São Brás adds new Foreign Resident Ombudsman
São Brás de Alportel Mayor, Vítor Guerreiro (left) and new Foreign Resident Ombudsman, Robin Wilson (right)

São Brás adds new Foreign Resident Ombudsman

Robin Wilson joins Alejandro Barcia 

São Brás de Alportel Council has added a new Foreign Resident Ombudsman to its ranks in an attempt to strengthen its support to the municipality’s foreign community.

Robin Wilson is Scottish but grew up in Lisbon, having worked in the golf industry and been a golf course manager in the Algarve.

He has lived in São Brás de Alportel since 2022 and has become an active member of the community and a collaborator of the activities organised at the local museum (Museu do Traje).

Says the council, he is “committed to becoming a facilitating element for the integration of foreign residents” whom he believes have an “important contribution to give to the São Brás community.”

Robin Wilson will be joining Alejandro Barcia, who became the municipality’s first Foreign Resident Ombudsman in 2014. Since then, he has played a large role in the integration of foreign residents in the borough and has become deeply involved in local charity projects.

São Brás de Alportel Mayor, Vítor Guerreiro (left) and original Foreign Resident Ombudsman, Alejandro Barcia (right)

Originally from the Spanish region of Galiza, Barcia lived for many years in the USA until he discovered São Brás de Alportel, which he made his home.

Both Robin Wilson and Alejandro Barcia are volunteer members of the council’s Support Service for Foreign Residents, which aims to respond to the “growing number of foreign residents in the borough, thus helping build bridges and a closer proximity” between the council and the foreign community.

The Ombudsmans can help with everything from obtaining information or translations to accompanying foreign residents as they seek council services.

“The mission of both ombudsmen is an example of altruism and great civic duty which is recognised by the municipality and the São Brás community,” the council adds.

It adds that the creation of this position has already been “recognised on a national level as a good practice by the High Commission for Migration.”

By Michael Bruxo

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