You don’t need any special experience to travel as a volunteer on an Across pilgrimage – every group has a medical team and they will advise you.
You’ll not be asked to do anything you feel is beyond your capabilities. (Although it might be a little out of your comfort zone!)
The only qualities that you really need is a compassion and love for others and the ability to act on what you are seeing – to realise that the person sitting in a wheelchair needs help for things like reaching for a cup which is beyond arm’s reach!
It can be strenuous work getting a number of wheelchairs or trolley beds on and off the vehicles, pushing them around the sights of the hills of Lourdes, and helping our VIPs at meal times. It is sometimes difficult to put others needs before your own, but there is the satisfaction of having achieved something really worthwhile; of having shared a human experience and spiritual growth; of having enjoyed much fun and laughter and the certainty of discovering the joie de vivre and returning home a changed – and a better – person; and of having seen and having partaken in full Christian love working at it’s very best.
All helpers pay their own expenses! Seldom do any have regrets and many become addicted to their annual ‘fix’ of a pilgrimage with us! Some people travel up to 4 times a year, they love it so much. (And no, they’re not crazy – our helpers include business people, accountants, housewives, students, shop assistants, tradesmen, policemen, lollipop ladies – all manner of sane human beings!)
Whilst all helpers pay their way, we have a helpers fund to assist those who want to help but may be restricted financially. Funding is available by application and is at the discretion of the trustees, with all helpers being asked to contribute something. Applications are welcome from first time helpers and young helpers (under 25).
If you want to know more, contact us – we should be able to answer most of your questions and even put you in touch with one of our helpers if you want to know more first hand.