Thursday, 9 October 2014

Quantick Quiz - the hardest quiz in the world!

What better way to spend a wet Wednesday evening than at a quiz hosted by David Quantick, with fiendish questions and great company? The Quantick Quiz in Shoreditch last night was brilliant fun, and helped raise a fabulous amount for Brook. It wasn't for the faint of heart, however, hence the title of this blog - the top score in the first round was 2½ out of 10...!

Our quizmaster for the evening, David Quantick
My deepest thanks go to David, to Sophie, to the Brook Events team who helped everything run like clockwork, to the venue staff whose service was impeccable, to the sponsors who kindly donated a range of brilliant prizes (Orlebar Brown who generously offered a £250 voucher as the grand prize, Sh! for the lovely hamper, signed merchandise from Al Murray thanks to Avalon, magnums of lovely fizz courtesy of Les Caves, beautiful handmade jewellery by Sophie, a meal for two at Pizza East, and copies of Antonia Hodgson’s book The Devil in the Marshalsea, as well as a variety of books and CDs donated by David), and of course to all who attended, bought raffle tickets, and competed for the coveted first place. Some of the tweets from the evening can be viewed here.

I started off the quiz with a short speech, below. It was great to see lots of new faces at the quiz, and to get the word out about the vital work that Brook does to new audiences.

If you're inspired to run a quiz of your own for Brook – and I hope you are! – it's a great, fun way to raise money that doesn't involve walking for 24 hours. Our Get Involved site has information to get you started, and you can email Brook on for more. We'd love to hear from you!

Welcome, and thank you for coming to this Quantick quiz for Brook. It’s a milestone year for Brook – our 50th birthday. That’s 50 years of being there for millions of young people in crisis and we are proud of all we’ve achieved.

When Brook started in 1964 a woman had to prove she was married in order to buy contraception (none of it was free) and if she needed an abortion she would have to risk the deadly, illegal backstreets. Homosexuality was also illegal. When it came to sexuality and sexual health, life for young people was tough.

Our founder, Helen Brook, and all those who worked with her, set out to change society against a backdrop of deep hostility, but they battled it out and now contraception is free, the age of consent is equal whether you are gay or straight, and abortion - with the exception of Northern Ireland – is, at least in theory, easily accessible for women. And one of Brook's most notable successes is ensuring that young people have the same right to confidential advice and treatment as adults.

You’d think we could just rest on our laurels, but not so. The pressures that young people have to deal with are just a bit different these days. Internet porn – whatever you think of it – isn't the best place to learn about sex, but it’s where many young people turn when they can’t find information anywhere else. Many schools fail to deliver good quality sex and relationships education which we know helps protect against abuse and help young people enjoy and take responsibility for their sexual choices. Sexual and homophobic bullying continues in our schools, HIV infection rates amongst young gay men are unacceptably high, and we continue to uncover more and more about the extent of child abuse and sexual exploitation. When it comes to helping young people with relationships and sexual health, there is still much to do.

Too many people throw their hands up in the air, despair of, and demonise young people, their behaviour and their choices.

People who have forgotten what it was to be young try and stop us from continuing to fight for better, safer, happier, healthier choices for young people. It’s too easy to cut services for young people, silence their voices, assume someone else will pick up the pieces.

The winning team, Industrial Mutton
At Brook we believe in, trust, and value young people. Our work helps them develop the inner confidence, skills, knowledge, self-belief and resilience to build good relationships, and keep themselves safe and happy. Even when the worst happens – when they are hurt, frightened, confused and in crisis, young people trust us and know that we’ll help them work things out.

You can help us do that – you’ve already started by buying a ticket tonight, thank you. You can help us more by adding a raffle ticket – there are some great prizes – or by becoming a member – there are papers for that on your table as well as more information about Brook. And you can help by talking about Brook – follow and retweet us on Twitter (@BrookCharity) to help spread the word about our campaigns and our work with young people.

Thank you very much for supporting young people by being here tonight. Thank you again to you David for preparing and hosting one of your infamous quizzes for Brook. I really appreciate it. Enjoy your evening.

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