Duxford Spitfire emblazoned with 6,500 names to thank NHS

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Image source, @GeorgeLewisRomain
Image caption,
The Aircraft Restoration Company hopes to cover the photo-reconnaissance blue Spitfire PL983 'L' in hand-written names

A Spitfire has been emblazoned with 6,500 names as part of a project to raise money for NHS charities.

The Aircraft Restoration Company, in Duxford, Cambridgeshire, first flew the plane with "Thank U NHS" under its wings for the NHS' 72nd birthday.

The family-owned business then decided to raise money for NHS Charities Together by allowing people to nominate a name to be written on it in return for a donation.

It has since raised more than £119,000.

Image source, @GeorgeLewisRomain
Image caption,
Pilot John Romain and his wife Amanda Romain were made MBEs for their work during the pandemic

The team said it wanted to give people "the opportunity to join us in saying thank you the the NHS whilst also giving them the opportunity to thank someone closer to home".

It hopes to cover the photo-reconnaissance blue Spitfire PL983 'L' in hand-written names.

Image source, @GeorgeLewisRomain
Image caption,
People will be able to nominate a name to be written on the plane until the end of September

Lucy Stephens from the company said the project had "escalated really quickly".

"We started flying the plane over different hospitals each week for Clap for Carers," she said.

"Then we decided to paint "Thank You NHS" under the wings and the idea came from there."

Image source, @GeorgeLewisRomain
Image caption,
Ms Stephens said many people had come to the base in Cambridgeshire to see the name they had nominated on the plane

Ms Stephens said nominations and donations were still coming through but they were expecting to close the fundraising page at the end of September.

"It's not just NHS workers, you can nominate who you like - it could be your neighbour who was really kind during the pandemic, or anyone," she said.

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