Chest, Heart & Stroke visit Dowds Group!

Our first ‘Health Matters’ event took place on Friday 26th January where Chest, Heart & Stroke visited our head office in Ballymoney to provide express health checks for our staff.

The checks provided staff with the knowledge of their cardiovascular risk factors including cholesterol, blood pressure, body composition, BMI & other lifestyle factors such as diet, which will enable them to make positive lifestyle choices. The health checks were very popular amongst our staff and we plan to hold many more over the next few months in our Belfast & London offices and across all our sites.

We would like to give a special mention of appreciation and thanks to Hannah, Amy and Colette from Chest, Heart & Stroke who carried out the health checks over the 2 days!

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Students experience Grassy Meadow

Dowds Group had the pleasure of welcoming two electrical installation students on site to Grassy Meadow. Joe and Edison, who are students from Uxbridge College, were on site for a week’s work experience.

Grassy Meadow is a recent project of Dowds Group which involves the redevelopment of a day care centre that will provide 88 one-bedroom extra care housing units, a specialised Dementia Resource Centre and associated facilities. These modern homes will provide great facilities to older residents who want to continue living an independent life.

Joe and Edison, spent a productive week on Grassy Meadow gaining a valuable insight into the daily activities our site team are involved in, alongside main contractor Farrans.

Dowds Group are a firm believer that work placements and apprenticeships are an ideal path to building a good foundation for a career in the construction industry. We currently have 7 new apprentices on site Grassy Meadow, totalling our apprentice tally to 42 over NI and London.

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Health Matters – Upcoming Events

Here are the most recent planned Health Matters events:

  • Chest Heart & Stroke will be providing Express Health Checks at the Ballymoney Office on Friday 26th January 2018 & Friday 2nd February 2018.
  • Staff survey help us address our current mental health status at the end of the month.
  • “Mental Health Awareness” programme in London scheduled for Summer 2018.

 

 

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And our 4th Charity is… The Boom Foundation!

As determined by the staff ballot held at our Christmas at the Races event, we are delighted to announce that the the fourth and final confirmed charity for our 40 for Forty campaign is The Boom Foundation!

Why – The Boom Foundation?

The Boom Foundation is the only charity in NI supporting patients with Sarcoma. 50% of their money goes towards Sarcoma UK research and the other 50% goes directly to benefiting the patients – all their work is voluntary with no overheads.

Our staff member, Carolyn McKiernan, experienced first hand the support and help The Boom Foundation offers and it is a charity Dowds Group would like to take the opportunity to give a little back for the help they provide to so many people.

We would like to thank all those members of staff who donated towards The Boom Foundation and the other three nominated charities, Tiny Life, Road of Hope and Welcome Organisation at our Christmas at the Races event!

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‘Christmas at the Races’ event reins in £5000!

This year our Christmas Party was particularly special as it was the launch of our ‘40 for Forty’ campaign. We held a ‘Christmas at the Races’ event at The Elk, Toomebridge on Friday 22nd December 2017.

After a delightful 3 course meal, our night at the races event kicked off! We would like to thank all of those companies who sponsored this event, firstly Malone Lighting as our main sponsor and the following 8 companies who sponsored each individual race:
Solmatix Renewables, KEW Electrical, Chroma Lighting, Gordons Electrical, Edmundson Electrical, Greenville, Midland Fixings Ltd and Crown Industries.

In addition to the races we also held a staff ballot to determine the fourth charity for our campaign. The four charities included in our staff ballot were The Boom Foundation, Tiny Life, Road of Hope and Welcome Organisation.

The charity with the most donations on the night was named as the final charity for our ’40 for Forty’ campaign, to find out who our fourth charity is follow the link:  And our 4th charity is…

We would like to thank the sponsors and especially all our staff for attending and the generous donations they made at the event. We are proud to announce that in total we raised a magnificent amount of approximately:

£5000!

 

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Our Four Selected Charities

Why – Electrical Industries Charity (EIC)?

EIC support the electrical industry with well-being solutions to transform and rebuild the lives of people by offering support programmes for apprentices, employees and their families and pensioner support.   This a charity that is held close to our hearts, especially after the support they provided for the family of a former Dowds Group employee  who sadly passed in 2014.

 

Why – Macmillan Cancer Support?

 Macmillan have millions of supporters, professionals, volunteers and campaigners who give support, energy and inspiration back to individuals and families of those who have battled cancer.  With support services throughout the UK including centres close to our three offices in Ballymoney, Belfast & London, we have all experienced in some way the help Macmillan can provide – we would like to take the opportunity to give a little back for the help they have provided to so many of us.

 

Why – Aware NI?

It is in unfortunate fact that the construction industry suffers a higher incidence of mental illness than any other industry in the UK.  As well as providing support services, AWARE deliver mental health and well being programmes into communities, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces. Dowds Group have worked with AWARE for a number a years, availing of their advice and guidance in the prevention and treatment of mental ill-health.

 

Why – The Boom Foundation?

The Boom Foundation is the only charity in NI supporting patients with Sarcoma. 50% of their money goes towards Sarcoma UK research and the other 50% goes directly to benefiting the patients – all their work is voluntary with no overheads. Our staff member, Carolyn McKiernan, experienced first hand the support and help The Boom Foundation offers and it is a charity Dowds Group would like to take the opportunity to give back for the support they provide to so many people.

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Dowds Group continue to invest in Apprentices

Dowds Group continue their long tradition of supporting apprenticeships, welcoming a new intake of Northern-Ireland based Mechanical and Electrical apprentices to the company in September 2017,  including our first female mechanical apprentice.

This now brings our current apprentice tally to 40 overall in NI & London!!

We are strong believers that apprentices are the lifeblood of the industry and play a vital role in introducing new skills and diversity into our already well-established team, in fact many members of our management team today started their Dowds careers as apprentices.

Dowds Group M&E apprentices at the Altnagelvin Northern Extension site; Abigail Reilly, Emmet McGilloway, Rory Donaghy and Matthew Mulligan

The quality of our apprenticeship programme is widely recognised and in recent years a number of our apprentices have been singled out in regional and national competitions.

As always we received a high volume of applications and after a rigorous recruitment process, the calibre of applicant was so high we took on 10 new apprentices, our highest intake to date!

Recruitment for London apprentices is also underway and it is expected to conclude in November 2017.

 

 

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Dowds Group appointed for new PPI Cancer Treatment Centre

Dowds Group are delighted to be working again with main contractor Graham Construction on the new Cancer Treatment Centre in Reading. Our previous experience gained from highly complex installation projects such as Altnagelvin Radiotherapy Unit and Omagh Hospital & Primary Care Complex assured Proton Partners International of our capabilities and that we are the ideal M&E contractor for this £30M project.

After working closely with the client and design team, construction works are now underway on this project with an estimated completion date of March 2018.

The cancer centre is located within the Thames Valley Science Park, which is part of the University of Reading, and this facility will be the third of it’s kind built in the UK by Proton Partners International. It is located just off the M4 corridor and will have connections to Heathrow making it available to South of England and International patients.

Amongst other conventional cancer therapies, this centre will offer proton beam therapy which is a specialised type of cancer treatment not available yet in the UK. The centre will include facilities for proton beam therapy, a linear accelerator, as well as a CT suite and an MRI. It is expected that the centre will be able to treat up to 500 patients a year and will also offer imaging, chemotherapy and traditional radiotherapy.

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Dowds Shortlisted for 3 NI Electrical Awards

Dowds Group are hoping to continue their winning ways at the Northern Ireland’s Electrical Awards 2017, where we are finalists for ‘Large Contractor of the Year’, as well as having double shortlisting’s in the ‘Commercial Project of the Year’ and ‘Apprentice of the Year’ categories.

This is a tremendous achievement, with the panel of judges commenting on the very high calibre of entries received.

 

 

Large Contractor of the Year:

Over the past two year, we have experienced unprecedented growth at Dowds Group, doubling both our turnover and employee numbers as well as expanding into new markets.  While this has created challenges, it has also presented many opportunities to become a better company by encouraging initiatives to improve Health and Safety Management, Training and Development, and heavier investment in and utilisation of BIM technologies to increase our efficiency.

Commercial Project of the Year

Two of our outstanding projects completed over the last two years have made the shortlist:

  • Omagh Hospital

We managed the £12.7m electrical contract on the new build, state-of-the-art Omagh Hospital – it has been our largest solely electrical contract to date and one of the largest public sector construction projects within Northern Ireland in recent years.  To read more on this project click here.

  • Craigavon Area Hospital, Infrastructure Project

Teamwork, Co-operation and excellent Planning were the key elements to the successful completion of this £2.3m HV Infrastructure project.  The complete installation, carried out on a live Acute Hospital site included the installation of over 3.5Km of HV cabling, 6 no 11000/400 step down transformers, 1 No 400/11000 step up transformer, all associated ring main units 1 No 9 panel HV switchboard, numerous LV switchboard additions and modification ranging from 400 amp to 3200 amp and all associated LV cabling and connections.

Apprentice of the Year

Dowds have a long tradition of supporting apprenticeships, with many of our management team today having begun their careers as apprentices.  Following the success of Aaron Corr, last year’s Plumbing and Heating Apprentice of the Year, we are delighted to have two of our electrical apprentices, Connor Hyland and Paul Higgins in the running for this year’s award.  Both Connor and Paul continue to impress at college and on-site and look to have very bright futures ahead in the electrical industry.

This year’s winners will be announced at the Gala Awards Ceremony which takes place on Friday 15th September, 2017 at Titanic, Belfast.

For more details or to view all shortlisted companies click here.

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