Outrigger canoe for Paddlers for Life Windermere.

by Nick Harrison in Windermere, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 14th March 2021 we successfully raised £4,706 ( + est. £918.75 Gift Aid ) with 126 supporters in 42 days

We want to raise £2500 to bring an outrigger canoe from London, equip it for six paddlers and give it our charity name and colours.

by Nick Harrison in Windermere, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Thank you so much for helping us reach our target so quickly. It is wonderful to know we will be able to bring our outrigger canoe to Windermere and paddle there once pandemic measures allow.

You can still support our charity if you wish to donate. Additional funds will be used to replace damaged paddles. Buoyancy aids are subject to wear and tear and deteriorate due to the wetting and drying cycle and we need to replace some of this older safety equipment. We will use any additional donations for those purposes. Thank you so much to all our supporters. You are all brilliant.

Paddlers for Life Windermere breast cancer survivor dragon boat team.

 Charity Commission number 1121539

In 1996 Dr Don McKenzie formed the first breast cancer survivors’ dragon boat team (in Canada) following his research into the benefits of strenuous upper body exercise on lymphoedema and general well-being. There are now more than 200 teams paddling worldwide.

Why an outrigger canoe for a dragon boat team?

A founder member, Sue Cogley, who was instrumental with others in creating our team in 2008, had a deep love of Hawaii. She visited several times and paddled with cancer survivors there. Our team paddle dragon boats but in Hawaii they paddle outrigger canoes. It was Sue's dream to have an outrigger canoe on Windermere.


Paddlers for Life have acquired an outrigger canoe for six paddlers through a scheme to promote the activity in the UK. The paddling style is similar to dragon boat paddling and has known benefits for people who have had cancer surgery and other cancer treatments. To get a dragon boat on Windermere needs between 12 and 18 paddlers. Sometimes places are over subscribed and having an OC6 canoe will enable us to provide paddling for additional small groups when we do not have enough paddlers for a second dragon boat.  The outrigger canoe could also be paddled in weather conditions that are unsuitable for the dragon boats or for an evening paddle if there were fewer members available to paddle.

Our target?

We hope to raise £2500.

  • £1000 pounds to equip the outrigger canoe with paddles, buoyancy aids and other safety equipment for six paddlers.
  • Repairs to our large trailer £500 and collection of the  OC6 from London and back to Windermere, £500.
  • Maintenance, cleaning of the OC6 and dressing with our charity livery and information. £500.

Our challenge.

We are going to recreate the journey from Hawaii to Windermere by covering the distance of 10,719 miles (17,251 km). Participants will pledge 'human powered' miles they complete through indoor or outdoor exercising such as running, walking, cycling, rowing or swimming to make up the total distance. Participants must follow Covid-19 safety measures and comply with pandemic requirements.


Visit our Facebook page to see our progress along this epic journey.

Visit our website or watch our video to see the wonderful benefits for our members paddling on Windermere after a cancer diagnosis and treatment.


"Every time I go paddling I drive home feeling good about myself."J

"I wanted to escape cancer. I wanted to be R without cancer. It's like having a blanket around you." R

"The emphasis is on getting in the boat and having fun." K

"We know we have done our job when we hear the laughter." Sue Cogley 


Why paddling exercise for cancer survivors?

Paddling exercise helps prevent or alleviates some symptoms from treatment such as lymphedema from surgery or the fatigue of chemotherapy.

Exercise helps recover strength, stamina and mobility.

Exercise improves mood and promotes mental health and well-being.

Team membership provides mutual support.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£1 or more


Paddlers for Life Windermere welcome anyone to try paddling with us especially those with a cancer diagnosis and family and friend supporters. If you wish to come and paddle with us when pandemic measures allow us back on the beautiful waters of Windermere, please use the contact form and email information on our website or Facebook (search Facebook for Paddlers for Life). We paddle Sunday mornings, April to October weather permitting.

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