Bear Cottage

Bear Cottage

Bear Cottage (www.bearcottage.chw.edu.au) is the only children’s hospice in NSW - a very special place that’s dedicated to caring for children with life-limiting conditions.

Families who care for a child with a life-limiting condition often do so around the clock for many years.

We provide respite and end-of-life care for children with terminal illnesses and their families in a medically supported ‘home away from home'. For children in our care, there is no happy ending or miracle cure so we give them as much love, care, laughter, fun, and support, as they need.

We care for kids from across Australia and from all walks of life. Every child that visits us lives with a condition that means they are unlikely to see their 18th birthday. Many don’t make their first one.


We cater for the entire family - parents and siblings can enjoy time together without the worry of housework and cooking. There’s time for families to create lasting memories to cherish after their child has passed away. 

Our vision is to be as far removed from a hospital environment as possible. We're set up to provide excellence in paediatric palliative care 24 hours a day, and our affiliation to The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network means we have access to some of the best medical resources in the world. Nurses provide medical assistance, administer medications and offer support and guidance to patients and their families around the clock.

Staff and volunteers are on hand to take care of the cooking and cleaning, allowing families to forget about the stresses of everyday life. As part of the holistic care provided to children at Bear Cottage, full-time child life therapists, social workers and volunteers work with children to engage them in play, music and art therapy. This service creates a space for children to relax and gives parents time to recuperate and spend time with one another. Families needing respite will often stay at Bear Cottage for between seven to ten days. Depending on the availability, families are entitled to up to four weeks of booked respite per year. There is no limit on length of stay for end-of-life care.

    Our future…why we need superheroes

    When a family is told that their child’s life will be cut short, their everyday existence takes on a monumental change. As they embark on this journey, they need special support to get them through.

    Estimates suggest there are well over 5,000 children 0 to 19 years across Australia requiring palliative care. In the last 17 years, Bear Cottage has supported nearly 1,000 families through their heart-wrenching journeys. In the last year alone, Bear Cottage has cared for over 250 children with life-limiting illness and in the last year, 16 children have come to Bear Cottage for end of life card and were surrounded by love and support in a happy, safe environment for their final days.



    Families do not pay to stay at Bear Cottage. Bear Cottage relies on donated funds to survive.

    Each year, $4 million needs to be raised to keep Bear Cottage running. Money raised through fundraising campaigns goes towards operating expenses and maintenance of Bear Cottage’s unique facilities.

    Your support ensures that families continue to stay for free; essential and life changing services can be provided; specialist card including play, music an art therapy is always able to be delivered; and ongoing development and enhancement of the very best of evidence-based programs can be assured. 

    Superhero Week (29 July to 4 August 2018) is one of Bear Cottage’s main fundraising campaigns.

    Thanks to the tremendous support from the community, Superhero Week raised $298,000 in 2017. This incredible generosity makes the world of difference to the children and families that are cared for at Bear Cottage.

    During Superhero Week we ask you to be a Superhero - for a day, a week or a year! Donate or raise funds so Bear Cottage can continue to provide support to families, and respite and end-of-life care for beautiful kids.

    Everyone can be a Superhero, whether you’re at school, at work or with a group of friends.

    To find out more, register or donate, visit www.superheroweek.com.



      How your support helps Bear Cottage

      Here's how you can create Superhero magic:
      • Raise $50 and fund an hour’s hydrotherapy in our hot spa providing relaxation and exercise for kids with little or no movement.
      • Raise $100 and you could keep ice cream in our freezer for a month! That means everyone can have an ice cream after dinner - just like at home.
      • Raise $200 and you could pay for production of a fingerprint/footprint cast sculpture that parents can keep forever.
      • Raise $500 and you could pay for a sling so children can be lifted out of bed with ease.
      • Raise $1,000 to support the professional development of our clinical staff.
      • Raise $5,000 - this could pay our electricity bill for a month.
      • Raise $10,000 - will fund a week's respite for a family of four t Bear Cottage for a week.
      • Raise $20,000 to support our Housekeepers who ensure that Bear Cottage is always a sparkling and relaxing home away from home.




      Bear Cottage uses Superhero donated funds to supply services and programs such as:

      • Respite and Therapy provided by our social worker and family support team provides assistance and coping strategies to families.
      • Child Life Therapy offers play, music and art therapy as a fun and creative outlet for children and families.
      • Camps for children with life-limiting illness and their families provide opportunity to connect with other families and children with similar medical conditions.
      • Footprints in the Sand, our bereavement support program is available to our families for as long as they need.

        To make a donation to Bear Cottage directly - please click here.

        How Merchant Pricing Hub supported Bear Cottage

        For every business that took up a Merchant Pricing Hub annual membership during the month of June 2018 and completed a short 5 minute survey to provide feedback after using all the website tools, we donated $60 to Bear Cottage.

        Annual memberships during this period were just $19 (normally $99), so not only did businesses get access to some great tools to help save money on payments processing fees, triple that amount was donated to Bear Cottage to support all the great work that they do.

        $6,240 was donated to Bear Cottage in June 2018.