Photo: Cooma cottage volunteers Lyn Dowrick, Barabara Foster, Ruvae Bush and Rosalie Bush

Cooma Cottage is set to open its gates, at last, from February 13 after a long hiatus due to coronavirus concerns.

Leah Tasker, National Trust NSW Director of Marketing and Communications, said they were really looking forward to reopening.

“We’ve been keen to reopen and invite visitors back.”

Last year the National Trust put a call-out for new volunteers to assist with the reopening and operating of Cooma Cottage in Yass.

Leah said they had a good response of locals interested in volunteering but can still do with more volunteers.

“We’ve definitely got more capacity to bring volunteers on board,” she said.

All relevant training is included and can be dependent on what area participants are interested in volunteering.

Available roles include tour guiding, educating school groups, retail, gardening, helping maintain the expansive grounds, preserving collections, research, general customer service and events.

The volunteer start date and time given is flexible. Volunteers can give a few hours, half a day or a whole day – weekly, fortnightly or monthly – and receive free or discounted access to National Trust sites around NSW for their time.

“It is the perfect time to sign up and volunteer,” Leah said. “Now that we are reopening, we are hoping to welcome more volunteers.”

Leah said new volunteers will be joining a friendly and dedicated team and she encourages anyone considering volunteering to get in touch via the National Trust website.

Last year the National Trust completed significant upgrades to Cooma Cottage including a new farm fence and bathroom facilities.

The new bathrooms include disabled and ambulant toilets, which were funded by the NSW Government and a generous donation from T. Eakin in memory of Dr Flynn.

Leah said this is particularly helpful for coach tours, weddings and venue hire.

“The new facilities are an important upgrade for Cooma Cottage, improving accessibility for everyone,” Leah said at the time of renovations.

Funding from the Yass Valley Council Heritage Grant Program also helped fix the farm fence, which had fallen into a state of disrepair over the years.

The latest opening times for Cooma Cottage are available on their website or via their e-newsletter.

By Brianna O’Rourke