We Are Randox | Celine and Kenny dive into fundraising for AWARE NI
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 this month we have two Randox employees whose bravery and dedication emulates this perfectly.
Céline Hasson, Randox Customer Relationship Executive, and Kenny Galloway, Business Relations Manager are both taking to the skies on Saturday 18th May for a charity skydive in aid of one of our official charity partners, AWARE NI.
Below they both explain why they wanted to take part in the charity skydive, and what it means to them to be able to raise funds for the main depression charity for Northern Ireland.
Kenneth Galloway, Randox Health Business Relations Manager, commented;
“This year in 2019 so far we have already seen so many people take their own lives here in Northern Ireland. It’s so terribly heartbreaking and let’s face it, avoidable. Our help is needed more than ever which is why I have decided to conquer my fear of heights and hurl myself out of an airplane at 10,000 feet. I want to be able to raise awareness of this charity and to raise money to allow other people to benefit from what could be, to many, a life-changing service.
“Together we can make a difference, so I humbly ask you today to be a part of this great cause, by making a donation big or small.”
Céline Hasson, Customer Relationship Executive, added;
“People with mental health conditions deserve as much support and compassion as those will physical health conditions. So with this in mind I have signed myself up for a skydive in May with a goal to fundraise £500+ for AWARE NI.
“I’m sure every person reading this has either suffered or knows someone who has/is suffering from depression, so please donate to a great cause like AWARE NI. Let’s support them to help support others.”
Did you know?
- 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem each year
- Anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorders
- Overall prevalence of mental health conditions in Northern Ireland is up to 25% higher than in England
- 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems experience stigma and discrimination
What can you do?
Whilst Céline and Kenny have committed to a skydive with Moonjumpers Sky Diving, you have the easy part.
Simply make a donation and contribute to the very worthy AWARE NI, which has an established network of 24 support groups in rural and urban areas across the county, and also delivers mental health and well-being programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces.
To view Kenny’s JustGiving page please visit; https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kenny-jnr
To view Céline’s JustGiving page please visit; https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/celine-hasson1
For further information about Randox’s charity work with AWARE NI, please contact the Randox PR team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 028 9442 2413.
One of our favourite things about our We Are Randox series of staff interviews is the opportunity we are given to find out about the unique and interesting talents of our colleagues.
From creative bakers to melodious musicians, motivated Girl Guide leaders to athletic sportspeople, many of our staff are just as busy outside of the office as they are in it.
Take Tender Coordinator Stefan Campbell for instance. By day Stefan spends time identifying potential business for the company – conducting local and global searches, collating technical specifications and compiling financial information – but in the evenings and weekends he’s impressively one of the forwards for the Armagh Senior Footballers, a Gaelic Football team that competes at an all-Ireland level.
We caught up with Stefan to find out about his intense training regime, his goals for the future of his GAA career, and of course his advice for the newly-formed Randox GAA team!
Here’s Stefan’s story.
I suppose Gaelic Football has always run through the different generations of my family so it was only natural that I began playing at a young age. My brother John played for our local club Clan Na Gael, so after having played for St. Pauls Lurgan, I then moved to Clan Na Gael where he played. I’ve now been a member there for 16 years.
Our County Club, Armagh, then won their first All-Ireland Championship in 2002, with a team that included two players from Clan Na Gael, and so I was inspired to try out for my county myself. The rest as they say, is history.
I’m currently in my 7th season with the Armagh Senior Footballers, after having played for the U18 and U21 squads. My position is usually full forward, alongside two other team mates, however I do often rotate amongst the total line-up of 6 forwards.
Obviously being a forward I am expected to score in each game, and to give you an idea of figures I have had two games in the last week in which I scored 8 points against Antrim and 3 points against Monaghan. I therefore have to make sure to refine my skills in terms of scoring, passing, and timing of the tackle, but there is also quite a lot of emphasis on just simply working hard and putting in the effort to train, as it is an incredibly physical game. Typically, a county team trains 4 nights a week with 2 sessions being in the gym and 2 on the field, at the Callanbridge facility in Armagh.
I’ve played in the opening 3 games of The Dr McKenna Cup (a Gaelic Football competition between counties and universities in Ulster) thus far, and need to make sure I keep up my training so that I remain in the team for the upcoming matches. There is a lot of pressure coming from other very talented squad members, looking for their opportunity to impress, so I have to be on top form.
In the short-term, we have The Dr McKenna Cup Final against Tyrone this Saturday (in which I’m obviously hoping for a win!) and in the longer term I’m really hoping I can win an Armagh Championship with Clan Na Gael. I would also love to secure an Ulster Championship win with Armagh, which is a title I’m still searching for, even though I won the Railway Cup in 2017 playing for Ulster.
The Railway Cup is an annual tournament steeped in history, as it dates back as far as 1927. There is such a large pool of players to choose from when forming an Ulster team, so I know my family was very proud when I was selected, and even more so when we went on to defeat Connaught in the final. I loved the opportunity to play alongside teammates I’m usually competing against.
Another highlight of my GAA career was when I played Gaelic Football in New York, over the course of two summers. Although GAA is an Irish organisation, Gaelic Football is played all over the world in countries such as Dubai, Hong Kong, Australia and the USA, albeit at a lower level than it is played back home. Local players are poached and asked if they would be interested in playing for a particular team in the summer, while they set you up with a job and accommodation. In 2015 I was asked to play for Kerry New York and in 2017 for Westmeath New York, and I found the temptation to spend 3 months abroad, basically free of charge, too good to turn down.
For the record though, GAA is an amateur organisation and therefore as players we don’t get paid to do what we do. Don’t get me wrong, it has its perks, like the unique opportunity to play live on Sky or on the BBC, but ultimately, we play for the love of the sport, while representing our families and communities. It’s this passion that drives me each week to train consistently and improve my skills, even after a day’s work at the Randox office. I do often have long days during which I leave work, go straight to training, and arrive home at about 10.45pm, but it’s something I’m used to and prepare for accordingly. I will say though that it’s extremely difficult to get out of bed on Mondays having played a game the previous day!
As luck will have it, joining Randox means that I now have the opportunity to bring my two careers together, as the company has recently established its own GAA team, which recently competed in the FinTru Ulster Inter-Firms Competition. I don’t see any reason, that with a bit of luck, and the experience we now have from last year, why we can’t get bigger and better and reach this year’s final.
My advice would be to get the squad together as often as our other commitments will allow, to give us more time to polish up our skills, but also, importantly, to become more familiar with our teammates from other departments. I have often found that the most successful teams are not always the most talented, but those with a tighter bond – as they understand their fellow players, can anticipate their game play, and are willing to work that bit harder for one another.
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 further information please contact Randox PR by emailing email@example.com
The main depression charity for Northern Ireland, AWARE has an established network of 24 support groups in rural and urban areas across the country, and also delivers mental health and well-being programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces. Mind Your Mood is an initiative designed and managed by students at Ulster University to help break down the stigma of mental health and encourage students to access support.
Did you know that the prevalence of mental health conditions in Northern Ireland is up to 25% higher than in England, with anxiety and depression being the most common mental disorders? We’re proud therefore to be supporting both AWARE and Mind Your Mood with a range of fundraising initiatives this year, including now the Randox Christmas Raffle 2018, at which, we are delighted to announce, we raised more than £2500 – with the official total still to be counted!
Congratulations to all our prize winners from this year’s Christmas Raffle, and in particular to the lucky winners of our most coveted prizes – a 55″ Ultra HD 4K Sony Bravia TV and an extra day of annual leave!
Congratulations to Emma Forsythe and Jayne Russell on receiving these prizes.
Thanks again everyone for all your support with the 2018 Randox Christmas Raffle – to our dedicated Internal Comms team who organised the event, to Chloe Young from Mind Your Mood for joining us and helping us see where our money would be going, and of course to everyone who bought a ticket!
Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you again in 2019.
To find out more about charity fundraising at Randox, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
On Saturday 10th November 2018, Randox Ladies GAA team took to the field at the Tyrone GAA Centre of Excellence, Garvaghey, to compete in the FinTrU Ulster GAA Football Inter-Firms competition.
Catering for all levels of skills and fitness, the Inter-Firms competition is a tournament open specifically to workplaces across Ulster, in which teams can represent their workplace in Gaelic games.
On the day of the tournament, the Randox Ladies were placed in a group alongside Premier Electric, Options IT and FinTrU, and the first 7-a-side group match saw the ladies up against Premier Electric, who from the start proved to be very tough and experienced opponents.
Team Randox met the challenge head on however, and were leading the game from start to finish until a second goal against the run of play narrowly denied the Randox Ladies the win in the last minute of the game.
For their second match of the tournament, the Randox Ladies showed great character and hunger to bounce back and defeat Options IT 2-6 to no score, in what was an outstanding performance. This victory was not without cost though, as the ladies were forced to battle on in spite of a few injuries.
The final group game against financial services company FinTrU proved to be the toughest match for the Randox Ladies. Having played two games back to back, with numerous injuries gained along the way, the game was always going to be a difficult one, but once again the ladies showed a fantastic attitude, battling hard in all areas.
With their exceptional performance in the group stage, the Randox Ladies found themselves in the semi-final of the cup competition against last year’s winners South West College. From the first whistle, the ladies put everything on the line, running themselves into the ground despite injury and fatigue.
SWC picked up a few early points and then scored two goals against the run of play which would have finished off any experienced team, but with minutes remaining Randox admirably battled up the field to score two goals of their own to bring the game to within a score. In the end though the SWC ladies survived to hang on for a narrow win and went head-to-head in the final against eventual tournament winners FinTrU.
Randox Ladies emerged from their GAA début in an impressive third place.
John James Fallon, Randox Electrical Engineer and Bainisteoir / Coach for Randox Ladies GAA Team, commented;
“What the Randox Ladies have done in such a short time is a fantastic achievement. Most have never played Gaelic football before so for them to go out and to be able to keep up with the pace of very experienced players is nothing short of amazing. They should be extremely proud of themselves and with the men’s competition this Saturday the bar has been set extremely high indeed. Well done team!”
The 2018 FinTrU Ulster GAA Football Inter-Firms Junior Men’s Competition will take place on Saturday 17th November at the Tyrone GAA Centre of Excellence. We wish our Men’s team all the best!
Left to Right: Christine Maybin, Ciara Shaw, Ashleigh McKinstry, Maria McLaughlin, Rachel Walls, Rebecca Molloy, Maeve McAllister, Rachel McCloy, Amy Best
(Team members missing from photo; Claire Donnelly and Jeanette Doherty)
This year our much-anticipated Christmas Raffle took place on Friday 22nd December 2017, in aid of Cancer Fund for Children.
Every week in Northern Ireland, another three children, teenagers or young adults, aged between 0 and 24 years old, are diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer Fund for Children helps families cope with the impact cancer has on their lives, and they support them through life, both during and after treatment, by offering a range of free short breaks for families coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis.
We’re delighted to let you all know that we raised a mammoth £4030 from this year’s Christmas Raffle. This money will go a long way in providing families dealing with cancer in Northern Ireland the opportunity to relax far away from the pressures of gruelling cancer treatment and hospital visits.
Congratulations to all our prize winners from this year’s Christmas Raffle, and in particular to the winners of our most coveted prizes – a 55″ Ultra HD 4K Curved Samsung TV, and an extra day of annual leave!
Congratulations to Ian Moore and to Sarah Savage on receiving these prizes.
Thanks again everyone for all your support with the Christmas Raffle – to our Internal Comms team who organised the event, to Andy from Cancer Fund for Children for joining us and helping us see where our money would be going, and of course to everyone who bought a ticket!
Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
To find out more about charity fundraising at Randox, please email email@example.com
At Randox we know the importance of celebrating our staff, and encouraging camaraderie between colleagues.
That’s why we host a staff fun day every year during the summer – as an opportunity for Randox staff located across different sites and departments to get to know each other, to enjoy the sunshine together, and of course to raise some funds for a worthy cause.
With all proceeds going towards Meningitis Research NI , this year staff gathered together for a day of games, baking, team building and of course general merriment on Friday 11th August 2017.
The activities on offer were:
- Tug of war
- Bucking bronco
- Bake Off competition
- And of course a tasty BBQ!
To add the final icing on the cake, winners of the Randox Fest 2017 Rounders Tournament each won tickets to the Randox Health Grand National 2018. Congratulations Amy Johnston, Brandon Campbell, Rebecca Keenan, Renu Datta, Mary Henry and Emmet Mulholland!
And of course a big congratulations to Amy Best, whose delicious Cookie Cake won the Randox Fest Bake Off 2017. Amy will now be a judge for the Bake Off at our 2018 event!
We hope everyone had an enjoyable afternoon at Randox Fest and have forged some wonderful new friendships across our 1400-strong workforce.
Thank you to all who took part, and we look forward to having you join us for next year’s event!
To find out more about charity fundraising at Randox, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This month global healthcare firm Randox Health brought together a wealth of Irish rugby stars, to play as part of a specially-formed squad who will be taking part in a match against the Barbados National Development Team, the Barbados Presidents XV.
The ‘Randox Raiders’ travelled to the Caribbean island ahead of their game on Friday 11th August, for intense training sessions led by Neill Alcorn, Ulster Rugby Development Officer, and to make a number of business visits to laboratories and hospitals across Barbados.
Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Health, commented on the company’s plans for the rugby tour;
“Barbados is globally recognised for providing pioneering and forward-thinking healthcare to its citizens, and Randox has had a long -serving relationship with the country. Our match against the Barbados Presidents XV provides us with the opportunity to network and make valuable new contacts across the island, to highlight our latest health technologies and innovations, and of course to showcase our Randox Health offering, of which our rugby players have each availed.”
Joining the Antrim-headquartered company’s rugby team were former Ulster rugby players Richard Andrew and Alastair Birch, amongst a host of other semi-professional players from around the country. The members of the Randox Rugby team have been following a bespoke health plan, following receipt of the results of their Randox Health Signature programmes.
Offering the most comprehensive and personalised health screening in the world, Randox Health programmes work by testing for hundreds of biomarkers in the blood. This not only reveals a client’s current health status, but is also accurate and sensitive enough to identify any potential health risks in your future – giving you the ability to make smart choices which will keep you healthier for longer.
Dr. FitzGerald continued;
“The way in which we take a whole-body approach to health, instead of looking at isolated sections of the body, is one of the reasons why so many people, even professional athletes, are recognising the benefits of our health screening. Our principal brand ambassador is Sir AP McCoy, the world’s most successful jockey, and there are Olympic athletes, boxers, and of course our Randox rugby players, all happy to share how their Randox Health programme gave them the knowledge they needed to make important changes to their lifestyles. Everyone, even elite athletes, can make improvements to their current and future health by taking a preventive approach and proactive measures. For each of us, through every walk of life, our health is our most important commodity and we must take care of it as best we can.”
On Friday 11th August the Randox Raiders took to the pitch to play their much anticipated match against the Barbados Presidents XV.
We’re delighted to announce that the final score of the game was Barbados Presidents XV 12 vs Randox Raiders 60!
The game showcased some scintillating rugby with a few sensational long range tries scored by both teams. A heavy downpour in 2nd half didn’t dampen the spirits and made for an excellent spectacle of rugby for the crowd that came to support the teams. Congratulations to the Randox Raiders and in particular to man of the match no. 6 Ali Birch!
For more information about the Randox Rugby Team please contact Randox PR on 028 9442 2413 or email email@example.com
Ever wondered what it’s like to be part of the Graphic Design team here at Randox? Well who better to ask than one of our Heads of Design, Caoimhin Magee!
From navigating Illustrator to finding inspiration, collaborating on projects to taking part in creative sessions, and following proofing systems to encouraging professional development, Caoimhin shares all the secrets of one of the most creative departments in our global healthcare company.
Here’s Caiomhin’s story.
When I’m telling people the story of how I came to be Head of Design for such a prestigious company as the sponsor of the Randox Health Grand National, I like to start by saying that there is no one way to become a Graphic Designer.
My background is actually in architecture, which I studied at Queen’s University in Belfast for four years. But I realised that it just wasn’t for me. Although there was a certain element of creativity in my architecture degree, there was also a very heavy focus on maths and physics, and it just wasn’t what I pictured myself doing. I started thinking about changing to a fine arts degree to give me a bit more freedom creatively, but instead of rushing in to making a decision, I took some time out to go travelling across Australia and some of South East Asia.
When I returned home I worked for some time in a printing business in Lurgan, designing and printing a range of stationery for local businesses, and menus for local bars and restaurants.
Then I heard about a Graphic Design course at Shillington College, a design school run by a guy called Andy Shillington. He has schools in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, London, Manchester and New York, and so I made my way over to the Manchester school to begin training to be a Graphic Designer.
Basically, it was the same as an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design…
…but squeezed into an intense three months. Everyone studying there had come from different backgrounds and career disciplines but we all started at the same point, learning everything you needed to know to work in the Graphic Design industry – perfecting different design techniques and getting to grips with a range of design software.
Then at the end we were each awarded a Certificate of Education, which is recognised by major design organisations, like Adobe. We all graduated and showcased our work at a Graduate Show in Shillington, which was attended by some really big names in the design community. London might be the most obvious city choice for a design career in the UK, but Manchester is very quickly catching up. There’s a real creative hub there and so on the night of my graduation there some really prestigious designers flicking through my portfolio. I was lucky enough to secure some great freelance work in Manchester and Liverpool after I graduated.
But then I heard about a design job with Randox and it allowed me the opportunity to move back home and to secure a fulltime job.
What’s so great about working here is that you go in, and effectively you’re just given your own brand to make as exciting as you can. You’re immediately given the responsibility and trust that you would only get after working in an agency for several years. Whether you work on the design for Randox Reagents, or Randox Biosciences, or Randox Toxicology, you can go in and put your own stamp on that division.
I always make sure therefore, when talking to designers who are considering coming to work for us, to highlight that there are no Junior Designers in Randox. Everyone works on an equal pegging and we all support each other.
When I moved up to Head of Design here in Randox there were a few new policies that I introduced to improve this sense of collaboration. Even though we each work on our own unique and independent Randox product division, I requested a redesign of the marketing and design office space, so that our designers were each paired off with each other.
Each designer therefore sits beside another designer and we can all keep track of each other’s work and projects, so that we keep a certain level of consistency under the parent brand of Randox. Working in this way also allows us to take inspiration from each other and help complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
For example, our Motion Graphics Designer Anthony obviously has a very particular skillset, so he’s helping me improve my talents in that area. In turn I’m helping him develop his abilities in our Illustrator software because that’s where my own strengths lie.
I’ve also introduced a Design Studio where the work of our designers is showcased for everyone to see. Not only does it instil a sense of pride in our work by using it to decorate the office, and showing it to our colleagues, but again it helps us keep track of what other designers are currently working on and makes sure we’re each using the correct typefaces and established colour schemes. It’s the final stage of the proofing system when we finally see the finished piece of artwork up on the wall for everyone to see.
In the Design Studio you can really see the eclectic mix of projects on which we get to work. It ranges from virtual reality video, to app design, to brochures for global events like AACC, the American Association of Clinical Chemistry. There is such variety in what we do and there’s always a new challenge to put your hand to. Randox is the perfect place to be if you want to grow your skillset.
Working here also provides us with the opportunity to develop key business skills in the design market. Relationship building with printers for example, is key, and we do that pretty much every day here. I honestly can’t think of anywhere else that offers the same level of professional development as Randox.
I’m very proud of the team we now have in place here. We all work really well together and are making such good progress in our own capabilities and confidence. We even have a Summer Placement Student, Katie, currently working with us, who is really impressing everybody with her ability and enthusiasm.
I’m sure that the Graphic Design team at Randox will continue to grow and develop, and I can’t wait to see where the coming months and years will take us.
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
Pictured above: The Randox Graphic Design Team
Front row left to right: Anne Smith, Katie McLernon, Melissa Hull
Middle row left to right: Elizabeth Moran, Amy Fekkes, Anthony Heaney
Back row left to right: Niall McCafferty, Maxwell Brown, Colm Douglas, Caoimhin Magee
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
Thank you for your generosity.