**UPDATE 11/08/17** Dunstan and Natasha are delighted to announce that they have hit their target of 500,000 tickets and have also increased their pledge to St John’s to £30,000! Thank you!!! The draw will take place at 4pm on 15th August… Good luck everyone!
A Local man from Melling is raffling off his house and pledges £25,000 of the proceeds to St John’s Hospice in Lancaster.
Dunstan Low (37) and his wife Natasha live in a small North Lancashire village called Melling with their 2 children Dylan, 16 & Ozzy aged 5. In 2011 the family decided to purchase Melling Manor – the East Wing of the former Melling Hall, situated in the beautiful Lune Valley. Dunstan’s internet marketing company was growing and they fell in love with the 6 bedroom historic property built in 1792. Sadly during the recession, Dunstan’s business started to flail and they fell behind with their mortgage payments.
Dunstan describes this period as a time of great stress and anxiety & with a young family to support, had to find new ways to earn a living – over the next 5 years he tried all sorts of things from landscape gardening to designing wind turbines!! Unfortunately none of these projects kept the debtors at bay and they were faced with the difficult decision of having to walk away from Melling Manor and hand it back to the bank.
Dunstan did not want to give up and had the seed of an idea to try and raffle his house off! After 2 days of immersive internet research; on 1st February 2017 he had launched winacountryhouse.com (without even sharing his wild idea with his wife!)
Initial ticket sales were slow but as news travelled that you could have the chance of winning a stunning luxury country house for a meagre £2 stake, local and regional press got on board. Before long the national media had locked onto this unusual story & Dunstan was aired live on Sky News all over the world! Momentum grew reaching a peak of sales of £100,000 in one day!
Dunstan explained, “in debt for almost 5 years, we felt so alone and struggled to see a way out of our situation. When the public started to hear about our story we were overwhelmed by the level of empathy and encouragement. We felt touched that people identified with our situation.”
“We decided that we wanted to add a pledge to a charity if we reached our target of £1 million worth of tickets. With the admin costs and legal/professional fees involved in running such a raffle, we will be able to walk away debt free and start a new life. It’s not about making lots of money from this project; we want to live a much simpler life, with minimal stress going forwards!”
“We immediately thought of St John’s Hospice as an excellent beneficiary and announced we would donate £25,000 to the local hospice should we sell all our tickets. My wife has lost a close family friend last year and was blown away by the level of care and compassion”
With the finish line in site and only 150,000 more tickets needed to be sold, St John’s Hospice want to help Dunstan reach his goal. Jo Humphrey, Fundraising Manager told us, ”Dunstan’s story really resonated with us here at St John’s as we heard him explain his challenges over the last 5 years. It is not every day we have the opportunity to receive such a huge donation and we are so very grateful to Dunstan and his wife for choosing us. £25,000 equates to 1000 hours of nursing care which is fantastic.”
To find out more about how to win this amazing property and to help St John’s Hospice receive this generous donation visit www.winacountryhouse.com.