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. All the team have been or remain active practitioners in their respective fields which is important – our consultancy services are based on real experience and not just theory or through advising others. 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.
Career opportunities. We’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in joining our small and professional team!
Armed Forces Covenant. We are proud of the work done by current and former servicemen and servicewomen so, as an employer, we support the Government’s Armed Forces Covenant scheme. So see a copy of our pledge certificate, click here.
Pharos is delighted to work with a range of selected partner organisations from the sectors we work with.
Julian Penney – Managing Director
Julian has managed 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 expeditions to being responsible for the safety management and incident support systems of 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 and a full member of the national Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP). 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 a 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 20 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 critical incidents and complex corporate reputational issues in UK and overseas, tragically including highly news sensitive stories of the very worst kind.
With a background in PR, Chris understands the media but he also has a solid grounding in business having played an integral role in significantly growing a privately owned school expedition company through a management buy-out and subsequent acquisition by a travel-industry leading PLC. As an active Trustee of a MAT and a school Governor, Chris also understands school governance and leadership.
Chris helps Pharos clients to manage the media and crisis communications in order to help them protect brand integrity before, during and after a major incident or crisis.
With a love for the outdoors, Chris, married with two children, can often be found walking in highlands and lowlands with his English Pointer dog, kayaking on the Thames or road cycling as a fully-fledged MAMIL!
Tom Blindell – Operations Manager
Tom has managed operations and risk in the youth development, expedition, education and sport sectors. Tom formerly advocated and influenced the progression of school sport infrastructure in England before working in Central America and Africa, leading and managing youth & international development programmes. Latterly, Tom spent seven years managing overseas expeditions for a leading youth development charity in the UK. Tom has a wealth of experience of proactively managing risk and responding to a wide variety of incidents.
Tom enjoys spending time with his young family and as a big sport and outdoor adventure fan, he can often be found on the tennis court, on his bike(s), up mountains and/or in his kayak.
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 is a member of the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel and provides Pharos schools with safety and other school trip advice. She also has a keen eye for detail and is focussed on providing great customer care.
Carol Beavis – Customer and Operations Administrator
Carol joined Pharos in 2017 after several years working in various reception and administrative roles. Having previously held positions in the legal, medical and dental professions, progressing to Practice Manager of two practices in more recent years, Carol is a true team player who can be relied upon to help whenever needed. Carol is often the first person clients speak to regarding matters unrelated to incidents and provides outstanding customer service.
Natalie Dickinson – School Operations Administrator
Natalie joined Pharos after working in a busy school as an office assistant, supporting the many aspects of school administration and front of house services. Previously Natalie worked for a successful software company for over 14 years with experience in delivering training courses, software testing and configuration. Natalie supports school clients and works closely with our team of educational visit, safety and security advisers to ensure schools receive outstanding service.
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.
Helen Denny – Incident Manager
Helen has worked extensively across the UK and internationally for over 20 years, facilitating group and individual learning. She has a wealth of experience in leading expeditions in remote locations both in the UK and overseas for young people and adults alike. Helen has worked across the third and public sector undertaking numerous roles including Youth Work Manager of an adventurous activities centre, Project Manager for Raleigh International and Programme Manager for The Challenge Network (NCS). Helen is a qualified mountain leader and has undertaken various courses in remote first aid.
As an Associate Incident Manager at Pharos, she has particular expertise in safeguarding, leadership development, working with vulnerable groups and training individuals who will be working internationally.
Rachel Batten – Incident Manager
Rachel is a qualified teacher and Prince 2 Project Manager, having worked for the last 12 years designing projects for young adults living in care or ‘street homeless’ in the UK and internationally. Rachel has also worked for the Home Office delivering workshops to frontline professionals working with gangs, exploring the relationship between offending and poor mental health. As a conflict trainer and safeguarding and child protection consultant, Rachel trains organisations and professionals working on the front line of youth services. This includes supporting International NGOs in the developing world, and advising on country-specific best practice, often in remote environments.
As an associate Incident Manager at Pharos, Rachel uses her safeguarding expertise to help support clients when dealing with complex incidents involving child protection matters.
Tony Motto – Incident Manager
A former Police Sergeant, Tony managed and supervised incidents on the front-line of policing for over 30 years. He performed in numerous roles including roads, proactive community work, investigation and control room management. During his career Tony received numerous commendations and awards for teamwork, professionalism, bravery, investigations and gallantry. Prior to retiring, Tony was involved in a number of investigations into online crime which has become a specialism.
Tony now provides initial incident advice and support and his extensive experience and specialism are of particular relevance to our clients in the youth and education sectors.
Charlotte Britton – Social Media Consultant
Charlotte has worked in the internet and digital marketing industries for the past 21 years. With roles ranging from senior project manager, Internet Shopping for ASDA in 1997 to Marketing Director at a leading Open Source Technology company in 2003 to managing online strategies for leading UK brands.
Her knowledge of technology and online social media user behaviour give her a depth of experience for managing incidents and crisis intervention online. Charlotte support Pharos’ clients during major issues and critical incidents by helping to monitor and manage online discussions which is key to successful online crisis communication, especially in the world of instant news and social media. Outside work Charlotte is a keen open water swimmer, climber and hill walker.
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.
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.