Quiz night to fund pilgrimage

A QUIZ and Fizz night in Stalham on Saturday will raise funds to send a group of five or six Norfolk children with disabilities on an Easter pilgrimage to Lourdes.

A QUIZ and Fizz night in Stalham on Saturday will raise funds to send a group of five or six Norfolk children with disabilities on an Easter pilgrimage to Lourdes.

The event has been organised by Elly Perrott who will lead the Handicapped Children's Pilgrimage Trust group after several years of taking part as a helper at the annual event.

Elly, 22, who lives in Hempstead, and supporters are trying to raise the final �5,500 needed to pay for the �16,000 trip in early April next year.

The quiz, in Stalham Town Hall at 7.30pm, costs �5 per head and will include punch on arrival and a ploughman's-style supper. There will also be a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses.


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Although the Trust was a Catholic charity, parents of all faiths and none were welcome to apply for a place for their child on the pilgrimage, according to Elly, who is a support worker at the YMCA in St Giles Street, Norwich.

'We don't ask the families to contribute at all for their child's fare because, as well as a break for the child, it's meant to be respite for their families. It can also give them time to do things with their able-bodied children that they can't usually do,' she said.

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The group, one of five from East Anglia, fly to Tarbes and stay in a hotel during their week-long trip to Lourdes, which became a place of Christian pilgrimage after 1858 when a young girl reported visions of the Virgin Mary in a grotto near the town.

The Norfolk children, aged six to 19, will visit the grotto, where a bath fed by a spring is said to have healing properties.

They would also take part in several masses, visit the Pyrenees, have snow fights, visit sweet shops and enjoy 'lots of hot chocolate stops,' said Elly.

'The trip is not about healing,' she added. 'Children can go into the bath if their families want them to - but it's absolutely freezing cold!

'The main focus is that we are out there together as a family group. It's a trip full of fun, songs, dancing and colour. It's the most exhausting week of my life and the most moving.'

Elly and friends will also be selling handmade jewellery and Christmas cards for the cause at markets and sales in the area, and in North Walsham's Sacred Heart Church hall after Sunday mass.

*Anyone who wants further information about the quiz, to sponsor the trip, apply for a place on the pilgrimage, or help with it, can contact Elly on 07854 560 542 or 01692 582703. The Trust website is at: www.hcpt.org.uk

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