A PUB in Stevenage that kept on quizzing despite having to keep its doors closed through lockdown has donated £1,500 to support staff at the Lister Hospital.

The Pied Piper usually puts the knowledge of its punters to the test with a quiz at the Oaks Cross establishment every week.

When restrictions to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to remain shut, pub landlady Sharon Harvey and quizmaster Geoff Earnshaw went virtual instead.

Instead of charging entry money as they would normally do for prizes, they asked participants in their online version 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 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 and 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.”

PHOTO: Representatives of The Pied Piper including quizmaster Geoff Earnshaw (holding cheque) and landlady Sharon Harvey, right, present a cheque to our Head of Charity Beth McNeil, left