They are such generous helpers that they have been given their own visitors’ badges and are a regular sight on school outings.

Rick and Di Stubbing volunteer at Castle Hill Primary School in Chessington, helping pupils to read and escorting them on trips to the library and Kingston Museum.

They signed up after granddaughter Kymberley joined the school three years ago.

Mrs Stubbing, 72, said: “We’re both retired, we just thought it would be nice to help where we could.

“The last two years we’ve been reading one afternoon a week. We listen to the children read and make comments.

“They have improved ever such a lot. It’s to give them time reading out loud to an adult.

“We encourage them to read with feeling and stop at full stops, and that sort of thing.”

The Stubbings have lived in Angus Close for 43 years, having been married for more than half a century after meeting as children in Fulham.

Mr Stubbing, 73, a former head of PE at Rutlish School in Merton, said: “We love it. We know quite a lot of the children quite well.

“It’s a job to get them to stop reading sometimes. They like to press on. They branch off sometimes and tell us about other things like what they did at the weekend.

“It’s rather a nice atmosphere, very friendly.

“Any little expedition they have out of school they usually call. If they have visits to the library we volunteer and walk them.”

Year 2 teacher Gemma Lines said: “They are the first ones who will come to us on class trips. They are always available. They are just so caring with the children. The children say, ‘Just one more page!’”

Castle Hill business manager Becky Stopford said: “They are always coming in smiling. They’ve been on countless school trips. Pretty much everything, they go to.”