Saturday 18 November 2017 06:27:36 AM

Mainstay DRP Break Tombola World Record At 4R's
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MAINSTAY DRP have succeeded in winning the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s biggest tombola.

The County Down charity has triumphed in their attempt to beat the current world record for the ‘World’s Largest Tombola’ by gathering 4,802 raffle prizes.

Mainstay DRP, which provides quality care and support services to people with a learning disability, needed to gather over 4,440 to become the new record holders. No mean target!

This afternoon (Sunday 28th August) Mainstay DRP began their attempt at the record at 10am as part of the charity’s inaugural fun-fest ‘4Rs In The Park’. Independent verifiers former South Down MP Eddie McGrady and Down District Council’s vice-chairman Liam Johnston painstakingly counted the prizes at Castlewellan Forest Park. This meticulous process was completed while they were being videoed as evidence for the Guinness Book of Record verifiers.

At present, the record is held by St Peter’s School Association, Portishead, England. The school group collected 4,440 prizes at their Christmas Fair on December 2, 2006 to win the title.

Over the last few weeks, thousands of gifts were donated by generous members of the public and the local business community across the district.

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Helen Taylor, the charity’s Chief Executive, said she was “absolutely delighted” with the response they had received after issuing an appeal to the public for help in their record-breaking attempt.

She added, “A lot of hard work has gone into organising not only the Tombola, but the whole fun-fest. We are extremely grateful for all the prizes we received which were brand new items donated by the local community.

“All we have to do now is complete the paperwork required by the Guinness Book of World Records and wait for our certificate,” she said.

“On behalf of all our service users and families, I would to thank everyone involved for their tremendous effort here today. Everyone really pulled together and despite the pressure on families due to the economic climate, the people of Co Down pulled together to support those most in need in their area.”

The charity have set a target of  £10,000 to fund-raise at their first ever family funday ‘4Rs In The Park’ which was sponsored by Asda, First Trust, Magnakata and Down District Council.

All funds raised at the fun-fest will go to the charity’s ‘Building The Dream’ project – a planned state-of-the-art development in Downpatrick which will meet the ever-changing needs of adults with severe autism and learning disabilities as they grow older.

Council Vice Chairman Congratulates Mainstay DRP

Councillor Liam Johnston, Down District Council Vice Chairman, said, “We recognise the value of Mainstay DRP’s work in this district and that is why Down District Council has willingly stepped forward with ASDA and the First Trust Bank as main sponsors.

“This event will help Mainstay DRP move closer to ‘Building the Dream’  of a new centre in Downpatrick. This is an ambitious scheme costing £3 million and £1 million is left to raise. Today’s event will bring Mainstay DRP closer to that dream.

“I am delighted to announce that Mainstay DRP has succeeded in their task of achieving the world tombola record.”

“There was definitely a fun-fare atmosphere at the 4R’s event today with a traditional fairground, a horse and  hound show and a Viking longboat rowing challenge across Castlewellan Lake,” added Councillor Johnston.

Early on in the day a drop of rain threatened proceedings but the sun came outr and with it a steady stream of loyal supporters to the Mainstay DRP cause. This was a great family day and will be a great event to look forward to next year in Castlewellan Forest Park.

Mainstay DRP was set up in 1989 when a group of concerned parents and carers of people with a learning disability in the Co Down area came together with one common goal – to create a local service providing the high quality care and support their loved ones required close to their family homes.

Residential care, respite care, supported housing, day-care services and vocational training are all provided by the charity, formerly known as the Downe Residential Project.

Today, Mainstay DRP is one of the largest employers in the Downpatrick area providing jobs to 135 people.