The WOW Project Spring 2024: Pay It Forward

by Cassie Paxton in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

The WOW Project Spring 2024: Pay It Forward

Total raised £80

raised so far



The WOW Project (Wellbeing On Water) provides access to paddle boarding for adults who need support with their mental health and wellbeing.

by Cassie Paxton in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom


The WOW Project (Wellbeing On Water) provides access to paddle boarding for adults who need support with their mental health and wellbeing. Being out on the water with our team can help you experience lower levels of stress, fatigue and anxiety, among other benefits.

WOW is supported by GreenSpace, the Green Social Prescribing Programme for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. GreenSpace is part of a growing green social prescribing network across the country helping people enjoy the benefits of nature connectedness for their mental and physical wellbeing.

We are a GreenSpace Trusted Provider and along with supporting the wellbeing of the people of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire we are contributing to a national research pilot.

How it works 

You can self refer into the project, which then runs on a Pay It Forward & Pay What You Can (PWYC) basis. This enables us to fully fund those on a low income, but also give people the chance to pay what you can afford towards the project. Any money contributed feeds back into the project and provides more places for others to join us out on the water.

Who it helps

Anyone 18 + and in need of support with their mental health and wellbeing.  

There are two routes into the project :

  • Self - referral: You have made your own decision to improve your mental health by getting involved in the project.
  • GP/ Link worker: You have visited your GP and they have recommended a social prescription to help support your mental health.

How can I support the Project?

We believe that mental health and wellbeing support needs to be long-term and sustainable. We have seen first hand the immediate positive impact that spending 1hr out on the water with us has on a person's day to day life. We understand that a person's finances may alter on a monthly basis and our aim is to offer a fully flexible financial framework to support regular blue/green activity and creating the opportunity for long-term change.

The Project is funded in the following ways 

  • Pay It Forward
  • Pay What You Can
  • Grants / Funding

Pay It Forward The philosophy of Pay It Forward is that through random acts of kindness among strangers, we all foster a more caring society. Through our crowd funding page you are able to donate into The WOW Project and help someone else in need. 

There are many personal benefits attached to paying random acts of kindness forward and helping someone else in need. Specifically:

  • Doing good for others can have a powerful, positive effect on the immune system and studies have revealed that kindness helps relieve stress 
  • By contributing towards the greater good self worth and self esteem improves 
  • Chronic negativity can be dismantled in the mind as positive energy flows from giving to others

How we are also funding The WOW Project  

Pay What You Can (PWYC) means just that. With the support of you and our funders we are able to offer a fully flexible financial support framework to all. We are asking you to contribute what you can in real time towards your sessions and our WOW project will top up the balance. All contributed, donated and funded monies goes straight back into our WOW scheme meaning we are able to sustain and support more people.

Grants / Funding we have been initially supported by GreenSpace and would love to hear from anyone who would like to match fund The WOW Project

I like the sound of this myself. How fit and healthy do I need to be to paddle? What paddleboard experience do I need?

You do not need to be physically fit to start, but you will have to have enough mobility and strength to do the following:

  • Comfortably kneel and  have the ability to stand from kneeling without support
  • Enough upper body strength and coordination to get back on the board if you take a dip

You do not need any previous paddleboard experience but you do need to be comfortable in and around water. We don’t expect people to be champion swimmers, but you do need to be able to swim 25m. If you do have paddleboard experience you can still apply for the scheme. We have lots of intermediate and advanced sessions available to improve your skills and confidence.

What’s included in The WOW Project? How many sessions can someone book on?

The project is split into three blocks using the Pay What You Can framework (PWYC):

  • PWYC Taster Session
  • A PWYC 4 week course suited for your level of experience. This will consist of 4 x weekly 1 hour sessions
  • One PWYC session per month, for 3 months. Club Membership, which  gives you 25 % Discount on any other regular sessions over the next year and a Team T-shirt

You will be initially invited to book onto a one hour taster session . If you decide paddle boarding is for you, we will then invite you to join us one one of our beginner or intermediate courses depending on your experience. We will help you decide which are the best sessions for you to book on. At the end of this block you can then book onto one session per month for three months through the PWYC framework. Again this can be anything on our regular timetable. We will also give you Club membership which will give you a 25% discount on all other sessions for the next year. We will also give you a team T-shirt to wear with pride.


"I've never really been good at sport, and never in a million years thought I’d enjoy a water sport!! Paddling completely changes my mood, I instantly feel positive and alive. I never regret a paddle, I only regret it when I don’t go. I love the sunrises, the adventures, the food, the fresh air, the beauty of nature, the laughs, the calmness of the water, the strength in the mind when fighting against the wind and rain. I love how this group is always so welcoming and encouraging, it really makes me feel like I’m part of something bigger. Thank you TeamSUP and SUP Fitness Wellbeing & Adventure for changing my life"

"I have always felt my happiness near water. Love the people, the laughs, and the adventures. It makes me feel like I’m truly living my best life"

"SUP Fitness Adventure & Wellbeing has done so much for me, for my mental and physical health but also just to remind me that there are lovely happy adventure seekers out there who are ready to welcome everyone and anyone to the wonderful world of the water! Amazing instructors full of encouragement and support. I have had the most fun learning SUP and some brilliant adventures! I can’t recommend the team highly enough!"

"Discovering SUP Fitness Wellbeing & Adventure has improved the quality of my life immensely! Since taking a beginners' course nearly two years ago I've enjoyed so many amazing paddles. The team is brilliant and the club is so inclusive, friendly and supportive" 

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