Big Hill Haven Women’s Shelter in Cochrane is governed by a board and the organization is welcoming a new Chair and thanking some outgoing members. 

Stepping in as new Chair is a familiar face as she previously served as secretary, Valerie Gilmore. Valerie brings to the position a wealth of experience in working in the domestic violence sector and has been with Big Hill Haven since 2018. Vice-Chair, Debbie Leah is more than confident with Valerie's abilities to take on the role. “I am very confident that with Valerie’s leadership Big Hill Haven will take great steps in helping women in our community build safe and healthy lives. She is exceptional. She balances her incredible knowledge in the domestic violence sector with thoughtful and pragmatic leadership."

Gilmore says, “I am proud and humbled to have been chosen as the new board chair. These are new days before us. Domestic violence was an epidemic before Covid-19 became our reality, and already we are seeing how family violence is increasing. Our board and staff are working hard to help women today while we create needed housing solutions.”

Of course, Gilmore recognizes that Big Hill Haven would not be where it is today if not for the hard work of her predecessors. “On behalf of the board, I would also like to thank our former board leaders; Ana Botelho, Faith Brace, and Gretchen Albers. Thanks to their leadership, dedication, and hard work, Big Hill Haven is in position to grow to the next step.”

Big Hill Haven was founded in 2016 to support women and families escaping from domestic violence in Cochrane and area.  Last year alone, the outreach services helped over 90 women and that number is expected to increase by over 30% because of the pandemic. Needless to say that there will be a need for all hands on deck at the organization. Gilmore says, "It’s a big job, but a necessary one.”

For more information on Big Hill Haven Women's Shelter click here.