Those attending included Shirley Dunn and Christine Fay President and Vice President respectively of Rotary International Estoi, Paul Streeter President AFPOP, and his wife Andrea and Sue and John Bannister Royal British Legion.

David Thomas started the event by thanking, SCP management team member Mike Evans for organising the event, and in particular Clive Jewell for being the speaker. It was through Clive’s invitation some eleven years ago that Safe Communities attended a British consulate outreach program in Albufeira officiated by the then British Ambassador Jill Gallard, where David announced the forming of Safe Communities Algarve as it was then known, in response to the serious crime that affected the Algarve at that time. Clive had continued to give great support to SCP since then.

David then spoke about how it was not until a year later that Safe Communities was officially registered being the first crime prevention organisation registered in Portugal. As interest and demand in its services grew it changed its name to Safe Communities Portugal in 2014, taking on new challenges in the area of civil protection including, in particular rural fire preparedness. The association had held around 35 seminars at that time bringing the GNR, PSP, SEF, Civil protection, Regional Tourism Algarve together before a foreign community audience. The aim was develop public awareness of safety and security risks and foster closer engagement between the community and the authorities.

He explained how the association had been recognized by the government Council of Ministers and had become a qualified Civil Protection Volunteer organisation under Portuguese law. David added that these steps were essential in building a close relationship with government and resulted in SCP being involved in parts of the review process following the 2017 major fires. David gave an overview of the considerable challenges the association face in dealing with Covid-19, its current work in disaster risk reduction and covering major incidents as well as plans for the future. He concluded by thanking the management team, members and followers.

Clive Jewell then gave a very interesting talk on what the day-to-day life of a Vice Consul entails. He spoke about the core work of the consular team in supporting the British community and the various services that they offered, as well as his own role. There followed a number of questions.

David Thomas said that this was the first of what they hope is a series of lunches around the country. The event raised €465 in donations to SCP thank you. The next lunch will be in the New Year and plans are currently being finalised and will be promoted to their followers in the New Year.