THE Southampton skies will be visited by a friend from the past today as a special Spitfire flies over the city's hospital to pay tribute to the NHS.

The 'Thank U NHS' Spitfire is due to pass over Southampton General Hospital at 3.32pm on Saturday.

And residents have the opportunity to nominate the name of a loved one to be hand written onto the family-owned Aircraft Restoration Company’s blue photo-reconnaissance plane in aid of NHS Charities Together.

The names will be nominated by the public as a way of recognising small acts of kindness throughout the coronavirus pandemic. From a family member to a kind neighbour, close friend or community hero, the public can now thank them with this special gesture. In return for their donation, their nominated name will be one of those written on the Spitfire, which has an 80,000 name capacity.

John Romain, founder and managing director of Aircraft Restoration Company, said: “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.

"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.”

To submit a name, the public will simply need to donate a minimum of £10 via the campaign’s JustGiving page, fundraising 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. Overall the aircraft has space for 80,000 names.

For more details and to donate, visit