In this blog, DigiKnow partner MadLab, tell us more about a recent community hackathon which took place as part of their Make Stuff digital arts festival. Claire Wicher is Head of Education and Skills, MadLab; Perin Avari, their Diversity and Mental Health Champion.

Last month, Stockport Museum Staircase House witnessed a vibrant display of innovation and community spirit during the Make Stuff Community Hackathon. Led by MadLab, this two-day event convened a diverse group of Stopfordians who dedicated their efforts to tackling local community issues.

A bit about hackathons

A hackathon is best described as an “invention marathon”. Anyone interested in technology can attend a hackathon to learn, build and share their creations in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. You don’t have to be a programmer; in fact, you don’t need any prior experience.

You can sign up as individuals or as a team. It’s up to you. If you sign up as an individual, you will be put in a group with other individuals. Teams are free to work on any of the challenges they want. Hackathon organisers will be on hand to help and answer any questions you might have.

What is the benefit of participating? It’s a great opportunity to learn new skills, work as a team, enjoy making things with like-minded people, give back to your community and have fun! It will look good on your CV, and there’ll be plenty of snacks and drinks to keep you going!

Stockport Community Hackathon – 28/29 February 2024

Buzzing minds, clacking keyboards, and creative collaboration filled the air as teams brainstormed solutions, tackled problems, and built prototypes. 

Local organisations, including Respect Network and Talk About Money CIC, presented real-world challenges, while an open category allowed participants to address causes close to their hearts. There were five self-named teams of between two and five people.

Challenge 1: Develop an app for Talk About Money CIC that allows them to gather key demographics while prioritising privacy.

Challenge 2: Design a website for EquiBee, a platform fostering personal and professional growth.

Challenge 3: Create an online platform for Respect Network, advocating for the rights of Stockport’s LGBTQ+ community.

Most people opted for Talk About Money’s challenge.

Young man using laptop
Sketches of app screens
Young adults with laptops

 This was my first experience taking part in a hackathon …It was a lovely and fun memorable experience for me. Most importantly I met new people and learnt new things from them. Thanks a lot for holding this hackathon, it gave me more confidence and motivation.


Team DMZ

I had an amazing time participating in MadLab’s community hackathon. It was inspiring to see people from different backgrounds come together and combine their creativity and skills to solve real-world problems. I had the chance to collaborate with two brilliant team members and learn about a new technology stack. In the end, we created a product that I was truly proud of!


Team Green

And the winners were…

At the end of this event, all participants were given the opportunity to present their ideas in front of a panel of judges from the organisations who had suggested the challenges for the hackathon. All the teams were so keen that they wanted to keep going overnight – and after! Everyone was really into it. Given this was the case, the Make Stuff team were very happy for them to continue.

The winning team, DMZ, impressed everyone with their app for Let’s Talk About Money CIC. Their solution utilised JavaScript, React, CSS, and Django to streamline data collection for financial workshops, gathering crucial audience demographics, whilst making sure people’s data was kept safe. This app idea empowers organisations to tailor programs to attendee needs, ultimately boosting financial literacy and inclusivity.

The team’s strong teamwork, data-driven approach, comprehensive proof of concept, and commitment to data security resonated deeply with the judges. 

All the applications were brilliant, and everyone got stuck into the challenges. So much so that we know many people spent time after Day 1 further honing and developing their ideas! This made it very hard to pick one final winner out of all the entries. DMZ just edged the competition by creating a practical app that Let’s Talk About Money may want to develop further.



I was really pleased to have the opportunity to submit an idea for the Hackathon, and especially glad to hear that several teams had decided to work on it! I visited to see them in action and was impressed by how much was achieved so fast.

Any of the ideas would have been an excellent solution for my business needs, they were all different but all met the specification. The winning team had taken the initiative to check out our Facebook page and used that to shape their work, which was brilliant.


Lets Talk About Money CIC

We extend our huge thanks to all the participants who contributed to the success of the Make Stuff Community Hackathon. Your dedication, innovative spirit, and collaborative approach exemplify the true essence of the Stockport community! 

And as they’ve been so popular, we will be announcing some dates for further hackathons soon! 

Make Stuff is MadLab’s festival of digital and creative exploration. Bringing together Stockport’s most exciting digital creators to deliver a wide range of family events, hands-on workshops and tech-powered experiences at a host of venues across the borough. Join in and delve into game creation, virtual reality, design, tech experiments, digital marketing, and much more besides. Visit for more.

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