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Westmead’s Bear Cottage

Bear Cottage, located in Manly on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, provides respite and end-of-life care to children with life-limiting conditions and support to their families. It is the only children’s hospice in NSW and provides a range of specialised therapies that are delivered in ways that allow children and families to feel at home.

From 2010 to 2024, the Ottomin Foundation funded the Music Therapist position at Bear Cottage, as well as the cost of many instruments and equipment used in the music therapy sessions. In 2013, the Foundation gifted funds for the creation of a music garden. The Music Therapy Program gives the child, parents and friends the opportunity to communicate their love, sadness, respect, and happiness through a non-verbal environment and is especially important when the children are unable to express themselves through speech.

Complementing the Foundation’s past financial support, Charity Committee member, Jennie Kovacs continues to be an active member of the Bear Cottage volunteer base, extending the impact of the Ottomin Foundation by regularly serving and connecting with the children and their families at the Bear Cottage hospice.

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“I started volunteering at Bear Cottage in 2011 as part of the play and art therapy team. Whether it’s reading to the children, drawing cartoons with the siblings or just being company to a family going through a hard time, my Friday mornings spent there are the most fulfilling time of my week. It can be stressful but with the amazing support of staff, nurses and other volunteers, helping out at Bear Cottage is special and it’s a privilege to get to know some of the brave children and families who visit.”
Jennie Kovacs
Jennie Kovacs
Ottomin Foundation