We Are Randox | Carole Smyth’s Girl Guides Adventures
We’re passionate about celebrating the kindness and generosity of our Randox employees. Each have their own unique and interesting story to tell and many give up their spare time to support their local community and help those in need.
Their compassion and commitment is what makes Randox the successful company it is today, and nobody demonstrates this better than our Logistics Team Leader, Carole Smyth.
Carole volunteers her time as Unit Leader of 2nd Antrim Girl Guides, a group of girls and young women who together, take part in activities designed to help them reach their potential and take an active and responsible role in the world around them.
As we continue our #WeAreRandox series of staff stories, we are delighted to have found out about the work Carole does with the Girl Guides.
We love getting to know the hobbies and interests that make our colleagues who they are, and hope that Carole’s story encourages other members of our team to consider some voluntary work in their local community.
By the sounds of it, Carole thinks it is an incredibly rewarding experience. Here’s her story.
I’ve been involved in the Girl Guides for 11 years now, having been encouraged to join by my sister-in-law Donna.
The organisation is entirely led by volunteers and therefore reliant on people signing up to commit to a few hours a week delivering Girl Guide activities.
My role as Unit Leader of 2nd Antrim Guides, along with two other leaders, is to ensure the girls have a varied programme and can gain access to activities they wouldn’t normally have access to. This can vary from arts and crafts to science workshops, cooking to camping, and dancing to orienteering.
Each activity aims to promote skills in the likes of leadership, listening, sharing and above all, developing the courage to take on new adventures and exciting challenges.
And it’s not just the girls who get the chance to embark on these adventures. Given my fear of heights, zip lining wasn’t exactly high up on my to do list, but when you have a group of Guides giving you “gentle” encouragement, what can you do?
Another highlight with the Girl Guides for me was June last year when I attended the Trooping of the Colour for the Queen’s birthday. Along with a few other leaders and girls, we were given access to the Youth Enclosure at the entrance to the Horse Guards Parade – a prime viewing spot to see the Royal Family. Then we were escorted to Buckingham Palace up the Mall, and even made it on to TV (if you don’t blink at that specific 0.1 second moment!)
The whole procession was just amazing and it was so special to be able to share this memory with my two daughters, one of whom is a Rainbow (ages 4-7) and the other a Brownie (ages 7-10). As a parent, I love that through Girl Guiding they have the opportunity to meet girls from other backgrounds and beliefs, and as I mentioned before, learn new skills and take part in lots of different activities, as well as earn Guiding-specific awards. From First Aid and World Cultures to Singing and Chocolate (yes you can gain a Chocolate badge – what’s not to love?), all of these awards look great on the girls’ CVs or university application forms.
And if you volunteer to be a leader, you can also study for new qualifications – in first response, hiking, catering or Duke of Edinburgh, to name but a few. Personally though, my favourite thing about being a Girl Guides leader is the opportunity to see the girls grow and develop during their time with us. I am able to witness shy girls gaining more confidence, girls with learning difficulties or health complications taking part in different activities that they would normally shy away from, and in general, just seeing all our girls enjoying their time together and making lasting friendships.
It sounds corny but I myself have also met lots of fantastic leaders during the last 11 years who I can now call lifelong friends. The bonds we as leaders, and the girls, make when we go away on our annual day trips, overnight stays, and camping adventures are quite unique.
This year our unit is attending an outdoor camp (our first overnight outdoor experience!) along with other units from our county. Last year, we took our Guides to Dunluce Guide House for our unit holiday and enjoyed a spot of horse riding, and last November we took part in UK Parliament Week by attending an evening at Stormont, where we met Arlene Foster. A few of our girls also took part in an activity day organised by Ulster Rugby at which they learned some basic rugby skills and had the opportunity to interact with Guides from all over Ulster.
The activities we offer to our Girl Guides are truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and I am proud that I am part of such a special organisation.
We’re very proud of Carole and the amazing work she does with Girl Guides, and are delighted that she has taken the time to share her story with us.
If you would like some further information on Girl Guiding, you can visit www.girlguiding.co.uk to register your interest.
For more We Are Randox stories about our amazing colleagues, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #WeAreRandox.
For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com