Success keeps flowing for 1st year Plumbing Apprentice, Abigail!

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/

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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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Waterfront Plaza FM Package awarded to our Integrated Services Division

Dowds Group are proud to announce that our Integrated Services Division have been awarded the total FM package for The Waterfront Plaza Building in Belfast – a seven story office building with two levels of basement car-parking opened back in 2001.

Some of the services that Dowds Group are tasked with maintaining in this building are, Fire Alarm, Security, Fire Fighting Services, Water Treatment, Gas Boilers, Pumps, Chillers, Air Handling units, Air Conditioning and Automatic Doors as well as a 24 hour reactive call service!

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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!!! 

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Only 3 Days to go until Ógie reaches Everest Base Camp!

Ógie landed safely in Kathmandu on Tuesday 10th April after flying 7 hours to Dubai then onward 5 hours to Kathmandu. After a day of exploring on Wednesday and an informative evening with a full trek briefing he got a good night’s rest for what would be an early start the next morning to begin his Everest Base Camp Trek Challenge on Thursday 12th April!

Day 1 for Ógie involved flying into the world’s most dangerous airport in Lukla, with a mountain runway strip of only 2800m. Once safely landed he and the expedition team set off on the first leg of the trek towards the small town of Phakding and witnessed spectacular views on route!  After a night’s rest in Phakding, on Day 2 he began his ascend to Namche Bazaar with time to explore the Sherpa capital – it is a town full of trekkers, coffee shops, bakeries and stores, and there was even an Irish Bar in the middle of it all!

The morning of Day 3 began with a steep climb out of Namche Bazaar towards the Everest View Hotel, Ógie reached the highpoint of his day at 3880m with his first breathtaking views of Everest! He then descended towards the town of Khumjung, where he handed over stationary supplies to a teacher at Sir Edmund Hillary School, and visited the Edmund Hillary Hospital in Kunde. After descending to the main trail he spent the night in Kyanjuma at a sleeping altitude of 3600m!

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On route from Lukla to Namche
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Lukla to Namche - Pint on the way
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Day 3 - Exhibition Team
Day 3 - Getting the first views of Everest
Day 3 - Above Namche heading towards the Everest View Point
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Handing over stationary supplies to a teacher at the Edmond Hilary Community School in the Khumjung Valley - Copy

 

Ógie woke up to a beautiful sunrise on Day 4 with spectacular views of Everest in the background, he then trekked onwards to arrive at Thyangboche at 3867m to set up in a very basic tea house. He got the opportunity to stop at the Thyangboche temple which is where all Everest Mountaineers are blessed before trekking further.

After spending the night in Thyangboche, Day 5 commenced and trekking began for Ógie to Dingboche at 4450m. He and the expedition team descended through the forest and across valleys entering Pangboche. After a short lunch in Khumbu he trekked onwards across a wooden bridge then steeply climbed up into Dingboche at 4530m, where he would rest up for the night in a sleeping altitude of 4350m.

Day 6 for Ógie has involved spending the day in Dingboche to allow all the mountaineers time to acclimatise as they have now reached 4800m. At this point, Ógie is still feeling good but there are fears now setting in that the altitude symptoms will begin kicking in tonight whilst sleeping at a very high altitude and trekking tomorrow to 5000m!

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Day 5 – Waking up in Tengbuche with Everst in the background then enroute to Dengbouge at 4450m, arriving in and exploring
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It’s only THREE days until Ógie reaches Everest Base Camp on Friday! Don’t forget you can still donate to our ’40 for Forty’ campaign and support Ógie on his courageous challenge at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund…/showROFundraiserPage… any donation will go a long way for our four selected charities!😊

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Abigail’s SkillBuild success signals changes in the pipeline!

Dowds Group are pleased to announce that our first female mechanical apprentice, Abigail Reilly, has achieved great success for women of the construction industry after ranking 1st place in the SkillBuild Pipework competition held by Northern Regional College in Newtownabbey. The SkillBuild NI competition is the largest multi-trade competition in the UK for young students and apprentices and Abigail was absolutely delighted with her achievement.

Abigail has now been entered into the Northern Ireland regional final of the competition which will be held in March at the NWRC Limavady Campus with a potential opportunity of representing NI at the Skill Shows UK following onto the WorldSkills finals in Russia.

 

Chosen alongside two other apprentices from a class of 30 to compete in the competition, Abigail impressed the judges who could not fault her work and rewarded her with full marks! NRC Plumbing lecturer, James McKeefry, hopes Abigail’s success will inspire other young women to enter into the male dominated construction industry and embrace all the opportunities available.

CIOB has reported that ‘women make up only around 13% of construction sector workers, a number that hasn’t changed much for two decades. Furthermore, that number flatters us when you consider that only 2% of on-site workers are female.’ These statistics make Abigail’s success even more substantial and we hope if more young women are inspired to join the industry to not hesitate. For further guidance about joining the industry and changing the face of construction please follow this link:  https://www.women-into-construction.org/ 

Everyone at Dowds Group are delighted with Abigail’s achievement and we will be fully supporting her throughout the remainder of the competition!

 

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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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‘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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