Old Manly Hospital site has locked in its first project. It’s ‘Big Bear Cottage’, a hospice and respite care centre for young adults with life-limiting illnesses.
Bear Cottage, located just down the road, can’t take patients over 18 years, meaning these sick young people often end up in geriatric hospital wards. Now, there will be an alternative, with the State Government unveiling a design plan for a young adult hospice last month. It features public areas, bedrooms for about eight patients, sweeping harbour views, and privacy - as a result of its proposed location at the back of the old hospital site.
Images: Hospice design plan, including games room.
The government is gifting the land for the hospice, and has committed to providing $2M in running costs every year, but most of the funding to actually build the facility has come from donations. An extraordinary $25M has already been raised, guaranteeing the project will go ahead.
The hospice, which will be the first of its kind in the state, will not only provide a much-needed service, but will help establish the hospital site as a community health precinct.
Manly Hospital closed on October 30, with medical services transferring to the new Northern Beaches Hospital at Frenchs Forest. its magnificent hill top site, which is owned by the State Government, is valued at around $500 M. The current Liberal government has promised the entire site to the community, either as bush land or as a community health precinct (see image below). Which facilities end up on the site are yet to be determined, with community members actively involved in the decision-making process. The government has promised the site will not be sold for residential development.
Image: Provisional old hospital site map: yellow area marked AYAH - the hospice; green areas - return to bush land; blue areas - future community health facilities.
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.