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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Wood

Meet the Face of W.O.W

“I truly believe W.O.W will help to improve the Health & Wellbeing of Cumbria by empowering people to make a long-lasting change.” – Matthew Wood, W.O.W Facility Project Manager

Q: What made you join the iCan team as the W.O.W Project Manager?

Matt: Prior to joining iCan, I was working for a Tactical Field Sales agency as a Project Manager, driving visibility of Client brands. Whilst I enjoyed my previous job role, I always knew I wanted to be in a position to help people. When I heard about this role and read the job description, I knew this was a role I could take and make a real, positive change in Cumbria. From here, I approached the iCan team to understand the role more and realised the role would also give me a new challenge in developing my knowledge of, not only the Health & Wellbeing sector, but also the 3rd sector in which iCan operates. I have completed a degree in performing arts and have danced since I was 5 years old all around UK and parts of Europe - getting to manage W.O.W means I get to experience the thrill of energetic performance with other people.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far?

Matt: Whilst Covid-19 has caused us many challenges over the last few months, it has been a blessing in disguise, as it has allowed us the opportunity to delve into the W.O.W proposition and make sure it works for everybody in Cumbria. The most difficult challenge I have faced is transitioning from the Private sector into the 3rd sector. The 3rd sectors primary goal is to help the local community, working together between themselves for the better outcome of those that require the help and is not about making money. This was a difficult concept to apply to everything that I do as previously the focus was on money. Once I grasped this, everything else fell into place much more easily.

Q: Now that W.O.W has arrived in Carlisle, what are you looking forward to most?

Matt: We managed to get the arrival in some of the local press, including The News & Star actually. This is difficult to answer as there are so many different aspects from helping people, having fun with the rebounding sessions, getting W.O.W out and about after months of delay, but I think above all I am most looking forward to seeing peoples faces when they first set eyes upon the Facility. Everyone (myself included) that has seen W.O.W has always gasped and the first word they say is: “WOW”. It is an incredible moment, and never gets boring.

Q: There are several events booked, which one are you most excited about?

Matt: It isn’t possible to pick one. Every event coming up has its own little thing I am excited about. School events I am looking forward to the children seeing the Facility and having fun bouncing, at Community Events it is knowing that we are helping people who may not have been offered this opportunity before, going into the Town Centre will brighten up peoples day and give them the chance to try a new activity. Every event has its merits and the primary mission to help people will make every one fun and exciting in their own right.

Q: What do you see in the future of W.O.W?

Matt: We have such a unique offering with W.O.W that I believe the sky is the limit. We are fortunate enough to have support from funders like Sport England and Cumbria Community Foundation (Brian & Ann Clark Fund), Sponsors including bellicon UK, Xquisite Productions, Dodd & Co Accountants and Criffel Vue Private Hire. These all believe in the W.O.W project just as much as we do, and this empowers us, along with the power of the Cumbrian community, to expand W.O.W beyond the County. I see a W.O.W Facility across every County in the UK, working alongside local 3rd sector providers to empower the country to live healthier lifestyles.

I am truly looking forward to Cumbria experiencing W.O.W in the coming months.

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