Children and young people

1,000+ disabled and disadvantaged children and young people benefit from the annual HCPT Easter pilgrimage holiday.

The children are aged 8 to 18, plus some over 18s. They are geographically spread across the UK and further afield.

Their parents or carers contact HCPT to find out about the pilgrimage holiday, or they are referred by agencies.

Around half the children and young people benefiting from the pilgrimage holiday have learning difficulties. Many are wheelchair users. Other disabilities / disadvantages (with some children experiencing several on this list) include:

  • Behavioural problems – 27% of children
  • Autism – 12%
  • Epilepsy – 11%
  • Cerebral palsy – 10%
  • Down’s Syndrome – 8%
  • Also ADHD, asthma, autism, cardiac problems, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, hearing impairments, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, visual impairments, among other disabilities / disadvantages

Children and young people taking the pilgrimage holiday with us come from all faiths and none.

Most children and young people travel just the once with HCPT at Easter, due to demand. However there are many opportunities to travel on our Summer pilgrimage holidays instead.

HCPT is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. Read about our safeguarding policies and procedures here.


Thousands of helpers assist the children and young people on the annual HCPT Easter pilgrimage holiday to Lourdes.

They come from all walks of life. Being a Catholic is not a requirement. Doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers and priests are all represented, among other backgrounds.

Around half our Easter helpers are aged under 30. Some younger helpers come to Lourdes with HCPT in groups based in their Catholic schools.

Our helpers are experienced and prepared beforehand to keep children safe.

Some helpers assist at Easter just the once, while many travel year after year – some for decades!

Would you like to volunteer as a helper at Easter?