Community spirit lives!

By MIKE ALMOND [email protected]

As the financial crisis deepened across Europe in 2010, residents of the Algarve found they were far from immune.

Everyone here felt the pinch in one way or another.

Those with a British pension found that it didn’t go as far as it used to as they were getting fewer Euros to the Pound.

Many people running small businesses could not survive the problems caused by restricted cash flow and had no option but to close.

And others, used to being in gainful employment, suddenly found the dole queue beckoning as companies, small and large, had to shed staff in order to survive.

One area of the economy, however, thrived last year – that bit where people dig deep to help others less fortunate than themselves.

As you would expect from your local newspaper, the Algarve Resident carried stories throughout 2010 detailing these good deeds.

And, in a sure sign that the community spirit is alive and kicking in the region, we reported on almost 100 charitable events that raised a magnificent €452,189 for worthy causes.

Yes, you have read that correctly – getting on for half a million Euros raised in the midst of the worst economic time in living memory.

The real total is undoubtedly much, much more – after all, we can only report on events we know about.

These ranged from small dinners bringing in €100 to massive corporate-backed shindigs that raised €67,000 at one event.

Add to these the numerous events that collected much-needed items rather than cash – bags for school-children, toys for children’s’ homes and Christmas meals for the needy, to name but a few – and you get some idea of the generosity of our residents.

It really is a remarkable achievement – and proves once again that the Algarve is a place with REAL community spirit.

You should all be very proud.