The sale of thousands of toy ambulances has enabled Canterbury to add a real one to its fleet.

Thanks to the ASB's St John Toy Ambulance fundraising campaign, which saw more than 23,000 toys sold, a new ambulance is all set and ready to get out on the road.

Inspired by the campaign, another ASB customer, who has chosen to remain anonymous, has gone one step further and donated enough money to buy a second ambulance that will be used in the Northern region.

It will be ready for use in the coming months and will be dedicated to the customer's late father.


St John director of Commercial Services, Peter Loveridge, said the new ambulances would help the organisation continue with its "vital emergency services in local communities".

ASB executive general manager marketing and communications, Roger Beaumont, expressed his gratitude to those who got behind the fundraiser.

"We are delighted to provide the ambulance to the Canterbury region," he said. "The region has endured some tough times over the past few years - and continues to do so. We see this as a very practical way to continue to show ASB's and ASB customers' support for the region."

St John numbers:

* In the past year there have been 455,000 ambulance callouts; 428,000 patients cared for and nearly 20 million kilometres travelled.

* St John has more than 19,000 paid/volunteer staff and 660 ambulances stationed throughout the country

* Daily it responds to approximately 1200 emergency calls