Deborah Burton BEM
Debby is the president of Alerta, having had the idea of using the official Civil Protection website to track wildfires in the Algarve and posting them on a Facebook page in a way which was easy for concerned residents to follow. And so Alerta in its current form was born. It quickly became a valuable source of reliable, up-to-date information as well as providing a platform for people to air worries and share support.
After the terrible fires of 2016 Debby and her husband Andrew realised that Alerta could help the bombeiros by providing food, water and other essencials wherever they were fighting to save lives and protect property. All this has been achieved by her indefatigable fundraising throughout the year and her astute organisation of Alerta volunteers.
In 2019 Debby was awarded the British Empire Medal by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her achievements in support of the local and ex-patriot communities in the Algarve.
Before arriving in the Algarve in 2010, Debby worked for 30 years as a mental health nurse manager in the UK.
She, together with her husband are the founders of the organisation. In addition to her work with the association, Debby keeps busy by helping work the family smallholding and baking the most delicious pies and cakes.
Andrew Burton (known as Burt) arrived on the Algarve in 2010, following many holidays in the area.
He divides his time between working on his smallholding and attempting to reduce his golfing handicap.
Karen Howard Goldsmith
Vice President & Vogol (Fiscal Council)
Karen was born in Yorkshire but grew up in Zambia. She trained and worked as a nurse in London where she also worked in Health Promotion.
Karen is married to Gordon and has one daughter living in the UK. She lived in Germany but retired and moved to the Algarve permanently 2 years ago, having been a regular visitor for the last 10 years.
Louise first came to the Algarve to visit family in 1977 and has been living and working in Albufeira for over 30 years.
She originally trained as a nurse in the UK and, following a spell in tourism, began working in the health sector. After marrying and the birth of her 2 children, Louise joined the Portuguese health system in the Albufeira Centro de Saude where she still works.
President (Fiscal Council)
Claire is American born but has been resident in Portugal for 21 years. She has a Masters degree in international business and travelled extensively before taking (very early) retirement.
She is an active Rotarian living in the countryside near Santa Barbara de Nexe and is also passionate about wine and her dogs.
President (General Assembly)
Redmond, better known as Ray was born in Dublin but spent most of his working life as a health care provider and commissioner in London.
He shares his time between London and the Algarve. He maintains a business interest in London and whilst in the Algarve spends his time in the horta with his husband.
He became involved with Debby and the team during the 2016 fires and was later involved in setting up the Association.