Customer Notice: Important Update on the Re-opening of Deeside Gym and Spa

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Due to unforeseen circumstances relating to the repurposing of Deeside Leisure Centre following its recent use as a field hospital we want to let customers know that, unfortunately, the gym and spa will not now re-open until Monday, 13 September.

Aura Wales shares our customers’ disappointment with this one-week delay. Naturally, our priority is your health and safety so it is imperative that we resolve all outstanding works relating to the building before we allow the public back into the facility.

Deeside customers will now be able to book fitness inductions, gym sessions, exercise classes, spa treatments and 3G sports pitches in the usual way at http://www.aura.wales from Monday, 6 September. Please note that online advance booking is essential.

Upon the re-opening of Deeside’s gym and spa from 13 September, we will ‘unfreeze’ memberships for gym, spa and fitness class members in advance of this date. As per our previous communication on 20 August, we will not resume taking direct debit payments until 5 or 19 October meaning that our loyal customers will receive their outstanding time credit from March 2020, plus a little bit more, as a thank you for your patience.

Deeside gym and spa members DO NOT need to do anything to reactivate their direct debit. Payments will resume on 5 or 19 October 2021 at the member’s usual monthly amount.

For Deeside customers with an annual membership please be assured about the remaining time credit and current expiry date. We have a record of all annual memberships that were purchased prior to closure. In all circumstances, the previous expiry date will be extended to mirror the length of the period for which Deeside Leisure Centre was unavailable.

If you have any questions about your membership and direct debit please contact a member of Aura’s Customer Services Team at info@aura.wales or via telephone on 01352 702430 / 702436 (Mon – Fri, 8:30am -5:00pm).

Member Spotlight: Lee Price

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Celebrating inspirational gym members achieving amazing fitness goals.

Aura gym member Lee Price has lost an amazing 6 stone and is feeling “absolutely fantastic

We recently spoke to Lee Price, a local resident of Holywell and Aura gym member who very kindly shared his thoughts on keeping active, fitness goals, and training for a charity challenge.

Before the pandemic, Lee had been preparing for the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge and taking part in 1-2-1 training sessions with Aura Instructor Lee, “seeing the benefits of losing weight and feeling fitter”. Alongside participating in Aura’s online fitness classes to keep active during the lockdown period, Lee decided to set himself the challenge of walking 200 miles every month: something he has maintained to this day.

Reflecting on his recent history with fitness and keeping active, Lee explained: “I originally joined the gym in 2017 to improve my fitness so that I could compete in the National 3 Peaks challenge in 2018. My biggest passion is walking/hiking and I really enjoy the fitness classes I attend at Jade Jones Pavilion Flint as well; I try to do an average of 5 Studio Cycling classes a week.” In preparation for completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, Lee has been doing “lots of walking and intensity training, along with Studio Cycling classes and running.”

Lee welcomed the prospect of returning to the gym earlier this year, saying: “I was really pleased to get back to the gym as I really missed the Studio Cycling classes, the other people who attend and, of course, the fitness team and leisure centre staff who are really great and really helpful.”

Lee’s decision and drive to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in September 2021 was inspired by his determination to raise money for a charity very close to his heart. He explained: “I will be raising money for a very worthwhile cause: Bowel Cancer UK. I hope that my participation in the challenge will help raise awareness and save lives.

He kindly praised the Aura Fitness team wishing to give a “special mention to two people in particular: Lee Worrall who taught me a lot during our 1-2-1 sessions which we were doing upward of 4 times a week before the pandemic, and Alan Duppa who, during the pandemic, informed me about all the online fitness classes and kept in touch with me. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Jade Jones Pavilion Flint for helping me with my fitness journey.”

Sharing his advice to anyone contemplating taking on a new fitness challenge or joining the gym, Lee said: “Don’t think but do: I have seen a weight loss of 6 stone and feel absolutely fantastic about myself. My confidence in everything I do has gone through the roof! There is no better feeling than feeling fit and having a healthy mind, plus it was great putting all of my XXL, XL and L clothes in the loft! I am now hoping that I can keep the momentum up and stay in medium clothes!

The whole Aura team would like to thank Lee for taking the time to share his fitness story with us, and wish him the very best of luck for completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge this month. We hope that his story will inspire others to achieve amazing fitness goals!

Are you an Aura gym member that would like to share your fitness journey and inspire others to achieve their fitness goals? Get in touch with us! Leave a comment below or on Aura’s social media pages, or send an email to: francesca.sciarrillo@aura.wales

Aura Libraries’ Author of the Month: September 2021!

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Our September 2021 Author of the Month is Kazuo Ishiguro

The acclaimed Kazuo Ishiguro is one of the most beloved contemporary writers in the world, and certainly one of our favourites here at Aura Libraries! From historical fiction to science fiction, his works have been adored by readers for their explorations of identity, human nature and place, in combination with his beautifully elegant writing style.

Whether you are discovering his books for the very first time, or revisiting some of his best known and loved titles, we have put together a small reading list to set you off on a Kazuo Ishiguro adventure! Enjoy!

Where it all began…
A Pale View of Hills (1982)
Beloved titles…
The Remains of the Day (1989)
Never Let Me Go (2005)
Most recently….
Klara and the Sun (2021)
Aura Libraries top recommendation…

The Buried Giant (2015)

What is your favourite Kazuo Ishiguro novel? Let us know what you think of our choices or which ones you would have chosen! Leave a comment below or get in touch on Twitter (@LibFlintshire), Instagram (@llyfrgelloeddauralibraries) or Facebook (@LlyfrgelloeddAuraLibraries)

To view our previous Author of the Month, click here!

The Return of Deeside Gym and Spa: an update on Customer Payments

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New Studio Cycling Bikes!

As the phased return of Deeside Leisure Centre begins following its use as a field hospital and, more recently, as a vaccination centre, we want to let existing customers know how we will be treating their monthly direct debit membership upon the re-opening of the gym and spa from Monday, 6 September.

Direct debit payments were last received from Deeside-based members in March 2020 and would normally have been valid for the period 5 March to 4 April or 19 March to 18 April. As you know, Aura closed Deeside Leisure Centre following Government advice on 20 March 2020 meaning customers did not receive their full month’s credit.

Throughout the period of closure of Deeside Leisure Centre we have retained details of members’ direct debits. Memberships have been ‘frozen’ and we have not collected any payments during this time.

With the fantastic news that Deeside’s gym and spa are to re-open from 6 September, we will ‘unfreeze’ memberships for gym, spa and fitness class members in advance of this date but will not resume taking direct debit payments until 5 or 19 October meaning that our loyal customers will receive their outstanding time credit from March 2020, plus a little bit more, as a thank you for your patience.

Deeside gym and spa members DO NOT need to do anything to reactivate their direct debit. Payments will resume on 5 or 19 October 2021 at the member’s usual monthly amount.

Deeside customers will be able to book fitness sessions and classes in the usual way at http://www.aura.wales from Wednesday, 1 September. Please note that online advance booking for fitness sessions and classes is essential.

For Deeside customers with an annual membership please be assured about the remaining time credit and current expiry date. We have a record of all annual memberships that were purchased prior to closure. In all circumstances, the previous expiry date will be extended to mirror the length of the period for which Deeside Leisure Centre was unavailable.

If you have any questions about your membership and direct debit please contact a member of Aura’s Customer Services Team at info@aura.wales or via telephone on 01352 702430 / 702436 (Mon – Fri, 8:30am -5:00pm).

All you need to know about Aura’s new Athlete Sponsorship Package

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We are excited to introduce Aura Elite, our new exciting sponsorship package which replaces the North Wales Gold Card Scheme.

Aura Elite will launch this Autumn, with a new set of criteria which aims to benefit athletes through working with their clubs and National Governing Bodies, and supporting their individual needs.

Mike Welch, Managing Director of Aura Leisure and Libraries, said: “We look forward to launching our new sponsorship programme which we believe will be more inclusive and fit for purpose, aligning with our organisation’s strategic priorities. We are excited for the months ahead where we will be working with a range of partners to identify athletes and to support their sporting journeys.’’

The closing date for the first round of applications will be 30 September 2021.

Application details are also available via Aura’s social media pages: @aura_wales on Twitter, @aura.wales on Instagram, and @walesaura on Facebook.

If you would like any further information, please contact Matt Hayes or Hannah Tellet Davies via email: auraelite@aura.wales


Aura Elite Athlete Sponsorship Selection Criteria

In order to be considered for sponsorship with Aura Leisure and Libraries, Athletes must be aged between 11 to 17 years of age on the date of application and will be required to provide a structured athlete’s sponsorship proposal which must include the following details;


• Details of how Aura as a company and brand will benefit from any potential sponsorship. I.e. media coverage including social media, competitions and events.
• An explanation of how you will uphold each of Aura’s five core vales
• A brief overview and athlete profile (tell us a bit about yourself, and your current relationship with Aura)
• List of all competitions entered this season (or your last full season) including a detailed breakdown, of the results, showing the full field and results, in terms of age category. We also need to know the number of athletes in the category, or your level of performance if part of a team and league structure
• List of future aspirations both in the sport and life in general
• Details of current World, National or Regional ranking if applicable.
• A supporting letter from the National Governing Body of your sport endorsing the application and outlining the reasons why, and what facilities they consider applicable as part of an individual training plan and/or
• A coaches report, detailing current development and training commitment
• Details of training requirements as far as Aura is concerned, including access to any fitness instructors or coaches who may support your journey
• A list of other sponsors and commitments to them
• A list in brief of all press releases from the past two years, along with the relevant links to the newspapers, magazines or websites where the articles appeared.
• An overview of social media and web presence (including number of followers etc on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. and hits to websites)

We are looking for athletes that:
a. Will be/are a good ambassador for Aura and our talented athlete support and inspire others to achieve at all levels
b. Behaves in a professional manner at all training sessions and competitions (we expect professional conduct towards all staff, guests and fellow competitors from both athletes and parents)
c. Is dedicated to their training – especially here at Aura. We will be looking for athletes who attend training sessions here at Aura frequently and also those that will continue to do so.
d. Have a good social media/web presence and engagement and will engage with Aura via social media and other marketing commitments.
e. Have a high standard technical ability and follow coaching/training plans as instructed
f. Have positive and progressive coaches’ reports – highlighting future potential and training strengths and weaknesses
g. Have ambition and drive to progress – seen through training and competition plans
h. Have good results and ranking/potential – for those athletes that are already competing we also welcome season edits/videos as part of the portfolio.

All submissions must be sent to by e-mail to auraelite@aura.wales by 30 September, 2021

Aura Libraries’ Author of the Month: August 2021!

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Our August 2021 Author of the Month is Bernardine Evaristo

Celebrated as one of the most important voices in the literary world today, Bernardine Evaristo is a powerhouse author, academic, critic and playwright. Her works are often preoccupied with themes of history, race and gender, with a playful and captivating narrative style that is completely her own.

Whether you are discovering her books for the very first time, or revisiting some of her best known and loved titles, we have put together a small reading list to set you off on a Bernardine Evaristo adventure! Enjoy!

Where it all began…
Island of Abraham (1994)
Lara (1997)

Beloved titles…
The Emperor’s Babe (2001)
Blonde Roots (2009)

Most recently….
Girl, Woman, Other (2019)

Aura Libraries top recommendation…
Mr Loverman (2014)

What is your favourite Bernardine Evaristo novel? Let us know what you think of our choices or which ones you would have chosen! Leave a comment below or get in touch on Twitter (@LibFlintshire), Instagram (@llyfrgelloeddauralibraries) or Facebook (@LlyfrgelloeddAuraLibraries)

To view our previous Author of the Month, click here!

New Opportunities for Babies and Young Children to Learn to Swim

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LAUNCHED ACROSS AURA WALES SITES IN FLINTSHIRE

We are excited to share that Aura has launched the Learn to Swim Wales Early Years swimming programmes – Bubbles and Splash in our leisure centres.
Swim Wales promotes the introduction of babies and young children to the aquatic environment. The introduction of babies and young children to a swimming pool should be safe, positive, fun and progressive to promote a lifelong love of the water.
Bubbles provides a fully supported introduction to the aquatic environment for babies and young children with an accompanying adult, specifically aimed at children aged 0-3 years. There are 4 levels of progression in Bubbles, with aquatic skills progressively developing throughout each level. Responsible adults are taught how to support and aid the child through games, songs and themed fun activities. A certificate is available for successfully completing each level. The existing Splash framework has been reviewed and updated and encourages a young child’s increasingly independent and guided discovery of the aquatic environment to develop water confidence, specifically aimed at children aged 3+. There are 6 levels of progression in Splash, with aquatic skills progressively developing throughout each level, with the child being increasingly independent in the water. Splash is recommended to be delivered in two ways; either starting at 3+ years old with a teacher in the water teaching up to 6 children, or for Splash 1 and 2 it can be delivered in the same format as Bubbles with a responsible adult accompanying each child. This allows for younger children who may progress more quickly through the programme due to starting their aquatic learning early and developing water confidence to not be held up in the system.
Aura Leisure’s Sport Development Manager, Matt Hayes said, “We are proud to be launching the new early years learning programme across Aura Leisure. This new programme provides a stepping stone for young children to be introduced into the pool. It is an amazing opportunity for adults to enjoy the water with their children in a safe and fun environment. We encourage all parents and guardians to bring their children swimming from an early age, as there is no better gift to give your child than the gift of water confidence and swimming.”
National Learn to Swim Manager for Swim Wales, Hanna Guise said, “We are delighted to support Aura Leisure to launch our Early Years programmes across their leisure centres. One of the many positives of swimming is how inclusive it is as an activity, sport or hobby and our Early Years frameworks help provide more opportunities for babies and young children to have a positive and fun introduction to water, as well as provide opportunities for wider physical literacy development, socialisation and bonding experiences with accompanying adults. It has been fantastic to observe the lessons and engage with teachers and participants to see first-hand the positive benefits of getting in the water! We are excited to work with Aura Leisure to help and support them in further developing their Early Years opportunities.”
Providers interested in launching Bubbles and Splash in their programme can contact Swim Wales Aquatic Development and our experienced and passionate team will discuss everything in more detail with you – aquaticdevelopment@swimming.org.
For residents of Flintshire looking for swimming lessons for babies and young children, please contact Wes Billings wes.billings@aura.wales or your local Leisure Centre.

Aura Wales’ ‘Joe Wicks’ schools pupils on the benefits of a fit and healthy lifestyle

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Aura Wales Fitness Instructor, Adam Renshaw, has been working to increase links with Flintshire schools to encourage pupils to keep active and promote physical and mental well-being.

Earlier this year, Adam organised online fitness sessions for nine primary schools across Flintshire over a six week period. His motivation to organise the classes on behalf of Aura was borne out of his own experience at home. He explained: “I began to think of ways in which Aura could promote physical activity for the younger community after seeing first-hand how the lockdown impacted my children’s lives and routine. At the time, Aura’s fitness team was receiving great feedback about the free online classes for adults, and it made me realise that we needed something similar for younger people to engage in. I wanted the online fitness sessions to provide children with 30 minutes of fun physical activity to help burn some un-used energy.

Around 120 pupils and teachers took part in the online classes within schools, along with over 60 children and parents joining in from home. As a result, colleagues and friends began to jokingly refer to Adam as the “Joe Wicks of Flintshire” due to his efforts to engage young people in physical activity.
Earlier this month, Adam visited Ewloe Green Primary School to help the children prepare for Sports Day by taking part in various exercise classes. Thankfully, no computer screens or Zoom log in details were required this time around, and Adam was able to happily greet around 180 children over a three day period; many of whom previously attended the online fitness sessions.

Adam explained: “Community work is a key element of Aura’s overall provision. Our ongoing relationship with local schools gives us the opportunity to promote the importance of physical activity, in a fun and enjoyable way. I really enjoyed seeing all the children exercising with huge smiles on their faces! I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone at Ewloe Green Primary School who made me feel very welcome. It was a pleasure to lead the sessions.

Praising Adam’s passion for promoting well-being in the community, Headteacher Ruth Dyas said: “I would like to offer my sincere thanks for the support over the last few months in engaging the children in a fun, vibrant and exciting series of online workshops. The children have genuinely loved taking part – as have the staff – and have benefitted holistically from the programme. We were delighted to welcome Adam to our school to lead the warm-ups for a series of Sports Days for Years 1 to 6. It was full of energy and fun which the children and staff have again thoroughly enjoyed.”

Adam and Aura hope to continue inspiring local schools to engage in physical activity and healthy lifestyles through further outreach projects due to take place during the remaining weeks of the summer term.

Aura Libraries’ Author of the Month: July 2021!

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Our July 2021 Author of the Month is Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie has been described by many to be one of the most influential and important literary voices of our time. A master of magical realism: his works often weave together fairy tale or fable like elements, with a captivating sense of place and history.
Whether you are discovering his books for the very first time, or revisiting some of his best known and loved titles, we have put together a small reading list to set you off on a Salman Rushdie adventure! Enjoy!

Where it all began…
Grimus (1975)
Midnight’s Children (1981)

The game changers…
The Satanic Verses (1988)
The Moor’s Last Sigh (1995)

For younger readers…
Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990)
Luka and the Fire of Life (2010)

Most recently….
Quichotte (2019)
Languages of truth: essays 2003-2020 (2021)

Aura Libraries top recommendation…
The Enchantress of Florence (2008)

What is your favourite Salman Rushdie novel? Let us know what you think of our choices or which ones you would have chosen! Leave a comment below or get in touch on Twitter (@LibFlintshire), Instagram (@llyfrgelloeddauralibraries) or Facebook (@LlyfrgelloeddAuraLibraries)
To view our previous Author of the Month, click here!

Fit, Fed and Read with Aura Leisure and Libraries

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Over the May Half Term, colleagues from Aura Libraries joined forces with the Aura Sports Development team to provide some exciting activities for children in the Flintshire community.


In recent years, the Sports Development has taken part in a nationwide campaign called ‘Fit and Fed’, created by StreetGames, a UK-wide organisation that uses sport to create positive change in the lives of disadvantaged young people. The aim of Fit and Fed is to create opportunities for physical activity, and promote a healthy diet by providing healthy snacks at the end of each session. Aura colleagues decided to add an additional library element to the sessions which focuses upon reading and creativity. Combining library and leisure activities together, the sessions ultimately aim to emphasise the importance of keeping minds, as well as bodies, healthy.

Over 300 people attended Aura’s Fit, Fed and Read sessions across Holywell, Mostyn, Flint and Saltney, where over 150 packed lunches and 450 bottles of water were given out. Over 100 Bookstart packs were also given away to families, and children were able to take part in storytime and craft sessions.


Susannah Hill, Library Service Manager, shared her thoughts on the importance of providing these sessions, saying: “Aura Libraries welcomed the opportunity to take part in the Fit Fed and Read sessions. As a library service, we feel that it is vital to get out and meet people in the community. A library should not just be about the building or the resources it houses: a library is about community, and it is important for families to be able to access and enjoy free activities together.

We were able to engage with lots of children and families and provide opportunities for them to share stories together and join in with crafts. As well as Bookstart packs, we were also able to give children and families other books and craft activities to enjoy at home. We have been delighted to see children who attended the sessions return to see us in the libraries, too. It was fantastic to work with our colleagues in Sports Development and we are very much looking forward to working together again over the summer holiday.

Encouraging healthy minds and bodies is something that lies at the heart of all Aura services, particularly after this challenging past year. Now, more than ever, mental and physical health is of huge importance, and it is Aura’s hope that these sessions will encourage families in Flintshire to prioritise their health and well-being. Both Aura Libraries and the Aura Sports Development team are already looking forward to hosting Fit, Fed and Read sessions once again over the summer holiday. We are hoping to run sessions in: Holywell, Saltney, Flint, Deeside, Mold, Mostyn and Treuddyn. We hope you can join us!


Click here for more information regarding StreetGames’ Fit and Fed campaign.
We encourage the community to visit our website and to follow us on Twitter (@aura_wales), Facebook (@walesaura) and Instagram (@aura.wales) for further information about our Fit, Fed and Read sessions over the summer holiday.