In her role as a social worker supporting disabled adults and children, Cheryl Goff often uses a strength-based approach to focus on her clients’ abilities and ensure they can live a fulfilled life, but it took a chance encounter in a restaurant for her to find the courage to embark on her own dream of becoming a professional singer.
Cheryl, 36, was at Samsara in Hamsey Green when she met Holly Banis (currently touring as Tina Turner in the hit show What’s Love Got To Do With It), who was performing at the venue that evening.
“I told Holly that I’d always wanted to sing and would love to be doing what she was,” says Cheryl, mum to Tia, 16, and Lyla, 4, and who is due to give birth to her third daughter in the autumn. “Holly told me that I should just go for it! She explained all the equipment I would need to set myself up, and showed me how to promote myself.”
With Holly’s support, Cheryl began putting videos of her singing on Instagram and Facebook, under the name Cheryl Soul. She also started as a youth worker at Warlingham Methodist Church, where singing with the children as well as at the church’s monthly Ignite service, helped her increase her confidence and overcome her fear of appearing in public. Not long after, she received her first paid booking: the wedding of the midwife who delivered her youngest daughter!
“It’s so easy to get caught up in busy lifestyles, focusing on our children and everyone else before ourselves,” says Cheryl. “We can benefit from reflecting on who we are and what we were created for.
We are all born with gifts: thanks to the confidence I’ve gained from the kindness and encouragement of Holly and my church family, I am now able to use mine.”