Randox Wears Yellow for World Mental Health Day 2018
Today is World Mental Health Day and Randox is getting involved to raise money for our two charity partners – AWARE NI and Ulster University’s Mind Your Mood.
Colleagues across Randox sites in Northern Ireland have been donning yellow in order to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing and also to raise funds for these two fantastic causes.
Wear Yellow Wednesday is part of a series of events taking place at Randox as part of Randox Mental Health & Wellbeing Month – an initiative which encourages staff to take care of their mental wellbeing and seeks to support the work of AWARE NI and Mind Your Mood.
The month also entails a charity ‘freefall’ abseil from the dome of Victoria Square when 14 brave Randox colleagues will scale the heights to raise money for AWARE NI. You can visit their JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/RANDOXAWARE
AWARE NI is the depression charity for Northern Ireland. They have two offices in both Belfast and Derry. AWARE has an established network of 25 support groups in rural and urban areas across the country which are run by trained volunteers. AWARE also deliver mental health and well being programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces.
Ulster University’s Mind Your Mood initiative is a service managed by Student Support but designed and delivered by students to have lived experiences of mental health illness. Mind Your Mood was created to help build resilience to avoid mental illness, provide support at the earliest point to avoid progression of mental illness to something more serious and threatening and to build resilience and awareness and provide support to help students with already-diagnosed mental illness.
For more information on Randox Mental Health & Wellbeing Month please contact the Randox PR team on 028 9442 2413 or by emailing email@example.com
Thanks to our series of We Are Randox staff profiles, we have the opportunity to find out more about our colleagues, and one of our favourite things is when we discover a lesser-known talent, hobby or interest. From top bakers to renowned athletes, dedicated volunteers to inspiring youth leaders, and charity fundraisers to creative artists, many of our staff are just as busy outside of the office as they are in it.
This month, in the search for our next We Are Randox interviewee, we’ve been lucky enough to find not one but five humble musicians working in our midst!
The newly-formed Randox staff band, or BANDOX as they are known to those of us here at Randox, made up of drummer Suzanne Alexander, Rhythm Guitarist Jeremy Parker, Bass Guitarist Scott McKeown, Lead Guitarist Max Brown, and Vocalists Sally Picton and Rebecca Aldous, recently made their début performance at our annual staff fun day, Randox FEST.
After playing an entertaining setlist of both classical and modern musical anthems including Sweet Caroline, Sweet Home Alabama, and Livin’ On A Prayer, for which they received a gallant round of applause and even demands for an encore, the band sat down with us to tell us a little bit more about themselves and to share some interesting anecdotes.
Drummer Suzanne Alexander
Suzanne is an experienced brass player, drummer and percussionist, having played at a number of gigs over the years as part of a brass band and impressively also a céilí band. Suzanne also got married this year. Congratulations Suzanne!
Rhythm Guitarist Jeremy Parker
Jeremy is the newest member of BANDOX, having only joined the group 2 days before their exclusive Randox FEST performance! Not only does Jeremy play guitar in another band called ‘Chivalry is Dead’, but he also plays the trumpet. Something you may not know about Jeremy however – he has been known to preach the odd sermon!
Bass Guitarist Scott McKeown
Matched only by his flair for colourful and bold shirt choices, R&D Product Manager Scott’s skills on the bass guitar have seen him play in rock concerts across the country. The best-dressed member of the Randox Biosciences team, Scott is always ready for a rave.
Lead Guitarist Max Brown
Max is well-known throughout the rANDOX office for his creativity in our Graphic Design team. Less well-known however, unless you follow him on Instagram, are his skills on the electric guitar. Fun fact about Max – he once had a trial with Sunderland Athletic Football Club while at university but suffered fallen arches and had to withdraw.
Vocalists Sally Picton and Rebecca Aldous
Sally and Rebecca are no strangers to the mic, having performed around the world with the Belfast Philharmonic Choir, for which the well-oiled singing duo’s favourite songs to sing are those by ABBA. Rebecca has a bassoon called Bob and Sally used to be a rugby referee.
So there you have it – our staff band! BANDOX will be coming soon to a Randox event near you, so keep an eye out on our social media channels for live performances and exclusive interviews.
For autograph requests or further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s that time of year again at Randox when we must say a fond farewell to our placement students as they leave to embark on their final year of study at university. We’re proud to be a key employer of placement students in Northern Ireland, having welcomed a huge 50 students through our doors last year, and are always enthusiastic to see students grow and develop during their time with us.
One such placement student who has this month come to the end of his 50-week placement with us is Thomas Adams, a marketing student at Ulster University.
Thomas joined the Randox Food Diagnostics team in September 2017 as a Placement Marketing Executive. We caught up with him to hear all about his placement year with Randox.
Thomas, why did you want to forge a career in marketing?
I’ve always been a creative person. I remember taking note of advertisements on billboards and on the TV and thinking that creating something like that would be my dream job. Marketing specifically appealed to me because you can incorporate the creativity of advertising while also interacting with the public and assisting sales teams. Variety is the spice of life after all!
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Creative, confident and chatty.
I’ve always known Randox as an NI-based global leader in diagnostics, particularly because I studied science at A-level and Randox would have been mentioned from time to time. Marketing at Randox, in particular, really appealed to me because of the scale of the company and all its divisions. I was enthusiastic to gain marketing experience in this high-calibre global company right on my doorstep.
Describe a typical day as a placement marketing executive.
When I come to work in the morning the first thing I do is check all emails and enquiries that have come in overnight to our Customer Relationship Management system and send out new enquiries to sales people stationed across the world. The Randox Food Diagnostics division has customers throughout the globe and there are many international queries that will come in throughout the night because of the different time zones.
The rest of my day is focussed on wine – and no, it’s not what you think!
I manage the marketing activities of the wine testing division of Randox Food Diagnostics. We’re working behind the scenes when you are enjoying a glass of wine with your meal, as have developed a range of high quality analysers and wine testing reagents which aid the wine industry. Quality is at the heart of what we do and we want to ensure the quality of your wine.
I spend much of my time creating fresh and exciting content for our website and social media channels. This could range from information on our wine testing kits, to current news stories in the wine industry.
I also manage the translation of this material into the languages of the various countries around the world in which Randox Food Diagnostics operate. I also take enquiries from our sales team for any new promotional material or market research they require to increase their sales.
How did you come to manage the marketing for the wine division of Randox Food Diagnostics?
When I first started, I was mentored by my team leader who gave me certain tasks specifically in the wine sector, and trained me up on everything I needed to know – helping to ease me in to what was for me, my first full-time job.
After three months, the wine division was then given to me to manage. This meant that I was in control of all marketing campaigns, materials and events for the wine sector. It was so exciting to be given this opportunity and I was delighted to hear that I was doing well, that my team leader was pleased with my progress and that he felt I could be entrusted with the division.
New wine tests need new advertising campaigns and market research and I was delighted to oversee this, as I was able to unleash my creative side in presenting my ideas to the rest of the team. I had to come up with the campaign strapline, the artwork, and the social media strategy, and make decisions about what advertising vehicles were best suited to our target audience – whether it be television, magazines, online or outdoor.
I also had the responsibility of staying up-to-date with the industry’s current market trends while organising our presence at wine events and conferences, such as ‘Unified’ in the U.S. I have found the experience of managing all the different activities of an entire marketing division incredibly insightful and rewarding.
How have you found your placement year at Randox?
I have found my placement year very enjoyable. I never felt like just a placement student – I was made to feel like an integrated part of the team from day one. Everyone is so helpful as well. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been here for twenty years or two weeks, anyone you ask will be willing to help you with whatever you need.
I have also really enjoyed the opportunity to travel while at Randox. I particularly enjoyed going to Lancaster in Pennsylvania, to see American marketing first-hand at the Eastern Winery Expo. I was involved in all aspects of the event’s management – booking the event, designing the booth, creating the promotional material and shipping it all across to America. It was fantastic to see all my hard work pay off at the event and to be able to chat to our U.S. customers face-to-face.
What is the best thing about Randox?
Definitely my colleagues. Everyone is so friendly and it didn’t take long to settle in at all. I’ve really enjoyed playing Randox football after work on a Monday night in Crumlin too as it gives you the opportunity to get to know people from the other Randox sites while having a friendly kickaround.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your time at Randox?
When I first arrived, I had a general overview of what Randox does and of some of its products, but I didn’t know anything about the company’s patented Biochip Array Technology. I had to quickly get my head around it and learn all about Randox biochips because it’s this innovative technology that Randox Food Diagnostics uses to stay ahead of competitors in the market.
Although initially challenging, I have enjoyed throwing myself in to this learning experience and turning what was once a negative in to a massive positive – I’m now as up-to-date on the newest technology as I possibly could be and that makes for the best marketing campaigns and promotional material. It’s been great for my own personal development to get stuck in to an entirely new area of science and to see my progress from the beginning of the year until now.
I’m a big believer of the importance of always learning and trying something new.
What do you do when not in the office?
I like playing sports, such as football. I’m also a keen cycler. My parents have always been in to cycling so I guess you could say its in the blood. In July I went to Fort William in Scotland for a week of mountain-biking. I love the thrill and the adrenalin rush!
What are your goals for the future?
I would like to secure a marketing role in a globally successful company like Randox, although I wouldn’t say for sure that I’ll always be in marketing as I wouldn’t mind branching out in to forecasting or sales. Fortunately, at Randox you have the flexibility to try a new role if you feel you’d like to expand your skillset. The careers team are really open to people moving about until they find their niche. That’s why the Graduate Programme is so great – you are able to rotate throughout different departments until you find the perfect role for you – one which you are passionate about.
Personally, one of my aims for the future is to travel more. I’d like to venture off the beaten track and see some of the more unexplored areas of the world such as Asia, the Arctic or areas of South America.
But for now, it’s time to get my head back into the books for my final year of studies at university. Wish me luck!
We wish Thomas, like all our placement students, all the best for the future as they head back to university. We look forward to following your budding career in marketing.
For more information on placements at Randox, please contact email@example.com for more information.
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.
Here at Randox, we’re a diverse bunch. We have more than 1400 employees of 44 nationalities, including 300 research scientists and engineers. Needless to say, the Randox family is a multicultural one!
We have four key manufacturing and R&D sites – in County Antrim, Northern Ireland; Dungloe, County Donegal, Ireland; Bangalore, India; and the Greater Washington DC area, in the U.S.
We also have additional sales and distribution offices spread over 145 different countries, ranging from France to Argentina, Italy to China, and Vietnam to Australia – the focus of this month’s We Are Randox feature.
To learn more about the country famous for Ayers Rock, the Great Barrier Reef, and so many more natural wonders and landmarks, we sat down with Technical Sales Specialist Tanya Galewski at this week’s Annual Randox Sales Conference.
Read on to hear find out what it’s like to live in Australia, her tips for visiting the country, and of course, her top 5 must-see destinations!
Life in Australia is pretty much as you would expect – super relaxed and wonderfully warm.
But in saying that, we’re such outdoorsy people. We’re always out eating and drinking, and there are national parks and beaches everywhere, which means that we end up spending a lot more time outside than inside, which I think makes for a great atmosphere.
We’re just real go-getters!
My top 5 Must-See Destinations in Australia would be:
- Bondi Beach
(I live there so I have to say Bondi Beach!) But it certainly is one of Australia’s most iconic and most beautiful beaches. It really emulates the laid-back atmosphere of Australia, has wonderful cafés along the boardwalk, some beautiful shops, and of course the sand is totally pristine. If you like to surf the waves are incredible and the water itself is stunning.
- McLaren Vale
This is a beautiful wine region in the south of Australia which overlooks the ocean. Again, I may be biased as it is near my home town, but the wine produced there is totally world-class. You can take part in wine tasting events, visit farmers’ markets and enjoy live cookery demonstrations. It’s the perfect foodie destination.
- Noosa National Park
This is a national park in Queensland. It has the most gorgeous coastal walk where you can see dolphins, experience beautiful views of headlands and dunes, and go surfing. If you’re interested in Australian wildlife it’s also home to a range of animals including parrots, koalas, and frogs.
Moving away from the coastland, the next spot on my Must-See list would be Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock). It’s in the centre of Australia and is the absolute epitome of the Australian outback. Not only is it a geologist’s dream, it’s also really spiritual and you can’t help but be in awe when you see this wonder of the world.
There is so much to see and do in the city of Melbourne. You could spend all your time there just eating and drinking and you still wouldn’t be able to visit all the wonderful cafés and restaurants!
The culture in Australia is quite diverse because it’s a multi-cultural country, meaning that our cuisine is also quite diverse. One of the good things about that is because there are so many people who specialise in what they cook, the food is exceptionally good. It’s helped also by the fact that we have such amazing home-grown produce.
Overall I would say that Australia is the perfect place for you if you love getting outdoors in the fresh air, enjoy trying new food, and like having the opportunity to take on new adventures.
With such a wide range of culture, climate and terrain all in the one country, there really is something for everybody.
We’re delighted to have had the chance to chat to Tanya, to learn about life in Australia and find out more about the country which hosts one of our international offices.
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 Randox Australia, visit careers.randox.com
The name Christopher McNally may be one that you already recognise. In 2016 he earned 1st place in the Science category of the Randox Pinnacle Placement Awards, having caught the attention of Senior Management for his pioneering work developing a new diagnostic for pancreatic cancer.
Fast-forward two years and Christopher is now back at Randox as a PhD student, conducting research in prostate cancer as part of the recently-announced Randox-Ulster University PhD Academy.
We sat down with Chris to hear all about his revolutionary prostate cancer project, what motivated him to sign up to our PhD Academy and what it’s like to be back in the place where his scientific career began.
Here’s Chris’ story.
I came into Randox when I was just 19 years old for my third year at university as part of the company’s year-long placement programme. It was a great way to truly experience a working laboratory outside of the classroom and really cemented my desire to work in biomedical science.
I was lucky enough to be placed in the company’s Donegal branch, Randox Teoranta, which is close to where I grew up in Gartan, and offered me the opportunity to carry out ground-breaking medical research surrounded by my home of Donegal.
I would highly recommend the opportunity to perform an industrial placement to anyone. It helps you to prepare for what comes after university, develops your skills in the area in which you are interested, and refines your laboratory techniques. I was delighted to hear I won in the Science Category of the Randox Pinnacle Placement Awards during my time there as well, and this really inspired a confidence in me that I had become a talented scientist even before I graduated.
When I completed my fourth year of studies at Ulster University, I graduated with a degree in Biomedical Science and Professional Practice, and returned to work for Randox. The traits and qualities I learned during my placement had subsequently brought me to post-graduate employment, and I was thrilled. I was lucky enough to be able to walk straight back into the lab knowing exactly what to do and how to do it.
Despite becoming employed within Randox straight out of university however, I had this feeling that I was not finished with regards to academic study. I knew I wanted to do more, to perform more research. So, when I heard about the Randox-Ulster University PhD Academy I really was intrigued. It was the perfect platform to further my studies and be able to give more to the scientific community.
When choosing the area of research for my PhD I was keen to hear more about a collaborative prostate cancer project led by two of Northern Ireland’s leading cancer researchers Dr Mark Ruddock (Randox) and Dr Declan McKenna (Ulster University). From my time at university and my time spent at Randox, I thought I could bring my experience and knowledge in cancer research into this project, so I thought, let’s go for it.
Ultimately, the project involves looking at prostate cancer patients as well as patients who have other non-serious prostate conditions, and recognising any potential differences in the two. We can then develop a clinical diagnostic test that can identify the men at the highest risk of prostate cancer and stratify the patients accordingly.
The earlier we can do this, the quicker a patient can be treated, or not treated as the case may be. Overdiagnosis is a significant problem in prostate cancer care and many men, who do not have prostate cancer, but present with prostate cancer-like symptoms, unfortunately go through invasive, uncomfortable and most importantly, unnecessary procedures.
This work therefore has real potential to improve the management of prostate cancer, which is currently the most common cancer in males within the UK. It’s a very rewarding field to be working in and I thoroughly enjoy the work I’m doing knowing that it will have a real-life impact on many men. I’m very proud to be able to say that my PhD research will really make a difference and I now know for certain that I will continue working in cancer research after my project is complete.
Knowing that I’m helping to improve the quality of patient’s lives brings a great deal of satisfaction that few jobs can replicate and I’m excited to see what the next three years will bring.
We’re very proud of Christopher and the amazing work he is doing in prostate cancer research, and are delighted that he has made the decision to join the Randox-Ulster University PhD Academy.
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
To find out more about the Randox-Ulster University PhD Academy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
You may have heard of Companion Diagnostics. This type of diagnostic provides information that is essential for the safe and effective use of a corresponding drug or biological product. It can help to stratify groups of patients which will respond safely to a clinical drug trial, and those who may suffer undesirable side effects.
But why are Companion Diagnostics useful?
Randox Biosciences Pharma Relationship Manager Dr Miguel Quesada-González, PhD has the answer.
“As part of my new role, I’ll be supporting drug development and clinical trials. So as a scientist by background (the nature of the beast) I’ve been reading into and researching this incredibly interesting area of science.
“Since Day 1, Companion Diagnostics (CDx) especially caught my eye.
“When it comes to new drug development, either for Pharma or Biotech, there are many benefits of running a CDx. Based on well-acknowledged scientific papers that I have read, and my own personal perception of the current situation, I’d like to summarise and simplify in just 2 bullet points, what I personally believe to be the most important benefits of running a CDx.
“(a) Delivering the right treatment to the right patient at the right time.
“We should never forget that our priority is the health and integrity of patients. It’s been proven that patients who have similar diagnoses very often respond differently to the same treatment. This variability presents a risk in both the efficacy of the treatment and the safety of the patient.
“The development of a drug is already a risky, long and costly process, so wouldn’t you like to avoid the initial high risk by having a good defined target initially?
“(b) Saving time.
“Money is valuable but time even more so. Time is precious and priceless. Once it’s gone, there’s nothing we can do about it!
“The smaller and more targeted the clinical trials are, the less time and resources you’ll be spending. Normally, the CDx is not initiated until a drug has reached the later stages of development, but, actually, if you put the CDx in place at early development stages (preclinical) it presents many advantages because it enables the selected biomarker to be validated and determined before large amounts of resources have been put in place.
“The faster a potential treatment is developed and approved, the more people you can save, cure or simply improve their quality of life.”
For further information on Companion Diagnostics from Randox Biosciences please email us at email@example.com
What makes Randox the successful, innovative and forward-thinking company it is today are the passionate, hard-working and talented staff we’re lucky enough to call our colleagues.
Our staff are our best asset and across every division our team help to save lives – whether it be designing the newest Biochip to test for Alzheimer’s disease, developing the latest software for use in hospitals and universities or managing our global offices, to ensure our pioneering health technologies make their way across the world to where they are needed the most.
Our headquarters are in Northern Ireland, but we have teams based all over the world, including in Donegal, Ireland, where Dr Ciaran Richardson heads up the Research and Development Team.
We sat down with Ciaran to ask him about his role in Randox, to find out what inspired him to become a scientist, and of course to discover what makes working in Randox Teoranta in Donegal so special.
Ciaran, can you tell us a little bit about your role at Randox Teoranta?
My name is Ciaran Richardson and I am the Research and Development Manager at the Randox Teoranta facility based in Dungloe in County Donegal. I have some operational responsibilities at the facility but I primarily focus on working closely with the Research and Development scientists here. They use unique Randox technologies to develop next-generation diagnostic tests for prevalent human diseases such as stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders and thyroid disease. What’s particularly interesting is that we don’t focus exclusively on human conditions. The team at Randox Teoranta is constantly evaluating new technologies and methodologies with a view to continuous evolving how we approach our work and we are currently developing veterinary diagnostic tests.
What kind of research takes place at Randox Teoranta?
More than 50% of the workforce in Dungloe are employed in Research and Development positions. Our teams of R&D scientists are using a world-first technology that is unique to Randox called Biochip Array Technology. This technology allows you to place multiple diagnostic tests on a single biochip and this can then be used to test for many different biomarkers in a sample of blood. This is in stark contrast to traditional diagnostic methods that perform one test at a time on a sample of blood.
But it’s not only scientific research that we undertake at Randox Teoranta. It is critically important that our hardware keeps pace with the new diagnostic tests that we are developing. We have a highly skilled team of R&D Engineers that are developing next generation diagnostic analyser systems for Randox. We have electronic, mechanical, embedded systems and software disciplines all working together to develop new analysers that enable effective and accurate reporting of results from our diagnostic tests.
We also have significant manufacturing capabilities at the site in Dungloe. We have a dedicated department for manufacture of the Randox biochips and a further department for manufacture of the Randox family of analyser systems.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I manage a broad spectrum of R&D projects so my days can be quite varied. I could be meeting with our different scientific teams or managing ongoing projects that we have with various collaborators throughout the world. R&D is a rewarding but challenging field and it is very important that we react quickly to problems as they arise. I therefore spend lots of my time meeting with the scientists to review data so that we can make strategic decisions to move things forward as efficiently as we can.
Did you always want to be a scientist?
The short answer is no. My father was a businessman and my mother was a teacher, but she said I didn’t have the patience to be a teacher. I must admit she was probably right! My passion for science came to the fore when I studied Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics at Pobalscoil Chloich Cheannfhaola in Falcarragh. I went on to study Biotechnology at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and then undertook my PhD studies in Cancer Research at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff. I then spent the next five and a half years working at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit at the University of Dundee.
When our first daughter was born in Dundee we decided we wanted to move back to Donegal but my job prospects there, as a scientist, were slim. I did, however, apply for a role in Randox’s County Antrim headquarters which I was delighted to get. 18 months later, I was asked to become the R&D manager at a brand new Randox site in West Donegal. The rest, as they say, is history. Science can be a challenging career but it is extremely rewarding to think that the work we do at Randox Teoranta has the potential to not only improve people’s lives, but extend them far beyond expectancy.
What’s your favourite thing about working here?
My drive to work is surrounded by the most fantastic scenery. I feel privileged that I have been provided with an opportunity to return home to west Donegal to take up such a challenging and exciting position in the field of science just 20 minutes from my doorstep in Gweedore.
Working at Randox Teoranta allows me to spend more time with my family as I have such a short commute and I haven’t had to re-settle my family from our native Donegal for me to follow my career dreams. We have four children and a dog so you can imagine how busy things can be! When I get home in the evening I enjoy spending time with my wife and children. I work hard during the week and then the weekend is family time.
Can I find my dream career at Randox Teoranta?
We’re expanding our workforce which means there are plenty of opportunities at Randox Teoranta. From placement student roles to permanent positions, we’re always on the lookout for the right candidates in various different fields – from manufacturing to research and development, administration to mechanical, electrical and electronic design engineering and software development to administration. At Randox Teoranta, we’re involved in world-leading science and technology every day. It’s amazing to think that your dream role in global innovation could be right on your doorstep in beautiful Donegal.
We are delighted that Ciaran has found his dream job with us at Randox in his native Donegal. He is a real asset to our global healthcare company and we’re proud to have him as part of our team.
For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.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 nobody demonstrates this better than our Logistics Team Leader, Carole Smyth.
Carole volunteers her time as Unit Leader of 2nd Antrim Girl Guides, a group of girls and young women who together, take part in activities designed to help them reach their potential and take an active and responsible role in the world around them.
As we continue our #WeAreRandox series of staff stories, we are delighted to have found out about the work Carole does with the Girl Guides.
We love getting to know the hobbies and interests that make our colleagues who they are, and hope that Carole’s story encourages other members of our team to consider some voluntary work in their local community.
By the sounds of it, Carole thinks it is an incredibly rewarding experience. Here’s her story.
I’ve been involved in the Girl Guides for 11 years now, having been encouraged to join by my sister-in-law Donna.
The organisation is entirely led by volunteers and therefore reliant on people signing up to commit to a few hours a week delivering Girl Guide activities.
My role as Unit Leader of 2nd Antrim Guides, along with two other leaders, is to ensure the girls have a varied programme and can gain access to activities they wouldn’t normally have access to. This can vary from arts and crafts to science workshops, cooking to camping, and dancing to orienteering.
Each activity aims to promote skills in the likes of leadership, listening, sharing and above all, developing the courage to take on new adventures and exciting challenges.
And it’s not just the girls who get the chance to embark on these adventures. Given my fear of heights, zip lining wasn’t exactly high up on my to do list, but when you have a group of Guides giving you “gentle” encouragement, what can you do?
Another highlight with the Girl Guides for me was June last year when I attended the Trooping of the Colour for the Queen’s birthday. Along with a few other leaders and girls, we were given access to the Youth Enclosure at the entrance to the Horse Guards Parade – a prime viewing spot to see the Royal Family. Then we were escorted to Buckingham Palace up the Mall, and even made it on to TV (if you don’t blink at that specific 0.1 second moment!)
The whole procession was just amazing and it was so special to be able to share this memory with my two daughters, one of whom is a Rainbow (ages 4-7) and the other a Brownie (ages 7-10). As a parent, I love that through Girl Guiding they have the opportunity to meet girls from other backgrounds and beliefs, and as I mentioned before, learn new skills and take part in lots of different activities, as well as earn Guiding-specific awards. From First Aid and World Cultures to Singing and Chocolate (yes you can gain a Chocolate badge – what’s not to love?), all of these awards look great on the girls’ CVs or university application forms.
And if you volunteer to be a leader, you can also study for new qualifications – in first response, hiking, catering or Duke of Edinburgh, to name but a few. Personally though, my favourite thing about being a Girl Guides leader is the opportunity to see the girls grow and develop during their time with us. I am able to witness shy girls gaining more confidence, girls with learning difficulties or health complications taking part in different activities that they would normally shy away from, and in general, just seeing all our girls enjoying their time together and making lasting friendships.
It sounds corny but I myself have also met lots of fantastic leaders during the last 11 years who I can now call lifelong friends. The bonds we as leaders, and the girls, make when we go away on our annual day trips, overnight stays, and camping adventures are quite unique.
This year our unit is attending an outdoor camp (our first overnight outdoor experience!) along with other units from our county. Last year, we took our Guides to Dunluce Guide House for our unit holiday and enjoyed a spot of horse riding, and last November we took part in UK Parliament Week by attending an evening at Stormont, where we met Arlene Foster. A few of our girls also took part in an activity day organised by Ulster Rugby at which they learned some basic rugby skills and had the opportunity to interact with Guides from all over Ulster.
The activities we offer to our Girl Guides are truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and I am proud that I am part of such a special organisation.
We’re very proud of Carole and the amazing work she does with Girl Guides, and are delighted that she has taken the time to share her story with us.
If you would like some further information on Girl Guiding, you can visit www.girlguiding.co.uk to register your interest.
For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com
As a global company with its roots firmly planted in Northern Ireland’s glorious countryside, we’re extremely proud of the beautiful scenery that surrounds our County Antrim headquarters.
With an abundance of flora, fauna and natural wildlife living on the shores of Lough Neagh – where we have our offices – we know the importance of looking after the environment. After all, at Randox HQ we are lucky enough to admire the view from our office windows every day.
That’s why we have a dedicated Environmental Management team at Randox – whose role it is to prevent pollution, reduce waste, recycle consistently, and in general, to control and reduce the risks to air, land and water.
In this month’s #WeAreRandox interview, we chat to Charles McGonagle, Randox Environmental Manager, about a typical day in his job, the importance of respecting your local environment, and what it is that makes his career so worthwhile.
Here’s Charles’ story.
We’re very lucky that at Randox we get to work in such a beautiful part of the Northern Irish countryside. Our headquarters are located just outside Crumlin, near the International Airport, and sit just on the edge of Lough Neagh, the biggest lake in UK and Ireland.
It was recently named one of the Top 100 global sustainable destinations – an initiative which aims to recognise tourism destinations that have worked hard to make a difference and take sustainability seriously. And that’s certainly what we do here at Randox.
We take our environmental responsibility very seriously, not only because of our location, but also because we owe much of our 35 years of success to the support from the local community in which Randox was raised – so we like to give back when we can.
Each year our team plant a new area of trees around Lough Neagh, to make sure the area continues to develop and flourish. In addition to its rich collection of trees, badgers, squirrels, insects and mushrooms, there are also 100,000 birds who flock to Lough Neagh during the winter, coming from places as far away as Canada, Iceland and Russia, and we’re passionate about maintaining this sort of wildlife diversity in the Lough.
Everyone at Randox has their role to play in achieving this aim – not just the Environmental team. A typical day for me would involve a site visit to a particular area of the company, to monitor its activity and environmental performance, and identify areas for improvement, so every day I’m in a different area, learning something new and interesting about the company. With such diversity in the activities and processes the environmental team are involved in, everyone across the company gets the opportunity to review and evaluate their impact on the environment.
Whether a scientist or marketer, manufacturing operative or salesperson, we all make an effort to reduce our waste where we can – for example by turning off our computers, heating and lighting when not in use, and maintaining our equipment properly so we maximise their efficiency. In our attempts to reduce our atmosphere emissions and energy use, every little helps!
Our engineering and manufacturing team, in particular, take environmental factors into consideration daily – whether the material they have chosen is environmentally friendly, if their processes are efficient and if waste material can be recycled.
And our training department has also recently moved onto a paperless data management system to reduce our impact on the environment even more.
I think that’s one of the most rewarding things about my job – seeing people get involved and engaged in ways in which we can improve our environmental friendliness. As someone who is passionate about protecting and improving the environment – I studied Environmental Management at university and then worked with the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute – I feel very lucky to work in a company which places such importance on looking after the environment and reducing its carbon footprint.
Randox are constantly trying to find more ways to reduce environmental impact, contribute to the reduction of global CO2 emissions, and make sure that this area of outstanding natural beauty in County Antrim is preserved for many generations to come.
For further information on what we do at Randox to protect the local environment, please contact the Randox PR Team: phone 028 9442 2413 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Here at Randox, we’re a diverse bunch, spread over 145 countries in the world. We have more than 1400 employees of 44 nationalities, including 300 research scientists and engineers. Needless to say, the Randox family is a multicultural one!
We have four key manufacturing and R&D sites – in County Antrim, Northern Ireland; Dungloe, County Donegal, Ireland; Bangalore, India; and the Greater Washington DC area, in the U.S. This month, our We Are Randox article focuses on the team in Bangalore.
Randox India, located alongside other high-tech industries based in Bangalore, consists of 37 office staff and 77 field staff, including customer support engineers and sales managers. A base for administration, sales and manufacturing in India, the Bangalore site, set in the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka, services the 3.3 million square kilometre country.
Photographed are members of the Randox team in Bangalore from the following departments;
- Accounts and Finance
- Customer Support Engineers
- Logistics and Trading
- Quality Control
- Research & Development
- Human Resources
Brian Walsh, Manufacturing Manager at Randox India, said:
“The photograph below was taken during this year’s Diwali, which is the Hindu festival of lights celebrated every year in autumn in the northern hemisphere. Danny Maguire, who is based in Ardmore at Randox HQ, was over on business at the time and joined us in celebrating this cultural tradition.
“It is one of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, and spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.
“We all really enjoyed having Danny with us and sharing some of our customs and values with him, many of which our team members based in other sites across Randox would not know about.
“We hope to welcome many more of our colleagues from across the globe to Randox India in the near future!”
Want to know what it’s like to work in Bangalore? Read all about when we met up with Pankaj Chitkara, who is our National Sales Manager for the RX Series in India.
For further information on the Randox Bangalore team, please contact the Randox PR team via email: email@example.com or phone 028 9442 2413