Baroness Wilcox, John Fahey, Duncan Slater – BCA Ambassador
John is a Brancardier for the Lourdes Pilgrimage which travels annually from Liverpool to the Southern French town. On the journey, Brancardiers are responsible to the welfare of the sick and disabled pilgrims making the journey. The role includes washing, dressing feeding patients whilst at all times treating them with respect and dignity. John has been involved for 57 years.
”He is a guiding light and inspiration to the youth on the pilgrimage”
In addition to making the gruelling journey, John has recently volunteered to be part of Lourdes Hospitality. This means he visits for a further two or four weeks of the year to take care of other pilgrimages, performing the same duties of care for the pilgrims making the journey.
Giving is in John’s nature, and when he was a school teacher he gave up his Easter Holidays for 17 consecutive years to take a groups of 30-40 underprivileged children on holiday to Wales.
He has spent his life raising money for various charities, achieving enormous sums. And most recently was on hand to perform the Heimlich Manoeuvre on a diner in a local pub who was choking on a chicken bone, saving her life.
His achievements, commitment and determination to help have benefitted hundreds of people in the communities he has reached out to. He not only raises the spirits of the sick and disabled on the pilgrimages, but also raises the spirits of the other workers giving them confidence and belief that they can deliver the care and high level of respect for the sick in their care. Even the hierarchy of Lourdes have often confided in John for help in dealing with difficult situations.