The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Bear Cottage

A very special place where cherished moments are created

Bear Cottage is a children’s hospice – a very special place dedicated to caring for children with life-
limiting conditions and their families. At Bear Cottage, we believe that every life, however short, is very precious and should be enriched, enjoyed and celebrated. Bear Cottage is a place, where cherished moments and special memories are created – a place where life is for living.

We understand that caring for such a sick child can be incredibly isolating and impacts greatly on the emotional, financial and physical wellbeing of the whole family. Time spent at Bear Cottage can help to alleviate some of these challenges. Parents and siblings are welcome to stay with their child in the home-like environment of Bear Cottage as a family, or children can stay unaccompanied, giving parents and carers a much-needed break. A stay at Bear Cottage is exactly what each family needs it to be.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of the James N. Kirby Foundation, we have been able to employ Sevasti James as an Assistant in Nursing. Her role at Bear Cottage is to support the Registered Nurses and Child Life Therapists and work as part of the multidisciplinary team providing exceptional care to children with life limiting illnesses and their families. Typically this involves providing personal care to the children playing with them and their siblings and companioning them during their stay. Every child who stays at Bear Cottage is different and the care we provide is highly individualized, based on what the child and their family needs at that time.

“The part of my job I find the most rewarding is engaging with the kids, building rapport and getting to understand their needs” said Sevasti. “This can sometimes be challenging as often our children have limited ability to communicate due to their condition or age but when you find something that makes them smile, laugh or respond it is incredibly fulfilling.”

Sevasti is an undergraduate student at Australian Catholic University and half way through a Bachelor of Nursing. She was recently awarded the Elsevier Australia Prize for Nursing for being the most outstanding student in 2009 and has also received a bursary for academic excellence. We are thrilled to have Sevasti as part of our incredible team at Bear Cottage and can’t thank the James N. Kirby Foundation enough for their support!

Narelle Martin
Nursing Unit Manager

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