‘Show us your knickers!’ – Royston and Bassingbourn pals in pants to poverty mission

Jane Wallington from Bassingbourn and Christine Brown from Royston are collecting underwear for Smal

Jane Wallington from Bassingbourn and Christine Brown from Royston are collecting underwear for Smalls for All. Picture: Jane Wallington - Credit: Archant

Friends from Bassingbourn and Royston are saying pants to poverty and urging people to show them their knickers – on their mission to send much-needed underwear to women and children in Africa.

Jane Wallington and Christine Brown are seeking help from the community and asking for donations of brand new pants for women and children and new or gently worn bras.

Jane, a hypnobirthing antenatal teacher and a birth doula, said: “I had a load of unwanted bras, so I shared a post on Facebook asking if others had items to donate, Christine responded, and the project was born from there.

“I think we massively take underwear for granted here. In some places in the world, particularly in parts of Africa, it’s common for people to own just one piece of underwear, or none at all! It is a luxury and a necessity – giving women and children new underwear can make a huge difference to their lives.

“Being that I’m already working with families and in the childbirth arena already, it only felt right to contribute to helping lives abroad.”

The duo are collecting on behalf of Scottish charity, Smalls for All, founded in 2010 by Maria Macnamara.

Maria set up the cause after working as a volunteer in orphanages. It was after a trip to Ethiopia that Maria knew set about her mission to help even more.

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She had learnt about some of the problems that not having underwear could cause and recognised that there was often a shortage of underwear in poorer parts of Africa.

Smalls for All volunteers collect and distribute underwear to women and children in Africa. They help those living in orphanages, slums, internally displaced person camps and schools, as well as providing underwear to hospitals to help those suffering from medical conditions like obstetric fistula.

Christine – who works at Herts-based charity Mercy Ships UK – has seen first-hand the impact fresh underwear has on the women in Africa after they’ve had their surgery for fistula.

Christine and Jane are holding a ‘Royston Show Us Your Knickers’ coffee morning at the Jolly Postie on Monday from 10am until 12 noon.

“Everyone is welcome!” said Christine.

“We’ll be selling homemade cakes, with all contributions going towards courier costs of sending the donations to the charity in Scotland.”

Donations of new pants, and bras in new or good condition, can be taken to various drop-off points around the town- including the Jolly Postie, café Cornichon and C4B Media.

For more information, visit the ‘Royston Show Us Your Knickers’ Facebook page, or email Christine and Jane at roystonshowusyourknickers@gmail.com.