Imagine only having one pair of knickers and living in a field for the foreseeable future. Imagine you can only access a shower in that field once a month. No one in this day and age should have to do this.

In the Idomeni refugee camp in Northern Greece this is exactly what approximately 4000 women are going through right now. In modern times, in Europe, this is happening.

Trustees and members of our charity were volunteering in Greece last week and saw this for ourselves. As a result we pledged to try and change this. Each day women queued in the sun, sometimes for hours, for clean clothes. Each day the team apologised for having no knickers or bras for anyone. Imagine having to say “no, not today, sorry” to every woman, every day. Imagine being told ‘no, sorry’ every day.

We couldn’t bear it, and we are delighted to report that we were able to start to supply new knickers to Idomeni last week – hurray for clean pants! We intend to continue to provide pants to the camp from the UK over the coming months.

With your donations, we were able to buy and distribute a whopping 4000 pairs of knickers last week – thank you.


This is a wonderful achievement, and we are very grateful for the donations which enabled us to do this. However, to put this in perspective what this means is that less than a third of the women in one camp have one new pair of knickers for one day. Clearly, we have a long way to go!

Our mission, and our dream, is to be able to provide a regular supply of new knickers to the women refugees in Greece. Please help us.

This is what you can do:

  • Click the link and pledge to the knickers fund
  • Pop a new pack of knickers (or three) into your shopping and donate them either by post
    Refugees START
    83 Ducie Street
    M1 2JQ

    or in person at our Leeds warehouse. (a couple of quid might not make much difference to your shopping bill, but we promise you it will mean the world to someone in the camp)

  • Do a collection of new knickers at work or at your social group and donate them to us (Maybe you could have a “pants day” at work for a £1 donation…) . We can help with posters and collection if needed


Thank you – we love you, and we really love pants


  1. Lesley Jane

    Just a big THANK YOU that someone is doing this . How these poor women and girls cope is unimaginable especially when it is their period . Keeping infants in clean nappies also presents enormous problems ! Thank you x x x

  2. Lesley Giddins

    We are a group of 3 women in Bacup Lancashire trying to collect a car load of undies to deliver to Leeds. Hope that helps. 🙂

  3. Louise Richardson

    Fantastic, will definitely pop some Knickers in a bag next time I shop.

  4. Carol Mitchell

    We have knickers (am one of the 3 Bacup women mentioned above …. can somebody contact one of us so that we can make arrangements to get them to you? We can be contacted on 07800 803443, or thanks, Carol

  5. Rachel

    Fantastic, I live in Greece and volunteer at Fillipiada, this is such a huge problem, we have loads of clothes but good underwear for woman is lacking. Thank you for supporting the refugees. @Lefkas Aid for Refugees.

  6. Judith Bailey

    Our women’s group at church in York is having a Please Purchase Pants month this July. The whole community is getting involved. So far we have collected over 1,000 pairs of knickers and we are only half way through the month. We can be contacted at

  7. Judith Bailey

    St Clement’s Church Women’s Group in York has had a very successful Please Purchase Pants campaign. We collected over 2,400 pairs of knickers. We had wonderful support from fellow churches and local businesses who invited their customers to ‘drop their pants’. We have been greatly helped by Mike Thomas from Yorkshire Aid.
    Thank you everyone who donated.


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