Datesand News

The future of UK Life Sciences – Lords Committee launches a new inquiry

uk-life-sciences20 July 2017 Lords Select Committee

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee launches an inquiry into Life Sciences and the Industrial Strategy.

The Government set out in its Industrial Strategy Green Paper its intention to create a new Life Sciences strategy to make the UK the best place in the world to invest in life sciences. To tackle challenges like cancer and dementia it is important that the UK has a strong life sciences sector. But the sector faces a number of challenges and opportunities, including Brexit and making innovative new treatments available on the NHS. Read more ….. The future of UK Life Sciences – Lords Committee launches a new inquiry – News from Parliament

Exhibition & Events

See us at AALAS October 15 -19 2017                                      November  28-30 2017









Datesand’s Dream Team

dedicated to protecting your precious products and the people and animals who need them


These days Datesand’s irradiation services are a vital and  increasingly in-demand part of the range of services we provide. From relatively small beginnings  only a few years ago, there is now an enormous and fast-growing demand in our industry for high quality, vacuum packed and irradiated products. Producing them for our clients has become a huge part of the work of our Dream Team and its leader Sebastian.

At Datesand we now have two dedicated, specially designed preparation rooms equipped with a range of state of the art vacuum packing machines to complete this vital part of the service we offer. Sebastian, Piotr and colleagues provide  first class service, vacuum packing everything from nesting material and premium quality bedding to water, shampoo and even printer paper.

Packages must remain airtight through the process and delivery and we’re proud to say that we have achieved a level of 98% seal security ensuring the irradiated goods arrive safely at your premises and ready for use.

Once double or triple wrapped in top quality polythene and vacuum sealed, your products go for irradiation to the most modern, pallet-based irradiation service in the UK to be irradiated to between 25-50 kGy. They’re then delivered safe, sound and sterile to your facility.

If you have a product or products for irradiation, for the highest quality and best value for money service call us at Datesand (Freephone 0800 161 5381 or +44 161 274 1080 (intl)) – our Dream team will make samples and provide pricing for you in no time at all.

PS Both standard and bespoke items can be held in stock for customer call-off 

vacpac2irradiation-pallet    vacpac3







Nicky going through the obstacles for charity

colour-runOur dynamic and ever enthusiastic Senior Business Manager Nicky has been out and about again raising money for a worthy cause. Nicky and a team of her friends completed the testing 5k Colour Obstacle Run earlier this month to raise much needed cash for the Brain Tumour Charity. Nicky said “My friends and I thought we’d have a go at this. It was a 5km race with lots of inflatable obstacles to get through. There were also people placed strategically along the way throwing various batches of paint powder at us..” The results speak for themselves and of course we’d like to congratulate Nicky and her team for raising a tidy sum for the charity.

Open for business: inside the Francis Crick Institute

Afcrick_-_hero_image_option_2ter years of meticulous planning and design, in late 2016 the Queen officially opened the brand new Francis Crick Institute in London, the biggest biomedical research facility in Europe under one roof. Bringing scientists together from different disciplines to tackle the pressing health concerns of the 21st century, the new institute is now home to 1,250 scientists and a further 250 support staff. Now in 2017 we can take a glimpse behind its doors and meet some of its new inhabitants …read more
Open for business: inside the Francis Crick Institute


Art for Art’s sake – Rebecca’s hidden talent revealed

Many of you will have spoken to Rebeccagraffiti1 in recent times. She is one of the mainstays of our Customer Care team. Her co-workers already know Rebecca to be a woman of many talents but just recently she let us in on a little known secret.

“A few weeks ago I attended a Graffiti Workshop in East London (Shoreditch) and we were asked to try a bit of our own “DIY” street art.  We were also given a tour of the area and managed to see some original Banksy pieces. As Banksy uses stencils we were asked to create stencils of our on. Following the recent events in Manchester I decided to draw a stencil of the Manchester Bee. I’d had the Bee Tattoo done and I thought it would be nice to use this image as it had personal meaning for me and it was my way of showing strength and solidarity. Once the stencils had been cut, we were asked to experiment with colours that made a statement but allowed us to be creative at the same time. People seem to like the results (Interestingly enough the friends that I was with said they thought it looked like the bee had drums under the wings – that hadn’t been the intention but I can see that now in the pictures).”

Welcoming Evelyn to the team


Evelyn set to bolster Datesand’s Business Support Team

We’re all delighted to welcome Evelyn to the team here in Manchester. She’ll be working closely with Helen, Rebecca, Claire and the rest of the team to advise and support our customers on the products and services we offer as well as just being another friendly and helpful voice at the end of the phone when you’re looking for some assistance. Evelyn is already making a big impact and we welcome her warmly to the Datesand family.









Just for fun:

Which 3 species of animal kill the most humans each year?


Humans are the third biggest killer
Snakes are the second biggest killer
The animal that kills the most humans in a year is of course the Mosquito

WIN £20 Love2Shop voucher

Can you name this animal?











Mini Bio – Issue 2


Derek Saville (Tabs)

Warehouse and Production Manager 

Derek, or Tabs as he prefers to be known, has been at the heart of the Datesand team for over twenty years now. He is a crucial part of our senior management team but is also a vital source of merriment and morale, especially when things get busy (as they do quite frequently). We asked him to pick out a few key memories from amongst the thousands of moments, highs and lows he has experienced during these rich, enjoyable and often hilarious years.

“I joined Datesand approximately 21 years ago, originally on a temporary basis working on anything the small family business wanted me to do. I had quite a lot of practical and machine experience from my previous employment and one of my first jobs involved cutting Aquasorb absorbent trayliners on a rotary cutting machine. The process also involved laminating an impermeable liner to the sheets using a special adhesive and pressure. We had many a weekend with all the family and a whole variety of friends working to finish off big orders to go out to clients here and in Europe. I remember working right through one weekend to get thousands of sheets ready for shipment to Avensis in Germany. The work was non-stop and very tiring but we got it done and I recall my wife helping us to keep going and bringing a smile to a few weary faces when she brought us all a roast dinner into the little canteen on the last day.

Datesand were and still are offering a range of horticultural products as a separate business within a business (the Raingel range). I was soon involved using similar equipment to prepare absorbent holiday watering and hanging basket mats and then cutting them to size on an ancient but sturdy industrial guillotine machine. At times this was quite fast-paced but we always got there and lots of treasured plants of clients here and all over the world were suitably grateful.

Originally Datesand used third parties to carry out the limited amount of vacuum packing required on some of the products we sold. This was quite a costly business and the company decided to reduce the costs by bringing the vacuum packing process in-house. I was soon working away on some interesting, refurbished machines vacuum packing everything from 1kg bales to 200g packs of Sizzlenest nesting material ready for irradiation. It’s amazing to think that these days, in our purpose designed vacuum packing rooms, we have two and sometimes three people working pretty much all day, every day on a range of state of the art, automated vacuum packers producing huge quantities of the very highest quality vacuum packed products. It makes me smile to think of those early days and how far we’ve come.

We didn’t have a forklift truck in the early days and I remember the first large shipments and actual containers arriving at our tiny premises. Things like Aspen bedding and paper nesting materials weren’t packed on pallets in those days and I recall us unloading huge numbers of sacks from the lorries by hand. Pretty exhausting but good for the waistline in those days…. by the way, we have four fork lift trucks these days and are about to take delivery of our fifth.

One of the first products developed by Datesand was our disinfectant and glass cleaner Betadet 99 – invented by Jonathon’s Dad Barry back in the 70’s and still in our catalogue to this day. Early on, I remember mixing the various ingredients for this in a water butt on a shelf in what was known as the wet room ( pretty basic arrangements – in the second of the five different premises we’ve occupied over the years). These days we still sell the Betadet product but it’s now produced in a purpose built mixing container with state of the art hot water intake and drainage taps. This all takes place in a dedicated, secure chemical room at our premises in Manchester. For me this change really sums up the rapid development the company has gone through.

I’ve seen tremendous change and development during my 21 years at Datesand and I can honestly say that I’m immensely proud to have been part of this and have enjoyed every minute. Now, heading towards the twilight of my career, I’m really happy that the future of this tremendous company is safe in the hands of a smashing young team. I’m sure the Datesand family will go from strength to strength. I’m currently recovering from a recent hip replacement but really looking forward to getting back to work to further assist and guide in any and every way I can.

Innovation brings its own rewards!

lisa-doarThe three winners of the first ever Janet Wood Innovation Awards have been announced and very excitingly the first-placed product, the simply brilliant Mouse Swing by Lisa Doar from CRUK Manchester will go on sale within the next month. Keep an eye on the Datesand website for more details.

Lisa’s hopefully very rewarding prize will be 10% of the profits from sales of the Mouse Swing over the initial 18 months. Datesand chief designer, Mark said ‘we’re delighted with the finalised samples of the production version of this brilliantly simple product. We’re extremely excited about its launch and we’re certain it will be an extremely valuable and popular addition to Datesand’s wide range of enrichment items!’

Second prize went to Gareth Coleman’s (University of Cambridge) superb Mouse Mezzanine, closely followed by the remarkably ingenious Play Tunnel Clip designed by Chris Brown also of the University of Cambridge. These products too will soon be available commercially through Datesand – keep up-to-date with the Datesand website at and via our Twitter feed and Facebook group.

For more product info visit:
Single Mouse Swing
Double Mouse Swing

Call: 0800 161 5831 for more details

The second annual Janet Wood Innovation Awards competition  is already open for your submissions. Please download the special entry pack at