Q: Do helpers have to have any qualifications?
A: No. Our helpers come from a whole host of backgrounds, we DO have doctors and nurses but also civil servants and people from the finance sector, teachers, students and those who work in offices doing some things.
Q: What is the time commitment?
A: There are a number of training and team building sessions before we travel and these are compulsory in order for you to be able to travel with us. These sessions take place on five Saturday afternoons between November and Easter, and there is one full weekend of training. In order for us to be able to rely on each other in Lourdes we must get to know each other well so everyone is invited (and encouraged) to stay for dinner after the training sessions. We also hope that everyone will take part in some fundraising activities, without which we could not travel.
The week itself always starts on Easter Sunday and we fly back to the UK sometime on the following Saturday. It is a pretty full-on week but one that is life-changing.
Q: Are all your helpers religious?
A: No, not at all. Many of our helpers ARE Catholic, and there are several from other Christian backgrounds, but all we ask is that you accept that prayer and praise form a large part of our pilgrimage and that you are prepared to take part in your own way.
Q: Who pays for the trip?
A: As a group we fundraise for the children's fares and they are not expected to pay anything (other than a little pocket money if they would like to buy souvenirs). Each adult is responsible for their fare (usually about £750) but you can fundraise towards this. There are also several grants for which you may be eligible. Your fare includes all travel, accomodation food etc. You need only bring extra for souvenirs or a drink at a cafe if you go out in the evening.
Talk to the group leader or deputy if finance would be a barrier but you are otherwise commited to coming.
Q: Do we share rooms with the children?
A: No, and in fact, unless there is a very pressing and carefully risk assessed reason, you MUST not.