09 Jun

ABTA LifeLine appoints two new Trustees to the ABTA LifeLine board

ABTA LifeLine, ABTA’s charity that supports professionals in the travel industry, is delighted to announce the appointment of two new Trustees to the ABTA LifeLine board. 

Claire Stirrup, Sales Director, UK & Ireland at Celebrity Cruises and Chris North, Managing Director of Vertical Systems Ltd have joined the board effective immediately and each bring a wealth of industry experience and enthusiasm for ABTA LifeLine to their new roles. 

Claire’s appointment brings a cruise representation on to the board for the first time as well as her extensive knowledge of working with the travel agent community. She has long been a committed supporter of ABTA LifeLine, most recently as a driving force behind the Celebrity Loves Agents campaign in January this year which raised an impressive £10,000 for the charity.

Chris’ appointment further strengthens his commitment to tackling the stigma around mental health and builds on his existing relationship with ABTA LifeLine as a Get Travel Talking mental health champion, the peer-to-peer support network established by TTG and LifeLine during the pandemic. He is keen to raise the profile of the support LifeLine provides to the travel community and help the charity achieve its fundraising goals.  

Of the appointment, Claire Stirrup, Sales Director, UK & Ireland at Celebrity Cruises said:

“Having worked closely with ABTA LifeLine throughout my career in travel, I am honoured to join the board as Trustee for this meaningful charity. Latterly, in my role as Sales Director at Celebrity Cruises, I have seen the valuable contribution ABTA Lifeline makes to our industry and to those experiencing significant hardship. Travel continues to face challenges, and ABTA LifeLine provides support for those who need it most. Those are the very same people who we rely on as businesses for their expertise and support. I am looking forward to giving something back to this industry that has been my home for the last 35 years.”

Chris North, Managing Director of Vertical Systems Ltd added:

“I’m delighted to be joining the board at ABTA LifeLine. I’ve spent the past 26 years within the travel industry and must say what a brilliant industry it is! The beating heart our industry is the amazing people. I hope I can give something back, especially to those in need of some help.”
Warmly welcoming the two new appointments, Derek Jones, Chair of ABTA LifeLine and

Managing Director of Der Touristik UK said:

“Having two experienced players like Claire and Chris with us will bring a new dynamic to the board of Trustees and I know their commitment will bring fresh ideas and opportunities. I couldn’t be prouder of the work we’ve been doing to support our colleagues in the travel industry through the most difficult period any of us have ever known. We’ve got more to do and I’m looking forward to having Claire and Chris alongside us to support Trudie and the team achieve their fundraising goals and continue to get help to those who need it.”

The ABTA LifeLine board is made up of a mix of people who are active across all sectors of the travel industry in order to ensure a good range of support and opinions. For more information about ABTA LifeLine, visit www.abtalifeline.org.uk.

Notes to editors

ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 70 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence. The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA has around 4,000 travel brands in Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined pre-pandemic annual UK turnover of £40 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the UK public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com.