A home away from home

Trustees David Robinson and David Alcock with Gary Sillett, General Manager of the Sisters of Charity Outreach, and The Hon Rick Colless MLC at the reopening of Chisholm Cottage

Mary Aikenhead Ministries‘ Chisholm Cottage is a low-cost, shared accommodation service for regional NSW families needing to stay in Sydney for medical services and hospital visits. Following upgrading, it was officially re-opened on 4 July by The Honourable Rick Colless MLC.

Often referred to as ‘a home away from home’ by regional families, Chisholm Cottage is one of a very limited number of affordable accommodation offerings located near the busy Westmead Hospital campus in western Sydney. The cottage is one of several no- and low-cost core services operated within Mary Aikenhead Ministries by Sisters of Charity Outreach, which has been actively addressing unmet social need in the community since 1990.

Opened in 1996, Chisholm Cottage was temporarily closed on 3 October last year to allow for a major upgrade, including roof replacement, renovation and refurbishment. Now complete, it is again ready to serve community needs, providing up-to-date, functional and contemporary accommodation facilities.

Coming to Sydney for a medical procedure or appointment for a child or family member is already a significantly stressful and costly experience. This can become even more difficult when families need to find affordable, comfortable, friendly and flexible accommodation that is near where they need to be.

Thanks to the Catholic Women’s League Parramatta, Temple and Webster, and other business and trade supporters’ incredible generosity, Sisters of Charity Outreach has been able to create and provide an even more comfortable haven for rural families needing to find decent, value-for-money accommodation while they access health care in Sydney.

In the 27 months (July 2014 – September 2016) prior to closing for its upgrade, Chisholm Cottage hosted 742 adults and 352 children from various areas of regional NSW, amounting to a total 1,885 booking nights and saving guests over $72,000 total p.a. in accommodation costs in Sydney.

Gary Sillett

General Manager, Sisters of Charity Outreach

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