Almost without exception, the word Poppy was mentioned. Yes, the Poppy Appeal is a very important part of the RBL and the Poppy is our symbol. However, I want to share with you what else the RBL does throughout the year, day in day out, 24 hours a day - work that is largely unseen... Why the words Support, Passion and Protect are our Word Association. From the first day of service until the day they die, all of the armed forces, their families and dependants have access to support from the RBL.

They help with financial support, physical and mental wellbeing and rehabilitation programmes – they are there and always will be. These are words the RBL exists for and we are passionate about but I appreciate that they are just words unless you can relate them to real life stories. Welfare cases are often complex and can involve co-operating with other ex-service charities – there are obviously many in the UK and we currently have three like that in Portugal. Details of these are understandably not for public consumption.

However, by example, the RBL will help with researching and sourcing solutions such as medical needs in the form of Doctors or specialists whether it is for physical or mental health issues. They can also allocate funding via London HQ in some emergency situations. The Portugal Branch is currently being enrolled in a new system, Branch Community Support (BCS) which means they will be able to help with hospital and medical visits as a companion or give support through a phone call for someone who is lonely...sometimes all someone needs is a friendly voice at the end of the phone.

There are lots of fun events, lunches, dinner dances, BBQ’s etc across the Algarve that everyone is welcome to attend, members or non-members. We always support a local restaurant so why not come along, bring a friend... We encourage people of all ages and it is also a great way of meeting new people and giving something back.

All of our events are advertised on our Facebook page: Royal British Legion Portugal Branch. Follow us now and join us for our Easter Sunday lunch in São Brás with canapés, a buffet lunch and deserts with drinks – all for €17 for non-members and €15 for members. There will also be musical entertainment and an Easter Egg hunt! Why not get to São Brás early and experience a unique Easter event in a traditional Algarve village. The Festa das Tochas Floridas (Festival of Flower Torches). Walk through the city centre to see the streets adorned with a carpet of fresh flowers before your lunch. What is there not to love about a day like that?

To book please contact Mary McClay

Let's see how many new members we can encourage to join Portugal and Atlantic Islands Branch of The Royal British Legion. The cost is £23 for the year...a third of a tank of fuel or two month’s Netflix subscription...?

Beneficiaries of the RBL that live here in Portugal need our support and comradeship, you can make a difference. They were and will always be there for us, let’s be there for them.

Please contact Stephen Bland, our membership secretary at who will guide you through the process of joining our Portugal Branch.