A cafe will be forced to shut up shop after five years of illness have taken its toll on its owners.

Rayleigh's Karen and Dean Kermack will be leaving the Yard Barista Bar, on Eastwood Road, behind them in the near future after eight years at the helm.

Mrs Kermack, 52, who lives with functional neurological disorder, was supposed to quit the job two years ago, but the Covid pandemic and lockdown restrictions meant she had to fight on through the pain.

On a daily basis, she suffers from pins and needles all over her body, blurred vision, and achy joints.

Without proper rest, the condition could leave her blind or in a wheelchair.

The cafe, which was transformed into a deli during the Covid pandemic, is now up for sale, through Ayres and Cruiks.

Mrs Kermack, said: "It's been with me for five years, and it's taken its toll.

"We've loved every minute of it, and for the majority it's been plain sailing.

"There's been times where kids have thrown paper towels all over the toilet, and we had someone pass out, but that's all part of the job.

"We've had some really loyal customers, who have been here since we've started, and we're really going to miss them.

"We've met some real characters along the way, and we would love to keep in touch with them."

A closing date hasn't been set, with the married couple waiting for the sale to be agreed before vacating.

They hope the new owners keep the cafe the same.

Mrs Kermack added: "Covid completely changed the cafe, it became a deli, and the outside part moved inside.

"The cafe and the menu have changed dramatically since we've been here.

"The affects of the condition could be really harmful, and I could do with the rest.

"Dean's going to really miss it, he won't know what to do with himself."

The cafe issued a statement on social media last week, confirming the closure after eight years of trading.