Maggie’s has been on our radar for a long time now. When I first moved to London to start a new job at NLA five years ago, I knew little about architecture and development, let alone the capital.
A friend told me about the charity, encouraging me to take part in the Culture Crawl - then named the Night Hike - to raise funds whilst visiting some incredible buildings along the way and also to see London by night.
Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends. Its namesake, Maggie Keswick Jencks, lived with advanced cancer for two years. During this time, she used her knowledge to create a blueprint for a new type of care, one built around the belief that ‘people should not lose the joy of living through the fear of dying’. A rule which we should all adopt when encountering fear throughout life on any level, I think. With clear links to architecture and design, each centre around the world has been designed thoughtfully by renowned architects such as Rem Koolhaas, Richard Rogers and Zaha Hadid to name just a few, with the idea that architecture could prove restorative for patients who spend time there.
I’m always looking for ways to introduce new types of events at NLA, specifically ones where we can engage with our membership (and have them engage with one another) on an informal level more regularly. With such a loyal following of members, often the NLA team finds that there’s so much vital content to squeeze into our programme of events that we don’t get chance to just chat to people over drinks or see our members in a different, more informal environment.
It seemed like a no-brainer to introduce a different type of event to the programme and fundraise for some of our favourite charities in the process, so we decided on a pub quiz, drawing on our resources at The Building Centre and partnership with The Built Environment Trust, to transform the Galleries at The Building Centre into a 30 team event for the evening. I am confident in our ability to put together a good event, but I was shocked to say the least, when we sold out all tables within 36 hours!
It’s always exciting - but nerve wracking - when testing out a new format for an event. It was a real challenge with so many different elements to contend with (and a responsibility and strong desire to raise as much money for Maggie’s as possible) but as with any team, everyone has different strengths to draw from which enabled us to smoothly pull it all together on the night, including some strong compering from Claire Bennie in a particularly feisty second half.
The atmosphere in the galleries was really charged and it seemed like everyone came to win, but most importantly have lots of fun! The overall winners had even come in high-vis gilets, a nod to their team name ‘High Quizibility’. It was fantastic to see everyone making an effort to take part and raise valuable funds for the charity - we’re delighted to report that we raised just over £3,000.
We’ll be completing the ten-mile hike for Maggie’s this Friday and will certainly take the Quiz Night enthusiasm with us to complete our walk for this fantastic cause!
Head of Events
New London Architecture