Chris White, founder of ideal homes portugal, is a passionate philanthropist who embraces opportunities to create meaningful change that lead to a better life for many

Chris White is no stranger to travel. A European award-winning real estate agent, having sold properties in over 20 countries and lived in approximately a dozen, he is a multi-business-owner with a busy passport.

But despite his international achievements, at heart Chris remains a down-to-earth Lincolnshire lad for whom personal fulfilment comes through helping others. Born in Cleethorpes in 1979, Chris’s roots are a reminder of his journey from a modest terraced house “with a toilet in the garden” to global entrepreneur. Reflecting on his past, he acknowledges the support his own family received during challenging times.

When I was young, growing up there were times when we struggled and we had to rely on help. Help gives people hope, and everyone needs help every now and again,” he shares.

In November last year, Chris made a trip to Uganda as part of a tour to follow-up on projects funded through a foundation created by UK property investor Samuel Leeds. The projects include a new school hall at the Bulubandi Primary School, improving sanitation at the Bunafu Primary School with five new toilet blocks, and a new hospital wing.

It was just fantastic to be on the ground and see how these changes are helping improve the children’s and everyone’s lives. We were given such an amazing welcome from the local community, it was really moving,” he recalls.

Chris was accompanied on the trip by his son and daughter, Jacob and Daisy, and they took with them a bag full of festive treats to give to the local children: “It was great fun; at one of the bigger schools we visited, we were all up singing Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”
The team of 18 benefactors also had the opportunity to scout for new projects and see where more help could make a difference.

What I really want to do is create more opportunities where the funding generates revenue for self-sufficiency. In Africa, for example, I’d like to help the schools set up their own farms, so the children have access to healthy fresh vegetables, and sustainable forms of income, like their own bakeries,” he explains.

Chris had previously visited Africa, and Operation Smile, a charity specialising in repairing cleft palates, and he plans to return with Operation Smile again later this year.

What tends to take people by surprise, however, is that Chris began his working life not in property, but as a chef, and his first jobs were in a kebab shop and hotel kitchen. Last October, he had the opportunity to put those skills to good use while visiting Hawaii, where he rallied with a team of volunteers to make food for around 100 fire victims, in Maui.

Chris also partners with Paralympic swimming star Lyndon Longhorne, a quadruple amputee and meningitis survivor, to bring motivational speaking to events and institutions. “For me, school was a struggle,” he says. “As a young boy I wanted to be a pilot, but I couldn’t read very well. I was described as a daydreamer. Now I know it’s because I have dyslexia and ADHD.” Sharing their personal stories of overcoming challenges, Chris and Lyndon aim to inspire audiences to embrace their uniqueness and pursue their dreams.

And here in Portugal
A cause particularly close to Chris’s heart is the Gaivota children’s home in Albufeira. Ideal Homes Portugal has supported the home since the onset of the company, having helped fund structural improvements to the building as well as making donations of every-day items.

Every year at Christmas time, the team takes a car-full of wrapped gifts to the children and dress up for the visit, to add an extra sprinkle of festive excitement. This year, besides the traditional Christmas visit, a financial donation was made, raised through sales of units at an Algarve development that the company recently took on. For each of the units sold at the Algarve Race Apartments complex, a percentage is donated to the home.

It’s important to make people realise they’re valued. At the end of the day, we’re all just human beings trying to help each other. If you’ve got the ability to do some-thing, then you should do it,” Chris says.

To learn more about any of the causes mentioned or to get involved, visit

Words: Carries-Marie Bratley

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