Through the provision of joint ventures and increased parental involvement, it was envisaged that there would emerge a greater spirit of ownership both of the school and the community. His Excellency Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair, OA and Governor of New South Wales officially opened the Cottage in May 1992. The original Cottage was an older style one bedroom that was relocated to the school grounds. More than 20 families and businesses donated specific services and funds to establish and refurbish the building. With the establishment in June 1995 of the Chertsey Schools as Community Centres (SaCCs) facilitated by Nada Potter, which caters for families 0-8 years, the cottage needed extending. With support from the community, Federal Government, Gosford City Council and Work for the Dole; these extensions were completed in Dec 1999.
The Cottage now has facilities for disabled, conference areas, counselling rooms and a playgroup activity. Other extensions have been constructed under two Sate Government grant 2009 for an outdoor area and in 2010 for the repainting and carpeting of the cottage. Chertseydale Cottage has become a valued facility allowing for a wide range of programs and activities in a safe, child centred and comfortable venue. It enables families to meet in an environment where valuable social networks can be formed, maintained and potential needs discussed. Programs which include playgroups, music and dance groups, community groups and network groups can meet in the cottage. The Cottage Management committee supervises the financial aspects of the cottage. These finances have been accrued through grants that the committee has been successful in achieving. The cottage is maintained and governed by the Department of Education and Communities.
Chertseydale Community Cottage aims to provide a safe, accessible venue as a meeting place for the school community and all residents of Springfield and to contribute to building a strong and healthy community. The Cottage brings increased:
- Supportive connections.
- Knowledge of resources in the Springfield area.
- Positive personal relationships within and between families.
- Use of the Cottage as a hub for Springfield residents.
- Number of programs that will support families in Springfield.
- Knowledge of services in the Gosford area that will support families.
- Empowerment of community members as a result of working together on projects for Springfield.
The Cottage has a strong commitment to the principles of:
- Recognising and building on community strengths, assets and skills.
- Prevention and early intervention.
- Valuing and reflecting cultural diversity.
- Mutually respective and supportive relationships involving agencies and community members.
- Working in partnership and sharing resources.
- Participating in the development of networks that promote collaborative.
- Planning and accessible services.
- Learning as a life long process.
Management of the Cottage - Administration:
- Department of Education and Communities
- Chertsey Primary School
- Management Committee (responsible for room hire, contracts, policy, monitoring)
- Vice President
Here at Chertsey we are blessed to have a many number of volunteers and students that are essential to the smooth running of our programs. These volunteers and students help us and the community in a many number of ways such as: Administration Clerical Assistance, Childcare, Gardening, Cleaning, Counselling Organising Programs, Re-Ordering Resources and other essential attributes.
John Anderson (Principal Chertsey Primary School)
Nada Potter (Facilitator)