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Madrugada Association

2020 10 Madrugada Support Centre Luz 01 300DPI

Who Are We?

Madrugada is a not-for-profit association that provides “Hospice at Home” or end of life care and support in the comfort of a patient’s home.

Founded in 2009, the Luz based organization has provided end of life care and support to over 190 people in the Algarve.

Additionally, many have benefitted from Madrugada’s advice and professional support to help manage the challenges of life limiting illness through counselling, therapeutic activities, complementary therapies, and education.

Over the years, Madrugada has raised the profile of home-based end of life care and supportive therapies in Portugal.

Where does Madrugada provide its services?

Our services are in demand throughout the Algarve. Currently, we are only able to offer full end of life care and support services to those living in the Western Algarve, and a slightly reduced service in the Central region. Our aim is to expand the availability of our services across the Algarve region, giving equal access to all.

What Services Does Madrugada provide?

Our care team provides home-based, end of life care and support to anyone 18 years and over. Support is also extended to carers and close family members.

End of Life Care and Support at Home services provided by Madrugada’s team includes the following:

Emotional support to the patient

Emotional and practical support to the patient’s caregivers, often close family members and friends

Hands-on nursing care

Personal and practical carer services (also gives family and friends a break from caring)

Medical equipment (wheelchair, hospital bed, hoist, walker, etc.)

Monitoring of patient’s situation and coordination of services

End of Life Care and Support at the Madrugada Support Centre in Luz includes the following:

Counseling (individual and group)

Therapeutic activities


Support, both informal and formal

How are Patients Referred to Madrugada?

Patients may refer themselves or give permission to be referred by their doctor or other healthcare professional, a close friend or family member. Referrals are considered on clinical criteria and appropriate home environment for safe and effective care.

What do we charge for our services?

Madrugada is a not-for-profit association and our end of life care services are free of charge to the patient and family.

What does it cost to provide end of life services?

Typically, end of life care services and support (including medical equipment) is anywhere from 1 or 2 days up to 14 days. At a daily cost of circa €500 for 24-hour care, this soon adds up to a substantial outlay in both nursing and equipment costs.

How is Madrugada funded?

Madrugada exists thanks to a wonderful team of dedicated volunteers, members, and network of supporters.


The surplus of three charity shops – Encore Boutique in Luz, a large Homestore in Lagos and another in Lagoa - all go to funding patient care.

Members of Madrugada Association provide support through annual membership fees and dedicating time to our activities.

Supporters of Madrugada raise funds through fundraising events and donations provide additional funds needed to carry-out the end of life services.



 Because you care, we can - how can you help?MadrugadaPixFinal2

Become a volunteer 

help out at one of our shops and beyond


organize an event to raise funds


items for our shops or make a monetary donation


become a member of Madrugada and support our cause with an individual or joint membership


sponsor Madrugada as a business


or call  282-761 375

to find out more about how you can support Madrugada


A word from the President of the Board, John Hough, a volunteer since 2015


People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons.

For John Hough, President of the Association, there were two reasons.  Firstly, having seen first-hand the compassionate end of life care received by loved ones, he feels compelled to give back through volunteering as it allows him to contribute, be part of a good cause, and to make a difference to the community where he lives.

Secondly, as a volunteer, not only are you giving back and helping others, he believes it promotes a real sense of satisfaction and self-worth along with being good for your health both mentally and physically. As an employer for many years, John always looked for candidates with a sense of community spirit who had gone the extra mile by volunteering for a worthy cause. 

Why Madrugada?

The mission of Madrugada is to put people in control of the last phase of their lives. To be able to facilitate this, especially at a very emotional and difficult time, is both a challenge and an honour. The Madrugada professional care team work closely with the patient and their loved ones to identify as early as possible how the patient’s last wishes can come true in the setting of their own home. Above all, the care team ensures the patient is always treated with dignity and compassion.

At a time when health care systems worldwide are struggling to provide adequate support to all patients, those at end of life seem most vulnerable. Madrugada provides the opportunity to help intervene in a small way but makes a big difference. This is what drew me to the Madrugada cause. My role, and that of the other volunteer Board members is to ensure that we can maintain and build on our services and to increase the geographic area we can cover. Our retail shops, also run by volunteers, make an enormous difference to what we can do. Any surplus goes directly to support patient care, and of course our excellent value shops provide a genuine social and economic benefit to the communities they serve, and to the wonderful volunteers who keep them running smoothly.

We are fortunate to have a core of other volunteers who support the delivery and collection of our medical equipment; facilitate donation collections, and who work tirelessly to organise and run fundraising events to raise money for the cause. All of this requires a huge amount of energy and commitment from these dedicated people who are the backbone of the association. We always need more pairs of hands on deck. There is always so much to do, that everyone who wants to get involved can and will be of assistance.