Our

Team

We know we are lucky enough to have some amazing people in our teams, so we wanted to share a bit about us, with you!

  • FACT Did you know that we are one of the only outdoor organisations in the UK to have 3 (yes, 3!!) British Canoeing Coach Tutors on our #TeamAwesome!

  • FACT Our senior team alone has over 105 years of experience and being awesome in the outdoors industry!

Claire Kefford

Head of Happiness (aka Director of HR and Training, AAUK)

Claire keeps us all sane! Claire’s 16 years of experience in the outdoor sector are utilised by making sure our team are supported and the best they can be.

Claire started out as an Instructor in 2000 (eek!) and after only 3 years decided to seek (naively) a 'proper' job in the City of London. Although good times were had in London, she returned to

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the island with added wisdom and clarity (not forgetting some time spent travelling solo through India).

Claire spent 14 years working as a lead Assessor and Quality Assurer of training in the outdoors (in a number of Activity Centres) and this is how she bumped into Adventure Activities. After a short time delivering the Apprenticeships for us, she decided to join forces.

When not at work she is always with her family, running the children around and balancing a busy life schedule.  Any spare time left she can be found exercising, hanging out with friends or trying to sneak in power naps!!

Owen Burson

Chief Adventure Officer and Group Water Sport Technical Advisor (aka CEO, AAUK)

Owen knows the outdoors, very, very well. He’s worked in the outdoors everywhere from Mexico to Iceland to Wales and further. He was the youngest person to ever hold 3 BCU 5* awards, has coached World Champion level kayakers and was the Navy’s Sea Kayak Technical Advisor. He has worked with multiple sport governing bodies to write some kayak, SUP and coasteering coach and guide awards.

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He once did a 2 mile wheelie for charity on a mountain bike and discovered 2 miles of unknown cave system in the Ogof Draenen in South Wales!

When he’s not busy organising pencils, he sometimes gets the chance to go out on the water!

He loves skiing and lots of other activities with his family who each like to do different things, so he gets to go out and do lots of interesting and fun things, just not often all together at the same time!

Plus… Owen is a partner in Adventure Activities USA which is AAUK sister company based in Massachusetts.

Sallie Ryan

Creator of Opportunities, Possibilities and Memories (aka Business Development Manager, AAUK)

So, Sallie is fairly new to the team and brings lots of business development, partnership and marketing skills that means we're doing lots of new 'stuff' (Sallie's favourite word!).

She's been busy networking, setting up relationships with hotels and businesses across

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the island and beyond, challenging us to develop new products for new markets (that's getting us very excited!) and reminding us of all the extra 'good stuff' we do that maybe we need to shout about a bit more.

When she's not got her business head on, Sallie's usually out on the water (loves a bit of a SUP river expedition like the Trent 100 or taking on canoe races like the Cesky Krumlov River Marathon), volunteering (everything from a month in Nepal improving education practices to helping build the Freshwater Independent Lifeboat Santa's Grotto), up a mountain (having just moved from Snowdonia) or talking new adventures with her 4 children.

Oh, and you'll always find her with a decaf flat white in her hand!!

Tim Corbett

The Wizard (aka Operations and Quality Manager, AAUK)

When stuck in the office Tim can be found putting together all the Risk assessments and operation procedures for AAUK along with all the training plans at all our various UK sites. When let out of the office he can be found delivering training to the staff team or ensuring the quality of the AA product.

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Having started in the outdoor industry as an instructor 16 years ago, this gives Tim a wealth of knowledge to fall back on along with a variety of senior and tutoring qualifications. He’s led numerous expeditions and circumnavigations of the IOW.
When not working Tim can be found either sea or surf kayaking, mountain biking, walking or generally enjoying the outdoors.

He’s a through and through outdoors man and watching him Kayak surf is a real thing of beauty. Tim’s led numerous circumnavigation’s of the IOW and once did a 60ft Coasteer jump in Pembrokeshire.

He’s also a top bloke and enjoys a pint of lager.

Jim Robotham

(aka Centre Manager, AAIOW)

Jim is our resident caulkhead (Island native) and Starwars superfan. He has been with AAUK for just over a year, after returning to the Island from the North East coast of Scotland.

Jim has worked within the outdoor industry since he left school, working all over the country for large commercial centres, local education authority centres and charities.
Jim can be classed as a 'jack of all trades, master of none' (but we don't believe that!).
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He's actually pretty awesome at coaching sailing, power boating, sea kayaking and open canoeing amongst other things.
When Jim's not sorting out our Stoats Farm camp, he loves disappearing up to the west coast of Scotland on birdwatching trips and is super excited about the possible re-introduction of sea eagles to the island. But his love of island life goes way beyond the borders of the Isle of Wight... he's been snowboarding all over the world including the USA, Canada, Finland and most of Europe.

Archie McGhie

Adventure Fairy (aka Lead Instructor, AAIOW)

Some say Archie is THE chosen son of mother nature herself, and is now actually powered and functions via the bundles of energy and laughter he absorbs from every group he works with like a basking lizard in the sun. He’s ‘been there and got the badge’ for just about every Adventure it’s possible to have.
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When Archie isn’t charging his batteries delivering the best Outdoor Education on the planet, he’s writing educational programmes, reading, playing 5 a side football, going to the gym and playing instruments (badly). Archie is the (grand)father figure of the outfit and is always the first to bring a chuckle to anyone’s morning.

Beth Jackson

UK Office Fairy (aka UK Office Manager)

Beth is the busiest person ever, somehow juggling multiple roles, projects and people…. seemingly with ease! She builds the activity programmes for residentials trips and staff rotas for our centres in the UK, manages payroll and pensions, as well as accounts payable for the UK (we did say she was busy!).

Show More >>So, a master juggler at work, Beth also fits in a bit of IT, facilities management – in fact as she often needs to be in several places at once, she uses her scooter to get around the office sometimes!!

Spending too much time out of water is upsetting when your life-long dream is to become a mermaid so when Beth’s not sat behind a desk you can usually find her in the sea, or the local pool! In fact, Beth learnt to swim at age 2 because she wouldn’t stay out of the water 🙂

Hot drink of choice: chilli, garlic and honey with some hot water through the winter! (strange but true!)

Aiden Clark

(aka Alternative Adventures Lead Tutor)

Aiden started out as an apprentice at Adventure Activities Three years down the line he is our Education Lead Instructor. After completing his apprenticeship he took on the role of running our ‘Opportunities programme’ to get disillusioned teenagers re-motivated and back into education.
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After enjoying this so much he has taken a much bigger lead on our Alternative Education and Activity sessions. In 2017 Aiden was a runner up for the Learning Outside the Classroom Inspiring educator of the year award. When Aiden isn’t at work you will often find him out surfing failing that he will probably be paddle boarding.

Emma Ackrill

Recycling Warrior, Excitement Coordinator and Happiness Advocate (aka Business Development, AAIOW)

Emma’s is passionate about everything Adventure Activities do, especially our work with young people. She has grown with the Isle of Wight centre from bookings Administration Assistant to Watersports and activity Instructor, bringing enthusiasm and excitement to everything she does.

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Taking her main passions for media, education in the outdoors and talking (a lot) about the amazing things we do she is a key member of the  Business Development and Bookings team.

You will find Emma in the office working with education providers, helping our Tourism sector and taking lots of photos to share with our lovely customers. When see is aloud out the office you will catch Emma walking, swimming, surfing and paddling to work towards new outdoor training. Having gone on expedition to Scotland, Pembrokeshire and North Wales she is a keen to inspired many young woman to get stuck into the outdoors!

Outside of the centre Emma enjoys Yoga Paddleboarding (she is still practising her headstand), attending and organising  beach cleans to help the local environment  and taking photos on and under the water.

You will also find Emma with least 3 drinks on her desks. Her favourites are oak milk lattes, green tea and mango smoothie and they must be drunk all at once.

Joe Blaney

Boss of the Bay, King of Coasteering (aka Senior Instructor, AAIOW)

Joe is our unstoppable force down at Freshwater Bay and the man who is constantly looking for new ways of sharing the outdoors with as many people, and in as many new ways, as possible!

His drive and energy is tiring to even watch, and he’s often been up since 5am surfing some waves before the day job begins!

Show More >>Working in the outdoors industry for nearly 10 years now, Joe has worked in Westwood Ho!, Staffordshire, Wales, Hull, Scarborough, Newcastle Tyne, IOW, and even been a boatbuilder in USA, been a Beach Lifeguard and is a Surf Coach.

Joe’s biggest wave was a 15 footer of the coast of Indonesia where he was surfing for 2 months – his best wave… catching a barrel on the same trip!

Cliff Meaden

Sussex Oracle of all things Outdoors (aka Centre Manager, AA Sussex)

Cliff is our overseer of Sussex and sorts all the amazing adventures on our Bodiam site and down on Hastings seafront… not bad views from either of his ‘offices’!

It’s safe to say that Cliff loves being on the water, whether tutoring young people on a river SUP session, helping upskill technique for a kayaker,

Show More >>training paddlesport coaches. Cliff is also recognised as a leading water expert helping people train for Channel crossings, river expeditions and water challenges all over the world.

… and still not the end of Cliff’s skills! He’s also a qualified Yacht Master Ocean, Powerboat Instructor and leads all the bushcraft activity at Sussex (phew!).

If Cliff has any free time (not a lot!) he’ll be found outdoors with his walking boots on just seeing where they take him, or out on his board surfing some waves on the South Coast. On one occasion, he even paddled around the whole of the Isle of Wight, all 67 miles, in only 11 hours!

As soon as he’s off the water or down from the hills, Cliff heads straight for the kettle and a good cup of Earl Grey tea!

We are a friendly bunch and always interested to know who’s out there so feel free to drop us an email to let us know what you’re doing and what you’d like to achieve in the outdoor industry. You never know what might be in our plans!!

If we have vacancies, we’ll post them on our Work With Us page… good luck!

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