AN idea first published in the Lancashire Telegraph 15 years ago has gone on to raise £15,000 for East Lancashire Hospice.

David Kimberley, 36, of Duddon Avenue, Darwen, came up with the idea of collecting stamps to raise funds for the hospice after suffering from a chronic intestinal illness.

Mr Kimberley asked people to donate their used stamps, either by dropping them at the hospice or at his home.

And since then, the stamps have generated £1,000 per year.

Mr Kimberley started with an appeal in the then Lancashire Evening Telegraph and was surprised at the number of stamps he received, some in small sandwich bags and others in bin bags.

He said: “People send me the stamps and when there are enough for a bin bag or two, I pass them on to the hospice and they sell them to a dealer.

“I choose the hospice as I knew some friends who had been in there and the care they had received had been marvellous.

“I felt I wanted to do something to help them and I knew other charities had collected stamps to raise cash, so thought it was a good idea.

“After my illness, collecting the stamps helped me as well and I would like to thank everyone who has donated them and helped to raise this amazing amount.”

Fundraising manager Sharon Crymble said: “Used stamps are something that everyone receives and by donating them to the hospice, it is a great way to raise funds to help us to care for our patients.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank David for bringing the idea to the hospice all those years ago and for continuing to support us all this time.”

Used stamps can be dropped off either at Merton House reception in the hospice grounds or at Mr Kimberley’s house at 28 Duddon Avenue, Darwen.