WIN A COUNTRY HALL

FAQs

Why are you doing this and not just selling your house by the usual method?

Three years ago our next door neighbour Dunstan Low awarded his house as the prize in a similar Prize Draw competition and we were very impressed by the whole concept.  It seemed a brilliant idea:  sell your house, raise money for charity and change someone’s life forever!  How many chances do any of us get to do that for someone?  So we made up our minds that when the time came for us to move, we would do the same thing.  We would like to point out that unlike many other “House competitions” that we have seen, we have not tried to sell the house in the “normal” way and then switched to this method as a “last resort”.  It has always been our intention to use the sale of our house to benefit the maximum number of people.

Julie has been as a key worker for the NHS for most of her working life, and has continued to work throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, so we wanted to support her colleagues, near and far, during these difficult times.  Also, our nearest Hospice has suffered heavily in terms of falling donations during the pandemic and we wanted to make up some of their lost revenue.

Although we love the house – and have spent over 10 years restoring it – common sense tells us it is time to downsize.  Both our boys have left home and it is a big house for two people!  Also, until now we have carried out almost all the maintenance ourselves and although the house doesn’t require much upkeep at all, Julie is still working in the NHS 4 days a week and Guy is 66 and needs a new hip, so with “head ruling heart” we have decided it is time to find something smaller.

What charities are you supporting and what are you donating?

If we sell the minimum number of tickets, we will be donating £100,000 in total to our charities.  If we sell our maximum number of tickets we will donate a stupendous £200,000, shared between them.

Amongst others, we are supporting St Johns’ Hospice in Lancaster and the NHS Charities Together fund.

St John’s Hospice provides palliative care to people in North Lancashire, South Cumbria and West Yorkshire.  We live in a rural area and St John’s provides a vital service helping the NHS where it can be at its most stretched.  Their work is a marvellous example of the caring community in our country and we are proud to be associated with them.

Julie, as a key NHS worker, has seen at first hand how hard some people in the NHS have been affected by the pandemic and we want to do our bit to help.

How do I know the Prize Draw is fair, honest and properly conducted?

All monies are being collected by Sterling Lotteries and the Stripe Organization.  Sterling is registered with the Gambling Commission and they provide services to over 350 charities, good causes and organisations, including such household names as Oxfam, The Royal Opera House and the PDSA.  With over 30 years experience in the field, it is one of the leading External Lottery Management companies in the UK.  Stripe have 100,000s of clients across the world and process millions of card payments every day.

All the data collected from paid-for tickets, free tickets and postal entries will be collated and combined into one database.  It will then be triple checked for integrity.  When it has passed our very demanding tests, it will be sent to Sterling Lotteries, who will check it again and then draw the winning ticket number using their random number generating software that has been tested by a Gambling Commission approved test house and PriceWaterhouseCooper.

We have had two lengthy consultations with the Gambling Commission who have given us extensive advice to ensure our approach to organising and running the Prize Draw complies with the relevant Regulations.

And then there’s one other thing:  it sounds a bit corny, but we are just ordinary, hardworking, decent people.  Yes, we want to “sell” our house, but also we want to take what at our age is almost certainly our last chance to do some major good for as many people as possible.  We know we won’t please everyone with what we are doing, but we hope you will agree that £2.50 (or even £0) is a fair price to stand a good chance of winning a beautiful house and supporting some very good causes.

Can I really enter free?

Most certainly!  In terms of the Gambling Acts we are running a Free Draw, so you can enter free and we guarantee we will treat free entries in exactly the same way as paid entries.  There are no restrictions as to how many postal entries you can send in and they do not need to be sent by Registered Post, Special Delivery or Signed-for delivery.

However, they must be sent by 1st class post and they must be on a post card or on/in an envelope and must supply your full contact details.  If you don’t send the correct information, we won’t be able to contact you if you win, so please be careful!   You must also incude the following statement:  “I have read and I accept the Terms and Conditions of the Draw, particularly with respect to The Prize”.

Please note: strictly only one entry per post card or envelope.

What if you don’t sell the minimum number of Tickets?

We are absolutely determined to sell the maximum number of tickets and we think we can do it with your help.  If we do, we will be donating £200,000 to charity, and awarding the house as the Prize.

If we sell the minimum number of tickets, we will be donating £100,000 to charity and awarding the house as the Prize.

If, despite our best efforts, and please believe us we will be trying as hard as we possibly can, we fail to sell the minimum number of tickets, then all of the net revenue from the ticket sales will be split as follows:  80% to the winner and 20% to charity.  That’s it, plain and simple.  So even if we don’t reach our minimum, we have no doubt that there will still be a fantastic, life-changing cash prize for the winner and a substantial donation to charity.

How do I know my payment has gone through?

You will receive an email confirming your payment and the number of tickets you have bought.  You can also check your purchases (and free tickets) from “my Account”.

How do I earn free tickets by telling my friends and colleagues about the Draw?

You can see this on your account page and you will get an email containing a unique URL (web page address) which you can forward to anyone who might be interested in entering the Draw.  For each person you refer who buys tickets, you will receive a £5 voucher to use against a further purchase of tickets for yourself.

How do I know how many free tickets I have earned?

You can see this by going to the website and looking at “My Account”.  We will also keep rigorous records at our end.

Why is there no question to answer?

From our own reading of the Gambling Acts it seemed very clear:  there must be a question to enter OR you must offer free entries.  So, we consulted a leading gambling industry compliance expert and finally we checked with the Gambling Commission and they both confirmed this to be absolutely the case.  So that’s great:  there’s no question to answer!  It’s even easier to win a beautiful Georgian Hall, whilst helping our NHS and care workers!

What can I do with the house if I win?

Well, you could just move in and live the dream!  Beautifully proportioned rooms mean that even the large sitting room feels cosy and welcoming.  Enjoy the many walks on your doorstep and just love being in the countryside.

You could sell the house:  the market here in the Lune Valley is always pretty constant and there is a high demand for houses of this quality.

However, if you want some other ideas, here are a few suggestions:  If you look at the floor plans you will see that the house is laid out over three floors.  This makes it extremely flexible to use.  The first floor has three large en-suite bedrooms and the top floor is currently arranged as a completely self-contained loft apartment.  We originally did this for our two sons to have a bit of independence in their own space (and to give us a bit of peace and quiet!), but it would work just as well for a relative to live in.   Another idea is to live on the top floor yourself and rent out the ground and first floor – we did this as an experiment a few years ago and we got over £1,000 per week at peak times!  Or you could “AirBNB” the top floor as a bit of extra income.  The other major use of the loft apartment is as a business suite.  There is a lot of space up there – actually more than on each of the other two floors – ample for a few people to work together.

What condition is the house in?

In short:  excellent!   Within the last ten years the house has been completely refurbished from top to bottom.  They say every picture tells a story so we have included a lot of pictures for you in the main Gallery.  However, we feel that with a house, it’s important to know what’s underneath the surface, so in case you’re interested there is more info at the bottom of the page.

Can I view the property?

I am afraid that even before the present Covid-19 movement restrictions, this would not have been practical and at the time of writing, we are still not having visitors at all.  We hope you understand.  We have put a lot of photographs on the website and we will be keeping active on social media.

What furniture and furnishings are included?

All fitted carpets, curtains, light fittings and chandeliers throughout the house will be included, together with much of the furniture visible in the photographs, even the Broadwood grand piano in the sitting room is included!  Some of the antiques will not be included as they are of special sentimental value.

Three of the bedrooms will be completely ready to use, but as our boys took the bedroom furniture out of the bedrooms in the top floor apartment when they set up home, you will need to furnish those if you need more than three ensuite double bedrooms!  The sitting room and kitchen in the top floor apartment will be furnished and ready to use.

What would be my running costs if I won the house?

For a house of this size, the running costs are surprisingly low.  The 2-to-3 foot thick walls and the wooden shutters on all the windows keep the house warm and snug!   The zoned heating and thermostatic radiator valves mean you only heat what you need to and the system, being fairly new, is pretty efficient.  The Council Tax is band G– it is a big house – but even that is far less expensive than it would be in the city.  The garden is big enough to relax in (and for the kids to play in), but not too large to be a burden, so we have never needed to pay anyone to help with it.

Detailed house information

The whole house has been re-wired (including network and TV cabling in every room, a fully-linked smoke detector system and a full burglar alarm system).

All the plumbing has been re-done using copper piping and high-capacity cast iron radiators in every room.  The heating system is zoned across the three floors, so you only need to heat the rooms you are using and all the radiators have thermostatic valves, so you can control every room independently.  There are even two boilers, so you can never be without hot water and heat!

The roof has been completely re-slated using brand new Burlington slate, and has entirely new lead work and the full 200 feet of box gutters have been replaced with stainless steel.  This all means the roof has a realistic life of 150 years or more!

All of the sliding sash windows have been re-glazed with traditional glass, re-corded and re-balanced.  The original fold-away window shutters, present in all but one room, have been refurbished.

There are beautiful plaster cornices in every room in the house (just look at the ceiling in the main hall).  Many were badly damaged or simply missing altogether.  All of these cornices have been lovingly replaced, repaired and refurbished to the original designs by master craftsmen.

In terms of decor:  you can see that our preference is to keep things neutral and traditional, using Heritage colours.  We feel the fine detail inherent in the design of the rooms needs no embellishment.  However, we appreciate that some people will prefer a bolder style!  The good news is that there are no strong colours to cover up or wallpaper to remove, so it will be very straightforward for anyone to put their personal stamp on the house.

When you look at the photos, it is not possible to see all of what we have done, but we are confident you will not easily find a more thoroughly and carefully restored house!

Can I ask you questions about the Draw?

Of course you can: please see our contact page below.  Whilst we would prefer to handle all enquiries personally we have to be realistic, so please check these FAQs and the Terms and Conditions carefully before you get in touch.  We expect to be so busy that we may only have time to answer questions that are not covered on the Web site.

WIN A COUNTRY HALL

St Johns Hospice Logo copy

St John’s Hospice is a local charity which provides free palliative care to patients with life shortening conditions. Our services cover a population area of 250,000 people in North Lancashire, South Lakes and parts of North Yorkshire. We have been caring for our community every minute of every day since 1986.

Charity Number 1157030