French pilgrimage about making the kids feel like VIPs says Dundee volunteer

A Dundee teen who spent a week volunteering to help disabled and disadvantaged children and young people enjoy a life changing pilgrimage holiday says the trip was about making the kids feel like VIPs.

Daniel Byron was part of a group about 20 volunteers and children from Dundee who went to Lourdes through Hosanna House and Children’s Pilgrimage Trust (HCPT), a United Kingdom based charity which travels with disabled and disadvantaged children and adults on pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.

“It’s about treating them like a VIP for a week and giving their family a respite,” Daniel said.

“On the Sunday was a mass, but it wasn’t a normal mass because for the children, you’ve got to keep them interesting so it was all like clapping and dancing and face-painting which was good.”

The holiday also included a trip up to Cirque de Gavarnie and other events in the area.

“There was a lot of parties and singing,” said Daniel, who became involved with it through his local church in Fintry.

“I got asked about a month before from my local priest and then I said yes it then just went from there,” the St Pauls RC Academy student said.

“It was good to help out, it’s good to make the other kids happy, that meant the most.

“Even if it was a bad day seeing the kids happy and laughing made it worthwhile.”