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!

Lukla Airport - Copy
On route from Lukla to Namche
Lukla to Namche
Lukla to Namche - Water Supply
Lukla to Namche - Pint on the way
Approaching Namche
Approaching Namche (2)
Day 3 - Exhibition Team
Day 3 - Getting the first views of Everest
Day 3 - Above Namche heading towards the Everest View Point
Day 3
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 4 (2)
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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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Day 6 (5)

 

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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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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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