By Raquel Mustillo
NEW Millicent residents will be connected to educational, sporting, health and businesses resources at next week’s Millicent and Surrounds Health Support Group (MASH) community expo.
The inaugural event aims to provide newly arrived community members an opportunity to connect with services and support the retention of residents.
Emergency service personnel, businesses, community groups and service clubs will be among the dozens of exhibitors at the Friday night event.
Millicent and Surrounds Health Support Group chair Trevor Sinclair said the community group had long supported the development of an expo to help support individuals during the transition.
“The health support group has had many conversations with health services, including the medical clinic, the hospital and the ambulance about how to welcome new members coming into the town,” he said.
“Our group has had morning teas with new residents, but have always seen it was bigger than our group and we have always thought about an expo to connect other services from around the town.
“The aim is around supporting recruitment and retention and making people welcome to the town so when they go shopping, they can recognise some people and go for a coffee.”
Millicent and Surrounds Health Support Group member and event coordinator Simone berry said the broader community and business support for the initiative had been overwhelming positive, with a 41 exhibitors currently confirmed.
“The Country Fire Service will be there with a couple of trucks so kids can have a look inside as well as specialist groups like the book club, arts and craft group, Field Naturalists, Rotary and Lions, Leos and Lioness Clubs,” she said.
“Fiona Telfer from South East Property Sales and Management and Wattle Range mayor Des Noll will be the guest speakers and they will talk about growth trends and community projects.
“Community retention is vital when it comes to small towns and it is really important to provide a space for new residents to feel welcomed, as well as supporting local businesses and groups.
“A lot of groups have declining membership, so we hope the expo can link people with groups and services they are interested as well.”
The free expo will be held at the Millicent Civic and Arts Centre on April 9 from 6pm to 8pm.
Free drinks and a sausage sizzle will be provided for attendees and door prizes will be given away every 15 minutes.
RSVP is essential and can be made by phoning 0488 418 275 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.