40 for Forty

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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.

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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

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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

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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!!

 

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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!

 

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Run Mucker Run & Belfast City Marathon

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:

Relay Teams:

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!

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Ógie conquers Everest Base Camp challenge!

We are delighted to announce that after 9 long, hard days of trekking in aid of our ’40 for Forty’ campaign, on Friday 20th April 2018 at 12 noon – ÓGIE MADE IT TO EVEREST BASE CAMP!!!

On Day 7 Ógie reached Lobuche at 16109 feet 4910m, they visited Chukpo Lari which holds a beautiful tribute of memorials to those climbers who have died on Everest. The day then ended with an acclimatisation walk up to above 5000m. Ógie began trekking on Day 8 from Lobuche to Gorakshep, en route he was surrounded by amazing scenery of 4 of the world’s highest peaks and across the lower part of the Khumbu Glacier where he got his first view of Base Camp in the distance. Ógie reached the summit of Kala Patthar on this day which is 18,560 feet from Gorakshep, this part of the trek itself took 4 and a half hours!

Day 9 – Friday 20th April arrived which was momentous for Ógie! As there are no lodges on route from Gorakshep, he & the expedition team stopped to fill their water bottles and take some snacks before their venture to Base Camp! Ascending alongside the Khumbu Glacier for a few hours he then descended onto the rocky glacial moraine itself and ventured along the trail through fascinating ice seracs to arrive at Everest Base Camp!!!

We are over the moon for Brian and very proud of all the dedication he has put into this individual challenge! But it isn’t over yet as he still has a few tough days ahead to descend back to Lukla so don’t forget you can still donate towards Ógie’s challenge in aid of our ’40 for Forty’ campaign at:  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?pageId=922735

Pics are enroute today Thursday from Labouche to Gorak Shep surrounded by amazing scenery and 4 of the worlds highest peaks and accros the lower part of the Kumbia Glac
Day 7 - Scott Fischer
Reached Lobuche at 16109 feet 4910m end of day and we will do an acclimatisation walk up to above 5000m shortly. Still feeling strong but its really cold
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200418 Ogie en route to Everest from Gorak Shep
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Ogie makes it to Everest Base Camp 12 noon Friday 200418.
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Ogie gets ready to camp down for the night with the support team at Everst Base Camp. Temperatures drop that night to -15 deg c.
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Family Fun Day Success!

We can now confirm that our Family Fun Day event raised an outstanding £2508.85 as part of our ’40 for Forty’ campaign – celebrating 40 years in business and raising £40K for four very worthy charities!

We would like to sincerely thank everyone who came along on the day, without your generous donations this wouldn’t have been possible! This will go a long way for each of our four selected charities Electrical Industries CharityMacmillan Cancer SupportAware NI & The Boom Foundation.

We would like to especially thank Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre for allowing us to host the event in their premises, King of Castles Inflatable and Marquee Hire who provided the bouncy castles and fun inflatables for the day, McAtamneys Traditional Butchers who provided the tasty BBQ, Roisin Dowds & Joanna Boreland who made the scrumptious baked goods and Unitrunk Cable Trunking Systems who were the main sponsor of our event!

From everyone at Dowds Group, THANK YOU!!!