HUNDREDS of thousands of used stamps will help a hospice to continue its vital work.

Ron Trotter, president of Chester-le-Street Rotary Club, has collected 8kg of stamps to raise funds for St Cuthbert's Hospice in Durham.

He took the 20 full carrier bags to the hospice, which relies on public support for its work with the terminally ill.

The stamps will be sold on to enthusiasts.

Mr Trotter, who is also a Chester-le-Street district councillor, collected the stamps in about a year.

"They have come from the council, residents deposit them at the Civic Centre and organisations throughout the area support me by sending stamps - including the police authority, Peacock's Surgical Supplies in Newcastle and various Rotary Clubs in the county.

"I wouldn't have a clue how many stamps there are. It must be into the millions because I have got about 20 ordinary carriers full of them.

"The hospice is desperate for funds. Cancer is a prevalent disease in society and if we could get a cure it would be marvellous.''

Mr Trotter also estimates he has helped to collect 24,000 unwanted pairs of spectacles for Sightsavers, a charity that takes glasses to Third World countries where people cannot afford them.

The charity is backed by Rotary International.