A SPITFIRE emblazoned with handwritten names will fly over Ludlow Community Hospital next week.

The "Thank U NHS" Spitfire will make a trip around the Midlands flying over several hospitals on August 18.

The firm behind the trip, the Aircraft Restoration Company' has been asking for nominations from the public for names of loved ones they want to see painted onto the body of the blue photo-reconnaissance Spitfire.

Raising money for NHS Charities Together, the initiative is meant as a way of recognising small acts of kindness throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, such as those from a family member to a kind neighbour, close friend or community hero.

Some 80,000 names could be displayed on the Spitfire, with the company's aim to lift the spirits of those across the UK, many of whom are still living in some form of isolation, while also thanking the hospitals, communities and individuals who have been at the forefront of getting the country through the pandemic.

"The response to our initial flight over the last 8pm #clapforourcarers Thursday was incredibly humbling, with hundreds of people from the local community sharing how wonderful it was to not only see the Spitfire, but also to read the message emblazoned across its wings," said John Romain, founder and managing director of Aircraft Restoration Company.

"After such positive response we decided to leave the message painted on the Spitfire for the rest of the flying season, this is where the idea to hand write the names of the nation's loved ones onto the aircraft to raise money for the NHS Charities Together began."

Flight times

The iconic Spitfire will take off from Duxfield Airfield, near Cambridge, at 10am on Tuesday (August 18).

After flying over other hospitals in the Midlands, including those in Rugby (10.26am), Birmingham (10.40am) and Telford (10.51am), it will fly over Ludlow Community Hospital at 11.02am and Hereford County Hospital at 11.10am.

Then, after flying over Worcester (11.17am), Cheltenham (11.25am) and Gloucester (11.30am), it will land at Cotswold Airport at 11.35am.

The JustGiving.com/nhsSpitfire fundraising page is open.

To submit a name, the public will need to donate a minimum of £10 via the page for the NHS Charities Together, whose funds support staff, patients and volunteers across the country.

They will then need to state their loved one's name and reason for nomination in their donation comment.