A LINGERIE shop owner is hoping second hand underwear can make a difference to the lives of women across the globe.

Lynne Carter, owner of Keress Lingerie in Witney, has spent the last year asking customers to donate their worn bras for a good cause.

The clothing is then passed on to Abingdon-based Against Breast Cancer, with some shipped to Africa to help women in need.

On Saturday, Witney will turn pink for its annual fundraising celebration in aid of the Oxfordshire charity - an event that has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds in almost two decades.

While shops and businesses always show their colours for Witney in the Pink, Ms Carter wants to keep the topic on the agenda all year round.

She said: “I talk to my customers about breast cancer if they’re receptive of it because it’s such an important issue.

“I know there’s a lot of ladies in Oxfordshire that probably have two draws of bras that they don’t use.

“They get stuck there because it’s difficult to get rid of unwanted underwear.

“Cancer can go away but secondary breast cancer often gets forgotten.”

“We aren’t asking for money, just people’s bras."

Keress Lingerie has been based in Witney for almost three years, while Ms Carter previously owned two similar shops in Bicester.

She hopes the carnival atmosphere generated by Witney in the Pink will encourage customers to donate and her shop is one of many with pink balloons in the window this week.

The event keeps the disease in the conversation at this time of year, but Ms Carter's one-woman crusade has already proved fruitful.

Her last collection filled seven bags, with underwear in particularly good condition travelling halfway across the world.

Some areas of Africa experience a real shortage of underwear and simply wearing a bra can help protect women against sexual assault.

In recent years, charities including UK-based Smalls for All have been set up to take second hand ladies underwear.

Ms Carter said: “If these ladies don’t wear a bra they’re unfortunately seen as fair game for rape and that’s such a horrendous ordeal - it will make such a difference to that person’s life.”

Visit againstbreastcancer.org.uk to find out more about the charity.