Two pensioners will not need to give up their family pet thanks to the help of a primary school teacher.

John Ray Primary School teacher Janine Gilbank, 33, of Cressing Road, Braintree, makes the world of difference to the lives of Derek and Rita Norman, who have lived in Wethersfield since 1984.

Miss Gilbank, a volunteer with the Cinnamon Trust - a national charity to help elderly and terminally ill people keep their pets - gives up a little time each week to walk their border collie Jasper.

Mr Norman, 82, a retired journalist for the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, and his wife, 83, who live in Wethersfield’s High Street, are both unable to walk their beloved pet, who is their fifth collie, but do not want to be without him.

See this week's Braintree and Witham Times for the full story.