"I was very shy, but desperate to play violin and later viola. Mum and Dad didn't have much money, but the free lessons and the borrowed instruments allowed me to have a go regardless of our ability to pay.
"Some of my fondest memories are of my time in Youth Orchestra and Chamber Strings. I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to play, because it has affected my life so positively ever since. I still look back at our performances in London venues and on TV with an enormous sense of pride. Whenever I have applied for university places or jobs, the music part of my C.V. has always been a talking point. It shows a level of commitment to hard work that universities and employers find hard to ignore.
"When I was diagnosed with post-natal depression in 2011, getting out and playing in the local orchestra got me on the road to recovery and allowed me to make some new friends. We have moved around a lot over the years and joining the local orchestra has always been a way to get to know the local community.
"I am so grateful for the opportunities I was given and the amazing tuition and friendship I received."