2020 was undoubtedly a rollercoaster year that created unforgettable moments and memories for numerous reasons. However, amongst the uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, one delightful pair rose to the challenge and found a way of enriching all of our lives with their incredible acts of kindness.
John and Amanda Romain are the founders of the NHS Spitfire project, which has now raised an absolutely astounding £130,000 for the NHS, not only in extremely difficult circumstances, but at a time when community has mattered more than ever.
These two individuals' acts of kindness during such unprecedented times are remarkably inspiring. and here at FlyDays we are over the moon to hear they are receiving a well deserved MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours.
The NHS Spitfire Project was initially only due to fly over the local villages near their home in Elmdon, Essex, in the hopes of raising the spirits of those in the local community. But after it received such a warm and positive response, plans to take this nationwide commenced. They decided to fly over hospitals, and Mrs Romain hand painted “Thank you NHS” and also the names of 7000 community heroes, nurses, doctors and hospital wards.
The restored Spitfire then covered England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, as people waited outside eagerly to see the plane amongst the skies. Mrs Romain noted that “There were hundreds if not thousands of people standing outside, on the roof, in the car park, we even blocked off a few roads with people just knowing it was coming and parking at the hospital to watch”.
Mr Romain is a highly decorated pilot, with such honours as being a part of the award winning piloting team responsible for many of the flight combat scenes in the blockbuster 2017 film Dunkirk. He has also been working in aviation for more than 40 years, and in particular plane restoration for almost 30 years!
Either way, seeing people use the power of flight in such a positive and inspiring form is truly beautiful, and here at FlyDays we could not be happier to see the wonderful couple receiving MBEs for their hard work in making people smile through the power of flight. Congratulations to Amanda and John, you both deserve it!
If you’re passionate about flight and want to either learn more about how to jump behind the wheel of a spitfire, or alternatively just visit a few museums, then check out FlyDays' wide range of flight options!