I am the master of my fate


About #TAIW


Inspired by Spartan Culture’s core tenets of protection, personal responsibility, strength, collaboration and loyalty, #TheAdventureIsWithin takes its key icon as the Spartan shield – one of the ultimate symbols of proactive protection of the self and others. Just as Spartans took responsibility for and control of their shield, we help people take responsibility for and control of the modern day equivalent – our mental health shield.

The #TAIW team is made up of like-minded individuals who are bonded by a ‘True North’.

True North indicated by Polaris (the North Star) never moves. Never wavers. It is a constant point in the night sky which has given humans direction and focus and allowed us to maintain a steady course for millennia.

‘True North’ for us is our sense of purpose –  the ‘why’ we do what we do – that motivates and guides us, giving us passion and perseverance.



Led by Founders Dean and Jim, the #TAIW team are drawn from different backgrounds –military, education, psychology, corporate, emergency services, professional sports and L&D. This diversity brings distinctive experience, perspectives and skills – all of which are invaluable when applying and embedding the #TAIW strategies and techniques for people in different contexts.

All of the #TAIW team members regularly use the four #TAIW Strategies within Take Responsibility and Take Control, to build and strengthen their own Positive Mental Health Shields – hence they guide others from a position of powerful personal experience and belief.

This Adventure is to be lived – not viewed from the sidelines!

Meet The #TAIW Team


Dean Bellman

Dean Bellman

Director Adventures

Through his experiences as a Royal Air Force Special Forces Hercules (C130) pilot and flight instructor, Dean has witnessed the first hand power of positive mindset. In both Special Forces and Flying Operations, mindset is of equal importance to skillset and the combination of both determines the level of performance, resilience and success.

It was no surprise that Dean became heavily involved in the creation of mental health preparation training for pilots and this was where he was formally introduced to the field of Positive Psychology.

Dean was hooked on the power of this relatively new field of psychology, particularly in finding ways to bring the research to life by creating and teaching practical strategies and techniques that can be adopted to enhance Positive Mental Health.

The North Star holds special meaning in Dean’s life. Having lived in a pub by that name as a child in London, Dean has always had a strong sense of direction and core purpose.  In Dean’s personal life, ‘True North’ is represented by two very important people in his Support Network – his two boys – Harry and Joseph: watching them pursue the things they love (rugby and magic respectively) and helping them to become the best versions of themselves.

Jim Herbert

Jim Herbert

Director True North

Jim (Jimmy to his friends), has a background predominately in engineering. Whilst mentoring young engineers and coaching youth rugby in his spare time, Jim has seen first hand, the struggles faced by today’s youth. Jim has the ability to look at things from a different perspective, always collaborative, empathetic and loyal, Jim is passionate about supporting others in achieving their goals and encourages personal development. In 2018, when Jim’s good friend Dean told him about his idea for helping people build Positive Mental Health and Resilience, Jim was immediately drawn in to the Adventure. Having previously experienced, but never having faced some of his own issues after a career-ending rugby injury, Jim was nervous, but began practising some of the strategies with Dean and with his close family. Jim quickly realised how powerfully transformational they could be, IF, you take personal responsibility for and control of your own attitudes and behaviours. Jim’s own positive experiences led him to observe, whilst chatting to Dean one day, that #TheAdventureIsWithin. Without knowing it, Jim had named our newest Adventure! Jim is also a qualified NLP practitioner and Hypnotherapist.  Jim’s role as Director True North, keeps the team cohesive and motivated, ensuring everything we do is aligned with our core purpose.


Nikki Ayles

Nikki Ayles

Director Adventures

Before finding her ‘True North’, Nikki spent 12 years in brand marketing, holding senior leadership positions in a number of global multinationals and corporates. During this time, Nikki found passion and purpose in developing others and helping them fulfil their potential, as well as gaining great insight into the key success factors required of learning and development solutions in large organisations.

In 2010, after beginning a new career – an Adventure in training and coaching – Nikki rediscovered her passion for Psychology – through an MSc which included Educational Psychology and Psychometrics. However, it wasn’t until 2014 that Nikki really found her ‘calling’ when she discovered Positive Psychology. Nikki initially completed a Diploma, led by Positive Emotions guru Barbara Fredrickson before going on to achieve an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP), focusing her own research in Resilience. She has trained, coached and given keynotes to hundreds of individuals in taking responsibility for their Positive Mental Health. Nikki also co-authored and delivers a Level 6 module in Positive Psychology at the University of Worcester, as well as lecturing in Business Psychology and Consumer Behaviour.

In her personal life, Nikki loves going on Adventures with her two teenage children, exploring new places and trying out new experiences together  – surfing, singing live on stage and go-karting, being just a few that have created valuable positive memories. Nikki’s go-to Positive Mental Health strategies are positive reframing within Spin Recovery and using her Force Multipliers –  running, tennis, yoga and mindful walks with her two miniature dachshunds, Paddy and Issie.

Tony Middleton

Tony Middleton

Director Adventure Spirit

Tony is a Master life coach and NLP Master Practitioner who believes that as human beings, we have all we need inside us to unleash our true self and live a life of true happiness and fulfilment. Tony sees his role as a facilitator, guiding the change people want for themselves and sharing knowledge / strategies to help them maintain progress and grow. 

Tony was drawn to #TheAdventureIsWithin through his belief that, when we decide on and create a new personal reality which then becomes a new way of being – our True North – we create a purpose that is greater than ourselves.
Tony’s expertise in inspiring others to take more personal responsibility and commit to their intentions, sees him firmly in the role of Director Adventure Spirit – passionately guiding the team and others towards better futures.

Tony is also a Master practitioner in Timeline therapy and Hypnotherapy. When not helping others to realise potential, Tony’s go-to Positive Mental Health strategy for himself is using his Force Multipliers – most notably breathing techniques for relaxation and reinvigoration.

Start your Adventure

To start your Adventure or to find out more, head over to our Contact Us page and drop us a line. 

Pin It on Pinterest