After living in Cornwall for 80 years, farmer Neil Bailey knew all about the vital service Cornwall Air Ambulance provided.
When the time came for him to write his Will, he decided to remember the charity that had come to the aid of his family and friends, some of whom had been airlifted.
When Neil passed away in 2018, he left behind an incredibly generous donation to the charity.
Debbie Henshaw, Senior Fundraising Manager, said: “Neil left 111 acres of farmland to Cornwall Air Ambulance in his Will. His legacy is living on through the countless missions we’re able to undertake in his memory. It is a gift that keeps giving.”
Most of Neil Bailey’s legacy gift of land was at Treburrick, six miles from Padstow. The three lots, amounting to 100 acres of Grade 3 productive farmland, was sold to local couple Ben and Sam Old earlier this year. Ben worked for Neil as a teenager, so purchasing his land and helping to fulfil his aim of raising a substantial sum for charity meant a great deal.
Sam said: “We were delighted when it was confirmed to us that the proceeds were going to Cornwall Air Ambulance. It’s one of our chosen charities at the caravan park we run and we’ve always supported them. One of our family members wouldn’t have survived after falling and hitting his head if it wasn’t for the Air Ambulance. Because of their rapid response we were lucky enough to see him recover and live for another 11 years. Our son was also picked up by them at one point, so we’re very aware of how important the service is to Cornwall.”
Legacy donations – such as Neil’s – are a vital source of funding for the charity, making up approximately 31% of the funds needed to keep providing the lifesaving service. Currently one in three missions are funded by donations left to the Cornwall Air Ambulance in Wills.
“We’re very grateful for any gift, no matter the size,” said Debbie. “Some leave £100, others leave thousands, and some gift us pieces of art, jewellery, shares, land or property. They all have one thing in common – they all want to remember good causes that they were passionate about and which had an impact on their friends and family. We are humbled to think that people think of us when they’re planning their legacy.”