Planning started for Bear Cottage nearly 20 years ago, when Dr Michael Stevens and Dr John Yu both from The Children's Hospital located in Westmead determined to improve the hospital's palliative health care program.
Bear Cottage is the only one of its kind in globally affiliated with a children's hospital, one of only 2 in all Australia and the only children's hospice across NSW. This is an extremely special place which is committed to the care of children having life-limiting conditions as well as their families.
Situated on Manly, Sydney, Bear Cottage is essentially like a home that is away from home. Very much removed from the environment of a hospital as possible. At this special place, the staff doesn't put on uniforms, no special medical procedures are performed in the bedrooms, the rooms for the children are fashioned to like an ordinary bedroom, and there is even a family pet dog, Frankie, the adorable Labrador. Having said that said, Bear Cottage has been established to offer quality in paediatric health care 24 hours daily and the connection to The Children's Hospital at Westmead implies that there is access to several of the finest medical resources throughout the world.
The special facility was set up completely through support from the community, at a total cost of some $10 million. It was formally opened on 17 March 2001, St Patrick's Day.
Bear Cottage Services
Bear Cottage offers support, respite assistance and end-of-life care for kids having life-limiting sicknesses as well as their families.
Bear Cottage cares for kids from all over Australia, irrespective of where they are receiving their primary health care, even though most of the families accessing the service are mainly from NSW. Children visiting Bear Cottage range from new infants to kids age 18. Accommodation is however also available for the children's parents, including siblings, of those kids staying.
When such families are informed that the life of there is going to be short, their daily existence now assumes a monumental change to their lives. As they now embark on such a dreadful journey, there are endless alternatives accessible to aid them in getting through every day, and answer the numerous questions that are bound to arise. To have Bear Cottage accessible to them for support and care empowers the families to remain focused on the significant things, like spending more quality time together and to making each moment count.
The majority of families that stay at Bear Cottage will have come for respite. The average duration of stay is about 7 to 10 days. Families are usually able to come and visit around four (4) times yearly for common respite, though for end-of-life care, the period could be open ended.
Families don't have to pay for any of the Bear Cottage services. All costs of running the place get raised exclusively through donations that are coming from the community. Having Bear Cottage accessible to the affected families, free from any charge means that they are able to take a needed break and get their re-charge their batteries, secure in the knowledge that their loved and ailing child is being looked after by the best available staff. They may take pleasure in time together without having to be anxious about the cooking and housework. Most significantly though, the families could spend some quality time jointly and create their own special memories which will last them long even their beloved child has passed on.
For those special children staying at Bear Cottage there is no miracle cure, no happy ending. This is quite heartbreaking to reflect on. Other than that only forms only a portion of the story.
Even while the general outlook for these children is a grim one, Bear Cottage is in fact among the most inspiring and uplifting places you would ever pay a visit to. Here, kids play and laugh. Life gets celebrated, lived to maximum and also gets fondly remembered.
At Bear Cottage, they believe that life, however short ought to be enriched, cherished, enjoyed and fully celebrated. This is a home that is full of unique moments and much cherished lingering memories. At Bear Cottage, life is for living.
There are lots of ways you could get involved:
Bear Cottage is accessible for any family that is caring for a kid having a terminal illness or life limiting. To the families relying on the support and care at Bear Cottage, as they are already going through enough troubles. The operating costs are about $3.2 million yearly and Bear Cottage rely on the bigheartedness of the community and the corporate support towards reaching this target.
Corporate support is priceless to Bear Cottage. If at your place of work your team is interested in assisting Bear Cottage, you could kindly please call discuss volunteer opportunities and Working Bees at the fundraising events. You could also call to discuss partnership opportunities with the Bear Cottage Supporter Relationship Manager.
Fundraising for Bear Cottage
Each year Bear Cottage generous supporters do organize a diversity of fundraising events from charity balls to ocean swims, cake sales to corporate golf days, all towards helping raise awareness and money for Bear Cottage. You could also convene your own event and become more engaged with Bear Cottage.
The Superhero Week is convened each July yearly and is an opportunity for individuals, schools, and corporate groups to support and get involved the superheroes seen at Bear Cottage daily.
Bear Cottage gets magnificent support from lots of schools nationally and locally, especially through the Superhero Week campaign. The Superhero Week events are entertaining and a great occasion for kids to assist kids. There are never-ending opportunities to assist the Superheroes.
The Bear Cottage volunteers form an integral component of the team at Bear Cottage. They are making a noteworthy contribution to the children's home like the general well being of the kids as well as their families when in residence. By volunteering, you will be offering support for the kids and their own families through needed respite and the end-of-life care.