Charitable fundraising normally involves supporters, at some stage, reaching into their pockets and investing their own hard-earned cash. However, it need not always be so! Through the work of the SU Scotland Stamp Bureau, volunteers can turn donated stamps (and sometimes old coins) into cash, all for the “price” of a few hours of voluntary labour. In this scenario, supporters give time, not cash, but these efforts do generate significant funds.

stamp setsstamp catalogues

The accompanying illustrations show, in a nutshell, what happens: donated stamps are sorted, reference is made to the standard authority (the famous Stanley Gibbons’ catalogues) and stamps are mounted, country by country and set by set, in small booklets and priced for sale to collectors. These booklets are then circulated through numerous philatelic societies, mostly in Scotland, though we also have entry to the North of Ireland Philatelic Society and two societies in the north-east of England. Over many years, this effort has raised around £1,000 each year, and the cumulative total is currently over £32,000!

There are various ways to help: you can donate – either old, unwanted collections or stamps off current mail, or stamps you might persuade friends living abroad to collect for us – or you can take part in the sorting and pricing process. Our current recruitment need is for someone with a little knowledge of stamps, even if rusty rather than current, and who is at least slightly familiar with using the Stanley Gibbons’ catalogues. The ideal volunteer will live in the central belt, easily reachable from our stamp “hub”, which is in Clackmannanshire.

If you think you fit this profile or are interested in finding out more, please contact Alistair Lawson on