the British Community Council, Lisbon

The British Community Council, Lisbon

Umbrella entity for organisations
with links to the British Community
in and around Lisbon

Womens Royal Voluntary Service

The WRVS in Lisbon is the only overseas branch of the organisation and relies entirely on locally generated funding.

Contact Information

Contact: Angela French:

Phone: n/a



Full Description


The Women's Royal Voluntary Service in Portugal is an organisation run entirely by volunteers of all nationalities. We exist to look after the welfare of others, mostly by creating community events that connect people, be they neighbours, charities, societies, elderly or young, and in doing so, we raise funds for Portuguese Charities. We volunteer our time, expertise, and willing nature, and in return earn the richness of friendship and respect in the knowledge that by our joint efforts we have made a difference. We send out event notices and requests for help for the upcoming events and members can choose to help in a variety of ways. Our members are mostly female, but we now have an increasing band of male volunteers who are equally important in helping with the growing number of tasks we undertake.


The WRVS in Portugal dates back to 1936 when women volunteers (originally known as the “Women’s War Work Organisation”) provided bandages and garments which were sent to Britain during World War 2 or for those in need in Portugal. Following the War, voluntary work continued in the UK and Portugal, supporting local charities and homes, visiting people in need and creating social events. By 1966 HM the Queen conferred Royal to the title and it was then to be known as WRVS under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and then, after her death, of HM the Queen.

The work continues today, despite the fact that since 2008 we are no longer affiliated with the WRVS in the UK. Our members continue to provide support to those in need in Portugal. And we are still entirely run by volunteers.


We are a very active group and always on the lookout for ways to create community events and raise funds for charities. Every month it seems, we offer something to get involved in!

Our most regular commitment is monthly social teas at Quinta de Fonte, the British Retirement Home, which is open to everyone. Each event includes either interesting speakers or musicians, or we ask volunteers to organize games or quizzes for all to join in.

Twice a year we hold a large Car Boot Sale in Carcavelos, which includes a WRVS produce stall and we are constantly being asked to run more of these events. Our clothes sales also have been a huge success.

We visit various Portuguese charities and assess the help which we can give them, by funding a project, redistributing donated items, or publicising their needs. We also ask for “hands on” volunteers to help with various charities.

Our members also volunteer to organize food stalls and donate cakes and pastries to community events run by other organisations such as the British Community Council.

We enjoying helping to connect people of all ages and this is evident especially with our ‘Living History’ project, working with local International schools and hopefully soon, sporting events for the less active!

Our members also provide assistance to individuals who need help with shopping, getting to hospital appointments or by just visiting to say hello.

We have an active knitting group, we collect stamps and we create wonderful cookbooks!

We would do even more if we could and would love your help in doing so! Email To see more of what we do find the WRVS NEWSLETTER published on the British Community Website; www.bcclisbon You can also let us know if you’d like to receive emails of upcoming events by adding your name to our list of ‘friends of WRVS’

Upcoming Events

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Latest News

Womens Royal Voluntary Service April Newsletter
(posted on: 2012-04-09)

Womens Royal Voluntary Service Newsletter July 2011
(posted on: 2011-07-19)

All news »