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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Wood

Finding Our W.O.W Funder Part 1

“We're building a nation where everyone, everywhere feels able to get active in a way that’s right for them.” – Sport England


After delivering our outreach programme in 2019 funded by ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), the community wanted more sessions, however the challenge of transporting rebounders around the County and securing space on a regular basis was a roadblock.

During a meeting with the iCan Steering Group a thought was suggested for a “Party Bus” which gave the management team an idea: “How about a Party Exercise Bus which can travel to people and they can bounce on the bus?”

The Team began working on this idea, and as with all great ideas they quickly snowball into something bigger and better…


The concept for the project was born and the determination to bring something new, innovative and beneficial to Cumbria’s Health & Wellbeing lit a fire for the iCan Team.

The research stage had begun, with the team gathering statistics and information from professionals and the community including:

- Costing structures for similar projects in Cumbria

- Predictions for operational costs for The Party Exercise Bus

- Opportunities and Locations for The Party Exercise Bus to visit

- Discussions about potential interest in the project – for Funding support, Sponsorship opportunities and Party Exercise Bus visits

- Merchandise

The research showcased positive results with high interest from local businesses and Community Centres, sustainability of the project over an extended time period and a solid foundation for The Party Exercise Bus to compete in the Event space.

Watch our YouTube video here.

Then came the GAME CHANGER: THE NAME - Party Exercise Bus wasn’t catchy and didn’t fit community needs! WHEELS OF WELLNESS did!

Next, we wanted to visualise what The Wheels of Wellness would look like, which meant several creative minds had to collaborate together to bring the concept to life.


Whilst looking for a company to create the visualisation of Wheels of Wellness our Managing Director, Lisa Dykes, came across Xquisite Productions, Official W.O.W Facility Gold Sponsors 2020/2021, who agreed to provide iCan with a free visualisation concept for Wheels of Wellness, supporting us in this endeavour as the believed in the concept and iCan Health & Fitness as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC).

Working closely together, our Managing Directors, Steering Group and Xquisite Productions created the visual concept for The Wheels of Wellness. With the research completed and concept created, it was time to approach potential funders.


Our funding expert, Managing Director Julia Clifford, generated a funding proposal based on the statics and information gathered and submitted, along with the visual concept, to Sport England.

This is where we were met with a stumbling block:

Sport England stated we were requesting too much money for the ‘Small Grant’ and not enough money for the Sport England Community Asset Fund (CAF). We informed them we and our community were confident, passionate and needed this facility in Cumbria and we were determined to make it happen one way or another, we wouldn’t give up when we believed in our community engagement project.

For the next 20 minutes, Julia began searching for other lines of investment and other options to make the idea a reality when the phone rang…….Answering it, Julia was shocked to find Sport England back on the line with a proposition…

Part 2 will of how we secured the funding from Sport England coming soon!

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