We are delighted to announce after three long tough days Bryan is home safe and sound after successfully completing ‘The Crossing’ challenge in aid of our 40 for Forty campaign!
Read his account of the event below:
“Day 1 saw a 7am start leaving Whitehaven and after a tough 5 hours of non-stop torrential rain into the lake district, the sun came out just in time for a major mountain hike where the decision for all riders was whether it was easier to push or carry the bike! The long downhill sections more than compensated though. I was glad to see the campsite and get the first day under the belt.
Day 2 with 72 miles ahead to travel across The Yorkshire Dales from Shap to Northallerton – this day was the longest distance in the saddle. There was a fantastic mix of single track, rocky trails and some big tarmac climbs into the moors. The food stop was welcome, the sun finally came out but the heat from the sun added more of a challenge to the uphill climb before ascending into grassy fields! After trekking across the fields I re-joined the roads that lead over to Kirkby Stephen and up into the Yorkshire Dales.
After the final night’s rest in the Rat Race camp, Day 3 arrived with 60 miles left to complete cycling across The North Yorkshire Moors from Northallerton to Scarborough. At this stage of the game I was definitely feeling the physical strain from the last 2 days but with the end in sight the adrenaline kicked in for a final push . The route delivered wonderful sections of moorland, woodland tracks, quiet lanes and short descents before leading into Scarborough North Bay to the long awaited finish line!
Luckily I didn’t experience any punctures during any part of the route, but had to accept that being on a hard tail bike, the terrain took its toll as the last 90 miles were spent listening to a grinding / squealing rear wheel bearing which gave out.
Overall this was a truly memorable challenge and the event itself was very well organised by Rat Race HQ between the bag shuttling, excellent way marking, the food and campsites at each of the start, overnight and finishing stops.”
A massive well done to you Bryan, we are all very proud of your achievement and glad to welcome you back home safe!
If you would like to show your appreciation for Bryan’s efforts please visit the link below – Bryan’s Virgin Money Giving page is still live so any donation (no amount is too small or large) will be greatly appreciated!
Bryan set off on Thursday to Whitehaven with his bicycle and gear at the ready to take on ‘The Crossing’. Upon arrival at the Rat Race camp he registered for the event and settled in for a good night’s rest before the first day of the challenge.
After a very early start at 5.30AM Bryan got a bite to eat and all the riders were then briefed before setting off around 7.00AM.
Bryan had a tough start on the first day travelling across The Lake District, as if 64 miles between Whitehaven and Shap was not tough enough he had to battle against the elements with rain pouring down for 5 straight hours! With his first day now complete, he has really had a baptism of fire and we’ll not even mention his poor backpack 🙈🙈
Bryan has said: “1st day is done. Extremely difficult is putting it mildly! It completely bucketed down for 5 hours right from the start then cleared. Really tough terrain in places but now I’m back and showered starting to feel OK.”
Keep going Bryan, you’re doing great!!
If you’d like to show Bryan your support please visit our donation page:
On Friday the 10th August our commercial director, Bryan Armstrong, will be setting off on an epic mountain biking challenge known as ‘The Crossing’ in aid of our 40 for Forty campaign.
Bryan will be taking on 200 miles over 3 intense days along fully way marked tracks that span through the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors. The journey will venture across 3 national parks, with each providing their own challenge, and between 2 coastlines holding stunningly breath-taking views of scenery.
Bryan will be truly grateful for any donations, no amount is too large or too small, in support of our 40 for Forty campaign to raise £40K between our four worthy charities. You can make your donations safely in the knowledge that every single penny will go exclusively to our chosen charities as Bryan has personally funded all the costs associated with The Crossing!
To donate please follow the link to our Virgin Money Giving page: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-portal/fundraiserPage?pageId=957700
The countdown is now on and we wish Bryan the best of luck! We will keep everyone fully updated when Bryan sets off on his challenge, but for now check out the video below to find out what ‘The Crossing’ will involve:
Our most recent 40 for Forty event held was a Golf Day Tournament which took place on Friday 29th June at the Hilton Templepatrick Golf & Country Club. The par-72 championship golf course at Hilton Templepatrick offers over 7,000 yards of challenging fairways and Championship Standard greens interspersed with lakes and mature parkland, a layout that will test golfers of all skill levels.
The itinerary for this event included a delicious breakfast after registration before commencing an enjoyable round of golf around the award winning Hilton course. Following the round of golf a BBQ was held and a short presentation and prize giving was made to those who placed 1st, 2nd & 3rd teams and 1st & 2nd individual guests. Prizes were also awarded for the 3 longest drives and 4 nearest to the pins. With temperatures in the mid to high 20’s it was a fierce hot day but spirits were high and it was a very enjoyable event for everyone.
We are delighted to announce that this event alone has raised an outstanding £11,000.00 towards our 40 for Forty campaign!
We could not have achieved this remarkable amount without those who were so generous towards our event so we would firstly like to give a special thank you to our main event sponsor Whitecroft Lighting, represented by John McQuillan. We would also like to thank all of those who played on the day and those companies who sponsored four balls, course holes, longest drives, nearest to the pins, the event prizes and the goodie bags.
Thank you all for your extremely generous and continued support towards our ‘4o for Forty’ campaign!
On Tuesday 26th June our Mechanical Supervisor, Barry McAleese, took part in a Careers Fair at Buchanhaven Primary School in Peterhead.
Barry was invited to speak to the P7 pupils about his career path and how he has got to where he is today within the Plumbing and Heating industry. He explained to the pupils what his responsibilities in the workplace are, the importance of being part of a team and the different skills which are involved and needed to be a mechanical supervisor.
Danica Smith and Lindsay Ritchie of Buchanhaven Primary School quoted “working with partners in the local community is an integral part of providing a balanced education for our pupils and we are delighted that Dowds Group are willing to support local primary schools. Our children thoroughly enjoyed your input and I’m sure you will have inspired many youngsters to join the trade in the future.”
It was a pleasure to visit and support Buchanhaven Primary School in their careers fair and both the teachers and pupils were very welcoming in having Barry come along and tell them all about Dowds Group – thank you Buchanhaven Primary School!
Dowds Group contracts management team recently took part in a unique “Collaboration Event” in Redcastle, Co Donegal. The event was delivered by key industry professionals through a series of workshops over the two days, the first of its’ kind hosted by Dowds Group and was aimed at enhancing the collaboration and communication among our growing contracts management team.
As you can see it wasn’t all hard work, the team made the most of the good weather, taking time out to enjoy some water activities and team building exercises along Ireland’s scenic Wild Atlantic Way.
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
Following Abigail’s success at the SkillBuild Pipework competition held in Newtownabbey, she was entered into the Northern Ireland regional final of the competition. Abigail was very successful at this competition held in NWRC Limavady Campus in March, as she was the winner of the Bronze Medal. The judges were extremely impressed with the skills she held for only being in the first year of her apprenticeship as many of the competing candidates were in their 3rd and 4th years. Abigail kept her nerves at bay and has done herself, Dowds Group and the Northern Regional College very proud!
Abigail was then invited to take part in a Facebook live streaming interview by BBC Northern Ireland who were promoting apprenticeships in March, as well as being interviewed on the radio by the Mark Patterson Show to mark International Women’s Day. Both of these opportunities allowed Abigail to express her drive behind starting an apprenticeship and her ambitions for the future.
Leading on from this, Abigail and her fellow apprentices who excelled in the NI SkillBuild finals were invited to have tea with the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor, Joan Baird OBE, in April. Joan Baird quoted: ‘Apprenticeship schemes offer important opportunities for our young people, allowing them to gain qualifications while putting their skills to use in the workplace. Samuel and Abigail are fantastic role models and I hope their success encourages others to take advantage of the apprenticeships that exist across the Causeway Coast and Glens.’
We cannot echo enough the importance of this statement in that apprenticeships are a great opportunity and pathway into entering the construction industry to build a career, where you are earning whilst learning on the job and gaining the appropriate experience needed to succeed.
If you would like to find out more about apprenticeship pathways from apprentices themselves click here to watch the interview carried out by BBC NI: https://www.facebook.com/BBCNI/videos/
We would like to thank all our staff who took part in the Run Mucker Run and Belfast City Marathon events in aid of our ’40 for Forty’ campaign!
Those who were brave (and slightly mad) to take part in Run Mucker Run’s very muddy and tough 5K on Saturday 28th April were: Jonnie Boreland, George Young, Kevin Marron, David Porter, JohnJ Dowds, Joseph Dowds, Matthew Kennedy, Tiernan O’Mullan, Lee McFalone, Karl McFalone, Kim McFalone, Josie Hardy, Kerry Guthrie, Sinead McFadden & Mattie Dobbin!
We also had an ambitious number of teams and individuals who took part in the different events at this years Belfast City Marathon on 7th May:
Team 1: Malachy Molloy, Ivan Dunlop, Michael Morgan, Kevin Doherty & Gerry McCrystal
Team 2: Bryan Armstrong, Jack Gourley, Daryl Hill, Stephen Garfield & Chris Cahoon
Team 3: Chris Drew, Craig Preston, John J Dowds, Shane & Tiernan O’Mullan
5K Fun Runners: Sinead McFadden, Josie Hardy, Melissa Cunning, Kerry Guthrie, Jenna Taylor, Gemma O’Kane & Shannon Dobbin
8 Mile Walkers: Ann Wales & Carolyn McKiernan
Thank you all for your dedication towards our ‘4o for Forty’ campaign!