On Monday 15th January, the day recognised as ‘Blue Monday,’ residents across Monmouthshire shook off the January Blues in all of Monmouthshire County Council’s community hubs. The hubs provided a wide range of activities to ensure that visitors would not be leaving feeling sad and blue.

The day coincided with the launch of the Gwent Happiness Pulse Survey. The survey will highlight how happy, connected and active people in Gwent are and will provide an insight into the well-being of people living in Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Newport.

The Happiness Pulse survey was completed by visitors to the hubs. Residents who completed the survey were pleased to receive information on their current well-being and were provided with hints and tips on how they can boost some areas of their lives by taking more exercise, trying a new hobby or learning a new skill.

Residents are encouraged to complete Happiness Pulse throughout January and February. To take the Happiness Pulse, visit – gwent.happinesspulse.org/pulse/monmouthshire

Abergavenny Library welcomed local author Jane Blank. Visitors spent the morning listening to inspirational stories and participating in a creative writing workshop with the charismatic local author. As well as writing stories and tales, Darryl Cross gave a Tai Chi relaxation taster session which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.

Usk Hub came alive with the sound of the town’s ukele band to provide an upbeat mood for the day. Visitors to the hub were able to try something new with a pottery masterclass. Relaxing treats were also on offer to provide some much needed time out and relaxation.

A range of organisations were present at Monmouth Hub to provide advice and support; Mind Monmouthshire, Monmouthshire Housing Association’s Work Skills Wise team and debt counselling charity Christians Against Poverty. Coffee and cake attracted visitors who also participated in a game of bingo to raise spirits.

The Monmouthshire community education team provided taster sessions of some of their most popular art and photography courses in Chepstow Hub. For more information about Monmouthshire Community Learning courses contact Jemima Jones on 01291 426880 communityed@monmouthshire.gov.uk.

Caldicot Hub welcomed the Volunteering for Wellbeing team and a range of activities were on offer from a Welsh language conversation group to a computer skills workshop.

Cabinet Member for Enterprise Cllr Bob Greenland said:  ‘Blue Monday could have had a negative impact on some of our residents in the county, but the events that have taken place in our hubs brightened up the day of those people who took time to visit. l hope that everyone takes time out to complete the Happiness Pulse survey –  it is a really interesting survey.’