Smalls that can make a big difference to African women

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SHOPS, businesses and public places are being sought to help a fledgling local initiative support women in Africa – by acting as collection points for used bras and knickers.

Hayley Butlin

Mother-of-two Hayley Butlin (53) is calling on those with potentially suitable premises to contact her to allow local women to support the Scottish charity Smalls for All initiative. The project delivers ‘gently worn’ underwear to impoverished African communities to give to women and children who cannot afford it.

The charity says that donating pants and bras to women can be ‘life-changing’ and allows women to remain in the workforce and girls to remain in school each month, giving them a better chance of fighting their way out of poverty. Women and children without underwear can also be at a heightened risk of harassment or sexual assault, the charity say.

Mrs Butlin says she will start to campaign for women to donate bras and knickers once she has found at least six collection points.

She said: ‘A lot of charity shops don’t take pre-worn bras or underwear, so when I heard of what Smalls for All were doing I knew this was something I wanted Jersey to get involved with.

‘Acorn is already on-board, which is brilliant, and I am ideally looking for a total of six collection points around Jersey. Somewhere like Les Quennevais Sports Centre would be an ideal spot, for example.

‘The issue in some areas in Africa is that the poorer women who can’t afford bras or knickers are viewed as a target for harassment, which puts them in danger.’

The St Clement parishioner and swimming coach added that the underwear must be in a condition which those donating it would want to wear.

‘It would be fantastic to help these women who desperately need it in Africa. Knowing that our old bras could be changing people’s lives is incredible.’

Smalls for All has so far delivered more than one million items of underwear to Africa, including countries such as Ethiopia, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zanzibar.

Anyone interested in supporting the project locally should contact Mrs Butlin on

Krystle Higgins

By Krystle Higgins

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