03 April 2017

The NSW Government will help establish Australia’s first young adult hospice which will provide palliative, respite and end of life care for young people aged between 18 and their early thirties, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Health Brad Hazzard announced today.

Ms Berejiklian announced $2 million of NSW Government funding each year to support the establishment of Big Bear Cottage on the Northern Beaches, providing much needed continuous care and respite for young adults with life-limiting and terminal conditions once they reach 18. Ms Berejiklian made the announcement today in Manly alongside former Premier Mike Baird and Liberal candidate for Manly James Griffin.

“Bear Cottage has been providing incredible support and care for families with children who suffer life-limiting and terminal illnesses over the past 15 years,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Unfortunately, when children turn 18, they no longer have access to these services. The NSW Government has decided to back calls from families and staff at Bear Cottage to ensure young adults with life-limiting and terminal illnesses continue to receive these much needed services in a soon-to-be-established Big Bear Cottage.”

Mr Hazzard said Big Bear Cottage will be a young adult facility building on the model of Bear Cottage – NSW's only children's hospice located in Manly. “Bear Cottage is a special place that is impossible not to be touched by,” Mr Hazzard said. “The NSW Government has strongly supported palliative care and the Big Bear Cottage is our way of caring for vulnerable young people and their families.”

The NSW Government will assist with securing a location for the Big Bear Cottage, possibly on the site of Manly Hospital.

Ms Berejiklian thanked supporters of Big Bear Cottage, in particular former Premier Baird and Sian Grahl, a former resident of Bear Cottage who unfortunately recently passed away and whose photography is helping to raise funds to make Big Bear Cottage a reality.