We Are Randox | Ladies GAA team reach final of Inter-Firms Tournament
Randox Ladies reach final of FinTrU Ulster GAA Football Inter-Firms Tournament
Early on the morning of Saturday 12th October 2019, Randox Ladies GAA team took to the field at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena, to compete in the FinTrU Ulster GAA Football Inter-Firms competition.
With teams made up of eight players, the format of the competition saw the ladies play five group games with the chance to qualify for the cup and shield finals.
Could they match or even beat their record from last year, having reached the 2018 semi-finals?
In the commentary below, John James Fallon, Randox Electrical Engineer and Bainisteoir / Coach for Randox Ladies GAA Team provides a match report from the big day.
John James commented;
Five consecutive games was a big ask for a squad that was relatively small when compared to other firms competing on the day. Nevertheless, our Randox GAA Ladies rose to the challenge and won their first match comfortably against Mallaghans.
The next game saw Randox face last year’s winners FinTrU, whose squad had some very experienced GAA players, and in the following match we competed against The GAA Store Team. Randox, who had grown in confidence after their first game, gave absolutely everything on the field but just came up short in two super games of football. This effort was not without cost as the ladies picked up a few injuries along the way but battled on regardless.
The ladies then showed great character and hunger to bounce back and defeat Options IT, a victory which saw them reach the shield final against our previous opponents Mallaghans.
From the first whistle the ladies put everything on the line, running themselves into the ground despite injury and fatigue. The first half was anyone’s for the taking but it was the fresher Mallaghans who took advantage of their bigger squad to take the early lead and went into half time with a 5-point advantage.
Our Randox Ladies were not about to lie down and accept defeat however, and an early goal and a point swung the balance of the game back in our favour.
During such a tight and dynamic game however, the leading team continued to change, and against the run of play Mallaghans went down the field to score a goal.
In these circumstances a lesser team may have conceded the game, however our ladies immediately responded with a goal and with only seconds remaining looked like they could emerge victorious.
Unfortunately though, despite a courageous effort, we could not find the breakthrough. Congratulations to Mallaghans who went on to win a very entertaining game of football, and subsequently the tournament shield. Thank you to FinTrU and Ulster GAA for organising another fantastic day out.
What a fantastic achievement for this small group of dedicated and enthusiastic players in reaching the final, some of whom had never played Gaelic football before and only had three training sessions before fielding on Saturday. The ladies should be extremely proud of themselves and with the men’s competition only two weeks away, the bar once again has been set extremely high. Well done Randox Ladies!
There are still spaces available on the Randox GAA Men’s team who play their competition on the 26th October at Queen’s University Malone Playing Fields Dub Pavilion.
If you are interested in joining a Randox GAA team or helping out, please send your name and contact details to John James Fallon in our engineering team: firstname.lastname@example.org
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For our 2018/19 placement students, their year with Randox is almost at an end.
To mark their time with us and wish them the best of luck with their future studies, we took the opportunity to speak with one of our placement students in the sales team, to give us an insight of her experience during a Randox placement year.
Meet Kathryn Wilson, Business Placement Sales Executive for Randox Biosciences.
Hi Kathryn, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a 21-year-old student studying Bsc Equine and Veterinary Bioscience at Aberystwyth University in Wales. In September 2018 I began working in the Biosciences division of Randox Laboratories, specifically working on the release of new molecular technologies for clinical diagnostics. As part of a newly formed sales team, my focus is on the diagnostics market in Ireland.
Why did you want to forge a career in sales?
Whilst studying my bio-veterinary degree my only focus had been on science, so I was keen to broaden my horizons and explore opportunities in a business role for a company involved in the life-sciences industry. Initially, I was tentative of a role in sales, but I knew it would be a good way to develop a broad knowledge of business and the industry, and develop new skills.
Why did you decide to take your placement year with Randox?
Randox was a perfect fit for me, as a global scientific company based in Northern Ireland. I was looking for a placement that would allow me to spend time at home before returning to Wales for university.
I was intrigued by their range of products and diverse market presence in industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotech, research and healthcare. It seemed like a good company to gain an insight into new research in a variety of career sectors.
Describe a typical day as a Business Placement Sales Executive.
My role has evolved as we have moved through the different stages of product development throughout the year. Initially, when I first joined the team, we were in the planning stage. This involved mapping potential contacts and key sites in Ireland, and developing a sales strategy.
As this is a new venture for Randox the role also involved educating the market on our technology and creating awareness in all potential points of sale. This educational aspect of my job involved regular trips and meetings across Ireland, and frequent UK team meetings to discuss market feedback and problem solve. It’s important that we have been able to adapt our sales strategy for the specific healthcare areas -from public to private and point-of-care to large laboratories. Coming into the final month of my placement we are now prepared for product release with confirmed validation studies and initial placements, and significant interest across Ireland.
What are some examples of the tasks and responsibilities of your role?
There has been a range of ongoing tasks throughout the year to facilitate a busy and growing division. I was given the responsibility of forecasting, logging orders and organising meetings, and have been involved in internal decision-making processes alongside management. I have also helped to manage the university contracts in Ireland for our lab equipment, reagents and outsourcing some testing for specific studies.
Before I finish my placement I’m researching the market for upcoming arrays for launch next year, and planning a final trip in Ireland.
What was the most exciting part of your placement with Randox Biosciences?
The opportunity to travel around Ireland and London has been excellent. To date I have participated in over 10 conferences on behalf of Randox. Highlights for me have been corporate hospitality with potential customers at the Randox Health Grand National, and presenting at the first Infectious Disease Forum for Randox, in front of representatives from microbiology sites across Ireland.
I was also trusted to conduct a trip on my own around Donegal and Sligo, coupled with a visit to our Donegal R&D site, Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, to learn about future veterinary arrays in development.
It has been a privilege to be able to work with such a diverse range of people – from the scientists developing the products, to the sales team specialising in markets across the globe. There are so many different career paths here at Randox.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your time at Randox Biosciences?
I have been challenged to quickly adapt to the business environment and gain an in-depth understanding of the wide range of products. I have been pushed outside my comfort zone to discuss with customers, present to the team and take responsibility of the day-to-day tasks.
Knowing the new molecular diagnostics range, infectious disease panels, and competitors in the market well enough to be confident in front of potential customers on my own, has also been a challenge. Hard work at Randox is acknowledged however, and I was awarded runner-up Business Student of the Year.
What is the best thing about Randox and would you recommend this placement to other students?
The best thing about a placement with Randox is that you will be given as many opportunities as you are willing to take. They are very supportive and will push you as much as any other member of the team.
As a non-business student this year has given me a wealth of insight into the workings of a global company, as well as furthering my scientific knowledge and interests in many aspects of the industry.
I would recommend a Randox placement for students who are keen to gain as much experience as possible in a global company focused on new and exciting health research.
What are your goals for the future?
My experience at Randox has given me an excellent insight into the world of business in the biosciences industry, and has prepared me well to build a career in this exciting industry. I think that the experience gained through Randox will be applicable to many life sciences sectors which I would like to explore further.
Although I am not sure what the future may hold, in the shorter term I am looking forward to returning to finish my final year at Aberystwyth.
For more information about Randox Biosciences and what career opportunities we offer please contact email@example.com
Staff Newsletter April - June 2019 Edition
We are delighted to be able to share with you the Q2 2019 edition of our We Are Randox staff newsletter!
Click here for a range of company and staff news from April to June 2019 – including photographs from the Randox Health Grand National 2019 and all our staff fundraising for AWARE NI and Mind Your Mood.
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A huge congratulations is in order for Science Higher Level Apprentice Sarah Casey who battled it out at the NI WorldSkills Regional Heat on 4th June to be awarded a well-deserved second place.
This was the first WorldSkills NI Regional Heat for Laboratory Technicians and was hosted at Southern Regional College, the Life Sciences Hub for Further Education in Northern Ireland.
The laboratory technician competition is based on real life scenarios in science that demonstrate technical competence in the use of complex instrumentation, laboratory equipment and skills. The competition is designed to reflect the work of a laboratory technician and tests their skills in techniques and procedures to solve practical problems through analysis, tests and measurements while ensuring safe and ethical working practices.
“This regional heat was a fantastic opportunity for higher education students across the sector to showcase their technical and analytical abilities. The competitors have performed exceptionally well under such challenging conditions” said Dr. Asha Jamil, Life Sciences Hub Development Manager at Southern Regional College.
She continued; “Judges have come from a variety of specialist scientific backgrounds from both education and industry across the UK and I am delighted that competitors from NI had this opportunity to demonstrate their range of skills on such a prestigious platform. Judges also commented that they were highly impressed by all the competitors’ technical and analytical skills and their professional approach to this challenging competition.”
Judges were representatives from Middlesex University, Norbrook Laboratories, and also included the current Team UK Laboratory Technician winner, Tonicha Roberts, who is a Forensic Reporting Scientist with Eurofins Forensic Services, UK.
Competitors came from a range of higher education programmes from across the NI sector including Foundation Degrees and Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) programmes. The HLA students study their underpinning Ulster University Foundation Degrees at Southern Regional College (Newry and Portadown campuses) and are employed with Norbrook Laboratories, Randox and Almac.
Sarah Casey, who was awarded second place, is currently a Southern Regional College student completing the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Applied Industrial Sciences (Life Sciences Pathway) in the Randox Science Park in Antrim. Sarah also won Southern Regional College’s Science Competition in January 2019.
The top performing competitors across the UK will now have a nail-biting wait to see if they have scored high enough to qualify for the WorldSkills UK Final at Birmingham’s NEC in November. We wish Sarah the best of luck!
On Sunday 14th April 2019, a team of brave Randox colleagues faced their fears and took part in an abseil from the top of Belfast Castle. Scaling the heights of Cavehill, our fourteen daring Randox thrill seekers enjoyed views over Belfast before they stepped over the edge.
The event took place to raise funds for Randox’s charity partner AWARE NI, the depression and bipolar charity of Northern Ireland.
Congratulations to our abseil participants! While this may be something else ticked off the ‘bucket list’, it also, most importantly, is a fantastic effort in raising awareness and funds for the work of this very worthwhile cause.
Well done to everyone with your fundraising. You have all worked very hard and raised a fantastic amount both in cash donations and via JustGiving – around £2200 so far and counting!
We hope you enjoy the photographs from the day. If you would still like to donate, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/randox-aware-belfast-castle
Once again, many thanks on behalf of both Randox and AWARE NI to the Randox abseilers for their enthusiasm and fundraising efforts on behalf of both Randox and AWARE NI.
For more information about the abseil or our charity partnership with AWARE NI, please contact RandoxPR@randox.com.
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.
Staff Newsletter January - March 2019 Edition
We are delighted to be able to share with you the Q1 2019 edition of our We Are Randox staff newsletter!
Click here for a range of company and staff news from January to March 2019 – including a visit from the UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the 2019 launch of our popular Randox Health Grand National Family Fun Day in Donegal!
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Randox is a placement-friendly business and we’re proud to be a top employer when it comes to students searching for their perfect placement opportunity before final year. Ulster University Business Studies student Lauren Todd joined the Randox sales team in September 2017 as a placement student, finishing with us in June 2018.
We were delighted to attend a ceremony at Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus last week where Lauren was shortlisted for a UU Placement Award. We caught up with her after the ceremony;
Lauren, congratulations on your award! Can you tell us about your university and career path to date?
During my first two years of university, I worked in retail as a cash office supervisor before leaving in the summer of 2017 to start into my placement year at Randox. I am now in my final year at UUJ and working as a private tutor to A-Level Business Studies students.
Why Randox and how did you find your placement year?
Randox is a globally recognised company with a very close links with Ulster University, and I wanted to complete my placement year with a company that would help me develop my skills outside of the classroom. I thoroughly enjoyed my placement year at Randox and it has allowed me to improve my ‘soft’ skills such as communication, teamwork and problem solving.
What was a typical day like for you at Randox?
A typical day at Randox consisted of daily communication with the global sales team, continual analysis of CRM data and the teams sales figures, compiling reports and providing feedback to the team.
How are you finding being back in university for final year?
Final year has been tough, but it’s scary that we only have six weeks left! My placement year at Randox has enabled me to become a more confident individual, and this has helped with final year projects such as group tasks and class presentations.
What was the award that you were presented with today and how are you feeling about it?
I was commended in the Excellence in Employability Awards from the Ulster University Business School. I am proud to have been shortlisted for this award as Randox have allowed me to develop my skills and helped me to work to my full potential. It feels amazing to gain this recognition from Ulster and that my contribution to the company has been beneficial.
What are your plans for after you leave university?
After graduation, I am looking forward to a few weeks off – and a much-needed two week holiday to Portugal – before starting into a full time graduate job.
To find out more about placement opportunities with Randox, please contact email@example.com.
There are many different science roles at Randox which require many different skillsets – and there are as many different pathways to get to them! One such pathway is the Higher Level Apprenticeship offered by Randox in collaboration with Northern and Southern Regional Colleges.
Sarah Casey is both a Randox Higher Level Apprentice and a student at Portadown Southern Regional College. We caught up with her fresh from her win at the Southern Regional College Science Competition in January 2019.
Sarah, congratulations on winning the science award at Southern Regional College!
Please tell us more about the Science Competition you took part in – and won – at Southern Regional College.
The competition was held at the SRC Newry Campus and consisted of two experiments. I competed against other students from Randox, Almac and Norbrook.
For the first experiment, I had to find the concentration of an unknown sample of copper sulphate. I carried out a serial dilution using a known concentration of copper sulphate and then found the absorbance of each of the standards. I then found the absorbance for the unknown sample as well. From this I was able to plot a graph and determine the concentration of the unknown sample.
For the second experiment, I had to carry out a titration of iodine against sodium thiosulphate. I added the sodium thiosulphate to the iodine solution until the solution appeared pale yellow. I added a few drops of the starch indicator and continued titrating until the solution appeared colourless. I recorded the titre and then repeated the titration two more times to find an average titre. I then had to complete several questions relating to this experiment.
What did you study before you applied for the Higher Level Apprenticeship?
I previously studied A-Levels at St. Joseph’s Grammar school, undertaking Biology, Chemistry and Digital Technology. I always had a keen interest in science when I was younger so after studying Biology and Chemistry for A-Level I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in this field. In school I enjoyed the practical aspect of subjects which lead me to want to take part in this Higher Level Apprenticeship.
Where are you currently studying and what do you like most about your course?
I am studying the Life Science pathway of Applied Industrial Science at Portadown Southern Regional College. This course is based on biology and I have just finished semester one. I enjoy learning about buffer solutions, oxidation and redox reaction. For semester two, I look forward to studying physiology and continue to gain more knowledge about biology.
How did you hear about Higher Level Apprenticeships at Randox?
I heard about the higher level apprenticeship from my Careers teacher at school. He highly recommended that we tried out for the apprenticeship. After I applied after carrying out some research online. I was then offered a place here at Randox and started in September 2018.
Could you give a brief description of a typical day at Randox for you?
At the moment, I am based in the QC Serum department carrying out value assignments for Randox products. On a typical day I will come into work and carry out the daily maintenance on the RX Daytona and Imola. I will then have a look through the assignment folder to check what lots need to be assigned a value. I will gather the calibrator, controls and test lots in order to reconstitute them. While they are rolling, I will collect the necessary reagents. The test is then carried out. Afterwards I will type up the results into a spreadsheet to check if the lots have passed. I can carry out nest tests, two-day assignments and calibrator validations for chemistrys, lipids and cardiac. In between runs, I check sheets that are sent to customers.
What qualifications will you have when your Higher Level Apprenticeship at Randox ends?
I will finish my apprenticeship in September 2020. Since joining Randox only a few months ago I have already gained so many invaluable skills. By the end of this apprenticeship I hope to be competent with most or all the analysers used at Randox while continuing to exhibit good laboratory practice. At the end of the apprenticeship I will gained a foundation degree in Applied Industrial Sciences. I can then progress onto year two of Biomedical Science at Ulster University.
Would you recommend a Higher Level Apprenticeship at Randox to someone else and why?
I would highly recommend the higher level apprenticeship. It is a great experience and provides all the necessary skills required to pursue a career in this industry. Also, it allows you to earn while you learn so it’s a win-win situation as a student!
For more information about Sarah’s story or to hear more about the Higher Level Apprenticeship at Randox, please contact RandoxPR@randox.com.
On Tuesday 23rd January 2019, a new three-part documentary series, The Search, aired on BBC Northern Ireland, featuring Randox’s very own Dale McGall.
By day, Dale is a Regulatory Compliance Officer at Randox making sure that all our products are of the highest quality and comply with all quality regulations before they are shipped all over the world to our customers.
Outside of work, however, Dale takes on a very different role when he volunteers as a Search and Rescue Technician (SarTECH) with the Community Rescue Service organisation in Northern Ireland (part of Lowland Rescue). Community Rescue Service is a team of approximately 130 people with units spread across the country on a 100% voluntary basis.
We caught up with Dale to hear all about his work as a SARTech volunteer;
Congratulations to CRS on the documentary, Dale! Can you tell us a little more about the work of Community Rescue Service and the role you play as a volunteer?
The Association of Lowland Search and Rescue (ALSAR) is an umbrella organisation that enables Search and Rescue teams throughout the UK. It coordinates provision of Lowland SAR services, sets national standards for the teams and develops and shapes Lowland SAR policies.
In Northern Ireland, the team is known as the Community Rescue Service with units and personnel from all parts of the country. Presently there are units in Strabane, Coleraine, Portglenone, Broughshane, Antrim, Belfast, and South Down, amongst others.
Training is a key part of being in CRS. Before being allowed out on a Search, personnel are required to conduct training on map reading, radio communication, first aid, search techniques and water awareness. Over time, people can take part in additional training; from being part of a boat crew and use of kayaks, to water rescue and advanced first aid.
Within CRS, I am a Search and Rescue Technician (SARTech) and have completed several first aid courses.
How long have you been involved with Community Rescue Service?
I have been with CRS since 2017 when I was looking for volunteering opportunities outside of work. I saw some social media posts about the work of the Community Rescue Service and decided to get in touch.
The rest, as they say, is history!
I train weekly with the Antrim, Portglenone and Broughshane units. This training involves reinforcing existing knowledge, familiarisation training, and inviting third party organisations to give us specialist advice.
Can you describe a typical day/operation in the life of a CRS volunteer?
It may sound cliché but no two days are the same with the CRS! As well as the operational role of Search and Rescue, I have also found myself supervising street collections, marshalling for cycling clubs, and giving talks to other organisations.
What would a typical rescue involve?
Our rescues most often involve vulnerable high-risk members of society. Typically, this could be children, elderly people living with dementia, or those with mental health issues.
A call can go out at any time of the day or night and to any part of the country. I’ve been involved in searches that have lasted weeks and have had massive resources invested in them. Just as often though, I’ve had call-outs for which I’ve arrived at the meeting point and then been given the order to stand down as the missing person has been found. In either situation, our focus is locating the missing person as soon as possible and returning them to a place of safety.
It can a very busy lifestyle volunteering with CRS. While I can’t leave during working hours, as soon as I clock out from Randox I am ‘on duty’ with CRS because a call can come in at any time. Being flexible with your evenings, weekends and annual leave is a must as time is of the essence when a person goes missing.
On one occasion, I was involved in an overnight search in County Down, returning home around 09:00. A quick shower, change of clothes and I was back out to another rescue based in North Antrim. Is this compulsory? No, but as an operational SARTech, you are part of a team and there is a strong teamwork ethos where we support and help each other.
Is there anything you would like to share that you think isn’t commonly known about the CRS?
Something I wasn’t overly aware of before joining CRS is how dementia can affect people. People with dementia can regress to a period of their lives many decades ago. One search involved an elderly gentleman with dementia who had gone missing. Approximately thirty SARTechs were deployed across a wide area with a helicopter flying overhead. About an hour later, the call came to stand down as the gentleman had been found. What I found amazing about this particular search was the gentleman, who was not steady on his feet and used a zimmer frame to walk, was found roughly five miles away from his house!
As volunteers, none of us get paid but knowing you helped return a missing person to their loved ones is beyond any form of financial reward.
How does being a SarTECH volunteer compare with working in your day job at Randox?
The two roles are very different but there are a number of transferrable skills which have proved useful! The main one is attention to detail. In my role at Randox as a Regulatory Compliance Officer, I am often auditing performance and processes across the company. Not only do I review new and existing compliance legislation but I am also involved in assisting with the implementation of corrective and preventive actions.
My role as a SarTECH calls for a similar level of attention to detail. You never know where someone could be, or where there may be unknown danger for the missing person or the Search and Rescue team, so it’s important to always be on-your-guard and alert to even the smallest noise or change in environment when out on a rescue mission.
What do you hope The Search will achieve on BBC NI?
I’m hoping the series being aired will raise awareness of some of the challenges that we as a country face. The Search will help to showcase our people, capabilities and our professionalism. The Community Rescue Service is a vital service in Northern Ireland, but is 100% run by volunteers on whom the organisation very much relies.
If anyone would like to find out more information about the work I do with the Community Rescue Service, please visit https://www.communityrescue.org
You can watch The Search on BBC iPlayer here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0byhv18/the-search-series-1-episode-1
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 firstname.lastname@example.org