August 12, 2021
Shoalhaven City Council in partnership with Grand Pacific Health hosted the inaugural Thrive Together Fair to mark Homelessness Week 2021.
The fair, held on Wednesday 4 August at the Shoalhaven Indoor Sports Centre, provided an opportunity for community members who have been “doing it tough” to connect with local service providers and with each other.
Shoalhaven City Council Mayor Amanda Findley was delighted to see the turnout, with over 40 service providers along with over 200 community members taking part on the day.
“The Thrive Together Fair was a wonderful day out for the whole community. Our community was able to connect with financial, housing, legal, government, health and wellbeing support”, Clr Findley said.
“It was great to see community members having the opportunity to utilise the sports centres showers, get a free haircut, enjoy a free hot meal, collect free sleeping bags, clothes and toiletries and sit down to register with local housing and financial services. It was a real highlight seeing people walk into the hairdressing area, thanks to Mo&CO, Barber2U and TAFE, and come out showing off their new hairstyles with smiles that just lit up the room,” Clr Findley said.
A special aspect of the event was providing free care packs to community members. The packs were collated following the Council’s Give Dignity Donation Drive through Council facilities and online through the GIVIT Page. Over 300 dignity packs were given away on the day to community members.
The event was held with COVID safe practices in place with all attendees encouraged to follow NSW Health regulations.
Staff from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District provided health and wellbeing checks and referrals including a COVID vaccination clinic for vulnerable community members. One community member stated “I got the chance to see a dental officer and now I am going to get my teeth fixed” with another attendee saying “It was fantastic to come to one place and get all the help I need, even a COVID Vaccine”.
As attendees sat down to enjoy the BBQ by Lions Club and Salt Care, the Soups by Waminda and the Cake by TAFE, they were greeted with the ethereal sounds of Tayah Larson, performing solo on stage with her acoustic guitar. Tayah is a young Shoalhaven resident attending Nowra High School who was able to showcase her artistry at the Thrive Together Fair.
Following her performance the young surf rock band, Out of State, were able to lift everyone’s spirits through their jam session on stage. Thanks to the guys; Bam Rogers, Drummer, James Sibley, lead guitar, Jake Magi, Rhythm Guitar + Vocals, and Toby Roberts, bass guitar for putting on a great show.
The event concluded with the beautiful melodies played by George London, a local pianist who provided a real treat, having played at the Opera House and internationally through his career.
The event highlighted the way the Shoalhaven community can come together with such heart. Truly showcasing the way we Thrive Together, and nothing speaks more to that truth than the words of community member Nathan “I felt supported, knowing that all these people care”.
As Julie Bugden, Team Leader at the Shoalhaven Homeless Hub stated “the event came together just beautifully. It was a chance for all homeless clients or people in our Shoalhaven community to be aware of services available when they are in need. Not only did many of our homeless clients attend but it was great to catch up with our other specialist services in the area.”
Grand Pacific Health also provided a free bus service for attendees coming from around the Shoalhaven.
Rooftop Level Sapphire Market Place Unit 1, 83 Upper Street, Bega, NSW 2550, Australia
PO Box 513
Bega NSW 2550
Phone - 02 6494 8800
Fax - 02 6494 8855
PO Box 1198 Wollongong NSW 2500
Phone - 1800 228 987