To Thailand With Love – Scarborough WiRE

Posted: 8th March 2016

Although the recent slump in oil prices has been great for car drivers, it’s hit more than just share prices. Refugees from armed conflicts in Burma scratch a living through picking out plastic from rubbish on the Thailand border. Now it’s cheaper to produce plastic from oil, the value of recycling has plummeted. So for International Women’s Day on 8th March, the women in and around Scarborough and Ryedale are being asked to help.

Care to Share?

Every year Scarborough’s Women In Rural Enterprise networking group collects items for charity to mark International Women’s Day. Recent years have included bras and handbags. This year they want to send 500 Care To Share packs of health products and pampering treats to make life on the Thai rubbish dump a little more bearable. The idea is similar to the Christmas shoebox initiative for children, but focuses on the women who form the backbone of this displaced community.

For the mothers, daughters and sisters

“In December, Jo Swift told us about her life-changing trip volunteering as a teacher for refugees on the Burma-Thailand border,” explains WiRE coordinator Katrina Shamel. “We were all affected by just how hard life is for these families. So we’re asking women to fill a bag with what they think would be practical and pampering for the mothers, daughters and sisters of Mae Sot rubbish dump. We’re looking for new or second-hand items like hygiene gel, sewing kits, hairbrushes and miniature toiletries.”

Scarborough WiRE have teamed up with the charity Eyes to Burma and Etihad Airways to make sure the packs reach the women as quickly as possible. Anything that can’t be exported will be passed on to Scarborough Women’s Centre.

What WiRE are collecting

“We know lots of women have a stash of unused lotions or unloved lipsticks. Even something as small as a lip balm or nail brush will make a huge difference to these courageous women,” Katrina adds. “It doesn’t have to be much. Just pop your donations in a small plastic bag and drop off them off at the collection points at The Management Suite in The Brunswick Centre or at the Reception Desk at The Street in Scarborough by 31st March 2016.”

Pamper Evening yourself on 14th April

To raise money to supply new pants, including maternity ones and washable sanitary towels, the group is also hosting a Care To Share Pamper Evening. It will held on 14th April at The Stephen Joseph Theatre. Call 07946 612 621 or email Lesley Hodgson at for more details or check out the Care to Share Scarborough Facebook page at