In 2019, Michaela Ingham was nominated for a prestigious Themis Inspire and Achieve Award and named as "one to watch". With the travel industry currently greatly affected by COVID-19 and uncertainty over when travel restrictions will be lifted, her pivotal role in the accounts department of Burnley firm Althams Travel Ltd has never been more critical.
"Althams Travel has been in existence for more than 140 years and I want to make sure we get another 140!" says Michaela. ‘"We’ve had to restructure our senior management team, manage cashflow, help our customers with cancellations and processing refunds and, ultimately, try to rebook travel where we can. It’s clearly a very stressful experience but what’s apparent is that there’s never been a greater need for a travel presence on the high street as we are in the position to help our customers in person.
She addS: "We’ve also coordinated Althams drivers and vehicle fleet to help the NHS – delivering prescriptions and driving patients to hospital appointments. It’s nice to be able to do something positive and proactive and keep important members of our workforce busy."
Michaela is certainly gaining new skills and knowledge in crisis management that many will never experience in a lifetime: "Althams takes on a number of apprentices across the region each year and I want to make sure there’s a future for them all. Our small team is working around the clock to not only untangle all our customers' difficulties, but to ensure that, once the COVID-19 crisis is over, business can resume fully – because everyone will certainly need a holiday!"