This Sunday about 50 random men, women, children and dogs did The Big Knicker Walk along our seafront.
Even the dogs wore knickers, albeit briefly, excuse the pun!
We were raising money and awareness of a project to buy a machine that makes compostable sanitary towels from pine pulp. The machine was developed by an amaze man in India who was concerned about how how wife and other women were using pieces of cloth as sanitary protection that they were too ashamed to dry openly in the sun.
His wife divorced him in the end as he took his investigation to an extreme but he went on to develop a machine that provides comfortable, hygienic towels that can be composted and the business provides jobs for women and people with learning difficulties.
One of our ladies, Anita Philpott started The Knicker Project this year and in September we delivered 300 pairs of new briefs to women's groups and schools in Zambia.
That action has brought connection between groups of women and the sanitary towel project has grown from there. A girl needs a good pair of briefs to contain that sanitary towel and many poor women just don't have that. Women appeared from miles around when they heard that a free pair of briefs was being donated.
This project had caught peoples imagination and the local press did a huge feature. We have now started collecting underwear for men and children too. A young man Saxon has started "Saxon's Smalls", collecting for boys of his age, ten years old. He also fundraised to pay for the education and food of ten boys in the school.
My friend Hildah Mulenga who runs the Mumba Childrens Project was a nurse in Zambia told me how ashamed her patients were when they had to undress in hospital of their underwear was old and one time a poor man was wearing his wife's underwear and was so humiliated. Apparently he had none of his own and he was the talk of the staff.
Hildah vowed then to always keep her parents supplied with good under wear to keep their dignity.
Another lesson of what we take for granted in the west.
Hildah started the charity when her own son was killed on his bicycle when he was thirteen. She needed a distraction and has now built a day centre and school for 90 children plus youth work and much more. My women's group, Winning Women Essex is a sister group to women in Mulebi village and £1 from our attendance fees always goes to the women to support their projects.
Women in our groups will donate new briefs each time they buy for themselves. It's easy, cheap and changes lives and empowers women and men!
We are developing a fabulous bond with the people in this town now and this is rich and beneficial for all of us.