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

Customer Relations 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 Machin

Lorna Machin

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!"

Silvia Vintem

Silvia Vintem de Souza

Itineraries Manager

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."

Bobby

Bobby

Chief Morale Officer

Bobby is technically Keith and Sue’s dog, but in reality he’s been adopted by every single member of the Halsbury family. However stressful the day might have been, Bobby’s always there with a wagging tail (and usually a seasonally inappropriate toy in his mouth – we’re looking at you Father Christmas!) to cheer everyone up. He enjoys escorting Halsbury folk on walks in the local park at lunchtime and conducts several inspections of the office throughout the day (his diligence being handsomely rewarded in the form of treats). He also likes to steal the limelight whenever the team take a group pic (often with the most brilliant outfit for Christmas Jumper Day). He enjoys a long holiday over the summer, when those left in the office miss his presence very much. But it does mean that his return in September is much anticipated and a sign that the new school year is underway!

What is your favourite destination?

“This is a difficult question, as I’m a well-travelled dog, having got my first passport six years ago. But I think it has to be the Alps. I’ve visited a number of resorts used by Halsbury, including Prato Nevoso and Tignes, which seem very exciting (to humans, at least!). But my favourite place has to be in front of the fire with the family after a hard day on the slopes (for them!).”

Educational Tour Advisers

Niall Abbott

Niall Abbott

Tour Adviser

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."

Emma Gray

Emma Gray da Silva

Tour Adviser

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

Tour Adviser

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

Tour Adviser

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.”

Laura Lucas

Laura Lucas

Tour Adviser

Laura joined Halsbury more than a decade ago, after completing a degree in French and German. Keen to inspire language learning among students, Laura joined the school travel industry to use her own language skills and promote the importance of language and travel to schools. After 10 years coordinating itineraries for most of our school trips to Germany, Laura is now a key member of our team of Subject Specialists. Her intricate knowledge of planning school trips means she’s perfectly positioned to guide you through the process.

What is your favourite travel memory?

“The first time I went to Rome and stood in front of the Colosseum… visiting the pyramids of Giza…watching the fireworks at Disney World Florida on my honeymoon…or visiting a tropical island in Australia…there’s too many to mention!”

Laura Lucas

Rachael McLoughlin

Tour Adviser

Another of our talented linguists, Rachael fell in love with languages at secondary schooland even took part in one of Halsbury’s Work Experience Abroad trips. She went on to study French and Spanish at university, dividing her year abroad between teaching in France and working with a charity in Peru. After graduating, Rachael spent a few years spreading her love for languages by teaching French and Spanish in a secondary school before joining Halsbury. Her time teaching has left her with a real belief in the value of school trips abroad for students’ learning and confidence. It also means she really understands the pressures on teachers and how this can be eased during the trip planning process.

What do you enjoy about working in educational travel?

“Travelling is something I love doing and so helping others to do exactly that is rewarding. Knowing that students also have the chance to learn more about the subject and the wider world around them is great – I’m making a difference to their learning without even meeting them!”

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 Tour Adviser

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."

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."

Lynsey Palmer

Lynsey Palmer

Itinerary Coordinator

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."

Kim Hawley

Kim Hawley

Itinerary Coordinator

One of our experienced Itinerary Coordinators, Kim’s role involves liaising with suppliers and customers and ensuring every detail of the itinerary is accurate. Kim has a real passion for travel and organising, and knew from a young age she wanted to work in the travel industry. As well as a travel and tourism diploma, Kim has over 16 years’ experience in the travel industry, so she understands how to foresee and overcome all the challenges that can arise when planning itineraries. Originally joining Halsbury in the transport department, Kim also has extensive knowledge of this side to planning a school trip, which can come in very handy!

What is your favourite travel memory?

“I have fond memories of my school trip to the WW1 battlefields. Our school visited during the 80 th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. It was very touching to be alongside the few surviving veterans during the service.”

Laura Angelillo

Laura Angelillo

Itinerary Coordinator

Originally from France, Laura fell in love with England when she came to study here three years ago. Fluent in her native French, English and Spanish, Laura has a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Languages, as well as a Masters in Multilingual and International Project Management. Her academic career taught her the organisational skills she relies on to tailor each trip to meet the specific requirements of each group, to ensure each trip provides a memorable experience both for the students and the teachers. She also had the opportunity to study abroad as part of her studies, and this has given Laura the same passionate belief in the educational value of travel that Halsbury was built on.

What do you enjoy about working in educational travel?

“The diversity – trips may be very similar, but they are always different in some way. I also love speaking different languages. It’s also very rewarding to read some feedback and know that I’ve organised a nice trip where everyone had fun.”

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 Sharkey

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.