Stockport Park Unveils Tribute to Community Spirit and Young Hero

A Stockport Park has paid tribute to an 11-year-old resident whose creative vision during the Covid-19 pandemic brought together a community.

Stockport Park Unveils Tribute to Community Spirit and Young Hero

Georgi ‘Geo’ Wilson, 11, inspired the new memorial at Vernon Park after creating a Snake Mural of over 1,000 painted pebbles.

Vernon Park, a cherished green space in the heart of Stockport, is now home to a unique and heartfelt memorial seating area celebrating community resilience, creativity, and, of course, young Geo.

Stockport Council launched its COVID Community Commemoration Project to support community groups in designing, creating and installing public memorials to celebrate how communities came together during the COVID-19 pandemic whilst remembering lost loved ones.

This project, one of 30, was also supported by local charity Pure Innovations. The seating area includes benches made from Vernon Park memorial bench ends. It incorporates ceramic designs created by those who attend Pure Innovations art groups, as well as a heart-shaped floor design which incorporates elements from Geo’s painted pebble snake known as "Stan the Snake."

Geo started Stan the Snake during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Geo's vision transformed simple painted pebbles into a long, winding snake that quickly symbolised hope, community, and solidarity. As residents added their decorated stones, Stan the Snake grew longer, embodying the collective spirit and creativity of Stockport's community.

Louise Parrott-Bates, CEO of Pure Innovations, said: “The new seating area not only provides a place for reflection and rest but also serves as a permanent tribute to the strength and togetherness demonstrated by the Stockport community during challenging times. The inclusion of Stan the Snake into the benches ensures that the memory of this unique community project will live on for years to come.”

Stan the Snake is one of 30 COVID Commemoration Projects that Stockport Council has supported, all led by residents and community groups. Once the project is completed, there will be at least one project in each ward of the borough. Some of the projects which have already been completed include:

  1. A ‘Buddy Bench’ at Bramhall Park to encourage visitors to the park to connect

  2. A Decorative Planter at Scholes Hill Park, Hawk Green Village Green

  3. A Commemorative Plaque at Heald Green Village Hall

  4. Seating Areas on Finney Lane at Heald Green, Grafton Park in Reddish, and Woodley local centre

  5. Renovated flagpole and stone memorial at Marple Memorial Park

  6. A Memorial Garden at St Thomas' Church in Marple

  7. A Refurbished sensory room at Adswood Young People Centre

Residents and visitors are invited to visit Vernon Park and Stockport’s other Covid commemorations and reflect on the shared experiences and collective resilience of the Stockport community.