Appeal from Joyce for help to stamp out leprosy in the third world
A great-grandmother who collects stamps for an international leprosy charity is appealing for help from generous Campbeltonians. Joyce Draper, who has lived in Campbeltown for six years, has been supporting the Leprosy Mission’s work for around 20 years.
‘A lot of people think leprosy has gone but it hasn’t, especially in third world countries,’ said Mrs Draper. ‘People with the condition are living on the streets their parents just put them out when they get leprosy.’ The infectious disease, now mainly confined to regions of Africa and Asia, affects the skin, mucous membranes and nerves of the human body. It causes discoloration and lumps on the skin and, if left untreated, disfigurement and deformities. The Leprosy Mission raises funds by selling small items, including stamps, postcards, coins and bank notes, cigarette cards, old matchboxes and medals, and relies on people like Joyce to collect them. As the items are sold in bulk, it is not possible for the Leprosy Mission to tell Mrs Draper exactly how much she has contributed but she receives regular letters and cards telling her how much her efforts are appreciated. Sandra Holden, stamps coordinator, said in a hand-written card: ‘You are making such a big difference to the lives of people affected by leprosy. ‘Thank you for caring for people in such desperate need.’ In a separate letter, Ms Holden said that in 2017, £55,600 was raised solely through donations of stamps and collectibles. ‘What I like about the Leprosy Mission is that everything goes towards those in need,’ said Mrs Draper. ‘Most of the work they do is voluntary.’ But Mrs Draper has found that with more people using online methods of communication, Post Office workers using marker pens to score stamps and businesses using franking machines, saleable stamps are getting harder to source. ‘They are drying up now,’ she said. ‘I’m going round and people are giving me one or two – I used to send a big envelope full of them.’ People can donate stamps via a box in Campbeltown Community Church, which meets every Sunday in Kinloch Hall, or by contacting Mrs Draper on 01586 553144.
Joyce Draper collects stamps to raise funds for people suffering from leprosy.