HCPT is a charity that organises for children and adults with special needs to go on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. Lourdes is a town in France where Christian’s believe Mary first appeared to a young girl named Bernadette within a a grotto in the town. Bernadette was later sainted and many miracles are said to have taken place in Lourdes since then. Despite the Christian links to Lourdes, people of any religion or none at all are welcome on the pilgrimages. 

The trips are organised through churches meaning that they involve whole communities coming together in the form of priests, helpers, nurses and children. About 1,000 children from the UK are taken on Easter pilgrimages and around 1,500 people visit Hosanna house (the HCPT property in Lourdes) throughout the rest of the year. 

These trips allow children who wouldn’t normally be able to go on holiday to travel with a group and participate in activities with the people around them. It also provides a break for parents and carers back home as so many nurses and helpers volunteer every year. 

Whilst there are differing views of the miracles of Lourdes what is undeniable is the overwhelmingly feeling of positivity that is expressed by countless helpers and children alike who return to Lourdes each year to sing, laugh and enjoy the simple pleasures of kindness and friendship.