A FORMER Herefordshire school teacher will be leaving her training companion in kennels when she sets off on a fund-raising trek in India in October.

While Dot Rochard, who taught at St Martin's Primary School, is walking 12 kilometres a day in aid of Acorns Children's Hospice, Daisy the dog will have a 10-day holiday of her own.

Dot, one of the oldest members of the team at 60, was prompted to join the trek after a health scare - which happily proved to be a false alarm - made her think about doing something for others less fortunate.

"It seemed to be fate that, having made that decision, I opened the Hereford Times to find the appeal made by Acorns for people to join the Indian trek," says Dot. "It's an enormous challenge, but it's for a terrific cause. Acorns does such wonderful work for children whose lives are short to make each day special for them. I have to raise over £2,500 in sponsorship, but with the help of the community I'm confident I'll make it."

To date, Dot is grateful to those who have helped her achieve a significant portion of that figure, among them F H Dale, BPI Stretch Films, Kingspan Insulation, St Martin's Primary School, Minster College, Country Homes and Gardens and many supportive friends.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Dot can do so online at www.justgiving.com/dotindia or by contacting Acorns fund-raiser Fran Winterbourn on 01386 554848.