GILL Phillips, left, works in the front line of customer service and spends much of her day talking on the telephone and in person.

She is also an enthusiastic choral singer.

Last spring she suffered from a cold and laryngitis that left her voice sounding croaky and gruff.

“People who know me could tell it wasn’t right and after several weeks it was no better,” she explained.

“With something like laryngitis your voice normally comes back after a few days but, stupidly, I carried on working and didn’t give it a rest.”

Gill, 45, from Kirkburton, is a long-serving member of the Denby Dale Choir and was worried that the condition was affecting her ability to sing.

“I’ve been with the choir for 21 years and sing second soprano. I absolutely love it. Singing is so uplifting, it takes away the stress of the day,” she said.

There was no physical cause for Gill’s continued discomfort so she was referred for speech therapy.

“I was taught how to relax and open up the back of my throat. As a singer I found it very useful and I now know how to protect my voice,” added Gill, who works for Huddersfield company Fired Up.

“I had about eight sessions and still use the exercises from time to time because occasionally the croakiness does come back.

“I think I did have a quite a bit of stress and I’m almost certain I would still have the problem now if I hadn’t had speech therapy,” she said.