Chisholm Cottage needs your help

13 November 2017
Chisholm Cottage - the communal, guest lounge and TV room. Image: Supplied.

Chisholm Cottage at Westmead Seeks Extra Volunteers to Provide Guest Services for Regional NSW Families in Need

Chisholm Cottage – Sisters of Charity Outreach’s low-cost, shared accommodation service for regional NSW families needing to stay in Sydney for medical services and hospital stays– is currently looking for new volunteers to assist with guest services.

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. The cottage officially re-opened in July this year after a major upgrade and refurbishment and is one of several no- and low-cost core services operated by Sisters of Charity Outreach – a not-for-profit, community service organisation which has been addressing unmet social need in the community since 1990.

“Affordable accommodation near Sydney hospitals is scarce for regional families and individuals in need. This has meant that families sometimes have had to no choice but to sleep in in their cars in nearby carparks to save on costs when they come to Sydney for medical treatment and services,” Sisters of Charity Outreach General Manager, Gary Sillett said.

“So, we know that providing affordable accommodation at Chisholm Cottage, within walking distance to the Westmead medical precinct, is a hugely important service. Since we officially reopened in July, demand has continued to grow more quickly than we anticipated, which is why we are putting the call out for volunteers to help support our program and those regional families in need.”

Staffed by a team led by Accommodation Manager Sonia Fingleton, Chisholm Cottage has a long history of volunteer involvement dating back to when the cottage was first established by the Catholic Women’s League, Parramatta – a volunteer organisation itself – in 1996.

“Volunteers have been the lifeblood of both Sisters of Charity Outreach and Chisholm Cottage since their inception,” Sonia said. “We already have a small team of dedicated friendly volunteers who assist with the day-to-day duties here, but we’re now looking to expand that team.”

Guest Services roles at Chisholm Cottage involve a number of task areas including welcoming guests, taking reservations, general office support, administration and record keeping as well as assisting Sonia to prepare rooms for arriving and departing guests.

“We’re open 365 days a year, and so we’re seeking locals who are happy to give of their time on a regular basis. We’re also keen to hear from people, especially anyone who’s previously worked in hospitality or customer service areas, who may be interested in helping on weekends, as well as during the week.”

Chisholm Cottage Volunteer Criteria and Enquiries:

For those interested in volunteering, Chisholm Cottage volunteers must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 18 years of age or over;
  • Be a resident of Australia;
  • Pass a National Police Check; and,
  • Apply for and pass a Working With Children Check.

Interested locals can apply now, online, via Sisters of Charity Outreach’s Volunteer Program at:

They can also call (02) 8382 6430 or email with their CV/Resume.

About Chisholm Cottage

Chisholm Cottage is operated by Sisters of Charity Outreach and is located at 49 Alexandra Avenue Westmead. It is part of the organisation’s commitment to enabling greater access to health care for regional NSW families. The cottage offers guests four, separate, private and secure bedrooms – a double room, a twin room (two single beds) and two family rooms for up to three guests. Guests share two, accessible bathrooms and a fully-functional communal kitchen and relaxing TV lounge – where they can prepare their own meals and enjoy the company of other guests and staff. While Chisholm Cottage provides coffee, tea and biscuits, guests are welcome to bring their own groceries and supplies for any meals they may choose to prepare in the kitchen. With free Wi-Fi access for all guests, there’s also an outdoor garden area for children and adults to relax in, with barbecue facilities and quiet spaces.

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