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!

‘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!

 

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.

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.

 

 

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.

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.

2017 CEF Finalists Announced

The finalists for 2017 CEF Construction Excellence Awards have been announced and amongst them are three outstanding Dowds projects.

The fit-out of Dunnes Flagship store in Forestside Shopping Centre has saw Graham Interior Fit-Out shortlisted in the ‘Fit-Out Award’ category.   Our Integrated Services team worked closely with Grahams providing the Mechanical & Electrical installations on the refurbished store.   The project for Dunnes comprise the phased enabling, alterations and refurbishment works to the existing department store including the complete refurbishment of the front of house shop floor areas and alterations and extensions to the existing back of house areas.

McLaughlin and Harvey have earned a double nomination for the ‘Health Infrastructure Award’ as main contractors on both the new Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin and the new Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex.  Dowds Group were employed on both of these high profile schemes.

Dowds acted as the electrical contractor on the £105m Omagh Hospital, responsible for all electrical installations on the huge 22,900 sq m complex. The highly serviced nature of the project involved a number of specialist installations including high-end HV equipment to service 4no HV departments and sophisticated M&E services for the Central Sterile Services Department (CSSD), an integrated room that performs disinfection on medical devices, equipment and consumables, necessitating a highly sterile environment.

In addition, we also assumed responsibility for the £11m+ M&E contract on the new Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital, which is already changing the life of thousands of cancer patients in the North West.  The unit consists of a 6 floor structure with services, a plant area, car parking for staff and patients, ambulance drop of point, Electrical LV and HV rooms, a new Radiotherapy unit with Linear Accelerator Bunkers and MRI scanner suites, refurbished and extended Chemotherapy area, Radiotherapy Bed area, admin area and roof top plant rooms.

To read more on the 2017 CEF Awards follow the link below:

https://www.cefni.co.uk/news/finalists-announced-in-2017-construction-excellence-awards

We’d like to wish Graham Interior Fit-Out and McLaughlin & Harvey good luck for the final on 13th September 2017.

 

 

Bright Spark Connor wins NI Apprentice of the Year

Dowds Group 1st year electrical apprentice, Connor Hyland, has won Northern Ireland’s first regional heat for the SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year 2017 – a competition established to recognise the skills and hard work of electrical students across the UK.

Connor went forward to compete as the NI representative in the National Finals at the 3M Customer Innovation Centre in Bracknell.  Bob Stokes from Northern Regional College expressed his pride in Connor’s achievement;

“The standard of work was extremely high at the UK Finals. Although Connor did not pick up an award, we are extremely proud of the very positive and professional manner in which he represented both the College and his employer, Dowds Group, throughout the journey of this competition.”

Speaking on his experience in the competition, Connor said;

It was overwhelming being the first ever regional winner from Northern Ireland and going forward to represent my country in the final.  The experience was amazing and I aim to take part in next year’s event. I absolutely love what I do and always strive to put 100% into everything I do.”

 

Site Supervisor Martin Cassidy, has found Connor an eager, well-mannered young man who is keen to learn the trade. He said;

“Connor is a pleasure to work with and takes on any task asked of him with confidence and ease. He has excelled greatly during the first year of his apprenticeship and has a bright future ahead of him.”  

Managing Director, James Dowds, also remarked:

“Connor is a conscientious and hard-working young man. I have excellent reports from all his colleagues on-site and he continues to impress with a steadily high performance both at college and at work.

Dowds Group are proud to continue their tradition of helping to produce a high standard of hard working apprentices and would like to congratulate Connor on this prestigious accolade.

Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex handed over

Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex was successfully handed over at the end of April 2017, this was a complete new-build project, aimed at creating a facility that will cater for the vast majority of health needs for generations to come.

Dowds Group managed the electrical contract on the new build, state-of-the-art 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. We are extremely proud to have been integral in providing a new facility that has set a bench mark for healthcare in Northern Ireland.

The colossal 22,900 sq m complex is set on a brownfield site and hosts a range of co-located services under the one roof. This entire hospital is newly built and consists of 6 blocks housing services including a 40 single en-suite bedrooms unit for in-patients for Rehabilitation and Palliative Care patients, a 24 place renal dialysis unit, a Health and Care Centre including modern GP practices and an Urgent Care and Treatment Centre. In addition it will also provide advanced diagnostic services including a CT scanner and endoscopy services. There are also 3 day surgery operating theatres and 22 recovery beds, specialised AHP, Women’s & Family Health and Children’s Services. The external areas consist of staff and visitors parking, play areas, viewing gardens and a Heli pad for emergency services. Such is the scale of the building that it required a purpose-built energy centre, complete with generators and CHP.

 

 

Works began on-site for Dowds Group in August 2015 with an initial skeleton staff, which grew to a team of approximately 120 site operatives.  The new-build facility was fully operational within a week of handover which is testament to the expertise of the service providers involved in the project.  Working alongside Main Contracts, McLaughlin & Harvey and Consultant Engineers, White Young Green (WYG), we were fully committed to the two and a half year project.  Chris Reid, Principal Electrical Engineer of WYG, spoke of his experience working with Dowds;

“Dowds Group have shown and maintained a very high standard of diligence and professionalism throughout the project.  As the company increases penetration into the GB marketplace, this level of professionalism will ensure that they can meet the challenge to match any of the leading M&E services contractors and still maintain a level of care which is sometimes lost in our industry.”

Due to the sheer magnitude of the project it is unlikely that any other electrical contractor in Northern Ireland would have had the specialist knowledge or years of expertise in healthcare installations that it took to successfully manage this electrical contract.