Meet the Stevenage quizmaster who has helped raise £30,000 for charity

PUBLISHED: 17:02 15 September 2019

Quizmaster Jeff Owen has helped raise £30,000 for local causes and is preparing for his 80th quiz. Picture: Courtesy of Jeff Owen

Quizmaster Jeff Owen has helped raise £30,000 for local causes and is preparing for his 80th quiz. Picture: Courtesy of Jeff Owen

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A Stevenage quizmaster has helped raised £30,000 for various charities since taking up the hobby following retirement, and hosted his 80th quiz on Thursday.

Jeff Owen first became involved with writing and hosting charity quizzes after leaving his job with Hertfordshire Constabularly in 2013, and is now fast approaching the £31,000 mark for funds raised.

"It all started when I retired and I didn't know what I was going to do with myself," he said.

"My daughter who works for HomeStart Stevenage needed help with the quizzes that they run. They needed someone to write the quizzes, because the quizmaster they had at the time only read the questions out.

"I found I enjoyed writing the questions and finding ways to make the quizzes a little bit different."

Jeff began helping his daughter with quiz questions on a regular basis after HomeStart Stevenage, which supports families with children under five, lost a large chunk of its county council funding - but found he was coming up with more questions than the charity needed.

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About widening his audience, he said: "I decided to get in contact with local charities which were looking to raise funds. They are generally relatively modest amounts per quiz, but I'm preparing for my 80th quiz - which takes place this evening - which should break the £31,000 barrier."

Once a one-man show, Jeff is now assisted by friend and collegue, Sandy.

In the past, his quizzes have brought funds in for the local branches of Guide Dogs UK, Marie Curie, the RSPCA, as well as Jackie's Drop-in Centre in Letchworth and many more.

Jeff added: "It's surprised me as much as anybody because I've spent my life thinking of myself as an introvert, very much so as a youngster, I wouldn't say boo to a goose.
"As I've got older I realise I'm no worse that anyone else. It's brought me out of my shell a bit.

"Running the quiz, I have the answers right in front of me!"

The quiz on Thursday - held at The Granby pub in Stevenage - was in aid of the East and North Herts Hospitals' Charity, and will money raised will go towards improving the radiotherapy recovery area at the town's Lister Hospital.

To find out more about quizmaster Jeff, or to book a quiz, go to qmjeff.co.uk or call 07813 241469.

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