Every community needs a Hilda Shilliday.
Maybe you’ve met her, or maybe you’ve met someone like her: someone who’s always ready to lend a hand, and has a talent for bringing people together.
“Hilda does not shy away from challenges, in fact she embraces them,” says Dianne Robb, Community Relations Manager at Berwick by the Sea, where Hilda is a founder, one of the first residents.
At Berwick she volunteers as a Resident Ambassador, giving new residents not just a warm welcome, but also valuable information to make their transition as pleasant as possible. Hilda, of course, does more than what’s expected of ambassadors, often keeping up these friendships long after her ‘official responsibilities’ have ended.
A long history of service, and creative solutions
Before Hilda became a Berwick Resident Ambassador, she worked for 43 years as a public health nurse, capping off her career by winning the BC Nurse of the Year award.
“She was often an innovator,” writes her daughter Mary Catherine. “She worked to get fathers into the delivery room in Sarnia in the late 1960s, advocated for sexual health and drug prevention education in schools in the early 1970s and developed a program in Victoria to support young mothers who had high needs and lived in poverty in the early ’80s.”
She’s continued to volunteer at Berwick by the Sea, where she’s involved with Intergenerational groups that connect residents with local children.
“She’s quick to teach, and just as quick to keep learning,” says Robb.
Hilda continues to share her nursing and community-building talents too. In 2017 she returned to Kampala, Uganda, where she’s volunteered many times at a local HIV clinic, a nearby orphanage, with a local program for Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren, and done other advocacy work. Residents of Berwick by the Sea have thoroughly enjoyed her informative, entertaining lecture series on these experiences.
Travel restrictions haven’t stopped Hilda from continuing to help people at home — she’s active in St. Peters Anglican Church (she was a ‘Minister’s Wife’ for many years alongside her husband, Errol). Among other things, she has baked apple crisp for a monthly dinner for Campbell River’s homeless. Currently, she buys five dozen buns, butters them and delivers them for the monthly dinner.
“She helps the minister at St. Peters with monthly services at extended care facilities in Campbell River, and visits church members and residents of Berwick who are in hospital or extended care,” writes her daughter. “Makes me tired just writing about everything she does!”
Berwick by the Sea is an award-winning independent and assisted living community where residents like Hilda can continue to live nourishing, active lives. To learn more, call Dianne Robb at 250-914-8055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Berwick on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates!