Dowds Group end £60K Charity Campaign!

Dowds Group’s “40 For Forty” campaign, which ran throughout 2018, has ended by exceeding all expectations raising a phenomenal £60,000 for charity, £20,000 more than our original target.  

It has taken a great deal of teamwork, dedication and commitment to reach this impressive target and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to the campaign.

We were delighted to organise cheque presentations where members of the Dowds team presented the £15,000 cheques to representative of each of the four charities.

(Pictured from L-R)_ Aideen McMichael, Clare Galbraith (AWARE NI), Martin Brogan and George Young.
(Pictured from L-R)_ Aideen McMichael, Clare Galbraith (AWARE NI), Martin Brogan and George Young. (1)
(Pictured from L-R)_ Aideen McMichael, Clare Galbraith (AWARE NI), Martin Brogan and George Young. (2)
(Pictured from L-R)_ Aideen McMichael, Clare Galbraith (AWARE NI), Martin Brogan and George Young. (3)

You can read more about the charities; Aware NI, The Boom Foundation, Macmillan and The EIC, why they were chosen and where our donations will go by clicking here – Our Four Selected Charities

Closing the campaign, Managing Director James Dowds said:

“The ’40 For Forty’ campaign was a year full of celebration and team-building for our company and it has brought a great sense of achievement and pride to everyone at Dowds Group. For this reason, and knowing that the money we raised will be used in such worthwhile ways, we have decided to organise a legacy event each year. We have already initiated discussions on our 2019 event and more details will follow soon.”

Dowds Group Achieve Investors In People Silver Award!

As you’ll know, Investors in People visited Dowds Group in November 2018 and we are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the Investors in People Silver Award!

Investors In People was founded in 1991 and leads the drive for better leadership and better workplaces. They are a company that helps thousands of organisations to lead, support and manage people for sustainable results.

Investors In People enables organisations to benchmark against the best in the business on an international scale. “The organisations clearly outperforming others, are the ones with smarter goals. They understand that investing in people is vital to their success.” 

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Dowds Group, Investors in People accreditation is the sign of a great employer, and an organisation committed to achieving success by realising the potential of their people. Dowds Group should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

Our Managing Director, James Dowds had this to say about the award: “We are absolutely delighted and extremely proud here at Dowds Group being awarded the Silver Investors in People Award. This is a prestigious award that acknowledges the culture within Dowds Group and the care that each employee has for each other. It makes it even more of an achievement, the fact that this is the first time that we have applied for the accreditation. Every person that works for Dowds Group is a vital part of the great success that our business has become over the last forty years. I want to congratulate everyone within Dowds Group and can only hope that this award will drive everyone to aim even higher.”

To find out more information about Investors In People, you can visit their website www.investorsinpeople.com/ 

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!
   

Works underway at Robinson Leisure Centre!

Working alongside main contractor Heron Bros we are carrying out the M&E works on the Robinson Leisure Centre. This new £20 million centre which will focus on aquatics with a gala pool and diving provision areas in addition to a gym and sports hall!

Mechanically, the 1st fix of the LTHW Heating, Domestic Plumbing, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems are progressing well as areas become available. Underfloor heating systems have also been installed in a number of areas. Second fix is also now underway in some zones with insulation works following behind.

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Electrically, 1st Fix containment is progressing well across all floors with a few new areas opening as the building develops. Containment in main riser is progressing well and ready for sub mains cabling, the Sub switchboard is also ready for installation. General lighting and power wiring is ongoing, with the community hall more advanced. The lighting trunking in gyms/studios and sports hall are ongoing and 1st Fix containment in main plantroom will be starting after Christmas!

Check out Belfast City Council‘s fly through video to see the end goal of the Robinson Leisure Centre which will be opening in late 2019. 

 

SafeContractor & NI Environmental Benchmarking Survey Success!

November was a successful month for our Health & Safety team as they have gained Dowds Group a SafeContractor accreditation and Bronze Status for the NI Environmental Benchmarking Survey!

On the 11th November we were granted with our SafeContractor accreditation, demonstrating our on-going commitment to maintaining the highest standards of Health & Safety on all our projects.

Following on from this on the 29th November we received recognition for our environmental leadership and achieved Bronze status in this year’s NI Environmental Benchmarking Survey. The Survey, which is run by Business in the Community, sponsored by Moy Park and supported by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency through the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, recognises and rewards those organisations that are going above and beyond their legal requirements to minimise their environmental impacts and better manage their resources.

Well done to our Health & Safety team for all their hard work towards both successes!!

 

 

Dowds Group Shortlisted for CN Specialist Awards 2019!

We are delighted to announce Dowds Group have been shortlisted as finalists in three categories for the 2019 Construction News Specialists Awards.

Now in their 15th year, the Specialists Awards are the only national awards recognising the outstanding achievements of specialist contractors. Their face-to-face judging process gives companies the chance to highlight their inspirational business and the very best projects of the last year. The event is judged by a distinguished panel of construction industry leaders and experts.

The categories in which we have been shortlisted for are:

  • MEP Specialist of the Year
  • Apprentice of the Year – Matthew Bilding
  • Project of the Year by a Specialist Contract (Subcontract from £3-5M) – PPI Proton Beam Cancer Therapy Centre, Reading

We recently completed the M&E installations on the revolutionary new High Energy Proton Beam Cancer Therapy Centre in Thames Valley Science Park, Reading. The £30 million Rutherford Centre has been hailed as one of the most exciting health and life sciences projects in Europe and includes facilities for proton beam therapy, a linear accelerator, a CT suite and an MRI – read more about the project here.

The Construction News Specialist Awards bring together 800 of the biggest names in the construction industry to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the very best specialist contractors. The winners of the competition will be announced on 27 March 2019 and takes place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

 

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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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!

 

 

M&E Installations Complete on PPI Cancer Centre, Reading

Dowds Group recently completed the M&E installations on a revolutionary new High Energy Proton Beam Cancer Therapy Centre in Thames Valley Science Park, Reading. The £30 million Rutherford Centre has been hailed as one of the most exciting health and life sciences projects in Europe and includes facilities for proton beam therapy, a linear accelerator, a CT suite and an MRI.

The design and installation of the M&E services in such a heavily serviced and precisely engineered therapy centre, at the very cutting-edge of medical advancements, provided a multitude of technical challenges to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the facility. Attention to detail was critical whilst we were provided with specifications and drawings for the project we had to look beyond these and review multiple other documents and drawings to ensure we considered all essential components.  Not only did we have to adhere to highly complex specifications of the equipment suppliers but we also had to comply with specific Health Technical Memoranda (HTMs) design guides which dictated the highest standard of commissioning.

The project required extensive off-site construction and fabrication necessitating Dowds Group working in close collaboration with the client, main contractors and design team to compile a systematic management programme to oversee the works.  Due to the specialist nature of the project Dowds partnered with numerous specialist contractors to complete the installations in complex rooms, which included linear accelerator bunkers, an MRI scan room, CT simulator room, CT Scanner, Superficial treatment room, X-ray rooms and chemotherapy suites. The project was modelled to BIM Level 2 ensuring services could be installed in the designated spaces. Particular attention was paid to the main ventilation for the MRI, CT and LINAC plant areas to overcome the difficulties of limited plant space and access/egress, this involved numerous design developments to guarantee fit and accessibility for future maintenance.

Simon Hardacre - first proton beam therapy patient at Rutherford Cancer Centre, Newport
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Simon Hardacre - first proton beam therapy patient at Rutherford Cancer Centre, Newport

 

To overcome the coordination issues of working with various other on-site contractors we produced main plant deck drawings, showing our plant install routes and identifying plant areas reserved for other contractors. We held weekly coordination meetings with the specialist site teams to demonstrate the model and encouraged comment on walk-overs, where they could be installed and any possible clashes/problems that could arise.  The programme for the M&E contract was extremely tight and there were a number of key milestones that had to be met – lives literally depended on it!  We worked closely with main contractors Graham to ensure we met the sectional and final handover dates so that the specialist equipment was installed and commissioned to meet the clients ‘go live’ date.  Ivor Brown, Senior Project Manager, Graham, said of our work on the project: “Owing to the specialist nature of this contract, there were only a number of M&E contractors with the necessary skills and experience to complete the project to our required high standards.  We were extremely impressed with Dowds Groups’ level of professionalism and look forward to collaborating with them in the future.”

On all our projects we strive to exceed expectations, however we believe our work on this project deserves special recognition, as does the client – Michael Mitchan, Project Manager at Rutherford Estates commented: “We very much enjoyed working with Dowds Group on this project, they have done a very good job.  From management to site operatives we found their approach to work professional, friendly and helpful.  Of particular mention is their post-contract support which has been a source of constant reassurance since handover.”