As my community choir has grown, so have the variety of questions I am asked and the frequency at which I’m asked them. Anything from “What time are we meeting?’ to ‘Can I wear shorts?’ and ‘Are we singing don’t get me wrong?’. The nuances of choir members who have a different Facebook name than their payment name, the ones who use someone else’s account for the subscription, the ones who’s profiles don’t match any of your information. People who don’t use Facebook but only communicate via email/whatsapp/smoke signals…. some of this information I can hold in my head, but it’s a very busy/noisy/crowded place and I can’t always keep on top of it.

I needed help at the end of last year. So I created a fictitious character – a marvellous lady called Beryl. You can ask Beryl anything! She’s fab! And best of all, anyone can be a Beryl!

The idea of asking your friends, your ‘Beryl” was designed to take the pressure off me – and it did!

It’s when I’d announced and implemented this that I realised just how much ‘Beryling‘ was actually already happening. People aren’t all as tech savvy as each other – the QR code registration can be done by anyone – it doesn’t link to the device that’s being used so people were logging each other in on the door. Some people know that the person they sit next to never checks the Facebook group – so they get in touch and tell them if they’ve missed something important. People started offering advice on the Facebook group to each other – it’s all working marvellously. People are, genuinely, very kind to each other. And I’m eternally grateful to all of our Beryls.

We all need a Beryl in our lives! And a choir Beryl is a very special person indeed.