At the beginning of the pandemic, Rob Marsh – aka “SpeedQuizRob” – contacted our child bereavement charity and said he wanted to support us, as he moved his weekly quiz online.
Since then Rob, and his regular Sunday night teams, have raised upwards of £1100. Week after week we have been overwhelmed by their generosity as the teams have consistently thrown their winnings back into the pot.
We felt it was time to turn the tables on the Quizmaster and ask him some questions.
Who are you?
I’m Rob Marsh, I’m 34, a dad of three children aged 8, 4 and 1, and I live in East Grinstead.
What’s your day job?
I’m head of Manufacturing for Kinesys. We make automation technology for the entertainment industry.
How long have you been a quiz master?
I’ve been running SpeedQuizzing professionally for 18 months, but I’ve been running quizzes for various events and charities for as long as I can remember!
Why did you choose to support Jigsaw (South East)?
I‘ve wanted to support a charity local to me for a long time. I was booked to run a “real-life” fundraising quiz for Jigsaw in April, which sadly had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. When looking for a new charity to support through my online quizzes, it was an easy choice knowing that Jigsaw had lost so many of its fundraising opportunities. Young people are the future, and the work that Jigsaw does to support those dealing with bereavement is so important.
What have you enjoyed most about the weekly quiz nights?
Many teams that play are people I know from my various venues, so it’s great to maintain that connection through the SpeedQuizzes. It’s also brilliant seeing people having a good time and a laugh, and being part of that is really rewarding.
Tell us about the teams and their response to supporting Jigsaw.
The teams that play are, for the most part, regulars who come back each week, and I’m really grateful for that support. When I announced Jigsaw as my chosen charity, it was really well received. Each Sunday I set aside a cash prize pot taken from ticket sales, and divide that across the top three teams. I can’t remember the last time a team actually claimed it, almost everyone who wins instantly tells me to donate it to Jigsaw. It’s fantastic, they are so generous.
What were your expectations at the start?
I’m not really sure, to be honest. I set out in the hope that I’d be able to provide some small, regular donations that might go some way to helping out during this very strange time.
How did it feel to break through the £1000 barrier?
It was fantastic, I hadn’t imagined reaching that target. It’s largely down to the wonderful generosity of the teams that play.
Are you looking forward to going back to venues for Quiz nights or will you continue on-line?
I can’t wait to get back out to venues, you can’t beat the face-to-face interaction and banter that it brings being in a venue. It’ll be great to see those teams again, who have supported me online all this time. As to when that will be, I’m not sure yet. Venues are understandably cautious right now, both from a COVID and a financial perspective. As and when restrictions ease and things improve, I’m sure I’ll be back. I’ve put in a lot of work and am ready to return with a COVID safe SpeedQuiz as soon as there is an opportunity.
With regards to online SpeedQuizzing, I have picked up teams that wouldn’t normally get to play in a pub, and my numbers have only dropped marginally as restrictions have eased. I’ll happily continue running online, for as long as the demand is there to make it viable.
How would you sum up this pandemic experience for you as a quizmaster?
Tough question! To begin with, it was a little worrying, suddenly having my bookings fall away. That being said, it’s turned into a surprisingly positive experience. I’ve gained streaming skills and knowledge that I’d never expected to, and the online SpeedQuizzes have been far more successful than I imagined. That’s thanks to such a great bunch of team that play week in week out, for which I’m really thankful to every single player.