Everyone Behind The Five Institute

In reality, the creation of the Five Institute is a massive collaborative project, as nothing outstanding is ever built in isolation. There are hundreds of people who actively and passionately share The Vitality Test and thousands upon thousands of people who take it.


Plus, we have a wonderful group of patrons and supporters who constantly encourage us, share what we do, always turn up, and make this a wonderful place to be.

Clearly, lots of people want a Vital Life in a Kind and Sustainable World.


Thank you all, and thank you for being here 

About The Core Team at Five Institute

Nicholas Haines

Creator of The Vitality Test, Five Energy Secret Squirrel, and co-founder of the Five Institute & ​Kindness Ambassador

Nick is an entrepreneur, international speaker, strategist, author and teacher in Chinese Energetics. He has spent all his adult life practically applying the wisdom of Chinese philosophy within health, personal development, business, leadership, relationships and international change.

Nicholas has always considered physical, mental and spiritual health and wellbeing as a cornerstone of personal and international change.

As such he has spent 35 years on the frontline as a Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and running a busy Complementary Health Centre in Nottingham (UK) before retiring in 2015. As testimony to his commitment and expertise, for over 25 years he had a waiting list of at least six months to see him as a new client, stretching at some points to a ridiculous 2-year wait.


He now proudly heads up the Five Institute. 

Janet Carter

Kindness Ambassador and Social Entrepreneur. Five Institute Community Creator, Chief Organiser, and all round lovely person

Janet lives and works in Cumbria and as well as being an integral part of the Five Institute she heads up Light Up Lives.

Light Up Lives is a Community Interest Company passionate about people, tackling social isolation and enhancing communication and conversation for everyone in our communities.

She believes that acting locally to enable and inspiring kinder and more collaborative communities, who share their knowledge and expertise to support each other is the way that we can maximise our social impact and build a better kinder and more sustainable world.

Janet has studied and worked with the Energies at various organisations and within her private work and 1-2-1 consultations.

Matthew Newnham

Brand Repositioning & Strategic Communications for Purpose-Led Businesses. Our Sherlock Holmes of Story Telling, and wonderful co-founder of the Five Institute

I was briefly a fighter pilot (hoping to become a test pilot and astronaut). Discovery of cataracts led to an interim corporate career for 25 years, helping launch a wide variety of new ventures in retail banking.

After several startup attempts and returns to corporate life to refuel and regroup, finally managed to eject for good in 2011. (The landing was a bit iffy, but any landing you can walk away from is a good one, as they say...)

Over the past decade, helped hundreds of entrepreneurs globally to pinpoint their best positioning and their most compelling, authentic story. Co-founder, plus strategy and content midwife at Five Institute, home of The Vitality Test.

An advocate of the power of like-minded people making a positive difference in the world, including business-for-good. Proud to be British-Canadian by birth (Montreal), with early life through university near and in Seattle. Happily based in Scotland for 24 years.

An avid middle-distance runner with enough miles under the belt to have circled the globe nearly twice (but doesn't run long distances!). These days, a true-blue 800m/1500m/mile masters competitor for Edinburgh Athletic Club.

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.

Audrey Hepburn

Our History & Kindness

Why Kindness Matters to Nick


When I was at school, I remember the shock, sadness and injustice I felt as I witnessed one of the older boys beat one of the new boys with the back of a gym shoe. Whilst a teacher, knowing full well what was going on, was a silent witness in the next room.

I was 7, and that was the school's culture, the big boys beat the little boys. That’s how it was.

Two years earlier, I’d spent a year in different family homes, being shown extreme kindness and care, at one of the most confusing and difficult times in my life. And the contrast between that experience, and what I was seeing at school took my breath away.

I said to my friend Howell, “When I’m a big boy, I’m not going to beat the small boys.”

He said, “You have to.” And I said, “I don’t!”

During my life, I’ve been scared, brave, worried, happy, sad, lost, in love, confused, easy going and highly anxious. Regardless, of the differing emotions I’ve felt, or the situations I’ve found myself in, I’ve always tried to make the same choice, to choose Kindness.

It’s how I’ve approached my work, life, family, friends and the strangers I meet.

I guess it’s no surprise then, that I surround myself with exceptionally kind and lovely people here at the Five Institute, and that Kindness drives everything we do.

Why Kindness Matters to Matthew


As a toddler, I was the victim of horrific child abuse, which resulted in me being admitted to hospital at age five with a severe concussion, several broken ribs and a series of third-degree burns. This was all courtesy, so to speak, of my mother’s partner, who was ultimately sent to prison for several years.


I grew up with foster parents whose best intentions for me were sadly scarred by their deeply flawed approach to parenting, which a harsh emotional environment, and amazingly (considering my earlier years), heavy and frequent uses of harsh corporal punishment.

Fortunately, school proved to be a safe haven for me, where I made a few friends, and even more importantly, was taken under the wings of a few especially compassionate teachers who could see how troubled I was. I flourished in school, but not surprisingly, I grew up with sharply defined views about who I thought was kind and who wasn’t.

This filtering system has been a continuing and dominant lens through which I have seen the world as I progressed through my early career as a fighter pilot (curtailed due to cataracts sustained during that concussion all those years ago) through twenty years as a corporate change management consultant (where more often than not, I ended up softening the impact of changes imposed from on high) to the past ten years, during which I have had the great fortune to work with a wide range of social entrepreneurs and changemakers around the world - each seeking to make the world a better place.

By far the person who has made the biggest impact on me and my work during this period is my dear friend and business partner Nick Haines, creator of The Vitality Test. Serving as his midwife for the past nine years has been an honour and a privilege as we work to get his insights out into the world.

Nick and I have always resonated around our shared dedication to help make the world a kinder place. We’ve been delighted to have Janet Carter join us, with her equally powerful reasons for her dedication to our shared mission. All three of us believe fervently that together, all of us around the world are stronger together. And that the world will be immeasurably better for all of us with more kindness in it.

Why Kindness Matters to Janet


Kindness has always sat at the heart of who I am and what I do, and it’s been a wonderful path to walk, with deep learnings and inspirational moments.


From 16 years in the police, where I learnt that in order to be kind to myself and others, I had to be clear, compassionate, supportive and strong. Right through to my more recent roles and work around encouraging people to be kind to themselves by reconnecting with their natural talent, energy and bigger purpose.

I love enabling people to achieve amazing results, both personally and professionally whilst feeling more energised and having fun!

Now that’s a kind way to live your life! And it makes other people happy too.

My message is simple “Know that it’s OK to be you, and that being the best version of you, whilst being kind to yourself and others is the most beautiful gift you can give to our world”

I am thrilled to be part of the Five Institute, because as we so proudly share…

Kindness sits at the heart of everything we do!

Our mission at the Five Institute is very simple... To breath more kindness into the world by helping empower everyone that supports the dream of a kinder world. And as the Earth needs Kindness too, that means building a sustainable world as well.