Duxford-based Aircraft Restoration Company has come up with its own special way of saying thank you to individual NHS workers, and has launched a JustGiving campaign to also raise funds for NHS Charities Together.
The Aircraft Restoration Company is famous for its painstaking maintenance and restoration services for classic aircraft, as well as flying them. One of its operational aircraft is blue Spitfire PL983 which, since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK, it has been flying around local villages to support #clapforourcarers.
“The response was utterly overwhelming,” said the company. “Being around the Spitfires so regularly can make it all too easy to take for granted just what the sight and sound of this machine means to so many people.
“We just weren’t prepared for the emotionally charged messages of support and gratitude that we received for that first flight. It was what paved the way for the development of the NHS Spitfire project.
“The Thursday flights became a bit of a tradition in our local area. As we approached the tenth week we added our own thank you message to the bottom of the wings.”
That prompted the company to come up with a unique way of saying thank you.
“Over the course of the next few months (5 July – 20 September 2020) we are going to be hand-writing 80,000 names onto our photo-reconnaissance blue Spitfire PL983 ‘L’.”
Not just any names. The company wants members of the public to nominate local heroes – a kind neighbour, family member on the front line, volunteer PPE producer, or anyone who has helped or inspired through the pandemic.
To nominate a name, go to the Aircraft Restoration Company’s JustGiving page and donate a minimum of £10 along with the name of the person and the reason for the nomination.