Large crowds of volunteers gathered as Princess Anne visited a Wiltshire town to congratulate them on a long fundraising campaign.

HRH The Princess Royal visited the St John Ambulance headquarters in Devizes on Monday, February 5, shortly after making an appearance in Swindon.

During her visit to Devizes, she dedicated a brand new community support unit that had been purchased following a successful fundraising campaign that raised £65,000 in donations.

The unit will form a “vital part” of the charity’s fleet following years of fundraising from both St John Ambulance and the St John Priory Group.

A short dedication ceremony saw The Princess Royal formally receive the new unit on behalf of the Order of St John.

She also spoke to volunteers and staff before signing the visitors' book.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Princess Anne in DevizesPrincess Anne in Devizes (Image: Trevor Porter)

Those involved with the event were thrilled with The Princess Royal’s appearance.

Professor Michael Seed, chair of the Wiltshire St John Priory Group, said: “I am delighted that The Princess Royal, who works tirelessly to support our charity, was able to join us today for the dedication ceremony.

“We are truly grateful to her for all she does.”

The royal visit marked an important day for St John Ambulance, as their new vehicle will be used to support both their local volunteers and all the parishes in Wiltshire while lifesaving first aid is being delivered.

Their new AWD MAN vehicle, which will be based in Swindon, can transport up to six volunteers as well as equipment, and comes with a welfare area to make volunteers comfortable on longer shifts.

The charity’s district logistics lead for Wiltshire Martin Parsons said: “It’s really exciting because we’ve spent three years raising money for this vehicle.

“It’s great to get so many people together, it’s been three years of work.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Princess Anne in DevizesPrincess Anne in Devizes (Image: Trevor Porter)

Bob Sanderson, district manager for St John Ambulance in Wiltshire, added: “I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to secure this vehicle following a successful fundraising campaign.

“It was also an honour to have The Princess Royal receive it from all the donors on our behalf.

“I’m so grateful to everyone who donated to St John so we can continue to ensure that our fleet has the most appropriate vehicles, such as this one, for our ongoing needs.

“I know how pleased the volunteers will be to have this vehicle and am looking forward to seeing it at many events in Wiltshire in the future.”