HCPT (Hosanna House Children's Pilgrimage Trust) mission statement:

"HCPT is a charitable organisation, founded in response to Our Lady’s invitation to go on pilgrimage to Lourdes. Our aim is to enable those who may need our help, especially the young, to experience pilgrimage, and we do this in small caring groups, seeking to share with joy, the gift of God’s love."

HCPT was formed in 1956 when a young doctor, Michael Strode, took four children with disabilities to Lourdes. From the outset he insisted that they should be treated just like other pilgrims, and should be accommodated in hotels rather than hospitals.

HCPT Founder Dr Michael Strode

Fifty years on HCPT now takes around 2,000 children with disabilities, or social and emotional needs, on a Pilgrimage holiday to Lourdes each Easter. the children come from all walks of life and may belong to any religious background, or none at all. the children and helpers travel in small family groups from all over the UK and Ireland as well as groups from Croatia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, USA and the West Indies. It is the largest children's Pilgrimage from the UK.

Groups from all over the world join the HCPT pilgrimage

The holiday features visits to the Lourdes Grotto, outings to local attractions, or caf├ęs and villages higher up amidst the spectacular scenery of the French Pyrenees. Longer trips could include beach trips to coastal towns of the Atlantic. The aim of the week is to give the children a safe, exciting and enjoyable holiday infused with the warmth and affection of caring friends.

Every year we organise trips to Lourdes for over 7000 people. Everyone is welcome to join in, whatever their age or ability.

Our children's Easter trip is an action packed week filled with fun and laughter - and can also provide a well earned week of respite for carers back home! We take 2000 children with disabilities, social or emotional needs supported by volunteer helpers, who provide one to one care and friendship throughout the week in Lourdes. Children travel in family groups. Our volunteers actively raise the money through the year to cover all the costs of taking the children to Lourdes. This means we can offer children a free week's holiday, with full care, at no cost.

This information was taken from the HCPT website.