Our medical team is made up of wonderful nurses and volunteers that are trained to help our VIPs have an amazing pilgrimage.
Sick, disabled and those needing special care are Across VIPs. Priority is given to those with a terminal illness, those confined to a bed or wheelchair, and those with progressive diseases or with a medical condition which makes other forms of transport impractical. VIPs with less debilitating conditions are also welcome to join groups.
Care is provided by volunteer helpers, nurses, priests and doctors without whom Across could not exist. These volunteer carers give up their time and holidays to accompany VIPs to Lourdes and to care for them 24 hours per day. Everyone including the group leader, who has special responsibilities for the whole group, are volunteers and pay their own expenses.
Whilst a good medical team is most vital, and no group could travel without one, so too are the helpers who come from all walks of life, many of whom had no caring experience before their first Across trip. All that is required is to be fit and able and have a Christian love for others and a willing heart.
An Across group departs each Thursday from the UK and returns on the Saturday 10 days later.
There are two kinds of Across groups, National and Local. Individuals apply to National groups and the Jumbulance starts in the north of the country, usually Glasgow and travels southwards on the motorways uplifting pilgrims at service stations en route.
Local groups are organised in a town or parish and one organiser arranges the pilgrimage with the Across team. For these groups, the Jumbulance departs from a single location of the organiser’s choosing.
Individuals are responsible for their own transport to and from the meeting point.
The cost for 2019 is £750 per person which includes travel, meals and refreshments en route, Channel crossing (via the Eurotunnel), full board accommodation in Lourdes, the support of experienced staff in Lourdes, transport in and around Lourdes, and the use when necessary of wheelchairs, lifting equipment, emergency oxygen and some medical equipment.
There is an additional cost for travel insurance which is £49 per person which incudes 20% insurance tax. To decide if the insurance is suitable for you please see the insurance product information document and the full policy wording.
A discount is available for nurses on national and local groups, the fare for nurses in 2019 is £350
Whilst the Trustees of Across have set the level of remuneration for the trip from pilgrims at £750 the actual cost of the pilgrimage per person is over £900 and the shortfall is met by legacies, donations and fundraising.
An Across pilgrimage is a group pilgrimage where everyone is expected to act in the best interests of the group as a whole. Carers must remember that their prime consideration is to the VIPs whose needs and wishes take precedence over theirs. VIPs should remember that carers are all volunteers without whom there would be no Across and without whom the VIP would not be able to travel. Everyone should treat each other with dignity and respect.