Dunkeld Lourdes Service organises the support that allows infirm people to make their pilgrimage to Lourdes each year.
Our helpers are mainly in their late teens and volunteer to give up part of their summer holidays in July to travel to Lourdes. They also pay towards the costs of transport, accommodation and food – last year this was £750.
This experience gives these young people opportunities that they might not encounter at home. It is hard work; starting with wake-up calls at 0630 for morning shift and ending evening shift at 2100; they will set up tables; serve meals; clean bedrooms and toilets; make cups of tea and coffee and push wheelchairs. More importantly they will spend time with pilgrims of all ages; keeping them company; getting to know them and entertaining them.
During the pilgrimage they will learn to work and interact with strangers as well as developing their team working and communications skills.
We are a Catholic organisation but our helpers come from different faiths and all enjoy the experience.
Despite our volunteers paying towards their trip there is still always a large shortfall and it is to minimise this that we held our first Dunkeld Ball at the West Park in Dundee.
The ball was a massive success raising a total of £3,900 including £603 in a silent auction of items donated by Monifieth Golf Links and Eve’s Foundation.
The main objective of the ball has definitely been met but very importantly every guest has a most enjoyable experience – so much so that we have been prompted to book the same venue for next year.
We, the committee, have had lots of praise for how enjoyable and successful the ball was but there are loads of others who should be thanked too – Everyone who bought tickets and put up with constant email harassment while menus were sorted especially those who travelled a distance to join us; Chloe for menu help and Sarah McG for putting out letters; everyone who donated, or got others to donate, prizes including Bellsquarry Dentistry, Ryze, MJF Tutoring, Colin McLaren Photography, Callum Fitchet Personal Trainer, City Quay Dental Clinic, David Lloyd Monifieth, Dundee Rep and Dundee FC but especially Monifieth Golf Links and Eve’s Foundation, Eat the Peach and Ewan’s band for brilliant music, and of course, the West Park deserves thanks for such a great night.