Category Archives: Community Engagement

Ty Gobaith . . . Our charity of the year!

Ty Gobaith has celebrated their 10th anniversary this year; to help them mark this huge achievement the Watkin Jones Group adopted them as a ‘Charity of the Year’ for the 2014/2015 financial year. This involved fundraising activities across the offices and sites over the course of the year to try to raise as much money as possible for this fantastic charity – in addition, our Group Managing Director Mark Watkin Jones agreed to match every penny we raised.

After a fantastic effort, our final total was £6,179.49!!! With Mark’s contribution we were proud to present today our donation to Ty Gobaith for a staggering £12,358.98!! Ty Gobaith are extremely grateful to all the Watkin Jones Group staff who have taken their time to support them, when we met Eluned, a Fundraiser for the charity, she advised;

“DIOLCH YN FAWR / THANK YOU ALL at Watkin Jones Group for your super fundraising endeavour towards our work with life threatened and life limited babies, children, young adults and their families in the hospice and wider community.

I and everyone at Tŷ Gobaith have been overwhelmed by the dedication shown by all at Watkin Jones.   It is a tribute to your ongoing support and enthusiasm that such a significant sum has been raised to support our children and families.  With your kindness we can build memories and make the most of every moment, as well as provide counselling and bereavement in the community. Approximately one month’s Government funding is received for our services – for the other 11 months of the year we are funded completely by donations and fundraising.

To quote one of our fathers “Tŷ Gobaith was there to support us when our daughter was alive providing much needed respite care.”

Without your help, and everyone else, we simply could not exist. Diolch o galon”

Here are a few pictures from our fundraising activities . . .

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Christmas jumper day

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Cake bake sale

Snowdon climb

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Duvet day raffle                                                                    Food hamper raffle

031  Raffle Hamper

 

The Big Issue!

We are pleased to announce we will be supporting The Big Issue for another year.

We receive an annual report describing the contribution that we have made to the lives of the sellers and also contribute to the vendors employment project, giving a vulnerable person a chance to earn money helping out in the office with the subscription project.

Watkin Jones Group supports Bag 4 Sport Foundation

We are very pleased to announce our support for the Bag 4 Sport foundation through its Adopt an Athlete Programme; the programme is designed to financially assist athletes who have suffered as a result of government funding cuts and now receive little or no financial assistance towards national / international travel expenses, equipment, coaching and physio support.

The young athletes we have sponsored are Loren Bleaken, a 400m runner, Megan Davies, under 18 tennis player and Ben Fletcher, a Judo player.

Ben Fletcher recently gained bronze at the Grand Prix in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and was ranked in the last 16 in the world championships in Astana, Kazakhstan beating the 2007 World Champion. Ben has now reached his highest ever world ranking of 27th and is currently in an Olympic qualification place!

Loren Bleaken is getting ready for her winter training which will continue to around January, from this she will begin competing at indoor events towards the end of January.

Megan Davies has competed over the summer months winning doubles at the Edinburgh International and Queenswood Tournaments as well as being the singles runner up in the Edinburgh International Tournament. Megan also competed in the British Nationals and with her partner became the U16 National Champions!

To find out more, take a look at their website – http://www.bag4sport-foundation.co.uk/

Good Luck to the Watkin Jones Group athletes, we hope to be updating you with their success in the near future. Below you can see two of our athletes with Steven Taylor, Programme Director at Bag4sport and one of our Project Managers, Stuart Vicary.

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Watkin Jones invests more than £100k in local community groups

Ardudwy Ac Arfon Hockey Club

Local construction firm Watkin Jones is celebrating investing more than £100k in local community groups thanks to their Community Fund scheme.

Set up in 2008, the Watkin Jones Community Fund awards grants of up to £1,000 to support a wide range of projects with a particular emphasis on enhancing the physical environment and improving quality of life for local people. Applications are welcomed from community based groups and not for profit organisations.

The latest successful applicants include six projects based in North Wales and another in Bristol.

A grant of £500 awarded to The Bristol Urban Academy will be used to purchase educational books, enabling disadvantaged young people to start their education. Set up by the children’s charity, Kids Company, the academy opened in November 2014 to provide education to young people aged between 15 and 25 who have been unable to function in traditional educational environments due to the trauma and challenges they have faced.

Funds awarded to Cae Chwarae Rhosgadfan will be used towards providing a new playground for the local community. The playground will be located on the site of the old Village Hall which was unfortunately burnt down in 2004 after an arson attack.

Meanwhile, Bryn Du Allotment Association received funds towards constructing a shed for members to store their tools safely.

Receiving the grant on behalf of Bryn Du Allotment Association, Philip Bayman, said: “This whole project has only been made possible from kind donations and grants. This is a long term project and engages with all members of our community, young and old, in a healthy and rewarding pastime. We are particularly delighted when large organisations such as Watkin Jones engage with us to assist in the maintenance and well-being of our communities at a local level.”

Presenting cheques to the successful projects, Watkin Jones Communications Manager, Kerry Williams, said: “As our construction sites are located at the centre of communities we take our corporate social responsibilities very seriously. We aim to play a real part in local life and build strong links with community groups. Through this initiative, it is great to be able to support the excellent work carried out by local organisations. We are extremely proud to have reached this £100k milestone and be in a position to help make a lasting difference to the local communities in which we work”.

Should you wish to apply to the Watkin Jones Community Fund, application packs are available to download from www.watkinjones.com/about-us/community-engagement 

Cash Windfall for North Wales Community Groups

Caernarfon Foodbank

A cash windfall is on its way to community groups in North Wales, thanks to the Watkin Jones Community Fund.

The latest successful applicants include two projects based in the Conwy area, one in Gwynedd and another in Anglesey.

A grant of £500 awarded to Caernarfon Foodbank will be used towards creating additional storage space, including shelving and other infrastructure. The foodbank provides emergency food parcels to single people and families in poverty who would otherwise go hungry.

Paul Dicken, Manager at Caernarfon Foodbank, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Watkin Jones; it’s great to work in partnership with a local company helping people”.

Meanwhile, the Anglesey Hawks Wheelchair Basketball Club received £300 towards the cost of purchasing training equipment and wheelchair repair. An additional £300 was also awarded to the Conwy Coastal Community First Responders. Covering the Conwy coastal strip, this group of volunteers supports the work of the Welsh Ambulance Service by attending emergency 999 calls in their local area. The grant will be used towards purchasing new kit.

A further £970 was awarded to St David’s Hospice. Based in Llandudno, the hospice is an adult palliative care facility and serves all of North West Wales. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the hospice has 14 registered beds providing symptom relief, respite and end of life care. The grant will be used to purchase new patient chairs in the day care unit.

Presenting cheques to the successful projects, Watkin Jones Communications Manager, Kerry Williams said: “Since the launch of our community fund scheme in 2009, we have funded over 200 community based projects. We are delighted to be in a position to help make a lasting difference to communities here in North Wales.”

Tŷ Gobaith Children’s Hospice Adopted as Charity of the Year

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Construction firm Watkin Jones has named Tŷ Gobaith Children’s Hospice as their Charity of the Year for 2014 – 2015.

Tŷ Gobaith, in Conwy, is the sister hospice of Hope House in Oswestry and this year celebrates their 10th anniversary of caring for life limited and life threatened babies, children, young adults and their families.

Watkin Jones kick started their year of fundraising last week by climbing 3,560ft to the top of Wales’ highest mountain – Snowdon, raising in excess of £6,000. The firm has implemented a calendar of fundraising activities which includes a zip wire across the fastest zip line in the world, a charity football match and an auction of promises.

Amy Pearson, Area Fundraiser for Tŷ Gobaith, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Watkin Jones has chosen to support us as their charity of the year, we rely on the support of businesses and the community to help us provide the vital support needed for our children and their families. We are so pleased to be working with Watkin Jones and would like to thank the staff and management for their support by choosing Tŷ Gobaith”.

Kerry Williams, Communications Manager for Watkin Jones, said: “Community outreach is extremely important to us and we are delighted to announce that we will be partnering up with Tŷ Gobaith for the next twelve months. We’ve worked with Tŷ Gobaith for a number of years and we know how vital their services are to hundreds of families across North Wales. As part of their 10 year celebration they have committed to raising even more funds and we are looking forward to supporting them on their biggest challenge to date”.

Grŵp Llandrillo Menai Students Spend Summer at Watkin Jones

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Several Construction and Business learners studying at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, who were recently selected for Watkin Jones Scholarships, have just launched into their work experience placements over the summer holidays.

Construction firm Watkin Jones has already worked in partnership with Grŵp Llandrillo Menai over the past 10 years on a construction scholarship scheme. Following its success, the firm recently launched an additional scheme, allowing business students to undertake 10 weeks of work experience within their support service departments; IT, Marketing, Human Resources, Health and Safety, Accounts and Business Development. The idea is to give each student a flavour of each area, after which they can decide in the area they would like to specialise.

Business learners Isabella Nally, of Llanfairfechan, Jordan Davies, of Denbigh, Beata Rebelska, of Llandudno Junction, Carmen Smith and Charlotte Hunt, of Beaumaris and Dafydd Jones, of Llangefni, won Business scholarship awards for 2014 – 16. Construction learners Jack Dean from Caernarfon, Sion Thomas from Botwnnog, Joe Cox from Anglesey, Gethin Roberts from Abersoch, Gareth Smith from Rhuddlan and Carl Hughes from Morfa Bychan, won Construction scholarship awards for 2014 -16. Each will also receive £1,000 of financial support throughout the two year programme and after completion will be given the opportunity to pursue their career development within Watkin Jones.

Three weeks in, they met up with Group Managing Director, Mark Watkin Jones, to share what they had learned on the scholarship so far and to recap on the remainder of their training over the months ahead.

Business learner Carmen Smith of Llanfaes said: “So far, I have already had excellent experience in several different departments. It is a good way to see what areas of business you might like to specialise in without committing yourself to doing a degree in something then deciding that subject is not for you.”

Business learner Beata Rebelska of Llandudno said: “We have been given a chance to really see what variety the world of Business can offer. I wanted to be a Barrister, but this has opened up my eyes to other options. It will be interesting to see what direction this takes me.”

Construction learner Gareth Smith of Rhuddlan said: “It’s been interesting putting our learning into practice in a real life setting. I thought that quantity surveying would have been boring, for example, but to my surprise I found it really interesting. It has given me insight into new areas I just would not have considered before.”

Construction learner Carl Hughes of Morfa Bychan said: “It has been fun and educational. I had no idea what area of Construction would suit me best after college, and this work experience is helping me to narrow down my choices to something that will suit me best.”

Coleg Menai’s Business and A Level Programme Manager Karen Griffith said: “The Scholarships offer a fantastic opportunity to our learners to gain valuable business experience with a leading firm in the construction industry. The young people who have won the scholarships now face the challenge of showing that they can deliver in the workplace as well as the classroom. If they meet the challenge, and I am confident that they will, the door to an excellent business career will be open to them. This has indeed been the case with some of our Construction learners, where several now work for the Watkin Jones Group as a result of their Construction Scholarships.”

Watkin Jones Communications Manager, Kerry Williams, said: “Our scholarship scheme is one of our most popular development programmes, and it has gone from strength to strength ever since we launched it in 2004. It has given us the chance to employ locally and to provide opportunities for young people.”

Primary School Pupils Bury Time Capsule at Dean Street

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Pupils at Ysgol Hirael made a visit to the Watkin Jones construction site on Dean Street recently to bury a time capsule.

The burial follows the firms visit to the school to talk to the children about the dangers on construction sites and highlight the importance of keeping safe. The children were then tasked with decorating and filling the capsule which would later be buried within the foundations on site. The whole school got stuck in and contents included photographs, pieces of school work and stories about life today.

Once the capsule was ready, five children from the school council were invited to site to take part in the burial. The children were able to meet the site team, learn about the project and even got to watch the tower crane in operation! With the help of Watkin Jones Construction Director, Nick Bumby, the children then proudly lowered the capsule into the ground.

Kerry Williams of Watkin Jones said: “We are committed to working with the local community and as so many of the children pass our site on their way to and from school each day, it was important for us to stress how dangerous a site can be. It’s great that the pupils have been able to leave a legacy at Dean Street, something which we look forward to unearthing in many years to come.”

Headteacher at the school, Miss Valmai Davies said: “The school would like to thank Watkin Jones for the opportunity to participate in this worthwhile project. It has been a pleasure working with them, and the pupils have thoroughly enjoyed the experience”.

IMBCR and aged care services