24 May 2024

A special night for special people: How Stockport Rocks! gave the community’s heroes their rightful recognition

Marketing Manager Lizzy McDowell stepped into the world of local volunteering at Sector 3's Stockport Rocks!  at Edgeley Park stadium earlier this week  - and left invigorated and inspired by the people she met…

Thousands of people have walked out of Edgeley Park feeling inspired in recent months. 

The home of Stockport’s football team is where huge swathes of the local population have congregated in unity behind a reinvigorated club - with Stockport County shooting up the league pyramid and back into the wider sporting consciousness. It’s been a success story that has travelled right around the country and put the town back on the map. 

But I exited this stadium on Tuesday evening feeling inspired for a different reason. There were no players on the field putting on a show for the audience and lifting league championships. But there were trophies. 

For one night only, Edgeley Park played host to an awards ceremony that celebrated the achievements of the local heroes who had done incredible work in the wider Stockport community. 

The evening in question was Stockport Rocks! - an event that saw 400 guests come together to honour the dedication and selfless contributions of 57,000 volunteers who make a significant difference in the lives of others in the town. The evening was the brainchild of Jo McGrath, CEO of Stockport-based charity organisation Sector 3. Jo has been a prolific ambassador of the charity and social enterprise sector in Stockport for several years and she has witnessed first hand the many compassionate individuals who go out of their way to make others' lives that little bit better.  Jo strongly believed that there should be a way in which the local community could celebrate all of these unpaid hours of hardwork so following some collaboration with the team at Marketing Stockport - Stockport Rocks! was born. 

Kao Data was delighted to be involved in such a worthwhile event. We sponsored 2 tables of 10 (the idea being that those tickets were donated to the local unpaid volunteering community - giving them a well-deserved night out). 

We also sponsored the Climate Action Award and I spent the evening sharing a table with the inspirational nominees including Carl Palmer - who used his own equipment to clear land at Woodley & Bredbury Community Garden as well as spearheading tree planting projects to offset greenhouse gases; Greg Pike - who has campaigned tirelessly for tackling climate change with Marple Climate Group; and the winner Agnes Pimblett - who secured funding for the community growing area next to Heaton Norris Community Centre alongside the local park. 

Lizzy with winner of the Climate Action Award - Agnes Pimblett

With a glamorous drinks reception, a delicious meal followed by the awards presentation all soundtracked by the Beechwood Cancer Care Choir, it was a privilege to sit in a space packed to the rafters with the local business community  - who were all visibly proud of the work taking place across the town. And with the words of compere/Stockport club president Steve Bellis, Council Leader Mark Thomas, CEO of MusicMagpie Steve Oliver still ringing in my ears, I departed the stadium with a new commitment: I want to do more. I am going to do something truly selfless over the next 12 months and give back to my own community.

We made a decision a long time ago to bring Kao Data to Stockport. And if we didn’t know already, Stockport Rocks! vindicated that call.  

The people, the community, and the spirit of this place are something special. We will do our utmost to bring the kind of services to Stockport that such a place deserves. 


Lizzy with Carl Palmer
Lizzy with Greg Pike 

Lizzy McDowell

Lizzy McDowell is the Marketing Manager at Kao Data and she has considerable experience in developing and executing B2B marketing strategies for a wide range of companies within the Technology industry. Lizzy is passionate about promoting opportunities for Women in Tech and engaging young girls in STEM at an early age.


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