The Quizmaster: Jay Flynn shares life story in his new book

The Quizmaster book cover next to a picture of Jay Flynn on a bench
Jay Flynn went from sleeping rough in Westminster to becoming the UK's leading quizmaster. Now, he's ready to share his story.

We’re excited to share that Jay Flynn’s new book, The Quizmaster, was released on the 16th May!

If you’ve been following our work, you’ll know that Jay Flynn is someone we’re proud to call our friend.

We supported him as a young man on the streets and now he’s gone on to be a world-famous Quizmaster raising over £1 million for charities – including us!- as well as becoming a caring father and husband. In 2021 he was also awarded an MBE for his community work.

It’s fair to say he’s a pretty amazing guy.

But how did he become the person he is today?

What is ‘The Quizmaster’ about?

In his inspiring memoir, Jay walks us through his life story and the lessons he’s learnt along the way.

Like many of us, Jay was struggling when the pandemic hit back in 2020.

He lost tenancy of his pub in Lancashire. This meant he lost his income and his connection to the local community. To restore his sense of normalcy, he decided to host his usual pub quiz online.

Jay Flynn - Quizmaster book cover

He sent out a few e-invites to his friends and pub regulars but made one little mistake: he didn’t mark the event as private. Soon, he had half a million people logged on and ready to join in.

This was the start of Jay’s rise to fame as the UK’s leading Quizmaster. He went on to host his quiz twice-weekly for thousands of people, which is still going today.

In contrast to this incredible success, Jay also chronicles another side of his life: his experience with homelessness.

Jay and The Connection

When Jay was 25, he suffered a breakdown in his mental health and began living on a bench on the Embankment. He isolated himself and reports that he lived without proper human interaction for two years.

Luckily, one of our outreach workers spotted Jay one morning and left him a contact card letting him know about our centre.

According to Jay: “The first day in there [The Connection] was absolutely incredible. I got to speak to my key worker and told him all about my situation… it was the first time in two years someone wanted to help me.”

That key worker was Pete, who has worked at The Connection since 1988 and is still with us today. He remembers Jay as a “genuine, supportive guy, always putting his front foot forward.”

With our support, Jay later got into a hostel before getting a room in a shared house. From here, he went on to achieve amazing things but he’s never forgotten us.

Now, Jay is one of our most recognisable supporters acting as our ambassador, running the London Marathon for us and hosting an in-person quiz for us every year.

Why Jay’s story matters

Jay’s story may seem unique but it tells us something universal: everyone can achieve great things with the right support.

For Jay, this meant a friendly face and someone who would really listen to him. For others, this means support with asylum claims, accessing benefits, reconnecting with family or even a weekly art class.

Whatever support a person needs, we’re here to provide it.

At The Connection, we never take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to ending homelessness. Instead by working with each person to understand their goals, we can help them recover from rough sleeping.

So not everyone may become a Quizmaster but, like Jay, they can go on to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.