AFPOP Matters – There’s a new woman at the top

news: AFPOP Matters - There’s a new woman at the top

AFPOP, the association for foreign residents living and working in Portugal, said a fond farewell to their outgoing president, Sheena Rawcliffe, recently and warmly welcomed Patricia Roberts to the top spot.

AFPOP helps expatriates to keep up-to-date with legal and bureaucratic issues of the country. Negotiating Portugal’s laws is not an easy task, so joining the association is really worth while – not only will you receive regular information sheets and many financial benefits, but it also provides a great way to meet people. Through AFPOP’s social events, you can meet like-minded folk and glean lots of helpful information about your new homeland.

The new AFPOP president, Patricia Roberts, has been a member since 1995. Having moved to Portugal to retire with her husband Alun several years ago, Patricia found that she needed something to keep her grey cells ticking over and so became an AFPOP area representative for Lagos. With 30 years’ experience in personnel in England, Patricia was well versed in dealing with people and thrived from her work.

From area rep, she moved on to the management council as treasurer, then on to secretary, vice president, senior vice president and, today, finds herself as president of the association she joined 10 years ago.

Patricia has a great deal of insight into the inner workings of the association as well as Sheena’s presidential role. “I believe Sheena and I are very similar,” Patricia smiled. “We are both strong characters who are not afraid to make important decisions and admit if those decisions ever were proved to be wrong! Hopefully, I have learnt from Sheena the ability to handle a difficult meeting with style and authority. She really was brilliant and I hope to be able to command future meetings with her confidence and presence. At this early stage, there are no areas that I feel I need to alter. AFPOP is a successful association – why change something that works so well for so many people?”

It is clear from talking to Patricia that she really loves Portugal and wants to ensure that all expatriates living here enjoy the country as much as she does. The people of Lagos certainly have a love for her. As their area representative for six years, Patricia became known to a lot of the residents and, at a recent meeting when she was introduced as the new president, a huge cheer went up. “It was nice to be welcomed and received in such a warm way. It made me feel very honoured and glad that I took the position,” she said.

AFPOP is a democratic organisation, run by members, who are elected to the management council on a voluntary basis, and the salaried staff in the office. “I would love to bring the association to areas like Porto, as it is already represented in Lisbon and Madeira. AFPOP is slowly being regarded by the Portuguese authorities as a high standing association.”

• To become a member of AFPOP costs a single person 60 euros and 40 euros each year to renew, for a couple 75 euros and 55 euros to renew. For more information about AFPOP, call 282 458 509, fax 282 458 277, visit or email [email protected]