The Halsbury Travel team

Meet The Team

Managing Director

Keith Sharkey

Keith Sharkey

Managing Director

Keith is a former Head of Modern Languages and has 16 years' experience teaching in the state secondary and independent sector. Having regularly visited France on an annual exchange from the age of 12, Keith developed a strong passion for languages and went on to teach them himself. During his time as a teacher, Keith organised and led many trips abroad for his students and the success of these trips as well as the enthusiasm of the students spurred him on to give more young people the opportunity to learn through travel.

In 1986, Keith created Halsbury Travel, a tour operator which is unique in that it was established with teachers in mind. Making use of his insight as a teacher, Keith developed Halsbury to take on all the hardships of planning school trips abroad so that Group Leaders can enjoy the trip too without getting bogged down in administrative tasks. Over the last 30, Keith has become qualified as a Hotel Health and Safety Auditor, a Coach Operator Auditor and he has taken several Transport Manager examinations to familiarise himself with coach operation regulations and driver hour issues.

Keith is very well travelled himself having visited every continent. He is always keen to go somewhere new and loves that working in the travel industry enables him to discover new languages and cultures as well as scope out the different architecture around the world. Keith is also a keen skier and can often be found taking to the slopes in the Alps over winter!

What is your favourite travel memory?

"My best travel experience was travelling to Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji all in one tour. The variety of cultures was amazing and the whole experience was highly stimulating."

Director

Sue Sharkey

Sue Sharkey

Director

Sue was brought up in Zambia until the age of 16, when she returned to the UK. A former geography and sociology teacher, Sue worked in secondary schools for 25 years and, like Keith, she was very much involved in organising school trips abroad during this time. In fact, Sue met Keith on a school field trip in St Albans when they were both still teaching!

Halsbury has been a part of Sue’s life since the company’s inception, but it wasn’t until 1998 that she left teaching to join the family business full-time. Sue now works in the finance department on a day-to-day basis, whilst also helping to manage the company alongside Keith and the senior management team.

Sue and Keith love to travel and this is a passion that they have passed on to their children, Stuart and Katie, who both also now work for Halsbury. In particular, Sue loves to ski and often spends a week or two with Keith and the family in the French Alps during the winter. Having grown up in central Africa, where the landscape is decidedly flat and, ever a geographer at heart, Sue is understandably drawn to the mountains.

What is your favourite travel memory?

"There are so many! Probably the first time our son and daughter set off down the blue piste at St Foy and were so excited that Mum and Dad were following…by the next year we couldn't keep up!"

Management

Chris Stacey

Chris Stacey

National Sales Manager

After gaining a degree in tourism management, Chris spent 6 months travelling around South America. Towards the end of his trip, he stumbled across a British youth orchestra performing in a local town and the experience inspired him to dedicate the next 12 years to organising concert tours. Chris’ extensive experience has seen him recently promoted to the role of National Sales Manager. Chris liaises with our sales team to streamline our sales process and improve customer service, helping Halsbury to strengthen its position in the Educational Travel Sector.

What is your favourite travel memory?

"Volunteering on a leatherback turtle project in Costa Rica. Under clear starry nights I would patrol the beach collecting turtle eggs to prevent poachers and predators from stealing them all."

Bev Ford

Bev Ford

Product Development Manager

A former teacher, Bev’s ‘teacher’s perspective’ comes in very handy around the office! It also makes her the perfect person to visit schools to provide teachers with further information about Halsbury’s tailor-made school trips. Bev has many years’ experience in accompanying, organising and leading school trips as a teacher and now uses that experience to help Halsbury ensure that its trips are always the very best that they can be. Formerly a rep and Halsbury group leader, Bev is very well-travelled and it was this love of exploration, as well as the fact that no two days are ever the same, that attracted her to the travel industry.

What is your favourite travel memory?

"I'm afraid they are all 'aaah moments'! The sunset over the Aegean, sunrise over the Med and my wedding reception in the South of France."

Lorna Gardner

Lorna Gardner

Operations Manager

One of our most longstanding members of staff, Lorna has been with Halsbury for 15 years. During this time she has worked within every department before taking on the role of Operations Manager eight years ago. Having experienced every department, Lorna is our office guru; ready to handle just about anything! From ferry port closures and Icelandic ash clouds to dealing with customer feedback and human resources, Lorna is responsible for the smooth running of the office day-to-day.

What is your favourite destination?

"I have travelled to most of the destinations that we offer but my favourite place overall is Berlin. I love the city and the atmosphere and there is so much to do!"

Educational Tour Advisers

Niall Abbott

Niall Abbott

Subject Specialist

Niall works remotely from his home in Devon where he spends his weekends mountain biking, walking on Dartmoor and spending time with his children. Having worked in educational travel for 12 years, Niall has a wealth of experience which helped him to introduce our language schools programme in 2006. Day to day, Niall is in change of history, religious studies, classics and politics tours and he has travelled to the majority of our history tour destinations during his time at Halsbury.

What is your favourite destination?

"Montpellier. It's a beautiful town with perfect beaches and it has retained its French culture."

Lynsey Palmer

Lynsey Palmer

Subject Specialist

Our office Geordie, Lynsey is a keen linguist who, having studied German at degree level is now fluent. She has also studied French, Spanish and Russian. This interest in languages and culture drew her to the travel industry and in 1999 she joined Halsbury Travel as a quotations manager. Now Lynsey specialises in providing language tours for Spanish, German and Italian as well as science and maths tours. Although extremely well travelled, Lynsey still stays true to her roots and supports Newcastle United!

What is your favourite travel memory?

"Visiting Prague during the Christmas market season. It's a magical city when covered in snow with traditional Christmas decorations everywhere."

Emma Gray

Emma Gray

Subject Specialist

Emma prepares the quotations for French and Food Technology trips, ensuring that all necessary arrangements are in place and that every Group Leader receives the perfect package to suit their group. Having visited France with Halsbury numerous times, Emma knows all there is to know about school trips there and has become quite a fan of the Opal Coast!

What do you enjoy about working in the travel industry?

"Halsbury is a great place to work. We have a great team and are like a family. I love having the opportunity to travel too."

Jenny Walsh

Jenny Walsh

Subject Specialist

Jenny worked in the IT sector for 8 years before moving away from business solutions to find a more rewarding role. She came to Halsbury 7 years ago and throughout her years here she has developed specialist knowledge of geography, art and business studies and now focuses on creating bespoke tours in these subjects. Jenny’s role also involves developing new products and educational programmes for her specialist subjects.

What is your favourite destination?

"The first time I visited Iceland, I knew I'd return. To witness glaciers, ice caps and powerful waterfalls was a surreal experience. There is no better place to study physical geography"

Kristie Syson

Kristie Syson

Subject Specialist

An established member of the Halsbury family, Kristie began her time with us as a Travel Advisor for our Work Experience Abroad programme for individuals. A keen linguist, Kristie is fluent in German – a language she learnt through living and working in Germany. With a diverse background in teaching, customer service, sales and event management, Kristie is well-placed to advise teachers on arranging school language and business studies trips.

What do you enjoy about working in school travel?

“I love helping groups to take part in travel opportunities that will enhance their studies, personal development and employability.”

Sarah Whibley

Sarah Whibley

Subject Specialist

Sarah has a real passion for travel; at 16 years of age she took her very first flight, to Japan and South Korea, and her first job was as an overland expedition guide in Africa! Having worked within the travel industry for over a decade, Sarah has now brought her extensive experience to Halsbury, where she works closely with group leaders to ensure that their school trip meets their specific learning objectives.

What’s your favourite travel memory?

“Sharing deep friend cockroaches with my son on his 16th birthday in Koh Tao, Thailand, surrounded by locals singing and putting on a fire display just for him.”

Long Haul Specialists

James Horsfield

James Horsfield

Long Haul Itinerary Coordinator

Born and bred in the Yorkshire countryside, James developed a love of all things outdoor growing up which led him to study Geography at university and ultimately into the travel industry. James looks after and organises our long haul bookings from trips to Iceland to south-east Asia. His own love of travel has led him to some of the most exciting, exotic places in the world so he came to Halsbury hoping that in his role he could help make a difference to someone through travel.

What is your favourite travel memory?

"Travel provides so many memorable moments but for me it was finally, after many safari drives, seeing a Leopard in the wild for the first time. Truly a magical moment and one I hope that future generations of travellers get to witness as well."

Zoe Campbell

Zoe Campbell

Long Haul Itinerary Coordinator

Zoe is the first point of contact for teachers looking to plan tours outside of Europe. She works with Group Leaders to tailor the perfect tour to each group’s requirements and is our resident expert on planning itineraries to America! Having worked at Halsbury for 7 years, Zoe has helped to grow and develop the destinations and tours that we offer and now works alongside James H. and Jenny on our Iceland tours.

What is your favourite destination?

"I have so many places I love for different reasons. I love visiting cities in the US as each city has its own feel but you always know you could only be in the US."

Itinerary Coordinators

James Wylie

James Wylie

Itinerary Coordinator

After completing a degree in History and Politics, James joined Halsbury Travel as an Itinerary Coordinator. James was himself inspired to study history on a school trip to the WW1 battlefields so he loves being able to make use of his history knowledge to plan memorable tours for others. As well as history tours, James arranges itineraries for our language school trips to France, Spain, Germany and Italy.

What is your favourite travel memory?

"One of my favourite travel memories came as a sixth form student on a trip to New York and Washington DC. New York is such an amazing city and I got to see a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden!"

Alex Gray

Alex Gray

Itinerary Coordinator

Alex has been with Halsbury since 2004 and in his role as an itinerary coordinator, he liaises with Group Leaders to put together tailor-made itineraries, makes all the necessary reservations and puts everything together to make the trip run smoothly. Specialising in trips to the WW1 Battlefields and northern France, Alex has visited his areas of expertise several times and is able to pass on his insider knowledge to customers.

What do you enjoy about working in the travel industry?

"The best part of the job is when a Group Leader contacts me after their trip to thank me and to let me know what a good time everyone had."

Laura Lucas

Laura Lucas

Itineraries Coordinator

Laura joined Halsbury after completing a degree in French and German and has now been working with us for six years. Responsible for organising the majority of trips to Germany along with some trips to France and Belgium, Laura often finds herself co-ordinating 50+ tours to the Christmas markets over the festive period! Keen to inspire language learning among students, Laura joined the travel industry to use her own language skills and promote the importance of languages and travel to schools.

What is your favourite travel memory?

"The first time I went to Rome and stood in front of the Colosseum, visiting the Pyramids as Giza, watching the fireworks at Disney World Florida on my honeymoon or visiting a tropical island in Australia…too many favourite memories to mention!"

Silvia Vintem

Silvia Vintem

Itinerary Coordinator

Silvia is Portuguese and also speaks Spanish, French and Italian. With a degree in French and English Translation/Interpretation, Silvia has always been interested in different cultures and languages. This makes her very well suited to her role organising trips to Spain, France, Italy and North Africa. A keen traveller herself, Silvia joined the travel industry to help others improve their language skills and enjoy amazing experiences.

What is your favourite travel memory?

"The Alhambra in Granada is unforgettable and the Battlefields across Europe are well worth a visit as they make you think and appreciate what we have."

Audrey Algrain

Audrey Algrain

Itinerary Coordinator

Audrey is from Paris so she's well placed in her role organising educational tours to France. A fan of foreign cultures and languages, Audrey speaks English, French and German and is now also learning Italian. Her role making reservations and putting together detailed itineraries makes use of her linguistic skills on a daily basis and having lived in Nottingham since 2004, she now enjoys visiting her home city of Paris as a tourist!

What do you enjoy about working in the travel industry?

"I enjoy the fact that there are so many different nationalities in our office and we have all travelled to so many places around the world. We get to share our experiences and travel tips!"

Celimen Helshani

Celimen Helshani

Itinerary Coordinator

Celimen has been a globetrotter for most of her life and has long been organising her own travel adventures. Seven years ago she decided to combine this passion with work and joined Halsbury. Originally from Manosque, France, Celimen speaks 3 languages fluently which came in very handy when visiting ski resorts to help establish Halsbury Ski. Now back in the itinerary department, Celimen helps create tailor-made itineraries for Group Leaders.

What is your favourite destination?

"My favourite destination has to be Asia (Thailand, Cambodhia, Indonesia) as I love the atmosphere and the kindness of the people."

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell

Itinerary Coordinator

Lisa is another of our linguists, having studied German and French at university. Her fluency in the language and first-hand knowledge of the country means that Lisa is perfectly placed for creating tailor-made itineraries for our school trips to Germany. A local girl, Lisa grew up in Nottinghamshire and has long been an enthusiastic traveller. The opportunity to combine her passion for travel with her need for efficient organisation makes her role at Halsbury the perfect fit for Lisa.

What’s your favourite destination?

“Definitely Berlin – I have visited many times and every time it’s like discovering a new city, there’s just so much to take in.”

Finance & Administration

Donna Harvey

Donna Harvey

Office Coordinator

Having worked at Halsbury for 12 years now, Donna knows all the ins and outs of finalising a tour. Responsible for double checking all arrangements and dispatching the final documents to Group Leaders prior to departure, Donna is the last port of call before a tour goes ahead.

What is your favourite destination?

"Florida. My dream holiday would be to take my little boy to Disney World. Just need to wait until he's a little older – he's only two!"

Asha Loizou

Asha Loizou

Reservations

Originally from Grantham, Asha moved to Nottingham in 2003 to study HND Travel and Tourism followed by a degree in BA HONS Service Sector Management. A keen traveller herself, Asha came to Halsbury to help others enjoy new trips and experiences. She is responsible for new bookings, dealing with enquiries, issuing insurance and dealing with payments.

What is your favourite destination?

"It would have to be New York (I loved the Big Apple) although Christmas Day in Las Vegas was great fun and different to my usual Christmas Day."

Leonor Pereira

Leonor Pereira

Reservations

Leonor is from Portugal but has spent much of her life living all over Europe and after some time in Spain, then Germany, she moved to the UK in 1998. Primarily, Leonor works in the Finance Department dealing with invoices and new bookings but she also plans itineraries for trips to Belgium, France and Spain. A fluent Spanish speaker, Leonor loves any opportunity to use her language skills and to travel, particularly to sunnier lands!

What is your favourite travel memory?

"Disneyland Paris! Taking my kids to Disney and seeing the look on their faces when we arrived made my day!"

Joanna Baterina

Joanna Baterina

Receptionist Administrator

Joanna was born in the Philippines and grew up in England. She has fond memories of family camping trips in and around England and Scotland and as an adult has travelled to various destinations in Europe. Joanna is a bit of an office all-rounder! She meets and greets Halsbury visitors, organises meetings, is responsible for office supplies and maintains correspondence with coach companies and insurers as well as taking on other day-to-day office tasks.

What do you enjoy about working in the travel industry?

Halsbury Travel I feel is different to the other Travel companies as we provide a more personal service.

Hotel Reservations

Miriam Nisan

Miriam Nisan

Hotel Reservations Manager

Born and raised in Nottingham, Miriam very much enjoys working in her home city but as with most Halsbury staff, she’s always keen to go jet-setting! Her Modern Language degree in French, Spanish and Italian greatly helps on her travels as well as with bookings in the office as she speaks with hoteliers in their native tongues. Having built up valuable relationship with hoteliers and suppliers during her 7 years at Halsbury, Miriam very much enjoys the continued bond she has with them.

What is your favourite destination?

"Berlin- it's such a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. It's easily accessible and very affordable and it has such a wealth of history."

Transport Department

Stuart Sharkey

Stuart Sharkey

Transport Manager

Keith and Sue's son, Stuart joined the family business 11 years ago on a work experience placement and has progressed to the role of Transport Manager. One of our 24/7 contact staff, Stuart is always on hand to assist groups if they get delayed or are having problems due to adverse weather or road closures, etc. Stuart is well-versed in the rules and regulations related to coach hire having undergone extensive in-house training and he is also responsible for the Coach Transport Healthy and Safety System.

What is your favourite travel destination?

"I've travelled to a few places in the Far East, Bali way my favourite destination. In Europe I love the Alps, the Mediterranean countries and northern European destinations like Bruges and Ypres."

Marketing & Design

Katie Sharkey

Katie Sharkey

Marketing Manager

Keith and Sue's daughter, Katie has quite literally grown up with Halsbury! Surrounded by school travel, Katie was bitten by the travel bug early and took a gap year to Australia and New Zealand and also spent three months backpacking around South East Asia. Having studied Marketing and Sociology at university, three years ago Katie brought these skills to the family business and now manages and plans all of the marketing activities for each of the Halsbury brands.

What is your favourite travel memory?

"My best memory is walking on the Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina. It’s incredible to hear the rumbling cracking sound as a huge block of ice brakes off and crashes into the lake."

IT & Development

Chris Morledge

Chris Morledge

Systems Development Manager

Chris joined Halsbury three years ago and he keeps all things IT ticking over! With 14 year experience in IT departments; first providing support and then programming, Chris is now responsible for managing and developing Halsbury's IT solution, websites and software systems.

What do you enjoy about working for Halsbury?

"I really enjoy working at Halsbury as it's a great friendly environment where creative ideas are encouraged and every member of staff's opinion counts."

Martin Smith

Martin Smith

Systems Engineer

Martin has been working with Halsbury almost as long as it has existed! After working with us part-time for 27 years, he has recently joined the company full-time. A Microsoft Certified Professional and an adrenaline junkie in his free time, when Martin's not busy keeping Halsbury's IT systems in check, he spends his time competing in springboard and high board diving and skydiving.

What is your favourite travel memory?

"Definitely skydiving in Australia. I love Australia in general as the Aussie approach to life is so refreshing so I'm really glad to have had the opportunity to do a dive there - the views are spectacular."

Accounts

Kevin Varney

Kevin Varney

Accounts Assistant

Kevin has been with Halsbury for 7 years and as an accounts assistant, he is responsible for processing payments and trip costs. He is also currently studying for the AAT Accounting Qualification. A keen sports fan, Kevin follows a number of different sports but he is particularly interested in cricket and football.

What do you enjoy about working for Halsbury?

"There is a friendly and relaxed atmosphere at Halsbury so we have a really good working environment."

Shane Cast

Shane Cast

Accounts Assistant

Having gained A Levels in Maths, IT and Accountancy, Shane has always been good with numbers and was a welcome addition to the Halsbury accounts team. Since joining us 18 months ago, Shane has become responsible for inputting all accounts data and keeping everything up to date.

What is your favourite destination?

"I love to travel within the UK and my favourite place to go is London. There’s so much going on that it’s impossible to be bored there no matter how many times you go."

Paul McDermott

Paul McDermott

Accounts Assistant

Paul joined Halsbury nearly three years ago, originally working within the coach department before moving to the accounts department recently. Having spent his childhood in the tropics, Paul is another keen traveller and, after previously running his own business, decided to combine his passion with his career.

What is your favourite travel memory?

“Either trekking through mountain forest in New Guinea to visit the wreck of a crashed WW2 American fighter plane or snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.”