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Carmarthenshire couple hits half a million for Stamp Appeal

A Carmarthenshire couple has collected over half a million stamps in support of RNIB’s Stamp Appeal.

Rhian Rowcliffe, 58, and Kevin Rowcliffe, 62, both from Pencader, started collecting stamps for the charity in 2016 following the Christmas period. 

The RNIB stamp appeal helps us to make a real difference to the lives of partially sighted people across the UK. Stamps are sold by weight and £20 is raised per kilogram.

The couple initially aimed to collect 10,000 stamps but lost count after reaching the half a million mark.

Rhian and Kevin decided to support RNIB Cymru after their son Mathew was registered blind aged 21. Mathew was diagnosed with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, a condition that causes sudden loss of central vision.

Mathew, now 25, received advice on securing Access to Work support and legal advice following his diagnosis. He has since raised over £9,000 for the charity through taking part in a skydive and running both the London Marathon and the Cardiff Half twice with his brother Huw as a guide.

The couple first asked friends and family to donate stamps from their Christmas cards, but word soon spread as people from across Wales began sending their stamps to help. The Young Farmer’s Club, of which Mathew was a member, donated over 150,000 stamps to the cause.

Rhian said: “We were all devastated when Mathew lost his sight. We didn’t know where to turn as a family, but the RNIB helpline and team was a lifeline for all of us. We wanted to do something to give back and lots of people in Pencader wanted to help too. 

“The support we have received from friends, family and the community has been amazing. It got to the point where I would arrive at work and find bags of stamps on my desk. Some people bring me five or six, some people bring thousands, but every stamp counts.

“Collecting stamps has been an easy and fun way to raise funds for a charity that has offered us so much help and support throughout Mathew’s journey and we are so grateful to everyone who has donated.”