Joining us as a Volunteer

If you’re interested in volunteering with the CA for our annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, please follow the steps below to apply! If you have any questions, you can always reach out via the Contact Form on this website or by getting in touch via social media!

Our volunteers come as either medical helpers (doctors and nurses) or non-medical helpers (brancardiers and handmaids). Please read on below for more information about the types of duties and work our volunteers undertake, as well as information about Stage (more on this below)!

If you would like to come to Lourdes with the CA but need help with funding, please click on the button below to find out more about the financial assistance we offer.

How to apply?

  1. What kind of volunteer are you applying as (i.e. a medical volunteer, such as a doctor or nurse, or a non-medical volunteer)? Make sure your read through the information below!

  2. Based on your answer to the above, make sure you download and fill out the correct application form (online and postal applications are available for both General Volunteers and the Young Helpers Group - follow the links below)!

  3. All volunteers will need to fill out a Medical Form, complete DBS checks & Safeguarding Training. We’ve included more information and links to the forms on this page.

  4. (If applicable) Apply for Funding.

  5. Confirm your travel arrangements (are you travelling independently or with the official pilgrimage travel agent)?

  6. (If applicable) Attend Training Days in May or June (we will be reaching out about these in due course).

Brancardiers & Handmaids

Non medical volunteers are traditionally referred to as Brancardiers (male volunteers) and Handmaids (female volunteers). Anyone aged 17 and over may volunteer in this capacity and volunteers under 25 may also opt to attend as part of the Young Helpers Group. Brancardiers and Handmaids undertake a variety of duties throughout the week - make sure to click on the button below to find out more!

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Stage

‘Doing a Stage’ means volunteering for the Hospitalite de Notre Dame de Lourdes (“HNDL”) by helping to organise and run things around the domain at the station or airport. The CA group usually goes out to complete a stage the week before the regular CA pilgrimage and is generally comprised of our most experienced helpers.

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Doctors & Nurses

Nurses spend the majority of their time working in the Accueil. As a Nurse on our Pilgrimage, you will be expected to have valid clearances in accordance with applicable regulations. Similarly, Doctors look after our assisted pilgrims in both the Acceuil and the hotels. Normally there will be a duty doctor per day. Please click on the button below to find out more about joining us in this capacity.

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Glanfield Children’s Group

The Glanfied Children’s Group has travelled to Lourdes since 1987 as part of the Catholic Association Pilgrimage. The Group provides care to children with learning difficulties as well as chronic and terminal illness.

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Families

The CA organises the Helpers’ Children’s Programme (“HCP”), which offers a programme of activities for children of helpers working on the Pilgrimage. It is generally open from 8.30am to 12pm and 2pm to 6pm each day and your duties can be adjusted accordingly.

HCP accepts the children of helpers (handmaids, brancardier, nurses and doctors) aged up to 16 years old. The HCP can also accept the children of Assisted Pilgrims on a case by case basis.

Families wishing to book their children in with HCP should email hcp@catholicassociation.co.uk with the name(s) and date(s) of birth of their children so as to commence the registration process. HCP is also always on the lookout for volunteers so please do not hesitate to contact them via this email address or by using the Contact Form on this website should you be interested. Preference will be given to volunteers who have come with the CA as a helper at least once before and have experience of childcare/teaching/youth groups.