Annie’s Cottage – a great escape from reality for hundreds of families
Nestled within the property of Judith and Peter Robbins, at Lindenow South, is a house that is far more than a home for many families.
Annie’s Cottage is a place where families who have a child with life threatening illness can visit, take some time out, re charge their batteries and rejuvenate before returning to the reality of real life.
Around 30 families enjoy a free of charge stay at the 700 acre property each year, with each family staying for around a week.
The four bedroom cottage also has a cubby house, play room, a bike shed filled with bikes, a playground and plenty of toys – all of which have been donated by the local community over the years.
Judith always had a dream of constructing a home on their property that would give families facing hardship a taste of country life and a free holiday.
In 1989 they acquired a house that was due to be demolished in Paynesville and relocated it to the property. This home was renovated and named Annie’s Cottage, after Judith’s grandmother, Annie Bolleman. Judith was very close to Annie and thought it was a fitting name for the cottage as Annie was renowned for always doing things to help others.
The cottage welcomed its first family in 1990 and through until 2008 welcomed a large number of families each year.
Tragically in 2008 an electrical fault saw the cottage burn to the ground.
With community support and encouragement the cottage was re built. Thankfully the insurance paid for the basic re build and with great help from the local community and a surprise make over by Chanel 9’s ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ the cottage was completed and furnished.
Much to the community’s delight, the purpose built cottage was open once again for business in 2010.
Bookings are coordinated by the organisation ‘Very Special Kids’, who have over 900 families registered, so places like Annie’s Cottage are vital to provide much needed respite to families going through traumatic periods with seriously ill children.
In recognition of their generosity and service to children with life threatening illness, Judith and Peter were awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2015.
Maybe you have stayed at the cottage or know the story of someone who has had a great experience there that you would like to share with us?