A talented teenager from Sible Hedingham is set to join a marching band tour in America after overcoming her anxiety to perform in front of thousands of people.

Ella Jeffrey, 14, who has been home schooled for two years due to her severe anxiety, has been invited to join Connecticut based Seventh Regiment on their summer tour, which kicks off in May.

But Ella and her family need to raise £1,795 to pay for her to join the tour, and are asking the public for help so she can fulfil her lifelong dream.

Dad Mark Jeffrey said: “She used to be somebody who could not get out the door.

“She suffered from anxiety and could not deal with going to school, being around people every day and the nature of a school day.

“Drum corps has helped her deal with the anxiety and it teaches leadership skills and confidence.

“She went out to America last year for a championship there and performed in front of a crowd of between 6,000 and 7,000 - that would not have been possible when she started.”

Ella caught the drum corps bug off her dad and mum Rachel, and has been involved in the past-time since she was just four years old.

She is a member of the colour guard of the corps, who visually enhance the music using flags, rifles, and sabres and dancing.

Mr Jeffrey said: “It has become what she wants to do as a career, and she plans to become a teacher over in America, where drum corps is part of people’s education.

“She is a very driven teenager and we are so proud of her.”

Around 9,000 people apply to join the drum corps spring tours in the United States, with less than a third of those getting places, and less still being from outside of the country.

Ella’s talent has seen her be part of British and European Championship winning groups since she first starting performing.

“First she sent off a video just to get some feedback but she was offered a place with two units,” Mr Jeffrey said.

“She then had a difficult choice as to which one to choose.”

Cash is needed to fund things like camps, uniforms, equipment, food, housing and transportation.

Ella is hoping to work to pay for some of the trip, however donations would be more than welcome.

To find out more about Ella’s journey and donate visit www.gofundme.com/ellajeffrey.