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Neath Port Talbot

New Aberavon Beach Aqua Splash to open on Monday

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The popular Aqua Splash attraction for children and families will re-open at Aberavon Beach on Monday (5 July) with a range of more than 30 exciting new water features including fountains, jets, “waterfalls” and a tipping water bucket.

The new Aqua Splash facilities have replaced the old paddling pool and its water features will be spread over a large central play area.

Work on the new Aqua Splash began on February 1st this year and has now been completed, the design including new seating and other facilities surrounding the site. The work was carried out by Ustigate Ltd which has extensive experience in the aquatic play industry, having completed more than 100 installations since 1990.

Due to the continued need to stick to social distancing guidelines, Aqua Splash will begin with a maximum of 200 people allowed in at any one time.  Staff from Celtic Leisure, which will run the facility for the council, will control numbers going in and out using a manual “click in, click out” system.

There is no need to book with visitors allowed in on a first come, first served basis. Numbers allowed into the facility, which is free of charge, are likely to change as Welsh Government Covid guidelines change and as on-site staff carry out monitoring.

The new Aqua Splash at Aberavon Beach (Image: Neath Port Talbot Council)

Aqua Splash will be open daily from 10am to 7pm.

Consideration is currently being given to the possible addition of a “quiet hour” for children who feel they may not be able to cope with large numbers of people.

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Signage around the Aqua Splash site will remind visitors of the importance of good hygiene and maintaining safe social distancing. The Aqua Splash will be cleaned by Celtic Leisure staff.

A kiosk will be open selling ice cream and other refreshments.

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Cllr Annette Wingrave, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainable Development said: “Over the past two decades there has been major investment in infrastructure and facilities on the Aberavon Seafront and promenade by the council’s regeneration team with help from funders including the Big Lottery Fund and the Green Seas Programme.

“During these years, updated public toilets have been installed, along with railings, seating, lighting and signage, plus two new children’s play areas, a skateboard park and re-designed sunken gardens making the Aberavon Seafront a major attraction in South Wales.”

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Cllr Peter Rees, the council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, added: “The new look Aqua Splash will provide local people and visitors with a fantastic family attraction overlooking the sea at Aberavon Beach and will complement the outdoor gym which has just been put in place on the seafront.”

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What you need to know

What is a splash pad?

A splash pad is a play facility that combines following, spraying, jetting, and splashing water. The result is fun for children of all ages.

When is Aqua Splash open?

Subject to government guidance and weather conditions, Aqua Splash will be open everyday for specific sessions between 10am to 7pm.

Will I have to pay to use the facility?

No. The Aqua Splash is free to use.

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Do I need to book in advance?

There is no need to book in advance for the Auqa Splash however there is a maximum number of people allowed within  the park area at any one time. Entry will be on a first come first serve basis

Can I leave and re-enter the park during a session?

If you need to leave the park for any reason, please speak to a member of staff on the exit gate.

What measures are in place to keep people safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus?

Keeping people safe is our priority but we also need everyone to play their part to help keep each other safe.  Please follow the instructions and guidance the information banners and notices on display.

Signage around the Aqua Splash will remind visitors of the importance of good hygiene and maintaining safe social distancing.

The Aqua Splash will be cleaned by Celtic Leisure staff at the beginning and end of every day as well as in between each timed session.

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Can I take food and drink in?

You can bring your own food and drink into the park for your personal consumption. Please use the bins provided for your litter. No barbecues of any type are permitted. No alcohol is permitted on the premises.

How long can I stay?

Stays in the Aqua Splash are only limited to the hours of opening which are between 10am and 7pm. However due to limitations on the numbers spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis and once the park is full you will be reliant on people leaving before anyone else can come in.

Is there an age limit for children using the splash pad?

There is no age restrictions, although the splash facility is most suitable for younger children.

Do all children using the AquaSplash need to be accompanied by an adult?

Yes, all children must be accompanied by at least 1 appropriate adult who will be responsible for the conduct and welfare of those children in their care.

Are there changing facilities provided?

There are no changing rooms available.

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Can I bring my dog?

With the exception of Service Dogs (guide dogs or hearing dogs), no dogs or other pets are allowed in the Aqua Splash facility.

Adverse Weather

In the event of adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain or thunder and lightening, visitors will be instructed to leave the splash pad immediately. Water jets will be turned off until weather conditions improve, and at least until 30 minutes after the last thunder or lightening event.


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Dance

Doctors prescribe dance classes to keep patients on their feet

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Over 65s in Swansea Bay are being encouraged to attend dance classes in a bid to keep them on their feet.

Five of the health board’s clusters – groups of GP surgeries working together within a geographical area – are backing the scheme as the exercise to music is proven to aid falls prevention.

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Each class is led by a trained dance teacher with participants encouraged to follow a range of routines, designed to develop their strength and balance, with the option of using a chair for support if their mobility is limited.

The Dance for Health programme is a collaboration between the health board, clusters, local authorities, and Aesop, an arts focused charity.

Alyson Pugh, Programme Manager at Aesop, said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners in the health sector to improve the health and wellbeing of people aged over 65 through the medium of dance.

“During each class participants will move to a variety of music from all around the world. The classes are fun and vibrant, increasing fitness, mobility and strength.

“Afterwards, participants will have a good chance to get to know one another over a cup of tea or coffee. No previous experience is needed, everybody is welcome.”

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So far classes are held in Pontardawe, Morriston, Seven Sisters, Cwmavon and Briton Ferry, Upper Killay, Reynoldston, Mumbles and the Waterfront Museum.

Alyson said: “The health board asked for 12 classes across Swansea Bay and funded the management side while the GP clusters are funding the delivery of the classes. They wanted it to be grass roots up.

“Anyone can walk in but they wanted the main referrals to come from the virtual wards and local area coordinators and social prescribers, a whole community approach.”

Lizzie MacMillan (Image: Swansea Bay HNS)

Dance artist Lizzie MacMillan (left), a development officer for Dance for Health, said: “It’s for older people and people who are struggling a little bit with perhaps balance issues, mobility issues as well, so we are not expecting them to foxtrot along the floor on the first class or anything like that. It builds up over the weeks.

“We start off quite gently, just seeing where everyone is in the class – I like to gauge the class first of all to see if people are having problems with balance or perhaps giddiness or joint problems. I like to get to know each person in the class so that I can look after them and know their capacity for movement.

“We use the chairs quite a lot if someone is unsteady on their feet. They can still do a variation using the chair for support. We also do a standing variation if people are a little fitter or a little bit more able to push themselves further in the class.”

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Over 65s in Swansea Bay are being encouraged to attend dance classes in a bid to keep them on their feet. (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

Mike Garner, Cwmtawe Cluster lead, said: “We are delighted to be participating in this programme as it fits in perfectly with our goal of improving well-being and helping people remain fit and healthy.”

One participant, Pauline Anderson, said: “I’ve been to four or five classes. I thought I would try it to see what it’s like and it’s been very good.

“As you get older you become more immobile. I’ve been struggling with my knees and joints, so I have found it helpful.

“I would advise anyone thinking about it to just come along.”

Another participant, Betty Didcock, said: “I try to keep active as much as I can. I used to enjoy dancing when I was younger. I’ve made friends here. If you’re a bit shy, it’s a wonderful place to come to get used to talking to people. I’m a quiet one. I don’t always do it right but I have a go.”

While Amber Davies said: “I thought I’d come along to see what it was like. It’s important to keep busy and remain active. It’s also a good way of meeting new people.”

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(Lead image: Swansea Bay NHS)

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Construction

Housebuilder reports “exceptional demand” as Aberavon development launched

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“Exceptional demand” has been reported as the first homes at a new development on Aberavon seafront were released for sale.

All appointments were fully booked on Saturday as Persimmon Homes West Wales opened the doors to the sales office.

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Two homes were purchased at the Awel Afan development and a further 10 reserved on the Early Bird scheme over a busy weekend.

A total of 137 homes are being built on the former Afan Lido Leisure Centre site on Princess Margaret Way.

Sharon Bouhali, Sales Director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “We’re pleased to have launched our Awel Afan site.

“The demand has been exceptional. Right from the moment we acquired the site and announced the plans, we have seen a phenomenal amount of interest from a wide range of people wanting to live in his amazing location.

“The housing market remains buoyant in West Wales but, even so, the buzz around Awel Afan is almost unprecedented.”

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Opened by the Queen in the 1970s, the Afan Lido was destroyed in a fire in 2009 and the site has been unused since.

Persimmon say the development will bring a massive boost to the local economy through the construction industry and its multiplier effect. According to figures from the House Builders Federation, for every £1 spent on housing, £3 goes back into the economy.

The national house builder says that each home built also creates 1.5 full-time direct jobs – and at least twice that number in the supply chain.

The development will be made up of two, three and four-bedroom houses, as well as a range of two-bedroom flats.

Homes currently on sale include the popular two-bedroom terraced Alnwick with its modern open plan kitchen/diner and the four-bedroom detached Hornsea with ensuite and integral garage.

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Persimmon Homes recently supported Afan Lido Girls FC with a game-changing grant of £20,000 through its Building Futures campaign.

(Lead image: Persimmon Homes)

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Port Talbot

Police launch appeal to find missing disabled woman

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South Wales Police have launched an appeal to find missing Waunarlwydd woman, Kelly Randell.

45 year-old Kelly was last seen in Port Talbot on Tuesday 3 May.

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A wheelchair user with one leg, Kelly is described as being around 5ft of medium build with brown hair which is tied up – possibly in a bun.

She was last seen wearing black jeans and a black coat.

She has links to both Swansea and Port Talbot.

South Wales Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen Kelly, or who has information which will help them to find her, to contact them online or by calling 101 quoting occurrence number 2200149152.

(Lead image: Family photo / South Wales Police)

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