Ap­peal from Joyce for help to stamp out le­prosy in the third world

Campbeltown Courier - - NEWS - Han­nah O’Han­lon edi­tor@camp­bel­town­courier.co.uk

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.

Con­di­tion

‘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.

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