RETIRED maths teacher Sue Briggs calculated she needed to do something new during lockdown - so she composed a song.

Sue, 66, who taught at The Castle School, Taunton, had recently started singing lessons with musician Joe Beckhelling when the pandemic struck.

Lessons continued online and Sue decided she wanted to write a song about her experience of living with Type 1 diabetes.

So Sue wrote the words to her song and set about writing the music for it.

Joe said: "Having written the words for her song, Sue embarked on writing the tune.

"We still have the first nervous recording of the chorus.

“She came to each lesson with loads of questions, and worked on arranging harmonies for the other voices, using changes of key to emphasise the different moods referenced in the words.

“I taught Sue the theory behind what she was doing, although there are some beautiful parts where she has unknowingly ‘broken the rules’ to good effect.”

The song, ‘The Best That I Can’, celebrates an acceptance that perfection is impossible when managing diabetes and gives thanks to family and friends who’ve helped her to reach a new normal life.

She said: “At the end of lockdown I recorded the song with family and friends, and most importantly my husband Jeremy who has been such a support and encouragement through the ups and downs of living with Type 1.

“Whilst he doesn't sing, he was persuaded to do a cameo appearance on a shaker, providing us with some essential percussion.”

Sue has since arranged ‘The Best That I Can’ as a full choral piece with piano accompaniment and it will be released on YouTube on Sunday, November 14, World Diabetes Day.

Phaedra Perry, regional head of Diabetes UK South West, said: “We are in awe of Sue’s talent and delighted that she has written and arranged ‘The Best That I Can’ to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes.

“We’ve already had a sneak preview ahead of its YouTube release date for World Diabetes Day and can absolutely recommend a listen.”

There are around 4.9 million people with diabetes in the UK. The condition can lead to devastating complications, including sight loss, amputation, kidney failure and stroke. But with the right treatment and support people with diabetes can lead a long and healthy life.