🌎 Around the World in 28 Days! 🌎

Our 28 day company challenge has come to an end, we are incredibly proud of the hard work and perseverance from each participant over the 28 days. We have come together as a company and supported each other’s mental and physical health as well as stirring up a little friendly competition!

The final results of the challenge are …

🥇1st Place: Team Melissa with 12,476.66 miles

🥈2nd Place: Team Jack with 11,721.80 miles

🥉3rd Place: Team Conor with 9652.76 miles

🏅4th Place: Team Gareth with 8208.52 miles

After a tight race with only 200 miles between Team Melissa & Team Jack on Friday, Team Melissa soared ahead over the weekend and each team member played a part in upping the miles to earn those bragging rights!

So far, we have raised £4,430 for our chosen charity Mates in Mind!

If you would still like to donate, please follow the link below:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DowdsGroup

As you can see from the video it has been a fun four weeks for everyone involved!

Dowds Group supporting the NHS at the Nightingale Hospital

We are pleased to announce that Dowds Group have been trusted with the contract for the Build and M&E works for the new Nightingale facility at Whiteabbey Hospital.

This is a significant step forward for Northern Ireland and yet another opportunity for Dowds Group to play an important role in the battle against COVID19.

Throughout the pandemic, Dowds Group have been working hard to support the NHS, working in live hospital environments with a quick turnaround. The appointment of the Nightingale contract follows the successful completion of the North Block at Altnagelvin Hospital in April 2020 handing over 70+ beds to support our health service during the first wave of the crisis as well as works at Holywell Hospital in May 2020.

Over the coming months, our team will complete Northern Ireland’s second Nightingale Hospital in preparation for the next wave.

Around the World in 28 Days!

At the beginning of the week, we launched our new Autumn challenge. The aim of this challenge is to help promote health and well-being within our company. Unlike our previous 555 Challenge, this will take place over 4 weeks which we are hoping will help get people into a good routine and establish an exercise plan that suits their lifestyle but also that can be maintained even after the challenge is finished.

These challenges help us to build new friendships with people who we might not normally come into contact with within the company. It creates some healthy competition between teams and is a great conversation starter! With a lot of us still working remotely from home, it is a good way to keep in contact with our colleagues even we aren’t seeing them.

We will have an update for our teams every Friday with this being our first.

Week One Results:

🥇1st Place: Team Conor with 952.46 miles

🥈2nd Place: Team Melissa with 855.66 miles

🥉3rd Place: Team Jack with 694.77 miles

🏅4th Place: Team Gareth with 661.97 miles

There is still plenty of time for all this to change, so keep up the great work and keep those miles coming in! Any money that we raise during this challenge will be donated to Mates in Mind, a charity that helps promote positive mental health within the construction industry!

We want to thank everyone for their continued support for Dowds Group and our chosen charities throughout the year!

Martin Brogan Retires

Dowds Group bid farewell to Martin Brogan after 31 years of service!

Martin joined the company in 1989 as an engineer and made a significant contribution to the success of Dowds Group throughout all his roles and most recently in his Senior Electrical Design Manager role.

His business approach along with the relationships he built up with not only his colleagues but clients and partners too, done so much to help develop the Dowds brand and our people.

Martin passed on so much wisdom and knowledge to the different teams throughout the company over the years – his door was always open for advice or to those who just needed a listening ear.

After 31 years of dedicated service and commitment, he finished his last day on Wednesday 16th September.

Everyone at Dowds Group would like to wish Martin a long and healthy retirement along with his wife Serena as they relax, travel, and spend more quality time with their children & grandchildren.

Dowds Group at Ulster University, Belfast

Our team are now on site 14 months and progressing well on all 15 floors.

Dowds currently have a workforce averaging between 120-130 operatives on site who all need commended for adhering to the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines. Generally, second fix is well advanced throughout, with third fix and testing commencing on several floors.

Dowds Group are working extremely hard and are proud to be involved in this landmark project.

Work Begins on the Ulster Hospital

Dowds Group are proud to be working alongside the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust on the Theatre 8 Project. This project involves the strip out and reconfiguration of the existing Endoscopy Suite to provide the new Theatre 8 and associated procedure rooms.

The works will begin with building demolition works along with the removal of redundant mechanical and electrical services. All work on this project will be carried out in a live hospital environment which requires extra care and attention.

The SE Trust have worked closely with Dowds Group in the implementation of an access and segregation strategy to help provide additional protection to the hospital staff and patients during the current Covid-19 crisis. We have also put in place additional measures to further protect our Site Teams from Covid-19.

Remaining works will include internal drainage connections, structural support works, floor leveling, formation of new partition walls, decoration and finishes, new internal doors and screens, new mechanical and electrical systems, provision for new fixed furniture and provision of new flooring and new ceilings throughout.

Our Build Department is growing from strength to strength with every project they take on. They are a one stop shop as such with our build team providing not only the build side of the project but also the M&E aspect also. Our clients are only having to deal with one point of contact throughout the project, and they are guaranteed the quality that we offer from the start right through to the finish. We have had great feedback from our build clients and can only hope that the success of our build department continues to grow.

We are looking forward to taking on this challenging project at the Ulster Hospital and aim for completion at the beginning of February 2021.

Dowds Group end 555 Challenge!

At the end of May, 69 of our employees took part in our 555 Challenge to help raise some money for Charity during lock down but also to help keep up the camaraderie that runs throughout our company even though we are working from home.

We are pleased to reveal that our overall total raised was £9000 which was split equally between our four charities:

  • Marie Curie
  • Tiny Life
  • Mid Ulster Agewell
  • Kenya Missionary Work

Unfortunately, we were unable to meet with all our charities, however they have each sent acknowledgement of thanks for our donations.

Each of the four charities that were chosen are closely linked to our own employees and we wanted to help support them the same way they supported either our employees themselves or their families during a time they needed it.

Our Managing Director James had this to say about the 555 Challenge, “It was a brilliant event! A lot of people pushed themselves, possibly even surprising themselves how much they could do. A good bit of healthy competition and just all-round good fun with hopefully a good few habits coming out of it for people to continue.”

We want to give a massive thank you to everyone who donated money towards our challenge, we know from talking firsthand with the charities that they appreciate every single penny!

We are hoping to hold an event similar later in the year after the success of this challenge so keep your eyes peeled!

Dowds Group awarded a place on the London & Quadrant Housing Trust Framework

Dowds Group are pleased to have been awarded a place on the London & Quadrant framework. This award is for specialist MEP package of works to a value of £8m-£16m, running from 2020 to 2024.

The L&Q Housing Trust framework is estimated to comprise of £800m – £900m worth of housing projects, involving an annual £80m of MEP works between the respective MEP specialists awarded a place on the framework.

“With over 50 years M&E experience, being recognized as a leading MEP specialist is truly a testament to our expertise within the industry.” – Bryan Armstrong, Estimating Director at Dowds Group.

Since establishing our presence in London in 2010, we have been working towards such an opportunity to aid our strategic growth within the region.

We pride ourselves on our partnering philosophy, building key relationships and maintaining a “whole team” ethos, this was reflected in the notable team effort throughout the bid process.

“Fantastic achievement by all involved with the bid process, we are confident our approach and innovation not only meets but surpasses the L&Q expectation”    -Wayne Kemp, London Operations Manager at Dowds Group

We look forward to working with L&Q on this new venture.

Team John Up-Date: 555 Challenge

With the launch of our 555 Challenge on the Wednesday, the notifications started in Team John’s WhatsApp group on Tuesday evening with David Porter, our Commercial Director announcing that he had injured himself and pulled a muscle! It wasn’t a great start for the team but that didn’t stop Jack Gourley being the first out on Wednesday morning at 7am to do a 4.34 mile run, quickly followed by Kevin Doherty at 8:30am

Wednesday evening also saw the start of the cycling miles with Bryan Armstrong, Kevin McNulty and Barry McAleese taking to the tarmac. Barry’s miles were slightly tougher than they usually would be with him having a little passenger on the back of his bike chilling with sunglasses and a dummy! He was relaxed not breaking a sweat, Barry on the other hand was a different story! Martin Brogan, Jude McAllister, Cathaoir Heaney and Gemma O’Kane also headed out that evening, helping to clock up the miles for their team. By the end of the first day, Team John had made a good dent in the 555 miles with an amazing 160 miles in the bag.

Thursday saw the introduction of John J Dowds and David Coffey who proved his loyalty and commitment to his team by going out and doing something every day. Tiernan O’Mullan came under duress from his Line Manager Bryan and started off well with a downhill cycle after first getting a lift to the top of the hill. In true estimator style, he requested a spreadsheet on several occasions from John with the breakdown of everyone’s miles to see how many miles he actually was going to have to do!

Everyone headed out on Thursday to help build up some more miles, however due to the overcast weather and the slim chance of getting his tan topped up, Jack Gourley decided to take a day of rest. Despite this, Jack did manage to win bragging rights for completing the longest run for his team with a 10 miler.

With the weather against everyone on Friday, Team John didn’t allow this to stop them from getting out. David Porter made his return from the sub bench with a 10 mile walk around the Portstewart Coastline and Martin Kane joined the team to help them bank some more miles; John knew he was a secret weapon with his athleticism. Martin did get some stick however with his cycle on Friday that started at his own house and ended at someone else’s’. He claims he had a hot whiskey and had to get left home and that it was absolutely nothing to do with that fact that he is currently out of training.

Also knocking out miles every day was our oldest and wisest team member Martin Brogan. His words of wisdom sent into the team WhatsApp to keep them motivated and happy and sometimes to just give them a laugh, “No cars, just the singing of the blackbird, robin, chaffinch, the squirrels gathering breakfast, the cows and horses resting at the ditch back, a grey but beautiful morning, counting my Blessings and giving thanks for the gift of you all and this new day, Stay safe on the roads and get out there and whip some ass.”

The three ladies of the group clocked up an amazing near 50 miles, but unfortunately due to unknown circumstances though strong speculation of having a comfy bed, none of these miles were Kathryn McKendry’s! She waited until the finish line had been crossed and the hard work was done before she headed out on a 5km walk on Sunday afternoon. Gemma O’Kane blasted miles out nearly every day even while she is on maternity leave with three beautiful kiddies. Carolyn wasn’t far behind her with Maggie in toe taking scenic walks to see the local farm life. The jury is out as to whether Nicholas McKee has a secret boat that he goes fishing on as every walk, run or cycle is done over the five days, he always seemed to find himself along a river or piece of water!.

On the Saturday evening while everyone was enjoying a cold beverage, and Martin Brogan was enjoying his apple tart and cream, John McAllister realised his team were nearly at the finish line so there was an alert sent out to get the walking boots and bikes at the ready for the final push on Sunday

Bryan Armstrong got everyone up with his 6:44am morning text into the group chat, “who’s up, let’s get it done folks!” With final checks done on tire pressure and the brakes, the big guns John, Kevin McNulty, Bryan, Kevin Doherty and Martin Kane all went out in force to clock the final miles. Most of the other team members put in a final good shift to get them over the finish line before lunch. Now it’s just a waiting game.

Kevin Doherty triumphed with most miles clocked in his team hitting nearly 120 miles! Bryan Armstrong was just pipped to the post following very closely behind him. Safe to say that Bryan’s dog Barney is raging at him for not coming out top but is very glad that the challenge is over, and he can now be left in peace to do what a dog does best; sleep!

Captain John was over the moon at the efforts of all his team members and regardless of the outcome, feels that the mechanical, build and ladies team are the true winners!

Team Damian Up-Date: 555 Challenge

Séan Kelly, one of our Northern Ireland electricians who lives in London, kicked started the miles for Team Damian with a 6am early morning run on Wednesday morning. He was not the only team member to clock miles on his way to work with Barry McAleese cycling his way to work at our University of Ulster site in Belfast. Team captain Damian also clocked some miles before work on his Wattbike, however it wasn’t long before the captains started complaining and a new rule was enforced; all miles had to be tarmac miles, no static cycling or running equipment, not even a ride on lawn mower!

Wednesday evening saw the warm up round for George Young, Malachy Molloy, Oran Watson, Johnny Wallace and Gareth Evans (London based teammate) walking and running up a further 24.2 miles for their team. Oran Watson was seen walking the roads of Dunloy, passing a member of an opposing team four times. You would have thought there was a race to the finish, trying to clock as many miles as they could!

The cyclists also kicked off on Wednesday evening with Gavin Scullion, Julian McCamphill, Conor Higgins, Colm McAllister, Rory Quigg and Kieran McWilliams stacking up an impressive 145 miles of the 333 miles on day one. If we had not have put a cap of 333 miles on the cycling, Team Damian would have been finished on the Thursday. All team members continued to put in their shift and momentum continued over Thursday and Friday with the addition of a new member, Ian Craig who helped with the foot miles.

With Friday’s update released, to Team Damian’s delight, they were in pole position, 58.55 miles ahead of Team Maura who were in second place. The results showed that their lead was only due to their cycling miles and revealed an Achilles heel that they had the least foot miles. The race was wide open again and Team Damian needed to come up with a good foot plan. Gavin and Damian took to the road on Saturday morning to polish off the remaining cycle miles, with a few of the other guys heading out for walks and runs – there were a few long faced selfies sent in to the team WhatsApp of the guys standing outside their local pub. When all calculations were done on Saturday evening, Team Damian still needed 64 foot miles to cross the finish line and with that the alerts started that there was a possibility of some of the other teams finishing on Sunday!

Gavin Scullion rose to the occasion again and headed out at 9:40pm on Saturday night and walked 13.03 miles, leaving him back home shortly after 1:00am. This set the bar high for the rest of the team and at first light Séan, Barry and Damian got their walking shoes on and set off adding a combined 45 miles. Some of the other guys blitzed the remaining few miles but they had a feeling it was too late! Reports were coming in that another team had crossed the finish line, but had they? Despite having all their cycle miles reached on Saturday, they mustn’t have told George as he headed out and clocked his longest cycle of 21.4 miles, pity they didn’t count!

Damian wanted to award Gavin Scullion with Athlete of the Challenge for his team after stacking up a phenomenal 168 miles! He was so impressed with the efforts of all his team members and now sits patiently waiting while the data is being analysed to see who will triumph!