"HCPT is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I think everyone should experience"
Keep in touch with HCPT Manchester Region, via our website and our most popular online platforms
After an informal interview with one of our Group Leaders, you will be told whether you have been placed in a group. Should you be successful in joining a group, and before you travel with us, you will need to:
Attend preparation days and training sessions
You will be expected to attend a 'Regional Preparation Day' in February and a 'Regional Family Day' in March (at the weekend). You will also be expected to attend a number of meetings with your group, which will include helper meetings, helper and family meetings and home visits to children and their families. These tend to occur between January and Easter. Meeting with the families of the children who are coming to Lourdes with your group is a vital part of helper preparation, to help you best care for the children in the group.
Ensure you have a valid passport
Ensure that your passport is in date for the duration of the pilgrimage holiday at Easter. Your group leader will ask you for your passport before the pilgrimage at Easter. If you hold a non-UK passport, you are responsible for identifying whether you need a visa to enter France. More details can be found on the website of the French Consulate in London, which also includes details of how to go about applying for a visa.
Obtain an EHIC card
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) enables you to access healthcare in European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including France. It will cover any necessary treatment that you may need when you are in Lourdes. It is necessary for all individuals (helpers and children) travelling to Lourdes to hold a valid EHIC card.
They are really easy to get hold of. Simply apply for a free EHIC card via the NHS Website, which can be accessed here. You will need to provide:
your full name
your date of birth
your national insurance (NI) or NHS number (CHI number in Scotland, or Health and Care Number in Northern Ireland)
Your card will normally arrive within seven days after your submit the application online. If you have any questions about this or are having problems applying, please see your Group Leader.
Pack suitable clothing
We recommend that you pack a range of clothes - but not too many! The weather in Lourdes can vary quite quickly from being warm and sunny to heavy rain. Your Group Leader will be able to give you a list of suggested clothing. We recommed some warm clothes, a waterproof jacket, comfortable shoes for walking, and some shorts if the weather is nice! Your Group leader will provide you with a group jumper/hoodie, t-shirt, necker and hat as well, in the colours of your group.
It is entirely up to you how much you will need to take. You will only need money to buy souvenirs. The streets of Lourdes are well known for the wide range of souvenir items available for purchase. The HCPT shops in Lourdes and Hosanna House sell only HCPT branded goods and clothing.
Click here to take a look at some of the activities you may be doing during Easter week.