It is always said that charity begin at home. If you have chosen to make your home here in the algarve, there are organisations and associations that would benefit from your support in helping them meet the needs of the less fortunate.


Dedicated to helping children in need across the Algarve, ACCA has spent 20 years delivering life-changing – and sometimes life-saving – therapies and medical aid to disadvantaged youngsters who either live below the poverty line, or are orphaned and in care, or who require specialist treatment that is not available to them through Social Services.

ACCA is run by a small committee who give their time, experience and enthusiasm to support the children of the Algarve who are disabled, abused, orphaned or abandoned and the institutions who look after children whose families simply can’t.

There are many ways you can help: donations allow funding of key needs but your time, too, can be a major contributor with everything from collecting and delivering parcels, to securing activity sponsorship, to helping at awareness-raising events when those can once again feature on the calendar.

ACCA is known for its back-to-school programme which ensures that underprivileged children have all they need to start a new school year, its Christmas Angels scheme created to give every child a reason to smile, and its major annual fund-raising events.


Madrugada was established in February 2009 in response to limited choices for end-of-life care in the Algarve. Over the years, this charity has developed an excellence in home-based, palliative care and is highly regarded by both the families of those it helps and by health professionals who have observed the care given. Magrugada works closely with many agencies to ensure patient comfort and peace for those last precious days.

The professional palliative care team provides support to anyone of 18 years and over affected by a life-limiting illness. Support is extended to carers and close family members and family and bereavement counselling during illness and after the loss of a loved one is available.

The amazing Support Centre offers people with a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness and those important to them, support throughout treatment and beyond, by facilitating a range of complementary therapies, psychotherapy, counselling, creative activities, physical activities, group therapy, information and lifestyle advice.

All these facilities and services are available free of charge and over the years thousands of hours of support has been given.

Madrugada provides an incredible service which eases the difficulties faced by those closest to the patient as well as the patient themselves.

Volunteering opportunities include working in a Madrugada shop, carrying out deliveries and collections, helping with fundraising and event hosting.


Wolf Valley supports local people with everything from the payment of medical bills to the provision of respite care whilst tackling homelessness and drug and alcohol addiction. Funds are raised through donations and the organisation of events such as dinners and golf days, craft markets and ladies’ lunches.  Based in Vale de Lobo, Wolf Valley considers enquiries and requests for aid from any individual or organisation in the Loulé area.

A recent donation of a freezer to the Algarve Food Bank has proved a resounding success especially during the current difficult economic situation. The freezer, which cost €36,000, is vast, and has enabled the Food Bank to increase the distribution of food significantly as many more companies can now donate food which can be frozen, thus reducing supermarket waste.


AHSA – the Associação Humanitária Solidariedade Albufeira – was formed in 1999 after a number of people had come together to raise funds to help a young man with a serious illness for which there was treatment available in the USA, but not here in Portugal. Despite their valiant efforts, the young man sadly died, but those involved recognised that there were many others in desperate need of help.

The first major project undertaken was to provide food support to needy families in Albufeira. Each case was thoroughly vetted and care taken to ensure that money and services were only given to those most in need.

AHSA began to organise fundraising events and has continued to grow over its two decades; the food bank has become vital during the past year with many more families relying on the generosity of AHSA during the pandemic and the resulting economic collapse. A day centre for the elderly provides welcome respite for the families of the over 65s, providing food and medical care, communication between the family and social services and hospitals as well as addressing mental health issues.

This is a real community-based grassroots charity that has been able to accomplish so much thanks to its dedicated supporters.

If you have a few hours to spare either regularly or occasionally why not consider donating your time and energy to a special cause? Perhaps a charity shop or maybe one of the food bank donation sites who need collectors, drivers, distributors? In these difficult times of restrictions, many regular sources of income have sadly stopped so charities need to be innovative with their revenue streams. 



Twice a year, over a weekend, volunteers take up position in supermarkets, asking shoppers to buy and donate basic food stuffs. What is collected goes to the warehouse in Faro where more volunteers sort and help store goods. The Food Bank Against Hunger in the Algarve collected a total of 140 tonnes of foodstuffs in the campaign carried out on the weekend of 30 November and 1 December 2019. This is a vital venture that produces real results.


There are many amazing people, all with different expertise, some working at grass roots level and needing help; others with fabulous ideas but no time to act on them; still more who want to help but don’t know where they can be useful. There are people who have things to donate but don’t know who could make best use of it. The aim of the Portugal Charity Chat room Facebook group is to bring these all these people together so that contacts and advice can be shared.


Meals are served to around 70 people three times a week (that’s 80 litres of  home-made soup and 500 sandwiches). You can assist by setting tables, washing dishes and serving food, donating food, or helping cover the weekly costs.


Almancil international Rotary Club is asking for donations to purchase food for people in need in the Almancil area and working with two organisations, ASCA and Refood. Donations can be made to:

Rotary food crisis Project
Bank a/c: AIRC Charity Fellowship Assoc.
IBAN:  PT50 0010 0000 5558 1140 00116

Words: Dawn Annandale

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