Cottage By the Sea X B2C Furniture
130 years since its founding, Cottage By the Sea continues to grace Queenscliff with its inspiring and impactful presence. We had a chat with Charlotte from the organisation and got an insight into how it positively impacts underprivileged youth by engaging in a range of fun outdoor activities that challenge them to show persistence and resilience. Built in the 1930s it was time to freshen things up at the Cottage, the team and our bunk beds at B2C Furniture had the privilege of spending the day at the Cottage, playing a minor part of what has become an amazing transformation.
The Cottage and their story...
Cottage By the Sea was established in 1890 by a group of Victorian ladies, who were inspired by the British organisation Ministering Children’s League (MCL) and it was 1895 when the original Cottage was built. It was of great importance that underprivileged children were provided with a holiday experience that would leave an imprint in their minds and hearts for the rest of their life. Charlotte tells us that their mission all these years later remains almost unchanged: “Provide young people with inspiration, fun and opportunity”. This was, and continues to be achieved by running a few different programs for different ages and providing opportunities where the kids engage in fun outdoor activities which challenge them in a variety of ways.
Cottage By the Sea, Queenscliff, Victoria
The programs shaping our youth
No matter what program the kids are attending, each provides and encourages fun, risk taking opportunities in a safe and supportive environment. A variety of activities are offered throughout to help gain confidence in their own abilities. Water activities such as surfing and exploring the rockpools have continued to be an all time favourite over the years! Let’s take a look at the key programs offered:
T A K E A B R E A K
The most common - primary school aged children attend the camps for three to five days.
R E E F
RECREATION | EDUCATION | ENVIRONMENT | FRIENDSHIP
Offered to children in grade 6 and is continued through to the end of year seven. Graduates of this program can then excel to the Mentor Program.
M E N T O R P R O G R A M
This program will take the young adults right through to the end of their secondary education. Its goal is to encourage them to actively contribute to their community, school, home and Cottage.
N A T I O N A L
Run in partnership with the Cathy Freeman Foundation and their Horizons Program - up to 80 students (year 5 to 12) from remote communities in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Darwin have the privilege of being selected to be a part of programs which provide guidance post their schooling experience.
In addition to these amazing onsite and offsite camps, Cottage By the Sea have run Remote Children’s Programs during COVID-19 restrictions.
Cottage By the Sea, dorms with our Myer Single Bunk Beds
Curious how B2C Furniture crossed paths with Cottage By the Sea?
1895 was the year that the original Cottage was built on the same site it is today in Queenscliff. Having been redesigned and constructed in 1936-1938, the organisation commissioned an Access and Safety Audit in 2016 which brought a number of issues to their attention. Though well maintained over the years, it was time to bring the building and its facilities up to today’s modern standards, which also improved the environmental impact of the building, thanks to twenty-first century technology and innovation, says Charlotte.
We’ve said it before and we’ll claim it again, there’s no better way to maximise your space than a bunk bed with storage!
The kids have always slept upstairs in the sunny bright dorms with beautiful views of the water in the near distance and this wasn’t going to change amid the renovation. In order to accommodate the kids to the best of their ability, it was obvious to the team at Cottage By the Sea that the dorms were going to be filled with beautiful single bunk beds. It was love at first sight when they laid their eyes on our Myer White Single Bunk Bed, when recommended by one of their local builders who has been providing pro bono project management for the Cottage. Not only did the classic design of the white bunk bed catch their eye, but the two under bed storage drawers under each bed allow each of the children to have a convenient spot to pop their belongings into while at camp.
It was important that the beds which were being invested in were capable of enduring some tough love, considering the number of kids of which the Cottage frequently accommodates. No convincing was necessary as our sturdy timber framed bunk beds were an easy choice for the team due to their durable hardwood construction that are guaranteed to stand the test of time.
As the kids rotate weekly, the structure needs to hold strong so that each kid has the opportunity to enjoy a comforting, safe haven during their stay.
B2C Furniture team setting up the dorms with our bunk beds
The amazing work that the organisation does is a cause close to our hearts at B2C Furniture. So given the opportunity, we were honoured to be able to contribute to the renovations project in our own way. A few members of our dream team, along with two trucks full of bunk beds, ventured down to the Cottage in Queenscliff with smiles ear to ear and tools in hand ready to tackle the assembly of 24 bunk beds. Upon arrival we met the awesome team who are shaping today’s youth and soon after the hype of sighting the stupendous slide located inside the complex which transports the kids from the top level to the bottom in the most thrilling way possible, we got cracking onto the assemblies as there was no time to waste.
How can I show my support!?
A small helping hand can go a long way! Want to know how you can show your support? Here’s three simple ways...
C O N N E C T - follow Cottage By the Sea on social media and sign up for regular email news
S H A R E - tell their story to your friends and family
D O N A T E - donate directly on their website or sign up for workplace giving through payroll or HR
Each child costs the Cottage about $1000 to cover transport, accommodation, food, first class outdoor education and the highest level of care. Ultimately, Charlotte and the team’s key priority is to welcome and accommodate as many children onsite as possible. The impacts of a holiday at Cottage by the Sea last well beyond the camp. For many participants, their time at Cottage is one of only a few happy memories of childhood. This chance for happiness gives children confidence and offers hope that can last a lifetime.
Work on the building has been made possible through generous donations from the community as well as funding from the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund. This one-time grant will be directed to the Major Capital Works project only. It does not contribute to funding children’s programs.
Some of our dream team members at B2C Furniture