A PASSIONATE charity worker has described delivering knickers to migrants as being like “giving them gold dust”.

Jan Bettley, from Great Maplestead, has just returned from handing over more than 1,000 pairs of underwear to migrants in Greece.

The 69-year-old teamed up with humanitarian charity, Hope and Aid Direct – Hope and Aid Direct are a volunteer-led, UK-based charity, which operates in Europe to deliver aid to refugees and people living in poverty.

Jan started charity work more than 30 years ago in post-war Croatia.

Earlier this year, Jan, who is known to her friends as ‘the Knicker Lady’ travelled to Lesbos, Chios and Samos where she helped deliver aid to hundreds of migrants.

She said: “Whilst unpacking boxes I realised that only one was full of women’s underwear.

“I meet the most amazing ladies who are struggling to keep their families together and give everything they have to their children, and I realised they probably didn’t have any knickers.”

After the trip, Jan came home and asked her Women’s Institute, family and friends to buy a packet of knickers once a month when doing a big shop.

The Great Waltham Community Choir heard about the project and also joined in.

By October she had more than 1,000 pairs and on November 2 she set off to deliver them herself.

Jan said: “I could have been giving them gold dust – they were so happy. One of the workers told me she can now give every woman a hygiene pack with at least two pairs of knickers in.”

Jan is keen to get the project rolling in other parts of the country and to continue helping migrant women.

She said: “My husband’s daughter has got it going in Yorkshire. I want to keep sending them – these women deserve some dignity.

“It’s so sad to see human beings living like that. The least I can do is deliver them some underwear.”

To help Jan you can donate knickers to Dales Hair Salon in Halstead or St Giles’ Church, Great Maplestead, where she can collect them, or email jan@janhancock.co.uk.