Preparation is important. Children and their parents will have lots of opportunities to meet the other group members (helpers and children) before the trip. Regular home visits are also made to ensure that the children get to know and have confidence in their helpers.
Getting ready for a trip away can be very exciting, and if it is a child's first trip away from home, can be an anxious time for children and parents alike. Stay calm and keep in touch with your Group Leader who will be happy to answer any questions which occur to you as the trip draws near.
Some things you will need to do:
Ensure your child has a valid passport
- If your child does not hold a passport, ensure the Group Leader has added your child to the 'Collective Passport' list - before Christmas if possible. (A passport sized photo will be required for this).
- If your child has a non UK passport, do they 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.
Ensure your child has an EHIC card: The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) has taken over from the old E111, which is now no longer valid. EHIC can be requested on-line, or through the post office. We strongly recommend that you apply for an EHIC as soon as possible. This card ensures that in the event of any medical treatment being required in France, that the NHS will pay most of the bills.
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 suggested clothing list.
Spending money - Don't send too much! Your child will not need any money through the week to join in the activities - everything will be provided by the Group. If you do want your child to bring home some souvenirs, speak with your Group Leader about what you think you might like and they will advise you how much to take.