A property owner who sold tickets in a draw in which he raffled his £650,000 home as the prize has donated £10,000 to NYAS which supports vulnerable children in care.

Dunstan Low, the owner of Melling Manor in Cumbria sold 512,00 tickets in a raffle won by Marie Segar who is the new owner of Melling Manor.

The National Youth Advocacy (NYAS) is a national children’s charity which exists to support the most vulnerable children in society. The charity was bequeathed the title of Lord Melling by a supporter of the charity in 2010 which granted the charity permission to lease the title for 12 month periods as a way of raising much needed funds for the organisation.

Rita Waters, CEO of NYAS said that the charity had been waiting for a suitable opportunity to find a home for the title.  On hearing about the raffle, NYAS decided to contact Dunstan Low and offer the title of Lord and Lady Melling to the new owners of Melling Manor.

Ms Waters said: “As a charity, NYAS has received extraordinary levels of support in the past – however the gift of the Melling title was perhaps the most unusual donation we have received to date.

“When we heard about the raffle of Melling Manor – we decided to contact Dunstan Low and offer the title to the new owners of the house for 12 months.”

NYAS provides advocacy and legal representation to children and young people in care. The NYAS National Helpline lies at the heart of NYAS and provides advice to vulnerable children and young people.

Mr Low was so impressed by the service provided by the charity that he pledged £10,000 to the charity from the proceeds of the raffle.

Mr Low said: “There are two reasons why I chose to donate some of the proceeds from the raffle to NYAS. To begin with, it seemed fitting that the new owner of Melling Manor should benefit from using the title of Lord and Lady Melling.

“I have always supported charities which look to support disadvantaged children. As soon as I heard about NYAS and the support it provides to thousands of vulnerable children – I decided to donate some of the proceeds towards the NYAS National Helpline. “

Ms Waters said: “We are extremely grateful to Dunstan for choosing to support our charity through his donation. We have chosen to use the funds to support our valuable Helpline. The calls we receive from children and young people can often be distressing. They cover a range of issues, all of which are vitally important to the caller. These might be being forced to move from care placement, being bullied, wanting to see their families and extended family, being very unhappy at school and a whole range of other issues.”

In 2017, the Helpline was able to respond to 24,500 contacts from children and young people and care professionals who turned to NYAS for support. As a result of these contacts, NYAS opened 10,000 new cases helping young people across the country.

Ms Waters added: “The raffle of Melling Manor has caught the attention of the media and has offered NYAS the opportunity to raise its profile. We hope that through this event – more people will find out about our very worthwhile charity and support our cause.”