Nine-year-old Lily Bell, from Swansfield Park Primary School, impressed the judges with her design, which featured a brightly-coloured ambulance and balloons.
As a result, Lily’s winning picture was turned into a card, which has been sent to all 65 ambulance stations around the North East to say thank you to staff.
A total of 16 schools and community groups around the region submitted impressive contributions for the birthday card competition, with hundreds of artistic creations.
Judges were so overwhelmed by the entries, they have also created displays of the remaining cards across many of their sites so that staff can enjoy them.
The North East Ambulance Service’s chief executive, Yvonne Ormston, said: “The birthday of the NHS is something we all wanted to celebrate and it’s given us a chance to say an extra special thank you to our staff.
“For so many young people to respond to our competition has been fabulous.
“Our staff work particularly hard, often in challenging circumstances, but receiving this amount of appreciation from our communities is really humbling.
“Among the entries were some really special designs and messages and while we had to choose an overall winner, we want to say thank you to everyone and share as many of them as we can.
“Happy birthday to all of our staff and our NHS colleagues nationwide.”