National interest has been generated following news that two Northampton nurses have put their home into a ‘Win a House’ competition with part of the proceeds funding a dementia support centre in the East Midlands town.
Nearly 16,000 people had visited the winahouse.net website in the first six days after the competition launched on 12 April and which runs until Sunday 14th October.
Competitors from London, Birmingham and Inverness have been pouring over the photos of the spacious four bedroom property that overlooks the quiet of Abington Park in Northampton.
The house is currently owned by Marty Pumbien and his partner Annie Brown and both are experienced working with people who have a diagnosis of dementia.
Knowing that the need for dementia care is on the increase both felt that the UnityDEM* centre, which opened in March, could go some way to helping the enhancement of existing services and supporting new innovation in the area, especially in the early stages of the disease where social support is so critical.
This led them to the idea of the house prize competition as a way of funding UnityDEM, something they firmly believe provides vital support for Northampton people who have dementia and their family and carers.
Marty and Annie hope to sell the maximum number of 500,000 tickets. Part of the total will go toward UnityDEM with the rest split between other dementia charities supported by the University of Northampton and to cover the cost of the house and associated expenses.
If they are successful, Marty and Annie hope to repeat the scheme in future, with further money going to charity.
Each competition entry is £5 and people from across the UK who are interested, and who meet the criteria in the terms and conditions, can enter as many times as they want.
The competition is backed by leading online estate agent Emoov.
Marty said: “My partner Annie and I are both nurses and have first-hand experience of helping people who have dementia, either on the wards or during home visits. Funds from this venture will go some way to supporting vital work in the care of people with dementia.
“If all 500,000 tickets are sold, we will raise over £1.3 million to provide support to people with dementia. Some of this fantastic total will come from the Northamptonshire Community Foundation. I can’t thank the Community Foundation enough.
“Putting your home up as the prize in a ‘Win a House’ competition may seem like a crazy idea, but it is the right decision and we hope to raise money to help fund dementia care services including the ‘UnityDEM’ centre.”
Professor Simon Denny, Executive Dean of Research, Impact and Enterprise at the University of Northampton, added: “We’re incredibly grateful to Marty and Annie for their generosity in putting their house into this competition, which should reap dividends for the people of Northampton in the years to come by supporting UnityDEM.”
*Opened in March this year, UnityDEM is a ‘one stop shop’ for care, information, training and guidance for people who have just been diagnosed with dementia. Crucially, their carers have access to the same support at the same time.
For more about the house and how to enter the competition, with all terms and conditions: http://www.winahouse.net/
For further information about UnityDEM, please contact: Jacqueline.Parkes@northampton.ac.uk