Aura Libraries’ Top Book Recommendations for celebrating LGBT History Month

February 2019 is LGBT History Month: a time to celebrate the history and lives of the LGBT community!

Aura Libraries have put together a list of books that bring together themes of equality, bravery, love and pride in celebration of LGBT History Month.

The books chosen below combine both historical and contemporary authors! Let us know what you think of our list and which books you would have included yourself!

Although the list could go on and on, here’s just five titles to take a look at:

  1. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
  2. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
  3. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  4. At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O’Neill
  5. The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith. This novel has been retitled in recent years as Carol.


Remember: you can have a look at these titles and hundreds more on our online library catalogue! Plus: we can order books into your chosen library though our Inter Library Loans service!

Happy Reading!

Let us know your thoughts on these titles or on how you are celebrating LGBT History Month on: @aura_cymru @aura_wales

“Dream Believe Achieve!” Victories for Deeside Synchronised Skating Club

Deeside Synchronised Skating Club competed at the British Championships on 19th and 20th January 2019 and had some fantastic victories! The Deeside teams that competed proved themselves to be amongst the best in the UK, taking the club to the next level.

The Angels outclassed many teams to gain a well-deserved score and a bronze medal, becoming the third highest ranked team at Elementary level in the UK!

Inspired and supported by their fellow Club mates, the Deelites took to the ice to secure a fantastic 2nd place victory, making them the second best team in the UK at Preliminary level!

Both medal winning routines can be viewed with coverage of the event on BBC i player with information and coverage of the events to date on the Deeside Synchronised Skating Club’s Facebook page.

Also competing at the British Championships were DISC, whose adult team performed a fantastically clean skate achieving a strong 4th in the adult category.

Their younger teams, Dreigiau Tan, improved on their earlier season scores to secure a great result of 5th place in the Preliminary category. Gwas Y Neidr also skated a wonderful routine with some fantastic individual performances, showcasing some fine footwork and balance in the Elementary category.

Head Coach Vicki Usherwood said: “I’m extremely proud of the Club and more so the achievements of the Angels and Deelites. All the girls have worked incredibly hard this season and their hard work has paid off which makes them a pleasure to coach! They demonstrate what this sport is: a group effort and team work”.

The club’s moto is #dreambelieveachieve which hopes to inspire all with a clear vision and aim.

Deeside Synchro Club train every Friday at Deeside Leisure 5-7pm; all level 5 skaters and above are welcome from any age as we have teams which currently have boys and girls from the age of 6 all the way to 50 plus!

Everyone at Aura Leisure and Libraries would like to congratulate the teams that competed on their victories, and for their hard work and enthusiasm! We wish them the best of luck for the future!


St Helens R.F.C at Deeside Leisure Centre!

Aura Leisure and Libraries were delighted to welcome St Helens RFC to Deeside Leisure Centre last week.

Lee Breeze, the Centre Development Officer at Deeside Leisure Centre, expressed his enthusiasm about hosting the club saying: “We were delighted to be able to host St Helens for their training camps on the build up to the new Super League season. During their 2 days with us St Helens used our Strength and Conditioning gym, grass pitch and our 3G pitches as well as braving the ice rink for a squad photo.” We were pleased to see the team on the ice (see the photograph below)! After all, no trip to Deeside Leisure Centre is complete without visiting the ice rink!

St Helen's RFC

Lee also stated: “We are really pleased to add St Helens RFC to a long list of professional sports teams that have used Deeside Leisure Centre and we look forward to having them back again in the future. Good Luck for the forthcoming Super League season from everyone at Deeside Leisure Centre and Aura Leisure and Libraries”.

We hope the team enjoyed their training here at Deeside Leisure Centre and hope to welcome them back again in the future!


Get to know your Instructors!

Sometimes joining a gym, or returning to the gym after a long break, can feel a bit daunting! One way that we try to help avoid this is by having friendly, approachable and highly qualified instructors who are here to make you feel more at ease and enjoy your time exercising!

Below is a quick Q&A with two of our lovely instructors!

This is Claire! Here’s what she had to say:


What is your role within the Leisure Centre?
Hi! My name is Claire, I am a fitness instructor and class instructor.

How long have you worked at the Leisure Centre?
I have worked in the Leisure Centre for 1 year.

What classes do you teach?
I teach Booty Camp, Body Conditioning, Body Toning and Met Fitness.

What is your favourite way to exercise?
I love strength training the most.

What would be your top fitness tip to anyone joining or returning to the gym this January?
My first tip would be not to beat yourself up about your wellness journey. If you fall of the band wagon, it’s not all or nothing. Some days you will practise wellness and some days you won’t and that’s ok. If you focus on taking care of you and feeling your best, the results you’re after will take care of themselves!

What is your favourite thing about being a fitness instructor?
Seeing progression in my clients, not just in their body composition but also strength and fitness levels.


This is David! Take a look at what he has to say:

Photo of Dave the instructor

How long have you worked at the Leisure Centre?

Hello, I’m David! I’ve worked with Aura for 6 months.

What classes do you teach?

I teach Spin, Circuit, Metafit, Strength Conditioning, HIIT and Abs.

What is your favourite way to exercise?

Running! I love anything with cardio fitness!

What would be your top fitness tip to anyone joining or returning to the gym this January?

Progression: gradually ease your way into exercise as this makes it more sustainable.

What is your favourite thing about being a fitness instructor?

Working with the public and seeing them progress in their fitness journey.

Phone up your local Leisure Centre or come and have a chat about fitness classes or joining the gym! Any one of our instructors will do their best to help you make 2019 your best year yet!

Jimmy Bear and Friends come to Deeside Library!

Deeside Library is happy to welcome Jimmy Bear and his friends!

“Jimmy Bear and Friends” is a fun and friendly programme which brings together keeping fit and healthy with story time!

Jimmy Bear will be visiting Deeside Library on a weekly basis for 6 weeks (see poster below for details), so make sure to come and say hello!

Here are a few photos from his first visit to the library on 17th January:

Share your own photos with Jimmy Bear and make sure to tag us! @aura_cymru @aura_wales @fflintawrecsam

Poster Arth Jimmy

“I’m feeling as healthy as I ever have!”: Interview with Martin McCallion

Martin McCallion, a previous participant of the National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) and regular participant of Wellbeing Fitness Classes as well as the gym, kindly told us more about his fitness journey over the past year and how he is feeling healthier than ever! Here is what he had to say:

When did you start on the National Exercise Referral Scheme?
I started in January 2018.

How many classes do you attend a week?
I do one class a week – the wellbeing circuit class – but in February I had a gym induction and since then I have attended the gym at least twice a week. There’s a really friendly atmosphere, I’m very comfortable here in Deeside Leisure Centre. I was referred to the scheme because I had arthritis and was really struggling. When I had the gym induction with Jo Beevers, she showed me the pieces of equipment to use that would be most helpful. I’ve been going from strength to strength since then; I’m feeling as healthy as I ever have!

In 2018 you completed the Flintshire 10k, a fantastic achievement, has attending the scheme helped towards achieving that goal?
I completed the Flintshire 10K on October 21st 2018. I didn’t think I was ready for it! During one of the circuit classes Jo asked me if I wanted to enter; I was only managing 5K at that time but I hadn’t pushed myself any further than that. I thought: what have I got to lose? So I entered and shocked the living daylights out of myself! I finished in 57 minutes. The scheme has very much contributed to achieving that goal. A couple of years ago I was in an awful lot of pain on a daily basis, but since I have joined the scheme I’ve gone from strength to strength.

What has been your favourite thing about attending the scheme?
There are all sorts! The main thing is my physical wellbeing now compared to what it was; it’s so different. Nothing’s a challenge anymore, not like the way it used to be. I’ve met some lovely people as well. At the moment I’m really enjoying running. Completing the Flintshire 10K has boosted my confidence tremendously. I’ll take on any challenge that comes my way now!

Do you have any fitness goals in mind for 2019?
I intend to run the Chester half marathon in May 2019. It has been a long term ambition of mine. I’ll work my way up to doing the half marathon, starting in February with the Ruthin 10K, then the Chester 10K in March, in April I’ll find another 10K run, and hopefully by May I’ll be ready!

Do you have any advice for anyone who is debating joining the Wellbeing Classes?
Just do it! It changes your life for the better! As far as I am concerned it is the best thing that has happened for me in a long, long time. You’ll never look back!

The co-ordinator of NERS, Joanne Beevers (pictured with Martin below), is “so very proud” of Martin’s achievements and said: “he is loving running and he even beat me in the Flintshire 10K with his time of 57 minutes! He has been consistently training since January with a mixture of my classes and gym sessions. He is one of our many clients who turn up every week to achieve their goals!”.
Aura Leisure and Libraries would like to thank Martin for taking the time to share his experience and wish him the best of luck for his future fitness goals!

Martin McCallion and Jo Beevers

6 Reasons to come along to Mold Fitness Suite this January

Thinking about joining the gym this January? You’ve come to the right place! The fitness suite here at Mold Leisure Centre is waiting for you! We love it and we think you will too! Here’s 6 reasons why:

  • We offer 1 to 1 sessions to help you make the most of your time in the fitness suite
  • Our instructors create personalised programmes to cater especially for you!
  • We have varied class programmes to ensure there is something for everyone
  • With the Technogym Wellness App that we provide for you right from your induction, you can track your fitness development, log workouts, join challenges and even hook up to your own personal fitness apps
  • In order to give you lots of flexibility, we provide a variety of membership packages and what’s more: none of our memberships require a contract!
  • Our highly qualified instructors not only do their best to provide fantastic fitness classes and advice, they offer regular reviews of progress to help you reach your goals!

Want more information? Ring the leisure centre on 01352 704330 or drop in and have a chat! Make sure to follow us on @auracymru @aurawales @Aura_MLC @auramoldfitness to keep up to date!

Aura’s Top 10 Health and Wellness Tips to kick start 2019!

Happy New Year to you all from everyone here at Aura Leisure and Libraries! Want a healthy start to 2019? Why not try something new! We’ve got plenty of fitness classes across our leisure centres from Zumba to Circuits, Kettlebells to Pilates: the list goes on! (That’s not to mention our fitness suites, swimming pools, bowling alley or Afon Spa!) Take a look at our top 10 Health and Wellness Tips to keep in mind this January:

  • Keep organised! Make a note of when your fitness classes are or when you have time to get down to the gym; on the fridge, on your phone – whatever works best for you!
  • Give yourself some personal goals to achieve, we are here to help you achieve them! Don’t forget about our Technogym Wellness App which helps you to track your fitness and development.
  • Bring a friend along with you to the leisure centre or fitness suite for motivation and support!
  • Know we are here to help! All of our instructors are here to help and what’s more – they want to! If you’re unsure of any equipment or would like some advice, just let us know and we’ll do our best to help.
  • Keep hydrated in and out of the fitness suite! Plus, drinking water helps to sustain a healthy immune system – especially over these winter months!
  • Give yourself plenty of time! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to fit everything in; sometimes life gets in the way and that’s ok!
  • Try to stick to a schedule! Having a regular routine can help in all aspects of day to day life and help you to stay on top of everything.
  • Even with a healthy diet and lots of exercise, winter can still catch up with us! Take a trip to Afon Spa in Deeside Leisure Centre for a warming pick me up! It’s beneficial for mind and body: the perfect way to detox!
  • Get your family involved! Swimming, ice skating, bowling – the list goes on! We’ve got plenty of family friendly activities that you can do together as a family. It’s a great way to keep the whole family feeling fit and healthy: start making some family memories for 2019!
  • And lastly, the most important tip of all: Enjoy yourself! We will do our best to make sure our fitness suites and leisure centres are helping you have the best start to 2019!

So what are you waiting for, contact your local leisure centre for more information about gym inductions, fitness classes and lots more!

Christmas Spin for the Clatterbridge Cancer Charity

On Sunday 16th December, Deeside Fitness Suite hosted a Christmas Spin for 3 hours to raise money for the Clatterbridge Cancer Charity: a charity close to many people’s hearts. 19 people took part in the spin as well as 5 instructors. Everyone who participated gave 100% and raised a fantastic £159 as a result! Members of the fitness suite have also been donating to the charity and have attended classes dressed in festive clothes, as seen in the pictures below.

One of our instructors, Yen Leung, took part in the spin and said: “It’s great to see everyone getting involved in our charity events, especially the fitness instructors who give up their time voluntarily to teach the class and help raise money. The Christmas Spin has now become an annual event here at Deeside and the support we get for it is incredible. It has inspired members so much and they are keen to see more like this so watch this space!”.

One of our members very kindly shared her story with Aura, inspiring and motivating people to support such a worthy cause. Here is her story:

“Hello my name is Sarah, I am 47 and I was diagnosed with cancer two and a half years ago. I have breast cancer which has spread to my neck and spine. When I was diagnosed the cancer had broken my neck and I was told I may never walk again. Two and a half years later, my cancer is controlled with weekly chemotherapy and I attend up to eight exercise classes a week and love the challenge and the motivation it gives me. I am supporting Clatterbridge hospital because the place is inspiring, the dedication of the staff is never ending. I want to give back and also promote the connection between exercise and body and mental wellbeing. Thank you for reading my story; I have cancer, cancer hasn’t got me”.

All of us at Aura would like to thank Sarah for sharing her story. Well done to all those who took part and showed brilliant determination to do a good deed for others this Christmas.


Christmas Party at Deeside Leisure Centre

On Friday 7th December, Aura Leisure and Libraries happily hosted a Christmas party for 60 guests at Deeside Leisure Centre. The guests who attended have been involved with Aura’s Wellbeing Classes or the National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS). The festivities included a 4 course meal, bingo and a quiz to celebrate a fantastic year full of hard work. Aura leisure centres have been working hard to support the National Exercise Referral Scheme and, due to its popularity, have created a selection of Wellbeing Fitness Classes as a way of helping more people. The Wellbeing Classes are designed as beginner and lower level classes and include circuits, stability and balance, tai chi moves and studio cycling. The instructors have been able to cater the classes to suit individual needs and have enjoyed getting to know all the participants.

Joanne Beevers – one of the NERS co-ordinators – explained how immensely proud she is to be involved with the scheme and Wellbeing Classes, saying: “It has been a fantastic year for all our clients. We have seen people achieve some fantastic health and social benefits from attending the sessions with us. The uptake is greater than ever and we have been able to offer more sessions to provide a better service for people. This year has seen the launch of our Wellbeing classes which are tailored for people with a varied range of health conditions. With these classes being open to anyone, we have seen more people becoming active more often. I am so proud of our clients who were terrified to come through the door on their first session and are now exercising 2-3 times a week”.

Aura Leisure and Libraries were delighted to hear from some of the participants including Valerie Parr who said: “attending the scheme is probably the best thing that has happened to me in years and I hope that many more people can benefit from it as much as I have”. Another participant, Martin McCallion, commented: “I am happy to say that from the minute I walked through the door of the Leisure Centre I have been treated with the utmost courtesy and respect. All the staff I have come into contact with have been friendly and welcoming and ready to lend a helping hand if necessary. I cannot thank Joanne Beevers and her colleagues enough for the positive effect they have had on a very doubtful person, I tell everyone to give it a go, and hope the Centre continues to go from strength to strength”.

All of the Aura Leisure and Libraries staff would like to thank members of the community who attended the Christmas Party at Deeside Leisure Centre, and congratulate them on all their hard work; we hope 2019 will be even better!