PortoBay Team delivers HOPE donations
PortoBay initiative HOPE was set up in 2012 and has been helping institutions in the Algarve, Lisbon, Porto and Madeira. This commitment combines an annual donation from the PortoBay group with guests' donations of €1 per stay/room.
This year, HOPE raised €34,860, making a total of €473,000 over 9 years.
Throughout the month of November our teams visited institutions all over Portugal and experienced first hand the difficulties and needs of each of the causes we support.
Let’s find out about the Albufeira Humanitarian Solidarity Association?
The Albufeira Humanitarian Solidarity Association (AHSA) in the Algarve welcomed some of our employees from PortoBay Falésia and gave them an insight into their work. This institution seeks not only to help the most disadvantaged in Albufeira, but also the senior community.
Sara Araújo, Head of Reception, recognises the value and impact that projects like HOPE have on people’s quality of life and on improving their well-being. "I definitely got a feeling of a duty fulfilled. This experience was very enriching, both for me and for the rest of the team."
Through the support of HOPE, this association was able to purchase appliances and equipment to support cognitive stimulation and rehabilitation, as well as supplement the food baskets that are donated weekly to over 500 people.
Bringing HOPE smiles to CADIn
In Lisbon, HOPE has embraced CADIn, a private social welfare institution (IPSS) that encourages the inclusion of people with special needs and neurodevelopmental changes.
Getting to know CADIn's facilities was a remarkable moment for all the PortoBay team members there, especially for Sara Silva, Head Chef at the PortoBay Marquês, who expresses her pride: "This cause touches me deeply, especially as a mother, because not all children have the same capacities and it is very important to start as early as possible to help them overcome their difficulties, integrate and help families that often are not prepared nor know how to deal with these situations."
HOPE's help enables CADIn to continue supporting young people and children from needy families or who are living in foster care through its Social Grant: help toward paying for consultations, assessments and therapy sessions. Together we guarantee a brighter future and more HOPE.
More HOPE at Comunidade Vida e Paz
Continuing to spread smiles in Lisbon, HOPE is sponsoring the Comunidade Vida e Paz, which with the pandemic saw the needs and difficulties of its users rise. With its mission to support people who are homeless or in situations of social vulnerability, HOPE is supporting Comunidade Vida e Paz to rebuild some meaning in the lives of those who seek them out.
HOPE’s contribution will have a direct effect on the welfare and quality of life of users of the Community, and is going to be applied to help maintain shared apartments. For Filipe Barbacenas, head receptionist at the PortoBay Marquês, the difference that this institution makes in the community is remarkable and cause for "great pride in being part of this cooperation between the PortoBay Group and Comunidade Vida e Paz through HOPE. It is extremely gratifying to feel that with a little help we can make a difference in the lives of several people."
A present with more future for the Sant'Egídio Community
Again in Lisbon, HOPE hosted the Sant'Egídio Community, in a year that was extremely challenging for the association and for those it helped through the Ajuda platform, a programme created for families who lost their income during the pandemic.
Not only have they helped more than 30 people find jobs, they have also managed to minimize the impact on children by donating computers.
To continue to help and bring hope, with this year's HOPE contribution the Sant'Egidio Community will create a new project, as our colleague Silvia Rio who was present when the donations were delivered tells us:
"I was very happy to hear that they had set up a school project to teach refugees Portuguese, so that it will be easier for them to integrate! I know very well the importance of communication for these people and especially for children, where everything is new and the comfort of familiar things is no longer there!"
Heading north to the Portuguese Leukaemia and Lymphoma Association
In the North, HOPE visited the Portuguese Leukaemia and Lymphoma Association (APLL), which supports patients with blood cancer and their families, especially those most in need. This association subsists exclusively on donations, so HOPE and all of us have a fundamental role to play in the well-being and life of these people.
To be able to support those who have been diagnosed during the pandemic, APLL is developing an online project to bring health literacy and awareness of these diseases to its users, families and the general population, and part of the HOPE donation will be for this purpose.
During the visit to the Association's facilities we met the oldest volunteer at the institution and some users. For Ana Teresa Matos, General Manager of PortoBay Flores, this was a moment that she will remember for the capacity to give back: "It was a mixture of joy and sadness. There is nothing better than putting a smile on other people's faces. Unfortunately I can't do it to the extent I would like, but...this time, thanks to PortoBay's HOPE initiative with these associations, I was able to be part of many more smiles !!!".
In the middle of the Atlantic with a common purpose
Moving on to the island of Madeira, HOPE gained an insight into the work of two institutions: the Madeira Regional Directorate of the Portuguese League Against Cancer (LPCC) and the Madeira Cerebral Palsy Association (APCM).
Portuguese League Against Cancer in Madeira
The visit to the headquarters of the Portuguese League Against Cancer (LPCC) in Madeira was marred by access and mobility difficulties. This is a problem that the League is trying to solve, since it adds another obstacle for its users who are already physically impaired.
During the visit to the association by HOPE and our employees, we were assured that this project is contributing to a greater good, as Director André Caldeira tells us:
"In my opinion, companies should be more than mere economic agents; they should try to positively impact the communities in which they operate. The HOPE project is one of the ways PortoBay tries, with the help of its guests, to contribute to help those who need it most. Donating to the League allows us to hear first hand where these funds go and see how money is transformed into help for people suffering from oncological diseases. We’ll sleep a little better tonight knowing that we were able to help."
In 2020, the pandemic has aggravated the need for help, given the lack of an early diagnosis. Currently, the LPCC supports more than 200 cancer patients in need, whether by subsidizing medication, food, tuition, monthly and occasional expenses, technical help, and also the loan of adjustable beds, wheelchairs and other equipment.
Help and rehabilitate with the Madeira Cerebral Palsy Association
Moving on to the Madeira Cerebral Palsy Association (APCM), our teams were able to look round the facilities and services of this IPSS, which helps youngsters and adults with cerebral palsy or related neurological diseases in terms of accommodation, employment and rehabilitation.
The Therapeutic Centres are a core part of APCM that help users in their rehabilitation and it is in this area that HOPE will have a direct input this year, helping in the reactivation of the pool, through the purchase of heating equipment. The pool is fundamental for hydrotherapy, and is one of the features that is most valued by users. Only with a minimum temperature of 33ºC is it possible for the therapy to achieve the desired effect.
Diamantino Fernandes, Chief Receptionist at The Cliff Bay, tells us how enriching and exciting this experience was: "It was a great honour to be present at these visits and a source of great pride and gratitude to be part of such a worthy hotel group which makes a difference in the associations we support. It was very heart-warming to feel that our contribution is valued and very valid. I got to know what our contribution means in a very real way. It was very emotional to share the moments we experienced that day with my team, and now we have more of a sense of what HOPE really is."