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A day in the life of…Kevin

Technical Sales Specialist

Hello, I’m Kevin. It’s been almost a year since I joined Cair. However, I’ve been in the Telecare industry for 28 years as an installer, engineer, trainer and now in sales for the last two years.

Cair is a great wee company from Halifax. I’m the first regional Sales Specialist to join the Cair team. Although I’m primarily based at home in Glasgow, I frequently visit the shiny new Cair offices. We’re like one big family, there’s around 30 of us and everyone’s photo is on the Cair family tree – it’s a great touch and it made me feel very welcome from the start.

Initially covering my home country of Scotland, I soon ventured out and now cover the whole of the UK. One of the perks of the job is travelling around the country. I’m a keen runner so wherever I go I try to get out for a run in the morning or evening. It’s a great way of seeing the local sights. I’ve run around places like central London, Stonehenge, the Highlands, the valleys of Wales and the beaches of Cornwall, as well as being an occasional member of Halifax Harriers when I’m working at Cair HQ.

As well as running the odd marathon here and there, I’m also on the board of Glasgow’s Bellahouston Road Runners as Social Secretary and my two kids, aged 9 & 14 keep me busy too.

My job is to help grow and develop the company with a view to expanding in the future but it’s also quite a diverse and interesting role. It involves meeting potential customers to demonstrate our products. Influencing product development, testing the devices before they’re launched then training customers on how to program and use them.

At meetings, I’ll explain a little about the company then demonstrate our products. Our products are aesthetically pleasing, great quality and we try to fit as much functionality into every one while keeping them straightforward to program. As we’re always striving to design the best products possible, the meetings end with a discussion on issues which aren’t met by current technology and features the customer would like to see in any new products.

Influencing development & design

Since starting with the company last October, I’ve suggested some ideas for new products and improvements to existing devices. Some of these developments are starting to come together and will hopefully be available in the near future. 

Surveying customers

Some of these development ideas will be refined even further by customers themselves. I’ll carry out some survey calls and feed the results back to the developers. It may be difficult to incorporate some ideas but others which may seem difficult could be incorporated fairly easily into a product. 

Testing

Every product we develop will have been extensively tested by myself and others within the business to ensure it’s as complete as possible before being trialled by a few select customers in preparation for sale.

Well, that’s a little snapshot of my life at Cair. Hopefully I’ll see you around at some point but if you spot me at an exhibition or conference, feel free to come up and say hello.

Blog by Kevin Queenan

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Upcoming Events

Over the coming months we’ll be exhibiting at various events across the UK.
See us at the following upcoming events for 2019 . . .

• 24th & 25th September Tech Severn, Shrewsbury
• 26th September Clackmannanshire TEC Event, Alloa
• 2nd October Optalis Daily Living Made Easy, Maidenhead
• 15th & 16th October TSA International TEC Conference, Birmingham
• 22nd October Cambridgeshire UKTHC MarketPlace, St Ives
• 20th & 21st November Digital Health and Care Fest, Glasgow

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A day in the life of…Jo

I joined Cair in October 2018 working part time as a cleaner at their office in Halifax.  At the start of this year a new role came up and since January I’ve been working as an Admin Assistant full time.  

Working at the Cair offices in Halifax

The company holds ISO accreditations for safety, quality and environment and we put a lot of effort into involving staff to help awareness and improvements.  My role supports the HR Manager and Quality Coordinator so there’s plenty of variety in what I do. Recently I’ve painted a lifesize tree on the wall to display company objectives, taken on responsibility for the fire marshal team, helped deliver ISO training sessions… and organised the ice cream van to come onsite (it’s hot work!).

The Ice Cream Van paid a visit to the Cair offices during the heat wave.

The company operates compressed hours so we work full time hours over 4 days a week, and don’t work Fridays which is great – as long as you don’t mind early mornings. 

Working from Home

In July, due to an unforeseen change in family circumstances, I needed to be able to spend more time in North Yorkshire. Unfortunately, the commute between Halifax and Malton just wasn’t doable 4 days a week.  So I talked to HR about it, believing my only option would be to leave the company.

However, the kind people at Cair came up with a solution that meant I could change my working arrangements to include working from home and only coming into the office one day a week.

Jo working on her laptop at home with views of field from the window.
View from home in Malton

This has had a massive impact on my work life balance enabling me to carry on working for a company I love and still look after my family in Malton.  The company’s response to my situation was unexpected, but fantastic!  

I feel lucky to have this opportunity and optimistic for my future career at Cair.  The people here are great, and I’d recommend the company to anyone looking for a job.

Blog by Joanne Clegg.

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Yorkshire Day !

The Cair headquarters are in the heart of Halifax, West Yorkshire. Often people have questioned the company’s location. A tech company with such innovative ideas and strong ethics. Why choose to base your offices in a small town and not a hustling bustling city?! 

In celebration of Yorkshire Day, let us answer this question once and for all. There are a number of reasons why we’ve chosen to call Halifax home but on this blog we’ve listed the top few. By the end of this read we’re hoping you will be as convinced as we are that Cair are in fact based in a prime location, surely one that no city could beat.

1) Callywood, Halifornia

Shows a Hollywood style sign saying Calderdale.
Hollywood style Calderdale sign on Beacon Hill – Source: Twitter @robintuddenham

The local courier has dubbed it as Callywood others argue Haliwood. All we know is the region has seen film producers flock to capture the charm of this little old village, bringing their high budget works to life.

Picturesque Yorkshire has always been home to many filming locations including blockbusters and classics such as Harry Potter, Robin Hood, The Railway Children and many more. Recently, Halifax in particular has received a bit of a reputation as the go to place to film with many household shows being filmed locally. These include the currently popular Gentleman Jack filmed in the famous Shibden Hall, The Last Tango In Halifax has various scenic locations subtly captured in every episode, Ackley Bridge depicts Halifax’s more urban side and not to forget Happy Valley of course, using the moors and woodlands as a backdrop to some of the more gritty scenes. 

All this makes us question…Hollywood, California who?

2) Location, Location, Location

View from the Cair offices.

Halifax has a prime central location, with the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales less than an hour North, the Peak District approximately an hour south, Leeds to the East and Manchester to the West. All we need now is the seaside and every box is ticked…Oh wait, did we mention Todmordern has a secret beach.

Calderdale is fast becoming one of the best boroughs to live in. With Hebden Bridge being voted as THE best place to live in the UK. Just for context, the Cair offices are only a 20 minute drive from Hebden and the commute is one to be envied. Instead of the usual traffic jams, sardine packed trains and angry commuters; the winding roads over the valley, past the windmills and across the various canals and rivers, ensure you never suffer from Monday blues again.

Halifax is definitely on the up with some new projects giving the local economy a boost. Most notably the Piece Hall, a vast 18th Century building newly restored and the UK’s last remaining cloth hall has been converted into cafes, shops and an iconic events venue. Other places of significance and a must to visit are the Victorian Borough Market with it’s Rococo inspired cast Iron columns, the Square Chapel with it’s art deco ceiling and the juxtaposition of the new glass box Library attached to the old church spire.

Dubbed by the Guardian as…Halifax, the Vienna of Yorkshire.

3) Yorkshire Folk 

Now we may be biased, but it’s common knowledge that us Yorkshire folk are as friendly as they come. This is especially true here at Cair, as most employees are local and often even a small walk away it guarantees for a close-knit welcoming atmosphere. We like to think of ourselves as a family at Cair with all new starters getting the privilege of having their portraits framed and displayed on the Cair family tree.

The laid back Yorkshire attitude to life guarantees a fuss free down to earth and direct approach that is hard to find elsewhere…particularly all whilst brandishing a proper brew.

Yes – It’s true, we’re experts when it comes to a good brew and we know a thing about pies and puds too. 
No – We don’t all greet each other by saying ‘Eeh by gum’.

“There’s nowt s’queer as folk”. Translation – People are strange unless they’re from Yorkshire.

4) Northern Powerhouse 

A government initiative to unite the economic power of the North of England and become a financial rival to London.  By providing more opportunities and improved infrastructure to shift some of the economic growth from the South upwards. The Northern Powerhouse is designed to ignite the business potential of the North. These effects can also be seen in smaller towns and villages, such as those in the Calder Valley region.

The North has always been a bit of an underdog, not to mention home to world leading innovators from a variety of industries. Historically, Yorkshire has also given the world; Football, Stainless Steel and not to forget Yorkshire Puddings. We say, it’s high time the North takes back its crown.

…The North Remembers.

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Mental Health and Dementia Awareness Day

Cair launches its Mental Health in the Workplace initiative  

Many of us know someone with a mental health condition, whether it’s a friend, family member, relative or colleague.  At Cair we are pleased to become part of a growing movement to dispel the stigma often attached to mental illness.

During Mental Health Awareness Week last week, we launched our Mental Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace initiative.  

This initiative included the introduction of in-house mental health first aiders, a first for the business!  

Mental Health first aiders Phil and Celia holding up their

Staff members, Phil and Celia (pictured), volunteered to become our on site Mental Health First Aiders. They recently successfully completed their training with St John Ambulance and are now ready to offer help and support on a confidential basis to any employee in need.  Their role includes looking out for indicators of mental health problems, which they do with the full support of the management team.

Cair staff become Dementia Friends!

This coincided with our Dementia Awareness Event held on Tuesday 14 May where staff were asked to bring in a sweet or savoury bake with cheese as an ingredient.  

The “Cheese Off” Baking Competition was held in aid of the Dementia Friendly Daisy Cafe in Todmorden. Tasting and voting for our favourite bakes, competition was fierce! 

Table filled with sweet and savoury cheese bakes for the "Cheese Off Competition"

First place went to Jo for her amazing Black Forest Cherry Cheesecake. Joint second were Phil for Red Pepper and Sweet Mustard Filo Rolls and Kazia for her Black Cherry Cheesecake.

Cheese Off competition winners holding their first and second place prizes

The event included a talk on Dementia Awareness by our guest speaker and Chair of Dementia Friendly Todmorden, Inspector Neil Taylor from West Yorkshire Police. 

By way of thanks, staff donated a food hamper and £75 for the cafe, presented to Neil.

Audience seated for dementia Awareness presentation Hamper presented to Inspector Neil Taylor

At the end of the event staff chose to sign up to become Dementia Friends (and a free badge).

Staff holding up their Dementia friends badges

Thanks to all who participated and contributed!

Blog by Alison Barnes.

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Earth Hour – The Worldwide Switch Off

What is Earth Hour?

‘Earth Hour’ was on Saturday the 30th of March from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. A worldwide event that takes place for an hour each year which involves switching off the lights to highlight climate change. Starting as a symbolic lights out event in Sydney in 2007. Now adopted by over 26 countries, inspiring millions of people to take action for the planet and nature.

Locations across the globe take part by going dark during Earth Hour. This year saw global landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the Eiffel Tower and even Hong Kong’s skyline to go dark for an hour on Saturday.

The Switch Off

As a company, Cair continually look to reduce its carbon footprint as well as to promote environmentally friendly good practices. From the installation of solar panels to planting trees, the environmental policy and ISO 14001 also help to manage Cair’s environmental responsibilities allowing Cair to focus on environmental challenges.

This month Cair encouraged its employees to take part in Earth Hour because even members of the public have an opportunity to participate, not just large cities and landmarks. From simply switching off the lights at home to organising an Earth Hour event, anything big or small, contributes to the environment and towards raising awareness.

Earth Hour Map showing Cair (UK) Ltd. in Halifax, West Yorkshire
Earth Hour Map

Getting Invloved

Most employees at Cair contributed to the event by switching off their lights at home for an hour. However, some went the extra mile such as Jean, Cair’s Supply Chain Manager who hosted a candlelight dinner party for the occasion. Serving up a three course menu to friends and family illuminated entirely by candlelight.

Activities that the Cair team took part in for Earth Hour included; evening walks, stargazing, curry night and movie nights.
Did you do something for Earth Hour? Share in the comments section below.

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You Said, We Did – Extra Buzzz Features

Designed to make caring easier. The Buzzz is a time saving, efficient and cost effective solution. The Buzzz is a new and innovative Telecare solution disrupting the marketplace in an industry that has had little progression in over a decade. Buzzz Notifier is a stand alone alarm receiver, with a sleek design that sits comfortably in any home. Receiving alerts from over 150 sensors*(compatible with most suppliers peripherals*) some of which include; bed sensors, chair sensors, door contacts, PIRs, smoke detectors epilepsy monitors and personal alarms.

 

Immediate alert = Faster response

Portable = Independence to carers

Customisation = Personalised care

 

Product Trial

Buzzz receives a direct alert from patient to carer which makes caring simple and stress free.
Upon unveiling this innovative product, a large number of local authorities signed up to trial this new piece of equipment. As a new product to market it was important to extensively trial the Buzzz and fully evaluate the benefits to carers. Since launching, there have been a number of organisations and individuals looking to be the first to take advantage of the innovation on offer.

Blue Buzzz displayed on kitchen counter

Over 20 local authorities, and private organisations across the country participated in the alpha trials. The trials lasted a duration of 3-6 months with some even wanting to keep their alpha samples, refusing to return them! Insightful feedback and suggestions for improvement were received and this feedback was used to further perfect the product.

Engineer closely inspecting the circuit board in some Buzzz Notifiers

The trial stages saw the Buzzz Notifier being used intensively over several months. From this we were able to clearly identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Notifier. Using this information, our engineering team put their heads together and refined the Buzzz to ensure the end product is robust and reliable. As a direct result of the trials, a few additional and novel features were also requested. The majority of suggestions for improvements were incorporated into the final version of the Buzzz Notifier.

Improvements – You Said, We Did

You said, more customisation options for night workers.
We increased sound and vibrate options and added strobe effect light for alerts.

You said, even better range.
We adjusted the internal Ariel and included a radio boost mode to provide an increased range. Increasing more than 1km when used alongside the Orion range extender.

You said, a greater variety of sensor name options when programming devices.
We added additional devices to the menu including epilepsy, enuresis sensors and pill dispensers as well as many other sensors

Results

As a result, those that trialled the Buzzz were also asked if they preferred the Buzzz to other alarm receivers.

The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive with over 94% of people saying they would rather use the Buzzz instead of their current equipment.Pie chart showing 94.4% positive feedback

“It is better than every other pager that we have used. Does everything that is needed and it does it well.” – Middlesbrough Council

Available for purchase, the Buzzz Notifier is now a stock item.

For further information and pricing options contact us.

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TSA Quality Standards Framework – Cair Achieves Certification

CAIR are proud to be the first manufacturer of Technology Enable Care (TEC) devices in the UK to achieve the acclaimed TSA Quality Standards Framework (QSF) certification.

What is a QSF Certification?

Over two days in June, the TEC Services Association (TSA) visited the Cair premises to carry out a suppliers audit. The new suppliers QSF Certification by the TSA ensures suppliers of TEC equipment work to the highest of standards.

 

“I’d like to congratulate Cair UK on their recent audit and QSF certification, this will further underpin the quality service that they provide to their many clients.” Alyson Scurfield, CEO, TEC Services Association

 

These high standards ensure customers and end users are able to benefit from high quality, TEC equipment. As mentioned on the TSA website, TEC Quality’s aim is to ensure that ‘quality and safety’ is at the heart and centre of everything within the TEC sector.

The TSA Quality Standards Framework offers Technology Enabled Care service providers and suppliers a way of demonstrating safety and quality. Furthermore, the framework offers commissioners much needed assurance in an otherwise unregulated industry.   

The Assessment

Wendy Hodgson TEC Quality auditor, assessed the Cair team. The team was led by Stephen Fearnley, Cair’s Quality Manager. Departments that were involved and assessed in the audit include; the Management Team, Sales and Production personnel.

 

Cair’s Managing Director, Mohammed Chaudhary said, “We consider it an important award that the TSA has introduced to help drive standards forward in the industry. This award shows our commitment to Quality products and customer satisfaction.”

 

Following the audit a report was received containing positive comments particularly about our staff training. The report also included pointers for potential future improvements to further refine the organisations processes.A copy of the TSA Quality Standards Framework Certificate awarded to Cair (UK) Ltd.

As well as the QSF certification, Cair’s manufacturing facility is already accredited to ISO9001, ISO18001 and ISO14001. These additional accreditation’s have been held by the company for a number of years. More recently, all of Cair’s electronic assembly specialists have been certified with IPC J-STD-001 accreditations. Moving to a person and outcome centred audit allows Cair to demonstrate total commitment to both customers and quality service delivery.

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What is Technology Enabled Care?

Technology Enabled Care Services

Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS) may seem fairly self explanatory. Enhancing levels of care with the use of technology. Sounds simple enough, but TECS refer to a variety of technologies. Technology enabled care consists of predominantly telecare, telehealth and telemedicine. Helping anyone whom may require care, from diabetes to epilepsy to chronic long term ailments.

Why use Technology Enabled Care Services? Utilising available technologies reduces NHS costs by enabling people to live independently and safely in their own homes for longer. Let’s take a better look into the different technologies that make up TECS.

Telecare

Telecare is the most common form of TECS and covers the essential requirements for caring for vulnerable individuals The basic equipment starts with a personal alarm usually worn around the neck or wrist. In an emergency, you would press the button on the personal alarm, sending an alert to a carer via the Buzzz Notifier. A dispersed alarm unit (DAU) can also receive the alert. As a result, the DAU then sends the alarm call to the local authorities who can send a responder or notify family and friends.

Telecare - Technology Enabled Care Services

Depending on the complexity of the individuals needs, other peripheral sensors such as bed mats, PIR’s and fall detectors can also be provided. These sensors give an overall view of daily activities and in some cases can act as prevention systems.

 

Telehealth

Telehealth uses devices to monitor vital signs in the comfort of your own home. Consequently, this is ideal for patients with long term conditions. Daily data is collected from the do it yourself style kits such as blood pressure monitors and the results analysed. If something outside of the ordinary is detected, this data can then be sent to a clinician.

Telehealth

Therefore, this remote exchange of data between a clinician and a patient at home can reduce the amount of required hospital visits. Hence, this type of technology gives control back to individuals and provides additional reassurance for family members.

 

Telemedicine

Telemedicine, it’s like having a doctor in your front room! Specialist apps or software transform smart device and TV’s into video call devices which allows you to speak with a doctor from anywhere. In a similar way to Telehealth, it is also possible to speak directly with a clinician if and when required.

Telemedicine

Telehealth Case Study

Telemedicine Case Study

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The Great Cair Charity Bake Off

This week saw the most anticipated event of the year, Bake Off…The Great Cair Bake Off.

The Cair team went head to head to win the coveted prize of Star Baker.

Entries included sweet and savoury bakes but all were homemade.

The aim of the bake sale was to raise money for Contact the Elderly charity.

At Contact the Elderly they help lonely and isolated elderly people reconnect with their local community. Volunteers take older people to free Sunday afternoon tea parties, offering them a vital lifeline of friendship.

With this great cause in mind, staff made a variety of mouth-watering bakes including; pastry, biscuits, bread, cake, pies, and buns.

Cake displayed on a table for the Cair Bake Off

Whether these were technical, signature or showstopper, it was agreed that all were delicious.

However, special mention must go to some of our engineers that produced some great bakes including the below.

The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating

After tasting everyone’s bakes, an anonymous vote took place and the winner revealed as production operator, Ewelina.

Which just goes to show our engineering team are great but our production team are even better in not only building product but baking too!

Cair Bake Off people tucking in and eating cake

A massive thank you to everyone that took part!

We raised a fantastic £128.04 for the chosen charity, proceeds will go towards helping end loneliness for local elderly people.

Ewelina won the prize of Star Baker, for her yummy Maxi Bar cakes!

 

 

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