News copy by Richard Jenkins
The parents of a boy with severe Down’s syndrome are raffling off their luxury £1.75m London flat because he can no longer get down the stairs.
Cliodhna Ross, 46, and husband Stuart are hoping to sell their four-bedroom Maida Vale property by asking potential new owners to pay £25-a-ticket to win it, mortgage free.
The family have no need to leave their dream home, but for the fact they are beginning to struggle carrying seven-year-old Ollie up and down the stairs.
Financial services project manager Cliodhna, 46, said:
“We knew almost as soon as he was born that Ollie had Down’s syndrome.
”His condition comes with delayed learning and general mobility, but in general that doesn’t seem to be much of a problem.
“However having had all the loft work done and turned the flat into our ideal home, we realised Ollie wasn’t terribly mobile and was struggling to get steady on his legs.
“We simply cannot get him to go downstairs.
”And if he wants to go upstairs you have to heft him over your shoulders which has become much harder as he’s grown older.”
The Rosses have lived in the upmarket west London apartment building since 2001.
In that time they secured planning permission to extend into the roof area, creating a rooftop terrace with astonishing views of London’s skyline.
But after realising the difficulties Ollie will increasingly have navigating his way up down the floors in the mansion block, the Rosses put their home on the market to find something more suited to his needs, and those of his sister Issy, eight.
However, due to market fluctuations, the house remained unsold. Cliodhna said:
“We went from having all the room we needed to having to move.
“We put our property on the market in April this year but the timing was appalling – nobody wanted to buy an expensive property in Central London.
‘’People are simply not putting their properties on the market unless they absolutely have to.
“If you do sell your property at a bargain price, chances are you won’t be able to afford a replacement property.
‘’Eventually we took 10 per cent off the price and still couldn’t find a buyer.
“The kids are now happily settled in school, and Ollie is settled at his special needs school so we don’t want to disrupt them by moving too far away.”
The luxurious apartment sprawls over the third and fourth floors of a well-maintained, red-brick mansion block on one of Maida Vale’s wide avenues.
It features four bedrooms, two balconies, a sitting room and a large kitchen/diner, as well as two bathrooms and a cloakroom.
It’s also unique in having its own private roof terrace, as well as access to the building’s communal garden which is maintained by a professional gardener.
The property covers approximately 1,500 square feet and comes complete with high-spec kitchen appliances from Bosch, Neff and Siemens.
Outside the front door, just minutes away are the boutique stores of Lauderdale Parade and Clifton Road, and it’s just a short walk from the scenic canals of Little Venice.
Since setting up the raffle in May, thousands of tickets have been sold – but the couple are a long way from having the minimum number needed to cover the cost of the four-bedroom flat.
Cliodhna and house-husband Stuart, 50, are hoping to have sold at least 85,000 tickets before the closing deadline of December 31st, to find the perfect forever-home for their family.
A percentage of the ticket sales will cover fees, and also be shared equally between two charities. The first is KIDS, which provides support services to disabled children, young people and their families.
The second is The London Community Foundation, which designs and manages funds on behalf of those philanthropic individuals and organisations that wish to tackle poverty, inequality and exclusion across the capital.
In addition, there is a £100,000 second prize and five runner-up prizes of £10,000 in cash each.
Entrants will not only have to pay £25 for a ticket, but complete a crossword, to stay on the right side of strict gambling regulations.
And the winner will also be liable to pay stamp duty on the property, as well as any usual apartment block maintenance costs.
“If it weren’t for Ollie’s condition, there would have been far more mileage in staying where we are.
“Our daughter Issy adores living there. She’s adamant that when we move she has to have exactly the same room, as hers currently opens up almost directly onto the roof terrace!”
For more information or to enter, visit www.winamaidavalehome.co.uk