Service lends helping hand to sick regional Aussies needing metro city treatment

TRAVELLING and staying in a metropolitan city can be daunting for country folk who are seeking medical treatment. 

Thankfully, community-based social services organisation OpenSupport in in partnership with the Public Benevolent are there to ease the burden. 

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Under the arm of the not-profit OpenSupport is Chisholm Cottage and Country Care Link, which are two services available to Australians living in regional and rural NSW. 

Chisholm Cottage’s Accommodation manager Sonia Fingleton and Country Care Link’s coordinator Sister Jan O’Grady popped into Armidale to talk about the services on Tuesday. 

Sister O’Grady said Country Care Link offered no-cost transport service for people who require transport to and from their arrival/departure point when in Sydney for medical appointments and hospital stays.

“We want to let people in the country know that we are there for them,” she said. 

“It’s a free service because we have about 50 volunteers who have their own cars. They are only too happy to help country people, especially with the conditions that country people are living at the moment.

“We want to be there for them. It’s a relief knowing someone will be there waiting for them.” 

The two services met with the representations from the city’s HealthWise and Armidale Hospital to promote it.  

Chisholm Cottage offered an affordable offered accommodation service at Westmead for those who must travel to Sydney for medical reasons. 

Ms Fingleton said the message from the two services visit was letting the community know they were there for them during their time of need.

“We have a community kitchen and living area so people can make their own meals and make a connection because there is a great deal of comfort of being able to talk to people who are going through the same thing,” Ms Fingleton said.

“And I stay on the accommodation so I am there when people need me.”

For more information about the service, visit 

This story Service helps ease burden of seeking interstate health treatment first appeared on The Inverell Times.