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Algarve: Alison Blair on New Years Honours List

MBEMedalAlison Blair, well known in the Algarve for her work at Madrugada, is listed on the New Years Honours List to receive an MBE.

In October 2016, Alison stood down after seven years leading Madrugada, the Luz-based association that supports people with life-limiting illnesses, and their families.

The organisation was created in 2009 in response to the lack of care and support available in the region. Alison, a psychologist and psychotherapist with an education and training background, was the vision and driving force behind Madrugada’s birth, growth and development.

When retiring from her role, the Vice-President of Madrugada John Hough, was quoted in the Resident, “Alison has brought enormous creativity, energy and flair to the challenges of raising funds, coping with bureaucracy and, most of all, overturning misconceptions about palliative care. Her cheerful disposition, determination and resolve have won through where many others would have given up,” adding that “The many letters of gratitude from ‘Madrugada families’ are testament to the importance and success of what Alison set out to achieve when the idea to create the organisation was conceived back in February 2009.”

Alison moved to the Algarve from Kent in 2006 and through her psychotherapy work soon found that there was little support for people dealing with terminal conditions.

On hearing the news, Alison commented, “This honour has caught me by surprise; I am of course delighted but very much aware that without the support of my colleagues, Madrugada volunteers and our community my role would have been too difficult to contemplate. Thank you to everyone who has helped me to build, promote and deliver Madrugada’s services, we can all be proud of these achievements. The real honour is in helping others.”

Hard work in setting up the organisation has been recognised with this honour and those that know Alison Blair will agree that her becoming a Member of the British Empire marks not only her contribution to society but the coming of age of Madrugada as a stable, vital and much respected service.