My 20/20 Challenge and the Himalayan poppy
Friday 13 March 2015

Hugh Kirby 20 20 Challenge WinnerA little while ago we, the Lloyds Scholars, from Bath and Bristol Universities, were set a challenge to develop our business and entrepreneurial skills, whilst helping raise funds for local charity Brandon Trust.

On a sunny Saturday last October, 20 of us went down to Brandon Trust’s Elm Tree Farm, in Bristol, to spend a day working with some of the people they support and to find out more about what Brandon does. Then, in the afternoon the challenge began! We were given £20 each, and 20 weeks to turn it into £200 or more; raising as much money as we possibly could for Brandon Trust’s Dream Fund.

Now I’m not one to turn down a challenge, and I thought about the impact I could have on the life of someone else, someone who depends upon regular support from Brandon, just by doing something in my spare time.

I decided to host an event at my local cricket club. I was lucky enough to be able to hire the pavilion for free which really helped to keep costs down. In January I held a quiz night. I charged £5 per ticket, which may seem a bit expensive, but you have to pay a premium if you want to take part in the quiz of the century!

As the date grew closer I started to worry that numbers might be low. In the end, after asking family and friends, and sending emails to all members of the cricket club, I managed to fill 11 tables. It was such a relief.

Opting to put the quiz together myself, many hours were spent hours compiling questions. I found it really interesting, finding obscure facts. Did you know the Himalayan poppy is blue? I even drafted in a friend and my dad to help me. So, armed with seven rounds of questions, we were finally ready to quiz!

The teams battled for three hours and it was hugely competitive. There was just a single point between the winners and second place! In fact, three teams tied for second place, so we posed a tie-breaker question: How many individuals have visited the International Space Station since it was built?

My nerves jangled for the whole evening. I was so keen to succeed in the 20/20 challenge and deliver a fun and challenging quiz. I was so pleased to hear how much everyone enjoyed it.

The sense of achievement after finishing the quiz and counting the money, knowing the real difference it would make, was incredible. I think my selfie, taken just after the quiz finished, shows how happy I was. But, more importantly, I raised a fantastic £541 which secured me first place in the challenge, and associated bragging rights amongst my fellow scholars! Even though it was hard work and stressful, it was so worthwhile. The experience has made me realise that volunteering and fundraising can be really fun and that everyone can make a difference. What could you do?

And finally, for those of you still wondering, the answer to the tiebreaker was 215.

Hugh Kirby
University Student