What is ‘The Berwick Way?’ It traces back to father-and-son founders Gordon and Chris Denford, Vancouver Island locals who dreamed of a retirement community where seniors could feel at home and supported in pursuing their passions.
It started with Berwick House in Victoria over 30 years ago and now includes seven communities, plus the latest, Berwick Parksville, opening in Spring 2022.
“The Berwick Way means building community with the towns where we live, building community with prospective residents, and building community inside our walls. All three are important,” says Corinna Ludovici, Community Relations Manager at Berwick Parksville. “Even when we welcome our first residents, we won’t close the doors. Friends, family and neighbours will always be part of our community.”
1. Building community in Parksville
No two Berwicks are the same — each one is inspired by the community where it’s based, and designed to suit its building site.
“Berwick Parksville is inspired by our west coast community, and features extra-large windows for exceptional views of the mountains, ocean and lush courtyard,” says Ludovici. “It’s also strategically located to enhance not just the lives of our residents, but also the surrounding neighbourhood. We’re walking distance to the beachfront boardwalk, allowing residents to walk to their professional appointments, not to mention the positive growth this independent residency has already brought to the downtown area.”
Enhancing the neighbourhood is a continuous pursuit, and Berwick Parksville is already having an impact — before even opening its doors. They’ve made a substantial donation to the Parksville Beach Festival Society Amphitheatre, and look forward to further collaboration by supporting other community events.
“Once COVID restrictions ease we have lots of fun in the works, like yoga on the beach, pop-up art workshops and more!” Ludovici says.
Right now you can WIN great prizes by spotting A Berwick Bear About Town, hiding in businesses!
2. Building community inside Berwick
Once Berwick Parksville opens its doors in Spring 2022, Ludovici is excited to see how residents shape the community. Resident-led projects are a big part of The Berwick Way.
“Staff create opportunities for engagement, but the residents themselves lead amazing things too! Are you a talented artist? Have tips and tricks for success on the pickle ball court or putting green? How about leading a workshop! Residents of other Berwick Communities have hosted craft sales, and our neighbours at Berwick Qualicum Beach wrote a book, with all proceeds donated to local charities,” she says. “I can’t wait to see what this new community will bring!”
3. Building community with new residents by supporting one another
Helping new residents feel at home is central to The Berwick Way. The Berwick Ambassador Program connects new residents with those who are more established, often fostering lasting friendships. Berwick provides an ongoing speaker series offering entertainment and information to existing and prospective residents.
“This summer we’ll be hosting ‘Curious about Berwick’ talks, kicking off with a speaker series of financial planners, realtors and other experts offering advice on downsizing and retirement. They’ll be virtual at first, but hopefully will be in-person soon,” Ludovici says.