This page has been created to assist volunteer helpers.  Any information which may be useful for helpers will be posted here when it is available.

Index

Click on the buttons below to go straight to that section or alternatively scroll down through this page:

 

 

Helpers Bookings

If you intend to be a helper please book your package as soon as it becomes available from the Travel Agent.  It is important that we know our helpers numbers at the earliest opportunity so that we have enough time to complete all of the checks and preparation.  Details of the travel package will be posted on the Lourdes 2023 page when available - normally later on in the year or early next year.

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Helpers Declaration

Once you have booked with Tangney Tours and ticked the helper box, they will advise us, so we can contact you to get all of the checks/preparation arranged.  

 

If you are not able to book yet, or are travelling independently, we would ask you to complete a helpers declaration so that the organisers have the information that is required.  Click on: helper declaration

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Online Training

In addition to practical training, helpers will be required to complete online training prior to the practical preparation day. This is provided by the BLMA (British Lourdes Medical Association). Once you have booked you will be sent a link to enrol for this training.

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Summary of Helper Requirements

Below are the requirements for helpers, however some of these may already be in place so may not be required.  We will advise you further on your own individual requirements once we learn of your intention to be a helper.

Church Checks:

  • PVG Check for Vulnerable Adults (updated every 5 years)

  • Archdiocesan Application Form & References (once only)

  • Safeguarding Part 1 Training (then Part 2 after 18 months)

Lourdes Pilgrimage Checks:

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Code of Conduct

The code of conduct is a crucial document as it sets out the minimum standards expected from helpers.  All helpers should read this document.  To access it: click here

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Risk Assessments

The Pilgrimage Committee has written a set of Risk Assessments.  These are used to guide and inform all of the work that is done to plan, organise and run the Pilgrimage.  Helpers are asked to read over these Risk Assessments.  To access them: click here

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Medical Registration for Helpers NOT booking through the Travel Agent

Helpers who are booking their travel and/or accommodation separately from the official Travel Agent should refer to the information on medical registration.  If you will be booking through the Travel Agent then you can ignore this.  To access the medical registration page: click here

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Health & Safety Policy

Please click here to view the Health & Safety policy.

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Role Specific Information

The care of supported Pilgrims is provided by a diverse helper team.  Please see below for further information on the role-specific groups.

If you are interested in volunteering for any of the roles listed below, or if you simply would like to ask questions, please get in touch via the Contact Us page.

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Lady Helpers

The Lady Helpers form the biggest group of helpers and fulfil an essential role on the pilgrimage.  Our team of Lady Helpers is made up of women from all walks of life.  They generally perform a range of non-clinical care to sick Pilgrims from around our Archdiocese, who stay in the St Frai Centre in Lourdes .  This includes tasks like:

  • Assisting sick pilgrims with washing, dressing and feeding

  • Cleaning wards

  • Taking pilgrims out to ceremonies, a cafe, or shopping

  • Liaising with the doctors and other helpers

  • Supporting sick pilgrims

  • Making tea and coffee

  • Helping to serve food in the refectory

  • Participating in the full range of pilgrimage activities - Masses, Ceremonies, Processions and social gatherings

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Male Helpers

Male helpers (or "Brancardiers" to use the French term) are involved in a range of duties and are primarily called on to perform the more physical/active tasks depending on ability.  Brancardiers work primarily with sick pilgrims from our own Archdiocese, who stay in the St Frai Centre in Lourdes.  Their duties may include:

  • Pushing wheelchairs

  • Pulling 'voitures' (special carriage for sick pilgrims)

  • Assisting male pilgrims with washing, dressing and feeding as required

  • Taking pilgrims out to ceremonies, a cafe, or shopping

  • Supporting sick pilgrims

  • Working an occasional night shift

  • Participating in the full range of pilgrimage activities - Masses, Ceremonies, Processions and social gatherings

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Medical Helpers

Doctors and Nurses form a vital part of the helper team.  Our medical team consists of qualified registered doctors, nurses and Auxiliary/Domestic staff.  Our team provides the highest quality of clinical and personal care to sick Pilgrims from around our Archdiocese, who stay in the St Frai Centre in Lourdes.  Their duties may include:

  • Assisting sick pilgrims with clinical needs and personal care needs

  • Administering medication

  • Taking pilgrims out to ceremonies, a cafe, or shopping

  • Liaising with other helpers

  • Supporting sick pilgrims

  • Working occasional night shifts

  • Participating in the full range of pilgrimage activities - Masses, Ceremonies, Processions and social gatherings

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Clergy

Clergy are a key part of the Pilgrimage and are involved in a wide range of tasks such as saying Mass (or concelebrating during Mass), ministering to Pilgrims and participation in other ceremonies and events.  If you are interested in joining us please get in touch and we will put you in contact with the Pilgrimage Director.

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Helper Information