Health Matters

As we grow and mature as an organisation, we have a greater appreciation that the success of Dowds Group strongly depends on our people, their drive and their contribution. So much so that we have incorporated ‘People’ as one of our company’s core values.

We care about the well-being of our staff and understand that happy, healthy employees lead to, not only a better working environment for us all, but a more sustainable company going forward.

Our Health Matters initiative has been established to focus specifically on the physical and mental well-being of all our staff.

This page will keep you up to date with all the actions and events taking place.

 

 

40 for Forty

40000.00
40000.00

Dowds Group celebrated our 40th year in business this year and to celebrate this milestone we aimed to raise £40,000 to distribute across four different charities. We not only reached this amount but exceeded it by hitting £60,000!

The four confirmed charities for our ’40 for Forty’ campaign were Electrical Industries Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, Aware NI and The Boom Foundation. To read more about our selected charities and why they were chosen please click here.

We planned a number of events which took place throughout the year and updated this page regularly with blog posts on our fundraising challenges and events. Please enjoy reading below about the success of all the events which took place over the year.

We would like to thank everyone who donated towards our campaign, this magical £60,000 figure would not have been possible without you!

Thank you!

Dowds ’40 for Forty’ campaign hits £60,000 mark!

Dowds Group reached the company’s 40th year in business in 2018 and, to celebrate this milestone, our team aimed to raise £40,000 to distribute across four different charities. We did not only reach the target, but the company exceeded it and have hit the £60,000 mark! The four charities selected by our staff for the ’40 for Forty’ campaign are the Electrical Industries Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, AWARE NI and The Boom Foundation, each with a meaningful decision behind why they were chosen.

With the four charities selected, we planned and held a number of events which took place throughout the year. The 40 for Forty campaign got off to  a successful start in December 2017 with a Christmas at the Races event with Malone Lighting as the main sponsor of the event at the Elk, Toomebridge.  Following on in April, a fun-filled Family Fun Day was held at Joey Dunlop Centre, Ballymoney with Unitrunk Cable Trunking Systems as main sponsor. After months of dedicated training, Dowds Director, Brian Cunning, conquered his Everest Base Camp Trek reaching Base Camp after 9 long, hard days of trekking! In the same month, a number of Dowds staff bravely tackled Run Mucker Run and the Belfast Marathon in May.  Dowds then started the summer with a superb Golf Day tournament on what was one of the hottest days of the year in June. Whitecroft Lighting was the main sponsor of the event and along with 30 ‘Four Ball’ teams and different sponsors at each hole, the event was a great success. In July, Director Bryan Armstrong completed an epic mountain biking challenge  ‘The Crossing’, taking on 200 miles over 3 intense days.

WhatsApp Image 2018-04-16 at 09.08.58
WhatsApp Image 2018-04-16 at 09.09.03 (1)
24
22
WhatsApp Image 2018-04-16 at 09.08.08
18
73
Belfast Marathon - 5K Fun Runners & Walkers
Run Mucker Run
P1040940
P1040882
P1040308
P1040560
P1040569
LOWESWATER_LAKE_0061
39113462_233018060738650_7152513216755531776_n
MUCKER_0586
6
2
290
Johnny & Hector Dowds (2)
164
153
318
334
370
Hector Dowds & Family (2)
JF Dowds & Family
133
Rudi Moore of Farrans
151

 

We held the finale event, The Gala, on Friday, October 19 at Galgorm Resort & Spa that rounded off this magnificent campaign – click here to read more about our Gala event! James Dowds, Managing Director, said, “We are overwhelmed by the generosity that everyone has shown in backing our 40 for Forty campaign. So to our own staff, the local communities we work in and to the wider construction industry, we want to say a huge thank you for everyone’s support. “As well as raising money for these four important charities, this year has has been an opportunity to look back and recognise the hard work and dedication of all our employees, past and present, over the last 40 years and we are all looking forward to a successful future.”  The Gala event was a fitting end to an incredible year of fundraising and team-building for Dowds Group and we look forward to 2019 to take part in further charity work!
   

Dowds ’40 for Forty’ Finale Gala

Dowds Group marked the end of our 40 for Forty campaign with a magnificent finale event, The Gala, on Friday 19th October at Galgorm Resort & Spa. This night was not only the end event to our campaign but a celebration for 40 years in business highlighting the growth, accomplishments and partnerships we have built. 250 guests were present, including close family and friends, current and past employees, and many supportive clients and suppliers.

As part of the proceedings there were presentations from Lynsey Atkinson of Macmillan, Leona Rankin of The Boom Foundation, Tessa Ogle of Electrical Industries Charity and Bernard McAneney of Aware NI – the four charities our campaign is supporting. Speeches were also made by company founders and brothers, John Francis and Hector Dowds, as well as current Managing Director James Dowds, who all touched on the progression of Dowds Group over the last 40 years whilst looking ahead to a successful future.

In addition to a four-course meal, our guests enjoyed entertainment from local comedian, Colin Barkley, who compered the event and music from Dave Martin & The Casino Cats, as well as a silent auction and prize ballot which included our Gold Prize, a fabulous 3 night trip to Monte Carlo kindly donated by the Electrical Industries Charity & Saturn LED!

We would like to thank all those who attended the Gala event and the companies who donated towards the campaign with silent auction items and prizes. The Gala event was a fitting end to what has been an incredible year of fundraising and team building for Dowds Group, we are delighted to announce that the Gala event alone raised over £10,000 towards our 40 for Forty campaign!

Photography by Angela Cunning

2
6
00
87
Johnny & Hector Dowds
290
370
334
Hector Dowds & Family (2)
JF Dowds & Family (2)
318
65
153
264
Darrell & Donna McGuckian, John & Jamie Wilson - Farrans
133
Rudi Moore of Farrans
164
325
Karl McKillop - Heron Bros
175
321
196

 

National Stress Awareness Week

Everyone is at risk of stress, particularly in the workplace. Almost one in every three employees experience a mental ill health problem in any one year. 91 million working days are lost each year to mental ill health within the workplace and Stress is the biggest single cause of absenteeism in work after musculoskeletal disorders.

Feelings of stress are common, normal and experienced by everyone but what is it and what causes it?

In light of National Stress Awareness Week here is some useful guidance and tips from Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England to help protect against stress!

 

 

Mental Health First Aiders

Dowds Group now have 3 qualified Mental Health First Aiders on our team. Damian McCamphill, John McAllister & Melissa Cunning, who are all members of our Health Matters Committee, attended a 2-day Mental Health First Aid (MFHA) course held by Aware NI. The main outcomes of the course was to increase their knowledge and confidence to enable them to provide first aid and support for people experiencing mental health problems at home and at work. They have learnt how to recognise signs and symptoms of mental ill health, provide initial help, and to guide a person towards appropriate professional support.

One in four adults in the UK will be diagnosed with a mental health condition in any given year and many people are not well informed about how to recognise these conditions or provide support. Mental ill health can have a serious effect on not only someone’s personal life but also their working life. We want to encourage our staff to talk about mental health as we would physical health, reducing the stigma attached.

The aims of Mental Health First Aid are to:

  • preserve life where a person may be a danger to themselves or others
  • provide help to prevent the mental health problem becoming more serious
  • promote the recovery of good mental health
  • provide comfort to a person experiencing a mental health problem

Damian, John & Melissa found the course to be of great benefit and it has definitely increased their knowledge and confidence should they ever need to provide first aid and support for anyone. We would like to thank Aware NI for holding a very informative and professionally run course over the 2 days and especially thank our MHFA instructors Andrea and Rachel for their support and guidance.

 

Bryan completes The Crossing !

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!

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DowdsGroup40Forty

39113462_233018060738650_7152513216755531776_n
LOWESWATER_LAKE_0061
LOWESWATER_DOWNHILL_0033
39085317_233017947405328_7195051079661256704_n
HIGH_SWINSIDE_0085
DALBY_0365
39091759_233017920738664_8316060105380462592_n
LOWESWATER_BRIDGE_0085
MUCKER_0586
38985087_233018087405314_6906986287383707648_n

 

Bryan completes Day 1 of The Crossing challenge!

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!!

 

IMG_7764_01
IMG_7773
IMG_7771_01
39024280_233018034071986_6235682705745379328_n

 

If you’d like to show Bryan your support please visit our donation page:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DowdsGroup40Forty

Bryan Armstrong takes on The Crossing!

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:

 

Dowds Group drive towards our ’40 for Forty’ target with a superb Golf Day Tournament!

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!

 

P1040882
P1040880
P1040883
P1040885
P1040887
P1040890
P1040892
P1040894
P1040896
P1040900
P1040904
P1040906
P1040907
P1040909
P1040911
P1040913
P1040916
P1040917
P1040919
P1040920
P1040924
P1040926
P1040929
P1040931
P1040933
P1040937
P1040935
P1040940
P1040938
P1040942
P1040946
P1040950
P1040952
P1040947
P1040955
P1040958
P1040964
P1040968