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More people, more active minds and bodies, more often

Aura Wales reflects on a Winter season packed full of wellbeing activities

Throughout February and March 2022, Aura was delighted to provide free activities across our leisure centres and libraries as part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Winter of Wellbeing’ initiative. From holiday clubs to creative writing workshops, we were able to reach over 2,000 local Flintshire residents and promote the importance of wellbeing for both the body and mind.

Community groups and families were offered free sessions at our Inflatable Park at Deeside Leisure Centre, as well as tailored Parent and Toddler sessions which catered for younger children. Over 500 reward tickets were gifted to Flintshire schools to visit Aura’s Skate Park, along with free Girls Only and Disability Friendly sessions to encourage participation in wheeled sports. Free Soft Play and Ten Pin Bowling sessions were also offered at Jade Jones Pavilion Flint, along with family swimming sessions at our pools in Mold, Buckley and Flint.

Lee Breeze, Centre Development Officer at Deeside Leisure Centre, said: “During February Half Term, we were able to give 450 children a free space at our holiday clubs and football camps, along with various swimming lessons and sessions for children, teenagers and families. It was amazing to be able to reach so many people across the Flintshire community. A highlight for me was seeing over 500 Flintshire school children visit our new Inflatable Park and Skate Park at Deeside Leisure Centre. We hope they enjoyed their visit and hope to welcome them back again soon.”

Aura Libraries similarly provided wellbeing activities for children and young people as part of the Winter of Wellbeing campaign with The Reading Agency, funded by Welsh Government.

The libraries joined forces with Afon Spa and the Aura Fitness team to offer free spa treatments and a month’s free gym membership for 40 lucky 16-25 year olds. Free mindfulness sessions were also provided for teenagers to encourage and promote mental wellbeing.

Schools from across Flintshire were invited to join the libraries for Storytime with Mama G who visited all Aura libraries in March to tell stories about loving who you are and being who you want to be. In celebration of Saint David’s Day, storyteller Fiona Collins delivered special sessions at Flint and Mold Libraries for pupils from Ysgol Croes Atti and Ysgol Glanrafon. The libraries were also delighted to host free Creative Writing workshops with Charles Lea from ‘Read Now Write Now’ for children and young people aged up to 25 years.

Susannah Hill, Library Services Manager, explained: “Our programme of activities enabled us to engage with nearly 600 children and young people across Flintshire and focused on improving their wellbeing. There was a mixture of targeted activities with particular schools and open sessions for families and young people: all with the aim of getting children to engage with libraries again. We had some lovely feedback and it was so wonderful to welcome groups of young people back into our libraries and have some fun.”

To round off the Winter of Wellbeing campaign, Aura Libraries hosted an extra special online event for secondary schools across Wales with The Reading Agency and author Manon Steffan Ros: ‘Books are your Best Friends’. This was a wonderful way to end the campaign and promote the power of books and reading to young people. This event, and others, can be accessed here

The whole Aura team would like to thank everyone who attended any of our Winter of Wellbeing activities and hope that everyone who joined us had a wonderful time. We hope to see you again in our leisure centres and libraries very soon.

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