Thank You Bill

A man who was instrumental behind funding Cornwall’s iconic air ambulance service has hung up his clipboard after 26 years of running a popular fundraising lottery.

Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust offers sincere thanks to Cornish man Bill Pearce, who following a milestone 80th birthday has made the hard decision to retire.

Cornwall Air Ambulance has also selected a new external lottery specialist to take on the fundraising, under the new banner of Mission Maker.

Mr Pearce said: “I have had to make one of the toughest decisions in my long life. The lottery has been my life for 26 years, my wife even accuses I am marries to it!”

We were all delighted to learn that by the end of the year two Air Ambulances will be based in Cornwall capable of night flying.

“There will be a cost increase which in turn demands a major boost in lottery income. With my 80th birthday just past I am obviously unable to give the long-term commitment demanded to take the lottery forward.

“But I do want the people of Cornwall to carry on supporting Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust by playing the lottery.”

Launched in 1988, the lottery is major fundraising mechanism to cover the costs of running the helicopter. At the height of its popularity, an army of over 500 Air Care Lottery agents pounded the streets of Cornwall. This number had dropped over the years to around 150.

The service to existing lottery members who play by Standing Order or advance cheque will carry on as normal, with fabulous opportunities to win great cash prizes every week, whilst supporting one of Cornwall’s best charities.

Paula Martin, chief executive of Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, said: “We’re very sad to learn of Bill’s retirement on his 80th birthday. He and everyone with him should be very proud of the 26 years of fundraising support.

“It is an extraordinary achievement which the charity is humbled to acknowledge.

“Bill’s retirement has provided the opportunity to refresh the way our lottery is run to maximise valuable fundraising income which reaches the cause, but none of it would be possible without the living legacy that he has given to this charity through Cornwall Air Care”.

“We would like to express our thanks and gratitude to Bill and his team of lottery agents for their sterling efforts over the past 26 years.”

If you regularly played the Air Care Lottery and have questions about how it will now run, please contact the dedicated lottery helpline: 01637 222525, or go to