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RefoodVolunteer that is! It's all a big plus as far as I'm concerned and I've been doing it for 20 years here in the Algarve. From helping set up the first charity shop for APAA in Montechoro to Castelo do Sonhos in Silves and AAG here in Guia.

For the last 2 years I've been volunteering with an organisation called REFOOD but I'll come back to them later. First the reasons why.

ACCA's Back to School project helps hundreds of childrenACCA, the children’s charity that is focused on helping needy kids across the Algarve, topped its record and kitted out 866 youngsters with learning essentials

The growing success of ACCA’s fundraising activities meant that more children than ever before started the new school year with confidence… and the basics that will allow them to take full part in classes, and progress.

Come and help our disabled ridersEvery Thursday and Friday morning from September to May children and young adults with physical and mental disabilities enjoy riding therapy through the Associação de Equitação para Deficientes no Algarve (Riding for the Disabled in the Algarve). However, volunteers are needed to provide help and support for many of them while riding.

The benefits of the therapy sessions include improved concentration and coordination, posture and, importantly, self esteem. The movement of the horse is particularly valuable as the rider, to keep balance, has to use the almost identical muscles and joint movements used in walking. The horse produces 1000 movements in three dimensions in 10 minutes - this is far greater than any therapist could produce in the same time!

Fido taking offOn a beautiful sunny September morning, I nervously stood on a small, wooden platform, just below the castle at Sanlúcar de Guadiana, Spain, with seven other APAA supporters. We were waiting for our turn to cross the Guadiana River on a 720 metre long cable. Alcoutim in Portugal – our landing stage – seemed a long way off and the river was a long way down!

First to go was Fido, aka Jenny, President of APAA. Harness checked, tailed tucked in, she was off.

Streetlife “Zip for a Snip” - Didn't we do well!Hello everyone, a huge thank you for Friday — What an experience! What a great Day! What an achievement!
Our best estimates at the moment is a grand total of €3670.00, of which €1800 is what the eight APAA Zippers raised and the remaining €1870 was from our afpop EA Zippers for StreetLife.

BUT some of the sponsorship money is being paid in sterling and some in Euros . . . so the exact figure will not be known until all money has been received and we can see what exchange rate we get.

The grass is greener at Centro Infantil da Vila da Luz!Centro Infantil da Vila da Luz has greatly improved its crèche playground. Local artificial grass company Mãos Verdes has donated 450 m2 of playground grass to the school.

Natural grass would not grow in the playground and over the years the area became basically a dusty, dirty area that the children couldn’t use in safety.

GoldraYou may remember that earlier in the year, the number of dogs and puppies at the Sanctuary was down to around 109, and Jan´s ambition was to get that total down to the ton or less. The current population is 127, and the place is FULL...CLICK HERE to read more.

GoldraThose who follow events in the UK, as I do avidly, will have heard a lot about the MMT recently. It seems from recent conversations that there are those who believe that we at Goldra have access to this cornucopia, and that we are rolling in cash. Most readers of this newsletter will be aware that this is certainly not the case .....CLICK HERE to read more.