In the event of an issue, critical incident or crisis, it is essential to have good people around who can help immediately.
We surround ourselves with people we know have been there, done it and won’t let you down. Quite simply, your organisation shouldn’t be dealing with serious incidents all the time but it is at the heart of everything we do. We are trusted partners with over 100 clients, from industry leading brands to ‘one-man bands’. Naturally, all our team are vetted and hold Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks.
Download our new flyer for more details on how we can support your organisation.
Pharos is delighted to work with a range of selected partner organisations from the sectors we work with.
Career opportunities. We’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in joining our small and professional team!
Julian Penney FRGS – Managing Director
Julian has over 15 years experience of managing risk in a variety of environments and sectors, firstly as a Commissioned Officer in the British Army and latterly as a Director within one of the worlds largest travel companies. Julian’s experience ranges from training local soldiers in Sierra Leone, leading school students on expeditions to being responsible for the safety management and incident support systems a leading educational travel businesses. Julian holds full national health and safety qualifications, is a qualified Expedition Leader, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Trustee of the Institute of Outdoor Learning and former Vice Chair of the Young Explorers Trust. Having held a senior role within a highly successful global travel business, Julian understands the commercial reality of managing safety and professional incident support. Julian is also an active volunteer Search Technician with Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue which ensures he keeps up to date with the ‘on the ground’ realities of serious incidents.
Julian founded Pharos and takes a leading role in all aspects of service delivery, but also knows when others would be more suited to supporting a particular incident or project!
Chris Gallant – Communications Director
Chris has been working in marketing communications for 15 years after a degree in Corporate Communications. His experience spans both communications strategy and crisis communications as well as strategic and tactical marketing. Chris has successfully planned and implemented the communications strategy for a large number of major incidents and crises, including highly news-sensitive fatalities of children on school trips. With a background in PR, Chris understands the media but he also has a solid grounding in business having played an integral role in helping to grow a small privately owned expedition company with modest profits through an MBO and acquisition by a travel-industry leading PLC to annual profits of £5m. As a school governor, Chris also understands school corporate governance and leadership.
Chris helps our clients manage media and crisis communications in order to help them protect their brand integrity before, during and after a major incident or crisis.
Alison Hull – Operations Coordinator
Ali has been working in the travel and leisure industry for the last 16 years, starting out as a director of a limited company that owned and operated a camp site in Dorset. Alison has for the last four years been based in Europe working in operational support for a major British holiday company, dealing predominantly with staff logistics and health and safety. She is also a qualified trainer and Level 1 Assessor for customer service and travel.
Ali combines her practical experience with real attention to detail in order to help ensure our customers receive great service.
Charlie Eustace FRGS – Educational Visits Adviser
Charlie has been working in the educational travel, expedition and humanitarian sectors for over 10 years in a variety of operational planning and incident support roles. Extensively travelled, Charlie has led several school expeditions in the developing world and spent 6 months as a project officer for a major NGO in Bangladesh. She also spent two years working in the Royal Geographical Society’s education department which included advising on student fieldwork and expedition safety. She is a qualified Mountain Leader and Offsite Safety Management trainer, and has conducted various training courses in wilderness first aid and remote emergency care.
Charlie provides Pharos school clients with safety and other advice about school trips and has a keen eye for detail and great customer care.
Tony Willetts – Incident Manager
Tony has had a long and diverse career including 30 years in the British Army and subsequently working for charities and within the private sector. Tony initially specialised in physical and adventurous training while serving in the Army, included managing adventure centres in the UK and overseas, running numerous adventurous expeditions around the world, several combat operations, as an accident investigator, leadership development trainer and in operational management. Much of Tony’s experience has been in remote and hostile environments from Antarctica, to Borneo, to Afghanistan. He was Head of Operations at Raleigh International for over four years, managing overseas youth programmes, and subsequently helped manage safety and security resilience at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Tony uses his vast experience to help Pharos clients as an Incident Manager, and is one of the team who initially answers incident calls. He also provides follow-up crisis intervention when needed, especially when remote or hostile environments are involved.
Steve Kemsley – Incident Manager
Steve is a former senior police officer and now uses his expertise in a range of security consulting and event project management work. As a former police Gold Commander at major events, his skills have been engaged in the London 2012 Olympics, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and various other high profile public and sporting events with a security and terrorism risk. Steve has an active interest in the outdoors, especially sailing and rowing, and regularly coaches on the River Thames with the charity he helped found called Skerries for Schools.
Steve’s senior investigative insight is of great value to Pharos’ customers and he is part of the Incident Manager team who initially answers calls from clients. He also leads the Pharos security auditing team.
Ross Worthington – Incident Manager
Ross has a strong background in incident management from 15 years service within the Police, mostly as a detective and frontline investigator. He has held roles including specialist disclosure officer for covert, complex and sensitive investigations and established then led an award winning forensic investigation team. He received a number of commendations and awards for outstanding levels of work and integrity. Ross now combines this investigative training with experience in the wilderness across the globe. Having developed and led adult and youth expeditions overseas since 2005 in Alaska, Tanzania, Chilean Patagonia, Morocco, China, Peru and Borneo, he has first hand experience of dealing with incidents on the ground and has a strong, calming presence when dealing with people. Ross is a full volunteer member of the Llanberis Mountain Rescue team, sits on the Mountain Training Cymru Board and holds a number of UK National Governing Body awards.
Ross provides our clients with initial incident advice and support and also leads the investigation service for tour operators, insurers and law firms.
Tony Robinson – Incident Manager
Tony is a former Chief Superintendent in the Metropolitan Police and has a wide range of senior operational experience. His specific areas of expertise are the development of security operating policies and procedures for major public events, including playing a key role in the London 2012 Olympic security operation. Tony is also an accomplished trainer and assessor, having worked with the National Police Improvement Agency to develop senior UK police officers, and with the University of Cambridge for foreign police academies.
Tony is one of Pharos’ Incident Manager team but also helps our school clients with security assessments, and during incidents when insights into the criminal justice system may be helpful.
Dave Ascough – Incident Manager
A former Police Sergeant, Dave managed and supervised incidents on the front-line of policing for 15 years. He specialised in working with children and other vulnerable witnesses and was commended for his decisive actions and teamwork.
Dave also has a strong training and development background and his passion for experiential learning has taken him to the four corners of the world; leading youth development expeditions to Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, India, China, Morocco, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Dave holds various mountain leadership qualifications and is ‘safe pair of hands’ in so many situations.
Dave is one of the Pharos Incident Manager team who answers initial incident related calls. He also provides follow-up crisis intervention when needed, especially when remote or mountainous environments are involved.
Euan Mackenzie – Incident Manager
Euan is a highly experienced security & risk professional within the international development and humanitarian sectors. Having worked in places such as Darfur, DRC, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Zimbabwe, he has strong crisis management experience at both field and head office level. Prior to this Euan spent 17 years as an Royal Air Force Officer. Euan holds an MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management and maintains a particular interest in risk psychology. Euan has plenty of experience working with young people in the outdoors, as a trained bushcraft instructor and qualified canoe coach.
As well as providing clients with first line incident support on Pharos’ 24/7 support line, Euan provides strategic audit and crisis mentoring support.
Neil Chambers – Incident Manager
Neil has many years experience ‘at the coal face’ of incident management. With 30 years experience as an officer in the Metropolitan Police, Neil is the epitome of calmness during an incident. Neil’s experience in the police involved a number of specialist roles, including an attachment to the FCO aiding the emergency response to the Asian Tsunami in 2005 and London bombings in 2007. More recently, Neil has managed one of the UK’s leading Operations Rooms for a major travel company. Neil also specialises in the technical side of communications whether it be satellite phones, EPIRBs or whatever the latest technolgy in the field is.
Neil’s role at Pharos is often to take the first call and help manage the initial stages of an incident. He also advises on all communications technology.
Dr Lucy Obolensky MBChB (Bristol) MRCS – Medical Adviser
Lucy specialises in remote medicine and trauma care. Lucy leads a charity in Kenya helping bring a range of clinical disciplines to remote areas of the country and maintains an active interest in wilderness and expedition medicine. Lucy’s expeditions include leading an overland trip across Africa, leading four ascents of Mt Kenya and Kilimanjaro with Help for Heroes, trekking in the Indian Himalaya and Tibet, jungle expeditions to Guatemala, diving expeditions to Belize, trekking through Norway, sailing in a Tall Ships expedition in the North Sea and ice climbing and in the Andes. Lucy’s enthusiasm for sport has led her to complete a diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine. Lucy is a lecturer and examiner and volunteers as the Sports Doctor for the GB Surf Lifesaving team and worked with the water rescue team for the London Olympics.
Martin Alderton – Trauma Counselling Specialist
Martin has over ten years’ experience as a busy stress and trauma consultant. Formerly he was a manager of both a multi-disciplinary mental health team and a local authority disaster response team.
Martin has provided training and direct clinical support to organisations across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world including Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. Recent events have included: Venice (Hotel fire), Ireland (Coach Crash), Oslo (Terrorist bomb) France (Coach Crash) and Spain (Balcony Fall). Martin’s consultancy and the clinical skills that he and his team provide, often at short notice in distant locations have helped to manage the psychological reactions and minimise the reputational damage that typically follows such events.
Martin has been interviewed on the BBC, ITV and Sky. A veteran of hundreds of incidents, his experience is world class.
David Crossland – Technical Adviser
David is a former Senior AALA Inspector, school teacher and and holds the UK’s highest mountaineering qualification, the Mountain Instructor Certificate. Other qualifications include International Mountain Leader, LPIOL and high level canoeing instruction awards. David’s vast experience of training teachers, managing outdoor centres, being an expert witness following accidents and of contributing to much of today’s UK guidance for safe adventurous activities means that he is well placed to work with Pharos and our clients.
Dave’s role at Pharos is to provide high level advice relating to adventurous activities and to lead our investigation service. As a qualified auditor, David is also key in our safety audit programme.
Dr Chris Lowe OBE – Education Adviser
Chris a graduate lawyer with a doctorate in educational law, a former comprehensive school Head, and a Visiting Professor of Educational Law. He has written extensively on education, employment and health and safety law. He is also a former President and Legal Secretary of ASCL (Association of School and College Leaders), former Chair of EVAC (Educational Visits Advisory Council) and former President of the European Secondary Heads Association (ESHA). Chris was awarded the CBE for services to education in 1992.
Chris’ role at Pharos is to ensure that we are advised on educational and legal matters and can in turn help our customers with this technical knowledge.