Project nameHCPT Group 206
Town or VillageIlford
HCPT - The Pilgrimage Trust was formed in 1956. Now, HCPT takes to Lourdes almost 2000 children from the UK, Ireland and increasingly from other countries. The children have a wide range of physical and mental disabilities, or are physically and emotionally deprived or neglected. Cared for by voluntary helpers, including doctors, nurses and chaplains, most of whom pay for themselves, the total size of the Easter Pilgrimage is now about 5000; the largest pilgrimage from the UK and Ireland and probably the largest children's pilgrimage from any country. The holiday pilgrimage is naturally centred around the international shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes and gives children, aged 7-18, with many types of disability or special needs, the opportunity to experience a really stimulating and highly enjoyable group holiday. This experience offers much needed respite for parents and carers and provides a safe and enriching experience for young people who in society are often deprived of opportunity. The group helpers and children have to fund the trip through fundraising events and the helpers give up their time rigourously planning and then for the weeks pilgrimage. Group 206 have been operating for 10 years and are dedicated members who work continuously throughout the year to support families locally.