Teaching assistant who took in young boys after Northampton house fire is found

Sue Willmer (right) with her youngest daughter, Rachel
Sue Willmer (right) with her youngest daughter, Rachel

A kindly teaching assistant has been put in touch with a former pupil who she helped in 1991.

The Chron reported how Jermaine Jones was looking for the Blackthorn Lower School 'teacher' who helped took in he and his brother, Andrew, when their house burned down on 13 December, 28 years ago.

Through spreading our story on social media, word has reached the Good Samaritan in question, Sue Willmer, who was actually a learning support assistant for Andrew's class.

She said she was delighted to have left such a lasting impression on the five-year-old Jermaine - and revealed she had never forgotten him either.

She said: "I remember it was actually playtime when he came up to me and said: 'My house is on fire'.

"I said, no, it can't be, then I looked across and saw it was true."

After getting the children inside, she was approached by Jermaine's mum.

"She was in a bit of a panic. I think she had arranged to stay with a relative but there was only going to be room for her, her husband and the baby.

"I said I could take Jermaine and Andrew home with me as I had plenty of room."

In the end the boys stayed at her home in Donellan Green, Southfields for more than a week. The first task was to find them new clothes as the fire had destroyed all their belongings.

Luckily, Sue's dad worked at the RAF charity shop in town and was able to source some clothes in the appropriate sizes.

She walked the boys to and from school each day and took them to the park at the weekend.

Sue, aged 64. who now lives near Great Yarmouth, said: "It was a bit different having two little boys as I had two teenage girls.

"We played football in the park and I used to bath them every night then they would lie on the bed and I'd read them stories.

"They were two well-mannered boys.

"I'm so pleased Jermaine remembers me. It just felt like the natural thing to do."

It was not the last time Sue did such a good deed.

Later in her career, she took in for a short while a little boy at the school who had hip dysplasia, while his mum was expecting a new baby.

Sue said: "I was happy to help them."

She and Jermaine hope to arrange a meeting in the near future.