PEOPLE across Gwent are being asked to dig deep to support the work of one of Wales' leading charities, St John Ambulance.

Fundraisers from the charity are out and about in the area raising money for its annual appeal, which last year raised £79,000, enough money to buy a fully-equipped frontline ambulance.

The appeal has raised more than £250,000 since 2005 to buy new ambulances.

St John Ambulance in Wales is hoping the public commitment in Gwent will match the dedication of its members in the area.

Almost 900 members in Gwent help treat thousands of people every year at cultural and charitable events, such as concerts and matches at the Millennium Stadium.

Its youth membership in Gwent is also very active, with around 500 participants.

Volunteers also provide vital support to the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, providing emergency cover first aid cover when required. A frontline ambulance costs around £53,000.

"It is vital we continue raising money to upgrade our fleet of ambulances and support the lifesaving efforts of our members. We now ask the people of Gwent to get behind our appeal so we can ensure we have a fleet of ambulances fully equipped to meet the demands of modern healthcare," said chief executive Keith Dunn.

Specially-trained fundraisers wearing St John Wales tops and official identity cards are calling house-to-house, and will not collect money but seek direct debits.

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