We Are Randox | Michelle Bradley crowned winner of the Great Randox Bake Off 2017

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We Are Randox | Michelle Bradley crowned winner of the Great Randox Bake Off 2017

It was Friday Fun Day (or should we say Bun Day?) for everyone at Randox headquarters today!

In aid of the Stroke Association NI, talented bakers from across the company brought in their cakes, biscuits, buns and sweet treats to enter in to the Great Randox Bake Off 2017.

With an impressive line-up of chocolate brownies, Victoria sponges, rainbow cakes and more, the competition was fierce for the fifteen Randox bakers who offered up their home-baked goods to the strict judging panel.

Randox Health Director, Nuailin FitzGerald; Nuailin’s daughter Angharad; Randox Receptionist and Administrator Teresa McCloskey, and Stroke Association representative Paul Montgomery, made up the team of judges who rated each bake out of 10 for both appearance and taste (it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it, right?)

While the judges made their notes, a large group of Randox employees waited eagerly to hear who would be crowned Randox Star Baker.

Would it be Rachel Walls’ Biochip Cake?

Michael Mulligan’s Swampy Magenta Banoffee Pie?

Or would Grace Catney win with her We Are Randox cupcakes?

The judges then took themselves off to the private judging room where they deliberated on who would receive the coveted prize, while everyone else was able to finally taste all the wonderful treats on display!

To sample the goodies everyone gave generously to the Stroke Association donation bucket and while doing so made their own predictions as to who would win.

But only the judges had the deciding vote…

In third place, was Rachel Withers’ Make May Purple themed meringue cake.

In joint second place – Nicola McHugh’s Rainbow Cake and Clare McKibben’s beautifully iced Randox cake!

The winner of the Great Randox Bake Off 2017 was…Michelle Bradley!

Michelle’s perfectly smooth icing and ornate flower decorations really wowed the judges, and they were equally impressed when they tasted the light and delicious sponge inside.

Congratulations Michelle!

A big thank you to everyone who donated today at our Great Randox Bake Off, and for taking the time to sample the entrants’ baked goods.  Weren’t they tasty?

Of course a huge thank you also goes to the judges of our Great Randox Bake Off, and in particular to Paul Montgomery for taking the time to visit Randox and speak to our team about the importance of stroke awareness.

We all learnt a lot and had fun while doing so!

For more information on the Great Randox Bake Off email the Randox PR team: randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413


We Are Randox | Randox QUB and UU placement students making their mark on global healthcare

A female scientist who has been working on the development of a test that diagnoses sepsis is one of the award-winning students in this year’s university placement scheme with Randox Laboratories.

The breakthrough sepsis test is being created by the Randox Molecular Diagnostics team, which Sarah-Louise Morrow from Belfast joined in September. Her innovative work saw her win third place in the Science category at the company’s annual Pinnacle Placement Awards.

Sarah-Louise, a Biochemistry student from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), said:

“Sepsis is known as the ‘silent killer’, and the faster you can diagnose it the better for the patient. It was so inspiring working with a team here at Randox who are making such valuable contributions to global health and I couldn’t be happier that something I’ve worked on could save lives in the future.”

Now in its 26th year, the Randox placement programme is recognised internationally for providing world-class opportunities for students and graduates – one of the core reasons that the global diagnostics company was established in 1982. Thirty years on, its founder Dr Peter FitzGerald remains as committed as ever to championing new talent and driving innovation.

Between them, this year’s Randox placement students have spearheaded a number of new designs and projects which are being implemented across the company.

Catherine McCooke, a QUB Electrical and Electronic Engineering student designed a new UV radiation exposure detection mechanism; Shannon McKee, a Business Studies student at Ulster University, conducted highly advantageous market research into emerging markets such as Jamaica and Puerto Rico; and Katie Lawther, a QUB Microbiology student introduced a new cellular tissue storage and tracking system.

The title of Randox Placement Student of the Year 2017 went to Robin Walsh, a QUB student from Lisburn who developed a new chemiluminescence signal reagent which is currently being validated and will be shortly released for production.

The 22 year old’s new product delivers significantly positive effects on the chemistry testing carried out by the Randox New Technology team. It increases test output by a factor of three, saving costs and time which ultimately enables the faster delivery of results for patients.

On receiving his award Robin, who studies Chemical Engineering, said;

“The Randox Placement Programme has far exceeded my expectations.  My manager and everyone else in my team have been so supportive and encouraging. I worked on high-level projects I wouldn’t have dreamed possible for a placement student to be involved with.  I have gained so much experience during my time as I have been able to translate what I’ve learnt in university into a true working environment. I’ve no doubt this experience will set me apart from the competition in the future.”

Congratulating Robin and his fellow placement students, Jolene Jamison, Randox Placement Co-Ordinator said;

“Taking part in a meaningful placement scheme is one of the most important things a student can do. The young people who are selected to join our programme are given the opportunity to carry out ground-breaking research and development, often working with pioneering technologies that are exported globally. 

“The scheme is highly valued by the company so it’s important to take time at its end to celebrate our students. We’re very proud of them all – their contributions are going to make a real difference to global health.”

For the first time two of the Randox Placement award winners were selected from the APEX scheme that Randox runs with UU and QUB. This innovative scheme, which enables applicants to submit “video CVS” on social media to showcase their own personalities, includes paid, full-time summer work experience after a student’s first year of studies, a year-long placement, and a full-time job offer upon graduating, should they obtain a 2:1 or above.

Catherine McCooke who won the overall prize in Engineering said:

“After winning a place through the APEX scheme, being awarded the top prize in Engineering at Randox is unbelievable. It’s particularly important to me because I feel very passionately that women should see that there are no barriers to succeeding as an engineer. I’ve worked incredibly hard with some inspiring people, and have felt respected and valued every step of the way.”

The incoming 2017 summer work experience marks the highest intake of APEX students in Randox so far. Anyone interested in applying for the 2018-19 scheme should email recruitment@randox.com.

 

The top students in the Randox Pinnacle Placement Awards 2017 were:

 Science Category

Robin Walsh, Queen’s University Chemical Engineering – New Technology Evaluation Chemistry Team at Randox

Katie Lawther, Queen’s University Microbiology – Monoclonal Development Team at Randox

Sarah-Louise Morrow, Queen’s University Biochemistry – Molecular Diagnostics Team at Randox

 

Engineering Category

Catherine McCooke, Queen’s University Electrical and Electronic Engineering – R&D Engineering Team at Randox

Ruairi Laverty, Queen’s University Mechanical Engineering – R&D Engineering Team at Randox

Adam Fawcett, The Ulster University Electronic Engineering – Engineering Team at Randox

 

Business Category

Shannon McKee, The Ulster University Business – Regional Sales Team at Randox

Martin Conway, The Ulster University Marketing – Marketing Team at Randox

Alastair McIlveen, Queen’s University Computer Science – IT Team at Randox

 

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 | 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 | 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 | Christmas Traditions at Randox

Christmas time at Randox is always something to look forward to. Each year the different sites are brightly decorated, the Christmas tree goes up and everyone is full of Christmas cheer.

And with Christmas 2016 around the corner we thought that we would share with you some festive traditions that take place here at Randox.

It starts with some fairy lights and tiny Santas, and suddenly you realise you’re in a Winter Wonderland at Randox at Christmas time. Teresa is almost hidden at Ardmore reception by a miniature fir tree, decked with balls and stars! Wherever you are in the company, you will find festive cheer – this is a time of year when Randox goes to town, not only for its staff and their children but also charities and people in need.

It began in 1982, the same year the company was founded. Mrs FitzGerald invited all the staff to bring their children to work on the final Friday before Christmas, where they were greeted by Santa and given a present. As the company has grown so too has Santa’s list and this year his very busy helper Steven Moore has searched high and low for the perfect gift for 108 girls and boys! Each year the room is always jam-packed and the air filled with joy and small squeaks of excitement, and 2016 is of course no different.

Over the years new traditions have been added and everyone looks forward to the now legendary Randox Christmas raffle where there are always some fabulous prizes to be won. This year our raffle takes place on Friday 23rd December, and prizes include a 55” TV, an iPad and an extra day’s holiday which is always a popular prize! All money raised by the raffle is going towards the very worthy cause of Hope 365, an Antrim based charity that works to help street children in Ethiopia.

Then it’s time for ‘Secret Santa’ organised within each department.  From a hat names are drawn, and you have to buy a present for whoever you pick! This has been a great tradition carried on by Randox staff for many years. It’s always fun to see what people get and trying to guess who was behind it!

As well as many individual team Christmas dinners over the month of December, the annual company-wide Christmas lunch is something many people look forward to. This year we’ll have almost 100 people joining us at the luxurious Merchant Hotel in Belfast on Thursday 22nd December.

Not only do our teams get involved in the Christmas festivities but they also organise a number of events to raise money for charities. This year we took part in Christmas Jumper Day on the 16th December for ‘Save the Children’ and raised a staggering £640.52!

We are also organising a collection for ‘Help the Homeless’, donating hats, scarfs, gloves to help keep everyone warm during the winter months. Our Randox Teoranta team in Donegal also donated 54 Christmas shoeboxes for the annual Team Hope Ireland Appeal.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading about some our traditions here at Randox and we wish you an enjoyable and relaxing time with your family at this time of year. Season’s Greetings!

For more information on our Christmas traditions at Randox please contact randoxpr@randox.com


We Are Randox | Randox Scientist Marta Crudden inspires the next generation of scientists at St. Bride’s Primary School

As a world-leader in diagnostics, dedicated to improving the health of populations across the globe, we know the importance of inspiring and nurturing the next generation of scientists who will carry on our hard work and strive to realise our vision.

Our scientists at Randox are all equally passionate, knowledgeable and experienced, and as such often make visits to schools, universities and colleges to spend time with students interested in asking our team about what it’s like to work in a global healthcare company.

This month, Marta Crudden, an R&D Scientist in our Serum Production Team, paid a visit to St. Bride’s Primary School in Belfast, to spend the day with the pupils there and showcase what a career in science has to offer.

Marta commented;

“When I was offered the opportunity to speak at St. Bride’s Primary School I jumped at the chance, because I am passionate about encouraging school children to pursue a career in STEM.  I have a Biomedical Degree from Queen’s University and also spent 5 years there conducting cancer research, so science has played a big part in my life.

“I was delighted to be able to share my experiences with the children, who were very interested in what I had to say.  It was very enjoyable listening to and answering their imaginative questions, and I particularly enjoyed the presentation I gave to the pupils on DNA, because they were all incredibly curious and eager to learn more.

“They were fascinated to hear that all cells, not just humans, have DNA, and therefore were throughly attentive when we moved on to our interactive session on DNA.  During this session I showed them how to extract DNA from strawberries and what it really looks like in a real organism.

“This prompted a lot of interesting questions about cloning animals, including dinosaurs!  There is nothing quite like the imagination and curiosity of children!

“A few days after my day at St Bride’s I received a number of messages from some of the parents saying thank you for my talk, and for inspiring their kids to become interested in science.

“I like to think that some of those children will go on to choose STEM subjects when they go to highschool, and could even end up working here at Randox!  I’m delighted to have been able to share the work we do with the next generation of scientists.”

For more information on how Randox promotes STEM careers within schools and universities please contact randoxpr@randox.com


We Are Randox | Randox Teoranta get in the Christmas Spirit with Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal

‘Tis the season of giving! And our team of scientists, engineers and office staff at Randox Teoranta, in Co. Donegal, Ireland have embraced this wholeheartedly, by getting involved with the Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal.

For the past 18 years Team Hope, a charity based in Ireland (with the help of businesses, schools, and individuals) have delivered Christmas shoebox gifts to over three million children in some of the remotest and poorest parts of the world.

Many of these children’s families have to survive on less than €1 a day.

Those who get involved with the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal bring a ray of hope and joy to children who think they’ve been forgotten about at Christmas time.

Last year, 212,002 people across Ireland got involved with the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal, and this year, we are extremely proud that our Teoranta team took the time to fill an incredible 54 Christmas shoeboxes.

The team filled their boxes with gifts and useful items for the children, who will open their boxes on Christmas Day to find the wonderful surprises waiting for them inside!

These ranged from items for school like a pen, pencil, book, colouring pencils or calculator, to hygiene items such as toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, a facecloth, hairbrush and comb, plus clothes including hats, scarves, gloves and socks.

Finally, the staff made sure to include an extra special little something for each child to open up on Christmas Day! These included games, sweets, musical instruments, cuddly toys and skipping ropes.

Each box was then carefully gift wrapped with care in festive Christmas wrapping paper.

Claire Newbon, Manufacturing Operative, introduced the Showbox Appeal to Randox Teoranta and found that everyone was really keen to get involved.

“Within the team here at Randox Teoranta we are all very fortunate to have great jobs, loving families and a roof over our heads.  But we are very aware that there are adults and children in other parts of the world who aren’t so lucky, through no fault of their own.

“At the most joyful time of the year, the Teoranta team wanted to be able to share the magic of Christmas with those children who would otherwise not get any presents.”

Katie Sweeney, Randox Teoranta Receptionist who co-ordinated the Shoebox Appeal Project for the team, added;

“Our boxes were collected by members of Team Hope and it is lovely to know that they will be opened by children less fortunate than us across the world. Staff in each department really got involved and we’re really proud of our achievement of creating over 50 boxes.  Each box will make Christmas that little bit better for a child so we’re glad to have been able to help in some way.  Merry Christmas to all the children who are helped by Team Hope, and of course to everyone at Team Hope for the fantastic work they do.”

 

For more information about how Team Teoranta got involved in the Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal, please contact randoxpr@randox.com


We Are Randox | Randox Artist-in-Residence Joe McGuinness on his passion for art, his love of drawing and his plans to release a second novel

Through our We Are Randox stories we aim to showcase all our employees’ skills and talents and with a dedicated workforce of over 1400 people we are always spoilt for choice! 

This week we sat down with artist Joe McGuinness, who joined our team only six weeks ago, to hear all about his passion for art, his love of drawing and his plans to release a second novel.

“I was about seven years old when I first realised that I was going to be an artist. I remember my mother was pregnant with my baby brother, she was unwell and I found her curled up on our sofa. So I went and got some paper and a pencil and decided that I was going to draw a portrait of her. To this day I can still remember the expression on her face when I showed her the finished piece. It was her reaction and the look in her eyes that kicked me off and I knew in that exact moment that art was going to be a big part of my life.”

As Joe went on to study Art and Design for three years at the Rupert Stanley College located in Belfast he found himself more interested in learning about the history of artists’ lives and what inspired them to produce art.

“I love the works of Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh and I am fascinated by his life.  There has been many an afternoon where I have just sat down and looked up as many channels as I can to find out more about him and how he lived. Similarly to Van Gough I tell a story or a personal journey that I have been on through my art. I do have an emotional connection to some of my art, they mean a lot to me and I wouldn’t part with them.

“My favourite piece is a piece called “Lock and Key.” There is a lock and a key hidden in the picture and I will only reveal where it is to the person that I pass it on to.”

“It’s great when I get to barter with my art.”

“I was once asked to do a painting of a friend’s house up in Donegal. So I said I would if they gave me the keys of the house so I could go up and stay in it for a week in August with my wife. There was another occasion when I was asked from a friend of a fella originally from County Antrim if I could reconstruct an old dwelling that he grew up in. It turned out he was a multi-millionaire who is now about 90 years of age living out in New Zealand.  Sometime after I had sent the painting to New Zealand I received a letter back from his wife. She said when he first saw the picture he cried. It’s now his pride and joy, and has been placed in his study where he sits and looks at it. I find that incredible and that’s what makes me glad that I am an artist.

“I like to draw while I’m away on holidays, I find that I can relax in the good weather and just sit and draw. I remember back when I was in Milan, there was this little fountain spouting water. It wasn’t famous or of much interest to the passers-by but I thought it would make a beautiful picture. So I sat down and started to draw it when a gentleman came and asked could he join me. It turned out that he was a professional photographer from Paris and loved my art work. It’s great when you can make friends out of something that you love. “

“Through my art I have met a range of friends all over the globe, from France, to Rome, Sicily, Milan, Australia, it just goes on.”  

“Most Saturdays you can find me downstairs in the Conway Mill. I sit and draw next to where my artwork is displayed and people sometimes like to look on and watch while I’m drawing. My favourite type of medium to paint with is acrylics but I can teach a range of different techniques. Wax etching is a beautiful technique which I learnt whilst I was studying art. Sometimes people stop and ask me questions about my pictures or about certain techniques and I would invite them back the following week to join me.”

 “In my first ever exhibition I sold about 90% of my work.”

“It feels incredible to say that my art has been bought by people all over the world from New York, Europe and as far as Australia. The great-great niece of the famous Ned Kelly has some of my work. I have also donated work to Autism New York to help raise money for autism which is a cause I am very passionate about.

“In the future I would like to get more involved in the design aspect of art. I have been asked if my drawings could be used for prints for duvets covers and also for pottery and vases which would be great so I’m going to start looking into that. I’m also currently looking at property in Alvor in Portugal- that’s where I want to be in nine years’ time. My hope is that I can retire there and open up my own art academy. There is nothing greater than a group of artists sitting together and talking art and learning from each other. I’m also working on some illustrations for my second book that is based on events that have happened throughout my life. I think it will be a much deeper Joe than what you got to read about in my first book, ‘Rainbow over the Black Mountain’.

“My wish for the future, when I’m gone is for museums across Ireland – north and south – to have their pick of my art collection. In some of my paintings that I sold I have hidden letters inside the frame explaining the inspiration behind the painting, just to add that little extra personal touch to them. Sure you never know, in a hundred years’ time someone might find some of my letters… now wouldn’t that be a story worth telling!”

**Joe would like to offer a special thanks to Maureen Shields (Supervisor) and Cathy Hurrell (HR) and to the rest of Randox staff and employees. Following Joe’s time with us he added “You’re a great bunch of people.” **

Thank you Joe for spending the time to discuss your art work with us. We can’t wait to read your second novel and see all the wonderful images that will come with it.  

For more information about our wonderful mulit-talented team here at Randox, please contact randoxpr@randox.com


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