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afpop awarded public utility status by government

afpop, the largest association for foreign residents in Portugal, has been officially recognised by the Portuguese government as a Public Utility organisation.

At a ceremony held on February 18 at the offices of the Civil Governor in Faro, Isilda Gomes presented the certificate of Utilidade Pública to the president of afpop, Chris Ireland.  Also present at the ceremony was the president of the Algarve Tourism Board (ERTA) Nuno Aires, who joined the association’s council members and staff, previous presidents of afpop and members of the association.

The association had officially been recognised on October 29, 2010 by the Secretary of State of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, who granted the status to afpop in recognition of the service that the organisation provides to both its members and to public life in Portugal.

Isilda Gomes praised afpop on their award and recognised the work that the association has done in building relationships between the foreign residents and Portuguese communities while acknowledging the contribution that foreign businesses and residents make to the Algarve economy.

Isilda Gomes said: “This award is not easy to obtain and afpop has had to undergo an in-depth scrutiny from the Council of Ministers in order to be successful.  By working together, we can all help the Algarve family face the difficult times ahead.”

She added: “My congratulations go to afpop on this award and I look forward to maintaining the good cooperation that already exists between us.”

afpop president Chris Ireland said: “Receiving the award of Utilidade Pública is not an end of anything except the process of application.  After 23 years of providing benefits to our members and in forming links and relationships with many organisations and authorities, afpop has finally achieved the recognition that our existence is beneficial to the wider community.

“This is the beginning of the next chapter for afpop.  Our motto is ‘Here to Help’ and the focus of what we do is to ensure that our members get value out of being part of this association – we are after all a members’ association and our Management Council, staff and event organisers work hard to look for any way in which we can help members to get more out of their life in Portugal.”

He added: “By continuing to strive for excellence in service, variety in benefits, accuracy of information and a commitment to building bridges where they are needed, we believe that afpop will not only remain relevant to our members, but will continue to be worthy of the status of Utilidade Pública for many years to come.”

To find out more about afpop, please call 282 458 509 or visit www.afpop.com