow
and Monmouth re-open, participants will receive one month’s free membership
followed by the attractive offer of a reduced £16 monthly fee. In
addition, MonLife will give away a starter pack including resistance bands,
dumbbells and an exercise mat to the first 85 people who join.
MonLife will join with other Welsh leisure
providers to deliver its 60 Plus Fit4Life initiative, made possible thanks to
funding from Sport Wales and the Welsh Government.
Sport Wales CEO Sarah Powell said: “We want
people in Wales to have a lifelong enjoyment of sport and by working with
partners to help provide additional or supplemented offers that aim to
specifically meet the needs of the over 60’s locally we hope that we see even
more individuals from this demographic staying or getting active.
“Over the past year we’ve all had to think even
more about how we keep ourselves healthy, probably in different ways to what we
would have done prior to the coronavirus outbreak. We know that being
physically active is one way to help keep us mentally and physically fit, while
providing a brilliant way to connect with others. So I urge people to
take a look through their local authority at the different opportunities that
are available to help them do this.”
Councillor Richard John, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with
responsibility for MonLife added: “Our 60 Plus Fit4Life sessions will offer
people over the age of 60 the opportunity to become more physically and
socially active as we know how important it is to stay well, especially during
this difficult time.
“Our committed staff will offer support, advice and guidance
every step of the way to help keep up motivation. We will continue to
offer a wide range of digital fitness programmes for people of all ages to keep
their minds and bodies active. We look forward to welcoming the public
back to our MonLife leisure facilities when conditions allow.”
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.”