A deputy cook who helped prepare over 1.3 million hot dinners for a secondary school for 28 years has retired.

Janice Anderson made her last school meals with the catering team at West Hatch High School in Chigwell on Tuesday, January 14.

Before leaving, a special retirement cake was presented to her at a farewell gathering with school staff.

Mrs Anderson started work at the school as a catering assistant before becoming assistant cook and latterly deputy catering manager.

She said: "I've really enjoyed working with a great bunch of ladies and serving the pupils.

"Cooking has always been a pleasure for me and I've loved every minute working at West Hatch. It's a lovely school and it has been a lovely environment to work in."

She added: "It's sad to be leaving but I'm 65 and it starts a new chapter in my life."

Epping Forest Guardian:

West Hatch High School staff presented a surprise retirement cake for Janice on her last day

Mrs Anderson is looking forward to more holidays with her husband, Barry, and spending more time with her family - daughter Emma, son Ian and grandchildren Freddy, Lottie, Elsey and Ernest.

West Hatch High School headteacher Daniel Leonard said: "Jan has been a tremendous servant to the school and will be sorely missed by her team and also by the students and staff that she has served for so long.

"I’d like to thank Jan for her many years of service to West Hatch and wish her the very best for her well-deserved retirement."