We Are Randox | Eamon Lenehan, Randox Rockstar Extraordinaire

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We Are Randox | Eamon Lenehan, Randox Rockstar Extraordinaire

Creativity can take many forms.  And there’s nobody who seems to embody this saying better than our Global Marketing Manager, Eamon Lenehan.

By day he’s a Marketing Guru coming up with creative and innovative campaigns for Randox products. But by night he’s a rockstar in a Northern Irish Indie Band – playing drums and writing new songs!

As we continue our #WeAreRandox series of staff stories, we’re delighted to have found out about Eamon’s musical alter-ego.

We love getting to know the hobbies and interests that make our colleagues who they are and hope that Eamon’s story encourages other musical members of our team to meet up, chat about their shared interests and find out just a little bit more about each other.

Here’s Eamon’s story.

My background in music is something I’m very proud of but just never get the chance to talk about at work because I’m always so busy!  At Randox I head up the Marketing for the clinical side of our business – our RX Series clinical chemistry analysers, Randox Quality Control, and our Randox Reagents.  I’m also heavily involved in the Marketing for the Randox Health Grand National so I’m never short of work to do!

Basically I’ve always been musical.  I grew up in a musical household and learnt to play the piano from a very young age. As my interest in music grew I then took up the drums too.  I still practice regularly and I’m often asked to play in bands or orchestras at musical performances by local production companies.

In my teens I was lucky that a good number of my friends were musical too and so quite early on we became involved in the Belfast music scene.  I got to know the sound team at the Empire Music Hall and also Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol who is very supportive of up and coming musicians.  In 1996 I was lucky enough to be part of a band who supported Snow Patrol.  That was long before they became so well-known, back when they were just part of the university scene in Belfast. I learnt so much from them.

As time went on I had the opportunity to become involved in an increasing number of musical projects to build up my experience.  For example, I was involved in a project that Paul Cook from The Sex Pistols was producing, which was amazing, especially for a fellow drummer.

I guess my friends and I became inspired by all the musical talent that we had grown up around and had been lucky enough to work with.  We took inspiration from bands we had been in previously – I myself had been in a band called The Scenes – and then in 2010 we pulled together and started up our own band in a studio in Northern Ireland called Mogul Studios. 

The band was called Levity Breaks – made up of myself on drums, singer and bassist Marty McLaughlin, keyboardist Jonny McGuiness and guitarist Richie Lappin. You can do a quick google search and find some of our songs very easily. 

I’m most proud of a song we wrote called ‘The Floor’, the video of which was produced for us by Maverick Renegade Productions. It was our début single and it did really well because it’s a big, anthem-style tune which evokes a lot of emotion.  We got to perform in gigs across Belfast including The Limelight.

Once again we were lucky to receive support from Gary Lightbody’s artist development company, Third Bar.  We were selected by the company to receive the Bushmills Live Legacy Fund in 2014, which meant we received some funding and also performed alongside headliners The 1975 and Tired Pony during Bushmills Live in the summer of that year.

It was such a fantastic time in my life and I’m proud to have been part of something so huge.  I am now doing some session work for a band called The Irontown Diehards and am excited to bring my experiences and ideas to their new album.

I have two passions in life; marketing and music, and I’m hoping that my talents in the former will help promote my involvement in the latter.  It all boils down to creativity and that’s what I love about both of my interests.  Of course knowing Gary Lightbody doesn’t hurt either…

 

Randox wouldn’t be the innovative and forward-thinking healthcare company it is today without the creativity and hard work of people like Eamon.  We’re delighted he’s part of our team and that he brings his enthusiasm, commitment and talent with him every day to Randox.

If you want to hear some of Eamon’s music you can check him out in action on the drums here:

We can’t stop listening!

Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to stay up-to-date with the hashtag #WeAreRandox for more Randox staff stories.

For more information about the #WeAreRandox initiative please contact Randox PR by email: randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413


We Are Randox | Tanya McKinty, Theater Choreographer turned R&D Scientist

Nerdy scientist by day but all singing all dancing performer by night – is there anything that Tanya McKinty can’t do?

Tanya works in the new state-of-the-art Randox Science Park as an R&D scientist but is also busy preparing for her roles as Lambeth landlady Mrs. Brown and Pearly Queen in the musical comedy ‘Me and My Girl.’

Tanya is performing this evening and the rest of the week (9th – 13th May) in the Grand Opera House and so we wanted to celebrate her talents and hard work with a feature piece on her personal musical story.

Good luck tonight Tanya!

Read on to find out how Tanya balances her scientific career and her passion for performing arts. 

Hi Tanya, can you tell us a little bit about how you got started here in Randox?

I joined the company in 1993 after completing my PhD in Physical Chemistry and was involved in the early development work on the Randox biochips.  But I have always loved studying so I did a Maths degree part time with the Open University and correspondence courses in spreadsheets, databases and VB programming. Now my official title is Data Analyst and I spend most of my time analysing data and devising problem-solving workbooks and macros for many departments throughout the company.

So how did you get into musical theatre given your strong background in Science and Maths?

I have been performing on stage since I was seven years old. My family was involved in ‘Those Who Care’ (TWC) which was a company set up by Tom McMurtry to provide entertainment to the staff and patients in Muckamore Abbey Hospital. They put on spring revue shows and Christmas pantomimes. I started as a dancer and then as I grew older I gradually began getting more acting roles. My first big acting role was when I was sixteen were I played the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. After that I got involved with some of the amateur companies in Belfast that staged musicals.

I always had a great interest in dance and attended ballet and tap until I was 18. I took jazz, hip hop contemporary and musical theatre dance lessons as well.  In 2013 I received my Diploma in Musical Theatre from the London College of Music.  Since then I have taken part in a range of different acting workshops and play the piano occasionally. I was always more interested in music theory rather than music practice because I was quite mathematical. I reached grade five in theory and grade four in practice.

What do you do now in terms of acting?

Right now I am preparing to play the roles of Lambeth landlady Mrs. Brown and Pearly Queen in the musical comedy ‘Me and My Girl’. This is with St Agnes’ Choral Society and will take place in the Grand Opera House from the 9th-13th May. We have been rehearsing for past four months for it so I’m really looking forward to showcasing it to a public audience.

Can you tell us a bit about the preparation that has gone into ‘Me and My Girl’?

The early rehearsals involved learning all the music with our musical director. Most of the choral numbers are (at least) four part harmony and it’s important to get that drilled first so that when you start adding movement the harmonies are second nature and you only have to focus on what your feet are doing.

We then started learning the choreographed routines. There are some fast-paced numbers in this show so you really have to build up stamina to sing and dance at the same time. After that we start putting it all together with the dialogue scenes to learn where everything fits into place and when to make entrances and exits.

The week before the show is the most exciting but also the most exhausting. Stage manager, props team, sound and lighting all come along to rehearsals and we have the costume call where we get to see what the costumiers have sent over for us to wear. Then it’s into the Opera House for band call (singing with the full orchestra), tech rehearsal to mark scene changes and identify any technical issues and then dress rehearsal.

How did you get started with St Agnes’ Choral Society?

My friend was choreographing ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ for the company and they were short on dancers so she asked me to come in for the show. Everyone in the company was so friendly and welcoming and there was just a great family feel to it. So I auditioned to officially join the company and I haven’t looked back.

Can you tell us the names of any plays that you have starred in?

To date my two biggest roles have probably been Mrs Meers in ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ and Lorraine in ‘Boogie Nights’ which was a 70s musical. I’ve also had roles in ‘42nd Street’, ‘West Side Story’, ‘The Sound of Music’, ‘Hairspray’ and ‘9 to 5’ as well as others. My favourite character to play would be the villain or to have a good comedy role. I think Mrs Meers has been one of my favourite characters to play as she is a bit of both.

What has been the highlight of your time in St Agnes’ Choral Society to date?

By far the best highlight for me was being nominated as ‘Best Comedienne’ at the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS). The AIMS has an adjudication scheme which considers all the musicals staged by amateur companies throughout Ireland. In June they have an awards weekend with a ceremony on the Saturday night very much in the style of the Oscars which is very glamorous. In 2011 I got nominated for my role as Mrs Meers. Although I didn’t win I still got an award for the mantelpiece, plus I didn’t have to make any acceptance speech which was a bonus I quite enjoyed.

Are there any upcoming plays happening after ‘Me and My Girl’?

Yes, we put on a show every year so the next one will be next year at some point. We haven’t announced which show yet but when it’s announced I’ll make sure to let you know. We perform an annual show in the Grand Opera House and then have a concert program for the rest of the year.

What do you enjoy most about acting in all of these plays?

I love reading and analysing a script to get an insight into a character. I also love telling a story no matter how complicated it is and experimenting with different ways to bring that character to life. I have worn an enormous fat suit and danced on a table, chased people around the stage with a (fake) shotgun and been the office drunk. But my favourite thing is working together with a team of people to give an audience an experience.

How did you get involved in choreographing shows throughout NI?

I started choreographing for the TWC because I had the most dance experience. I then joined Ulster Operatic and became dance captain (probably because I was the bossiest dancer!) and then started choreographing for them. After that I got approached by different companies to work with them.

What shows have you choreographed?

Lots! My favourites have been 42nd Street, High School Musical (I and II), Little Shop of Horrors, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Sister Act and Sunset Boulevard.

Do you have any other interests/hobbies outside of work?

I love to read if I can find time. My favourite genre would be historical novels.

What led you to pursue a career in science over acting?

I have always been a science geek! I got my first chemistry set when I was 11 and loved puzzles and problem-solving so I was always destined to be a scientist.

How do you manage your time between Randox and rehearsals?

Usually rehearsals are only once or twice a week so it’s not too bad. When we are rehearsing for a show our big rehearsals tend to be at the weekend. It can be exhausting but you get such a buzz from it that it’s worth it.

We’re so proud of Tanya and her commitment and dedication to her musical passion.  We know she will do so well in the Grand Opera House this evening and can’t wait to hear how it goes!

Break a leg!

If you are interested in joining our global team make sure that you check out the Randox careers website to see what new opportunities we have for you.

 #WeAreRandox


March / April Edition

March / April Edition

We are delighted to be able to share with you the March/April 2017 edition of our We Are Randox staff newsletter!

Click on the image for a range of company and staff news from the past two months – including Randox Health Grand National memories, news from our Belfast City Marathon teams, and a bunch of exciting staff weddings and engagements!

** Please note that image links work most efficiently in your Google Chrome browser**


We Are Randox | James Crilly’s adventures in Zambia

This week our WeAreRandox feature is a story from James Crilly, one of our QC Marketing Executives. Before James came to work in Randox he travelled to Misisi  as part of Project Zambia. James took some time out to reflect on his Zambian adventure and tell us a little bit about what he got up to. 

“Back when I attended St Mary’s Grammar school in Belfast I applied to take part in Project Zambia. It’s a Belfast based registered charity that first started up in 2002 by Dr Donaldson from St Marys CBGS Belfast. The aim of project Zambia is to help support and empower host communities to develop solutions to their problems and difficulties.

“Dr Donaldson had been my RE teacher and had always entertained during lessons with videos, pictures and old stories of Zambia. So when I finally reached Upper Sixth and had the opportunity to apply to take part in Project Zambia I jumped at it. We were told at the time that those with the best AS results would be given first priority.  The next day at assembly they called out the names of the 13 students who had been chosen and thankfully I made the cut. We teamed up with thirteen other students from St Dominic’s Girls’ School and started to prepare for our journey together that Easter.

“As part of the process we each had to raise £1500 that would go towards our flights, hostels, food and equipment. One of the first ideas I had was to complete a 10K run at Shaw’s bridge. However on the day of the run there was snow! I decided I would go ahead with the fundraiser despite the weather and turned the 10K run into a 10K walk. I organised church talks in my local parish where I spoke to the local community about Project Zambia. There was a lot of interest and I managed to raise £2500 which I put straight into my ‘Zambia Funds’ piggybank.  One lady who came up to me after the mass donated £500 which was amazing. I also did a 24 hour fast and my old primary school ‘Holy Trinity’ hosted a non-uniform day which raised £450.

“I remember being surprised when we touched down in Zambia airport to see how developed it was. When you think about Zambia the first thing that comes to mind is poverty but the airport was quite surprising. It wasn’t like Heathrow airport but there were a couple of shops, you could get a coffee and they had different terminals. It was worlds apart from where we were going to be.

“When we arrived in Lusaka, Zambia one of the first places we went was called Misisi. This was a slum that could be found right along a railway track. Misisi has been identified as one of the five worst slums in Sub-Saharan Africa so it isn’t hard to imagine the horrific scenes we encountered here. I can honestly say it’s probably one of the worst places I have ever seen with sewage, rubbish and urine everywhere. But right in the middle of it is a little school called St Catherine’s which housed all the children from the Misisi area. The school was literally just a couple of small buildings and right around the buildings was a stone wall with a huge cast iron gate. When we asked why such a rundown area would go to such measures we were told it was built to stop men from getting in and kidnapping the children for prostitution.

“Finding this out really shocked us and we decided to help the school appear more child friendly and welcoming for the children. We painted all the classrooms, hung up numbers pictures and those who were artistic drew images of Disney characters on the classroom walls. We also built a toilet because if the children needed to go to the bathroom they had to go out the back and into a small brick shelter that had a small little bucket. Once they had finished they had to throw the content in the bucket down a hole which ran out into the compound adding to the horrific smell and unsanitary conditions.

“Another place that we visited was ‘The Home of Hope’ which was just outside Misisi and was made up of two large metal containers and run by a priest called Brother Isaac. It housed boys who were anything between 6 months old to 18 years old and there were about 40 children in total there.  There was one classroom and one bedroom which had six bunk beds in it. You got about two children to each bunk and the rest had to sleep on the floor. As you can imagine there was rivalry between the children to see who got to sleep in the bunk beds and usually the older children over-ruled the younger children.

“While there we helped put the finishing touches to the roof of the school they were building and cleaned up the surrounding area. It was overrun with weeds and high grass which wasn’t really safe for the children. We wanted them to be able to play safely on the grounds and if they fell and hurt themselves they wouldn’t have access to any medical supplies. I was here for about four days and really got the opportunity to interact with all the kids. They were interested in sports and loved playing football with us. So one afternoon we went into the nearest shopping centre and bought them basketball hoops, footballs, football nets, basketball nets board games, chalks and pencils which they loved.

“Another memory I have of being there was attending the funeral of the son of Peter Tembo, co-founder of Project Zambia. There were 100s and 100s of Zambian people there and only about 20 of us from the school. They called us ‘Mazungus’ which means white person. It might seem strange to say it was a privilege to attend the funeral but this was very much unheard of in Zambia. White people didn’t get asked to come along to local funerals which shows the high regard that they had for Project Zambia and its volunteers. The white people who live in Zambia live behind guarded 15 foot high walls and razor sharp barbed wire. They have golf courses and swimming pools and live in a completely different world from the local Zambian people. The locals would have never have seen the light of day in their territory.  You would know who had money and who didn’t even among the Zambians by whether or not they had hair. A lot of people had shaved heads due to head lice and had no shoes and dirty rags on their back.

“One of the last places I went to was Kabwata Orphanage which was run by two nuns. Here there were about 70 children who had either been abandoned by their family or had none. We did a bit of DIY work which involved putting up bunkbeds, chests of drawers and paintings. Here I had the pleasure of meeting one little guy called Mosses who came to Kabwata Orphanage when he was only one years old. He had been abandoned and left on the roadside in a moses basket and that’s how he got his name. He’s now sixteen and doing really well in school. He has high aspirations for the future and possibly could be become a teacher which is a career that is looked upon highly in Zambia.

“On Easter Saturday before we left we stayed in a hostel and about half a mile away, there was a large church. One day we decided to go and check it out and as we were walking up to it you could hear music and people singing. Once we turned the corner of the church I saw a sea of thousands of Zambians: there were men beating on drums and women dressed in their Sunday best, waving palms and dancing and singing, creating waves of colour below me. It was sight I will never forget. These people had literally nothing but yet were so happy and welcoming to us. We got to join in on the celebration which was amazing and I would honestly go back tomorrow if I got the chance.

“My little brother Owen is going over on 27th June for ten days so I decided to help him out by doing a bun sale in Randox. I was up till midnight the night before baking and we raised £243.89 which was great. He’s also going to be doing a 10K run at Black Mountain and a non-uniform day in his old primary school. I had saved about £200 from when I went to Zambia because I knew one day he would go himself. I kept it in a little red container and my mum hid it in her room so no-one could get to it.  He said he might shave his head but that depends on how well the rest of the fundraising goes! I’ll make sure to keep you updated on that one.”

For more information about fundraising at Randox please contact randoxpr@randox.com


We Are Randox | Randox Runners raise money for The Alzheimer’s Society in the Belfast City Marathon

Yesterday we had two Randox teams compete in the Belfast City Marathon, in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Suzanne Smillie, Fintan Geoghegan, Ciaran Orchin, Ashleigh McKinstry and Rebecca Molloy made up The Incredible Immunoglobins team. They finished in a fantastic time of 4:23:45, in 1074th position.

Katie Lawther, Maeve McAllister, Michael Thompson, Chloe Carlin and Mark Spence ran as The Marvellous Monoclonals and finished in an impressive 4:02:28, which put them into 560th position.

We are delighted to announce that so far both teams have collectively raised a fabulous £566.64 for The Alzheimer’s Society, with donations continuing to flood in!

A huge congratulations to both teams for taking on this amazing challenge and for raising so much money for such a worthwhile cause.

 

Upon completing the marathon, Team Captain of the Marvellous Monoclonals, Katie Lawther told us;

“The race was fantastic, the hot weather made it tough going but it was much better than rain!  The atmosphere was electric in the whole city with the streets lined with people cheering every runner on. 

“During the first 3 legs the two teams ran together, and then within the last two legs my team clinched the victory! On the day though we were just glad everyone finished and ran so well, it felt like everyone had won so that was an amazing feeling. There were also a few other people running for Alzheimer’s Society which was great to see.

“After the race we all met at the finish line to collect our medals, and then we all headed to eat lunch in Stranmillis along the river which was really lovely. An amazing part of my day was seeing Laura Graham coming over the finish line, she is the first Northern Irish winner in 18 years!”

 

The Incredible Immunoglobulins Team Captain, Suzanne Smillie, commented;

“None of us can believe how lucky we were with the weather – though there are a few burnt scientists around the Firfields site today, myself included!

“The race went very well (aside from a little changeover confusion at the start of Leg 4 for The Incredible Immunoglobulins – Fintan and I could not find each other which lead to a separation between the two teams who, until that point, were neck and neck). The Marvellous Monoclonals won the battle completing the 26.2 mile course in just over four hours.

“I would like to say a big thank you for everybody’s support at Randox, and for your donations.  It is very much appreciated.”

 

If you would still like to donate to our Marathon Runner’s Just Giving page you can do so by clicking on the link below:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TheMarvellousMonoclonalsandTheIncredibleImmunoglobulins

Thank you for your generosity.


We Are Randox | The Marvellous Monoclonals and The Incredible Immunoglobulins go head-to-head in the Belfast City Marathon in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society

Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Liverpool and Everton.

Sport has produced some of history’s greatest rivalries.

But none of them will compare to Monday 1st May 2017 when Randox rivals The Marvellous Monoclonals, and The Incredible Immunoglobins go head-to-head during the much-anticipated, 42km-long Belfast City Marathon, to raise funds for The Alzheimer’s Society.

We chatted to the two team captains ahead of the big race to hear what they think about their chances of victory.

Suzanne Smillie, Team Captain, The Incredible Immunoglobins

What made you decide to pull together a team to run The Belfast Marathon?

Suzanne: We all work in the Biotechnology department but across three separate teams – Monoclonal Development, Monoclonal Production and the Polyclonal team.  So although we all work in the same division of the company we don’t all necessarily know each other. So I thought teaming up to do the Belfast Marathon together would be good way to get to know each other, to put some faces to names and to do a bit of team building.

Who’s in your team?

Suzanne: In my team I have myself, Fintan Geoghegan, Ciaran Orchin, Ashleigh McKinstry and Rebecca Molloy.

How did you decide which leg of the race each runner is going to do?

Suzanne: It was a bit of a negotiation really, just trying to figure out who wanted to do what!  I have actually run in the Belfast Marathon relay event before so I was happy to let those who hadn’t done it before pick first.

What training have you been doing in preparation for the race?

Suzanne: We each started at different stages and have each had a different experience during our training. Rebecca in my team had never run before at all but has really taken an interest in the past month.  I think she has a pretty addictive personality – she told me that she is now running 3 times a week with her boyfriend!  She must be enjoying it because she told me that she thinks she’s going to keep it up even after we complete the marathon.

Do any of you have any previous running or marathon experience?

Suzanne: Some of the boys do a bit of running in their spare time, and Ciaran is really sporty.  He plays GAA and is definitely the most athletic out of all of us. Chloe on Katie’s team also plays a lot of hockey.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge you will be faced with on Monday?

Suzanne: There’s rain and potential snow forecast for Monday! Rebecca says she’d rather have a bit of refreshing rain than too much heat but I’m just worried about having the wind beating against my face!  From running the marathon before I know that it’s really difficult to run against the wind.

Who is your team’s fastest runner?

Suzanne: Ciaran will be the fastest!

Who is the most competitive runner?

Suzanne: Without a doubt Fintan is the most competitive runner.  He’s running against Michael in the other team and they are good friends, working in the same lab, so they’ll be quite competitive running directly against each other.

Ashleigh and Mark will also be quite competitive when they run against each other in the last leg, the glory leg.  On Facebook Ashleigh wrote “Eat my dust!” to him!

Has there been anyone not pulling their weight and needs to up their training over the weekend?

Suzanne: I’m going to up my fundraising game over the weekend by hosting a fundraiser on Sunday night with my choir!

What makes you think you’re going to win?

Suzanne: We’re a shorter team so we’re more aerodynamic.

Have you been keeping track of the other team’s training regimes and progress?

Suzanne: Rebecca has been nominated as my official team spy and I have sent her out in her car to follow the other team when they’re running.

I myself have a very particular set of skills. I’m a champion Facebook creeper and have been following the other team’s updates and statuses to make sure they aren’t sneaking in a cheeky set of press-ups in the tearoom on their lunch breaks.

Any hiccups along the way?

Suzanne: Ciaran had a hamstring injury and Maeve got a clicky hip but thankfully nobody has suffered anything too serious!

What are you most looking forward to about the race?

Suzanne: Having done the marathon before I know that being there is just the most incredible experience.  The feeling of being part of something bigger than you is a wonderful feeling and it’s truly special to be one of the thousands of people who come together to do something for other people less fortunate than us.

Regardless of the weather we’ll know that we’re doing something for the benefit of others and that’s a great feeling.

Anyone you think might be a sore loser?

Suzanne: Fintan! We’re all in agreement on that one.  Possibly Ashleigh as well if Mark beats her during the last leg.

Any forfeits for the losing team?

Suzanne: Rebecca had a good idea that we could get the other team to calibrate our pipettes for a month if we win. Or that they have to take out our clinical waste for us.

But eventually we landed on them making us our lunch every day for a month.

Katie Lawther, Team Captain, The Marvellous Monoclonals

How did you pick who was going to be in your team?

Katie: It was a totally random draw! We put names in a hat and just made sure that the teams were equally weighted with two men and three women in each.

Who’s in your team?

Katie: There’s Maeve McAllister, Michael Thompson, Chloe Carlin, Mark Spence and myself.

How did you decide which leg of the race each runner is going to do?

Katie: Some people knew which leg they wanted to run and others didn’t mind.  In my team specifically, Maeve had taken part in the relay before and had run the first leg, so she wanted to do it again because she had enjoyed it the last time.  She enjoys being at the starting line!

How did you decide which charity to run for?

Katie: I asked everyone if they had any particular charities they were passionate about, because I’m very passionate about The Alzheimer’s Society myself.  My Granny, who helped to raise me alongside my mum, was diagnosed with it when I was younger and so I ended up helping to care for her with my mum and sister.

When I told people that I’d like us to run in aid of The Alzheimer’s Society it turned out that other people had personal experiences with it too.  Maeve’s friend’s father passed away from Alzheimer’s when was he quite young and so she likes to fundraise for it when she can.

I think everyone has been affected by it in some form or another so we were all in agreement that it was the charity to go for.

We’re also actively involved in research and development into Alzheimer’s disease here in the Randox Biotechnology team so it just felt like the perfect fit.

What training have you been doing in preparation for the race?

Katie: We’ve each trained according to our own needs and schedules.  Michael in my team has been training for months because he wouldn’t be a natural runner yet he has one of the longest legs of the race.  Personally I’ve been swimming a couple of times a week to improve my fitness.

Do you think your teamwork in the lab will help you work as a team during the marathon?

Katie: Maeve and I are best friends in work so I’m really going to enjoy the moment Maeve passes the baton over to me.  When I see her coming I’m going to be cheering her on!

Do any of you have any previous running or marathon experience?

Katie: Ciaran is the sportiest out of all of us but unfortunately he’s on the other team! I imagine he will be Suzanne’s secret weapon…

Who is your team’s fastest runner?

Katie: Definitely Maeve! She’s going to do it for the girls.

Who is the most competitive runner?

Katie: In my team Mark is pretty competitive, and certainly has been with regards to fundraising. He’s on Facebook every single night promoting our team and bringing in the donations. He wants to have raised the most money!

Has there been anyone not pulling their weight and therefore needs to up their training over the weekend?

Katie: Maeve and I are going to have one final push on our training over the weekend.  Between the two of us we make up the Organising Committee for the teams and so we’ve spent quite a lot of time fussing and arranging rather than training!

What makes you think you’re going to win?

Katie: Suzanne seems to think our team is taller than hers and we are therefore less aerodynamic. Personally it’s the first time I’ve ever been called tall so I’ll take it!

Our long giraffe-like limbs will help us win.

Any sabotage going on?

Katie: Ciaran brought in a 5KG bag of M&Ms a few days ago and strategically left them on the desk I share with Maeve. He’s been trying to fatten us up!

Maeve naively thought that he was trying to give us a nice energy boost but I saw the sabotage for what it really was.

What are you most looking forward to about the race?

Katie: I know I speak on behalf of everyone in my team when I say that we’re all looking forward to meeting up at the finishing line, watching Mark and Ashleigh finish the final leg, cheering them on and finishing the marathon together as a team.

I’m also looking forward to seeing our fundraising total after all the hard work we’ve done.  We’ll do an official handover to the Alzheimer’s Society with the help of the Randox Internal Communications team.

It will be such a special moment handing over our well-earned funds to such a worthwhile cause.

Any forfeits for the losing team?

Katie: We want to do a lab swap like when Monica and Rachel swap apartments with Joey and Chandler!

Any celebration plans for when the race is over?

Katie: We’re all going to go to Cutter’s Wharf for a celebratory meal together. We’re all very much looking forward to it.

Our two marathon teams will join 17,500 runners taking part in the race on Bank Holiday Monday and will together be raising funds for the very worthy Alzheimer’s society, the only UK charity investing in research into dementia care, cause, cure and prevention.

In 2015/16, for every £1 received by The Alzheimer’s Society, 89p was directly spent on improving the lives of people with dementia. The other 11p goes towards generating future income.

We’re very proud that our marathon runners are taking on this incredible challenge in the name of such an amazing charity and wish them all the very best.

It doesn’t matter who finishes first in the race, you are all winners in our eyes! Good luck!

To donate to our Marathon Teams’ fundraising efforts please click the link below to visit their Just Giving Fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TheMarvellousMonoclonalsandTheIncredibleImmunoglobulins

For more information about fundraising at Randox please contact randoxpr@randox.com

Our Marathon Runners left to right are: Fintan Geoghegan, Katie Lawther, Maeve McAllister, Ciaran Orchin, Chloe Carlin, Suzanne Smillie, Michael Thompson, Ashleigh McKinstry, Mark Spence and Rebecca Molloy

We Are Randox | Elena Lazarova, Robogals Mentor

Placement student Elena Lazarova who works in Randox Molecular Biology R&D Firfields site explains more about Robogals, a student-run global organisation that aims to inspire more girls to join STEM careers.

Founded in 2008 Robogals has chapters in several continents including Europe, Australia, Africa, and North America. The organization has reached over 50,000 girls aged from 5 to 18 years old and by 2020 aims to inspire over 100,000 girls by running free-of charge engineering and technology workshops in local communities.

“I was first introduced to Robogals when I saw one of their Manchester representatives at the Fresher’s fair at the University of Manchester. The LEGO robot that they had on the stall intrigued me with its simple design and ability to recognise distance thus saying ‘Hello!’ each time someone walked pass it.

As I had studied programming in middle school, I was keen to volunteer and find out more about these robots and the organisation. It turned out that the program behind the robot was mostly visual and not the coding I was used to therefore it was ideal as an introduction to programming. You’d think that a Biotechnology student would be out of place teaching robotics, but on the contrary it is incredibly fun and a good mental exercise. Also coming from a country where more than 30% of engineers are women (Bulgaria), I was surprised at the gender gap in the UK (less than 10% of engineers were women) and am keen to address the issue.

Since being taught how to use the robots I made sure to go to every session the Manchester chapter had, be it at local museums (each year we went to the Museum of Science and Industry’s Science Fair), libraries or schools. My enthusiasm and skill-set led to me being elected President of the Manchester chapter for a year and netted me over a 100 hours of volunteering.

Knowing I would have a placement year, and keen to continue being part of Robogals, I joined the regional Robogals EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) team as a Mentor. My current task is to assist and advice the chapters in the region on topics from volunteer involvement to sponsorship securement.

The last workshop I volunteered at was the Deer Shed Festival in Thirsk, Yorkshire during July 2016. It is a three day family-orientated festival which includes a Science Tent where Robogals Manchester has had a place for four years. It was my second time going to it and we taught over 150 girls and boys how to use our robots which include a LEGO guitar I had built the previous year.

Finishing the Lego guitar project is one of my favourite memories. Contrary to how long people think it took me to build it – it was only four hours. Since then it has become a great attraction and a good way of illustrating how one of the robot sensors works – the ultrasonic/distance sensor. I remember thinking at the festival how many people had brought their daughters to us to ask for advice about engineering pathways. There were also a good number of children who had attended our activity the previous year and wanted to partake again which was great to see as Robogals mission is to inspire, engage and empower young women into engineering and related fields.

Most of my activities so far as a Mentor have been online via email or voice chats. But last month I met various chapter executives in the EMEA region (mainly those in the UK) for our annual SINE (Seminars Inducting New Executives) conference. This year it was held in London and hosted by the London chapter at Imperial College London from 10th until 12th February. There I facilitated the activities and did presentations on skills to have and develop as part of Robogals.

These include learning how to program the robots using the LEGO Mindstorms NXT program and developing soft skills such as team work and presenting as well as teaching. During my time on the committee I was able to learn to liaise, organize workshops, event management, and leadership skills. Now as a Mentor I can share my experiences with other members of the organization whilst further developing what I have already learned in my time with Robogals (2.5 years so far).

Currently I am working on next year’s annual conference for the organisation. When I go back for my final year at the University of Manchester, I will definitely be going to workshops planned by the chapter there. Each time I’ve been to a workshop, I’ve always enjoyed how amazed the children are at the robots. Surprisingly, I’ve always thought I wouldn’t be good with children but I am enjoying being able to inspire them and to teach them more about the STEM world.

If you are interested in joining our global team make sure that you check out Randox careers website to see what new opportunities we have for you.

 #WeAreRandox


We Are Randox | Kathleen Keery named Randox Employee of the Year 2016 at the 3rd Annual Manufacturing Awards Dinner

Randox Packing Department Team Member Kathleen Keery has been named Randox Employee of the Year 2016.

Her award was announced on Friday 24th February 2017, when 139 staff from 34 manufacturing departments of Randox gathered together at The Templeton Hotel in Templepatrick, to connect with colleagues and celebrate the success of their teams at the annual Randox Manufacturing Awards Dinner.

John Campbell, Senior Manager began the evening with his opening address, and thanked all attendees for their hard work;

“Each year our manufacturing department grows in strength and this is thanks to the people working in it.  I am proud to be standing here to recognise our collective capabilities as a team and to celebrate our hard work – with good food and great company.”

Lean Co-Ordinator, Mark Campbell then shared an overview of the year’s manufacturing successes, and looked forward to the activities for the year ahead.

On the night, the following awards were presented:

  • Employee of the Month October 2016 was awarded to Jeanette Robb within our Packing Department.
  • Employee of the Month November 2016 was won by Lisa McHendry of our Conjugate / Antibody Production Team.
  • December 2016’s Employee of the Month was Gareth Bushe of Randox Speciality Controls.
  • The Randox Logistics Department was then named as Department of the Year 2016.

Following the presentation of these awards, all attention turned to Senior Manager John Campbell to announce the prestigious Employee of the Year Award 2016.

We are delighted to be able to share that this award went to Kathleen Keery of our Packing Department.

Kathleen commented;

“I am beyond proud to be able to say that I am Randox Employee of the Year 2016.  I work in such a talented and hard-working team at Randox, so I know there must have been fierce competition!  It was an incredible honour to be able to receive this award surrounded by my colleagues and friends and I would like to thank everybody who has congratulated me over the past number of days.  All the work we do at Randox is truly a team effort and so my award is as much for my team members within the Packing Department as it is for me.  I wouldn’t be able to do my job without them!”

John Campbell closed the night by congratulating Kathleen, and the Logistics team;

“I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate our award winners this evening – particularly the Logistics Team and Kathleen Keery – and to thank you all for the important part you play in making Randox a global leader in the diagnostics industry – manufacturing our products that we distribute all over the globe. Let’s look forward to an exciting and prosperous 2017 together, and I hope you enjoy the evening!”

For more information about the Manufacturing Awards please contact Randox PR by email: randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413


We Are Randox | Career opportunities in India and beyond

With a presence in as many as 145 different countries around the world, a lot of our Randox team work outside the UK. This week we headed in the direction of Asia and met up with Pankaj Chitkara, who is our National Sales Manager for the RX Series in India.

Hi Pankaj, can you tell me about your relocation?

When I first started with Randox I was based in Mumbai and then I relocated to New Delhi.  I have been with Randox for nearly ten years now and I am employed as the national sales manager for the RX Series – I love my job.

How did you find the relocation process?

I never really imagined relocating when I first started off in Randox but now I love living in New Delhi. I think because I am doing the exact same role as I did when I was based in Mumbai I am quite lucky because relocating didn’t involve starting off from scratch. I was saved from having to learn a whole new role as well as getting used to a whole new city, which I know can be a bit daunting. Of course, as with any move there are always a few hurdles you have to get passed before you’re fully settled in. House hunting usually takes a bit of time before you find something that’s right and then you have the hassles of packing and unpacking and getting your family all settled into their new home and routine. But overall relocating was never a big issue for me. I think if I was given the opportunity to relocate again I would definitely consider it. As long as there are opportunities to grow, learn and improve it can be a very positive experience.

Do you travel back to Mumbai often?

New Delhi is my home now so I don’t need to travel back to Mumbai. It’s roughly about two hours on the plane so if I needed to go back it wouldn’t be a problem. My parents currently live here so it was good to already have family near. They were able to help me get settled in and find somewhere to live.

How are you finding living in New Delhi?

There is loads to do and see here, and I am really enjoying the lifestyle that it offers. The weather is always on your side and I love the culture of the city.  The India Gate which is 42m high is like an archway in the middle of a crossroad. It was built to commemorate 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives during World War 1. At night it is beautifully lit up while the fountains nearby make a lovely display with coloured lights.

What has been the highlight of your relocation so far?

The highlight of my relocation definitely has been managing the business without an office. It’s fantastic!

If you would be interested in joining our team you can visit Randox careers to see what current opportunities we have available for you. #WeAreRandox


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