A Stevenage pub and its regulars’ dedication to virtual quizzes during lockdown has ensured that Lister Hospital is on the receiving end of a £1,500 donation.

The Pied Piper in Broadwater normally keeps its regulars busy with a weekly quiz, and that didn’t stop despite the coronavirus-enforced lockdown earlier this year.

Despite restrictions forcing the pub to close, landlady Sharon Harvey and quizmaster Geoff Earnshaw decided to go virtual instead.

Instead of charging entry money as they would normally do for prizes, they asked their online participants to donate on a voluntary basis instead – with all funds raised going to the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity.

Earlier this month, head of East and North Herts Hospitals’ charity, Beth McNeil popped over to The Pied Piper to collect a cheque for £1,500.

Beth said: “We’re extremely grateful to Sharon, Geoff and everyone who took part in The Pied Piper’s online quizzes for raising such an amazing sum.

“The money is going to our Here For Each Other appeal, which we set up at the start of the pandemic to support the physical and emotional wellbeing of our staff across the NHS trust.”

Geoff said: “Once the pub closed for lockdown I thought it would be good to keep the quiz going to hopefully help keep spirits up for everyone.

“With some added inspiration from friends of mine, Tony and Becca Hutt, we decided to raise the money for a cause close to our hearts in the local NHS.

“The response was amazing and we attracted many teams who wouldn’t normally attend the pub quiz too, and all contributed to the cause.”

Geoff added: “We chose to finish fundraising once the pub reopened. Now the quiz is back to its normal Sunday evening slot, it’s busier than ever! We are now thinking of other ways to raise more going forward.”