Whether you've immigrated or migrated to Cochrane, it takes time to become oriented to the vast services available in the community.

The Cochrane Immigrant Services Committee (CISC) has made it easy with a one-stop shop at this Saturday's (Mar. 16) Leaves Abound and All Around event.

The drop-in event is being held at the Cochrane Public Library, 405 Railway St. W., from 1 to 4 p.m. where you can gain insight from representatives of about 15 local organizations and supportive agencies.

"You meet other newcomers, and you meet representatives of all these service agencies. It's a one-stop shop because you don't have to go visit their offices, they're all here for you. You can talk to them, hear what they can offer, and then decide if they can help you," explains Carolyn Barclay, CISC program coordinator.

CISC has a cubicle at the FCSS office and acts as a bridge to service agencies, she explains.

Barclay has been working to spread their news and can speak of its value from personal experience. She moved to Cochrane in 2016 and was invited to a newcomers' session.

"I was so happy, because I didn't know that there was actually something like this. I came from Montreal, and before that Ottawa, and I had never been so involved and welcomed as I was here in Cochrane. It's a very friendly community, very welcoming and very helpful. I'm just doing my part to give back to the community. 

"There are some newcomers out there that don't know it exist, they don't know where to go or who to call help, and that's why we're here. We wanted all newcomers to know that they're not alone, that there is an organization who is there for them that is willing to help refer them to agencies that can help them directly."

CISC defines a newcomer as anyone new to Cochrane or Canada within the last five years.

Refreshment and snacks will be available, thanks to the assistance of some local restaurants.

CISC stages the event twice a year.

Leaves Abound