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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:

  • 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