copyright@Hydro Group plc.
We all spend a great deal of our lives in the workplace, forging lasting friendships and in times of need feeling the helping hand and support of colleagues around us. When tragedy struck Fred Stephens, an employee at Aberdeen-based Hydro Group, the team wanted to show their support for a charity close to his heart.
In January this year, Fred's wife Shona lost her five-year battle with breast cancer. "Shona was an incredibly strong person," said Fred. "She fought the cancer, going through three separate courses of chemotherapy, all while remaining positive in front of me and our two young children."
During Shona's treatment she was determined to raise money for several cancer charities, doing everything from car boot sales to home baking.
"Over a period of four or five years Shona must have personally raised in the region of £3000 for cancer charities and was a keen supporter of Macmillan Cancer Support," said Fred.
Tragically Shona's battle with the disease ended in January and Fred, with the help of family, friends and colleagues, began to put the pieces of his life back together.
"It has only been in the last three months that I have really started to come to terms with it and speak about Shona more freely. Nobody and nothing can prepare you for going through something like this, but with the support of people around me, I'm starting to come through it." Aware of the heart-breaking loss Fred had suffered, the team at Hydro Group wanted to organise an event to show their support for him.
Having done a little research Hydro Group's managing director Doug Whyte discovered that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with October 31st being Wear It Pink Day. Doug said, "Cancer touches the lives of so many people. I'm starting to lose count of the people I have known that have been struck down by this terrible illness. The team here at Hydro Group wanted to find an activity where the whole company could get involved and show support for a cancer charity and for Fred"
The Hydro Group team set about organising their own Wear It Pink day and invited all members of staff to a company barbecue. Everyone who attended created their own pink themed outfit, and a total of £800 was raised for Breast Cancer Campaign. This year, Breast Cancer Campaign is daring everyone in the UK to wear an item of pink on October 31 and donate £2 each to the charity to help beat breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Campaign uses all Wear It Pink donations to fund innovative, world-class research throughout the UK to understand how breast cancer develops, leading to improved diagnosis, treatment, prevention and cure. The campaign currently supports 112 research projects, worth over £14.5 million in 50 centres of excellence across the UK. Fred added: "I organise and take part in things like football fundraisers for several cancer charities each year, and I really appreciate the fundraising efforts of my work colleagues. The barbecue was a chance for us all to get together and have a good time while raising money for such a good cause. "We'd recommend other companies take part and get involved with their own pink day."
Nearly half of the multinational companies plan to boost their spending on training and development of staff within the business, according to a recent study.
These firms belived that capitalising on their most experienced and senior employees could have a positive impact on morale and the running of the business.
One Aberdeen based business which believes in staff development is Hydro Group, a global provider of optical and electrical applications in the defence and oil and gas industries. It encourages and supports all levels of staff to undertake courses to enhance their skills and knowledge.
Irene Buxton, human resources director at Hydro said : "Three directors at Hydro Group are undertaking the Institute of Directors (IoD) course in Edinburgh at the moment.
"As a director, it is important for me to be up to date and aware of issues and legislation affecting business leaders today. The responsibility and accountability with the role at director level makes it important to be aware of all factors that could have an impact on the business."
Managing director Doug Whyte has already completed the IoD course and exam and went on to become a chartered director, one of only 700 currently in the UK. Irene and her co-directors will take their exam in May.
She added: "Learning doesn't have to stop when you have reached a plateau in your career. Hydro Group doesn't create specific training or apprenticeships but each individual is encouraged to achieve their own goals through learning and development regardless of their position within the company.
"Currently, the global econimic situation is affecting both businesses and their employees, who face continual challenges, so there is no better time to invest in our most valuable asset, to enhance our staff's skills and knowledge."
"Directors and senior staff must also be prepared to participate in this personal development to benefit themselves and the company in the long term."
Subsea technology firm needs room to grow on 2.2-acre site.
Subsea technology firm Hydro Group, of Aberdeen said yesterday it had awarded the contract for developing its new £4million-plus headquarters in the Granite City to Morrison Construction.
Hydro’s work in subsea and onshore engineering, connectivity and cabling has grown over the years and it needs more space to expand. Property consultant Knight Frank revealed earlier this year that it had been appointed to manage the construction of the new HQ, housing research, design, and engineering test facilities, on 2.2 acre site at Aberdeen science and Energy Park.
The contract award for Morrison – part of construction giant Galliford Try – comes after Hydro Group secured £4million of capital funding earlier in the year. Hydro managing director Doug Whyte said its growth reflected a thriving subsea industry, which, according to industry body subsea UK, had by last year swelled to a sector worth £4.3billion annually to the UK economy.
Work began on the new site last month, with completion expected early next year.
All the Hydro’s 70-strong workforce will move there from the current HQ in Woodside Road, Bridge of Don. The group, which celebrated 25 years in business last year, said the larger premises would allow it to expand its workforce substantially going forward.
Morrison said its contract to design and build the new HQ, which will incorporate several features to reduce the firm’s carbon footprint, was a great opportunity.
Global solutions provider of optical and electrical products in the subsea technology industry, Hydro Group, is set to secure £150,000 of projects in Norway. It is also delivering its 3kv electrical connector which is a first for the market in Norway designed specifically for drilling rigs and hazardous areas.
Since ONS (Offshore North Sea) in 2006, and through its Norwegian partner based in Oslo, demand for the firm’s heavy duty electrical connectors has increased. It is forecast that Hydro Group’s turnover will double in Norway during 2008/2009 with various large projects beginning throughout next year.
Stein Goffeng-Nielsen, Hydro Group partner in Norway, said: “With new fields developing in Norway, demand for new technology and innovative products will increase. For British firms to be successful in Norway, it is essential that there is a base in the country to work from and more often than not, quality, delivery and trust are the most important factors for doing business here.
“Hydro Group is building a strong presence in Norway through G-Tech Components AS and the aim is to continue to build on this during 2008 and 2009. ONS is a fantastic opportunity to meet potential new clients who can benefit from the range of products we offer.”
With an Aberdeen headquarters and offices in Asia Pacific and Perth Australia, Hydro Group plc employs a total of 70 staff and operates on a global scale, with a portfolio of blue chip clients, major operators and the Ministry of Defence.
Hydro Group plc, comprising Hydro Bond Engineering and Hydrocable Systems Ltd, was originally formed in 1982 by a team of experienced engineers and is now a major national and international supplier of harsh environment engineered products to the offshore oil and gas, defence, oceanographic, renewable energies, diving and ROV/AUV markets.
Property consultancy Knight Frank has been appointed by Hydro Group, a national and international provider of harsh environment solutions for electrical and optical systems, to project manage the construction of its new £4million design and engineering facility on the 2.2-acre site at Aberdeen Science and Energy Park.
Hydro Group currently occupies about 31,500sq ft of office and manufacturing space at Woodside Road, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, employing 70 staff on its two divisions - Hydro Bond Engineering and Hydrocable Systems. As Hydro Group's business in subsea and onshore engineering, connectivity and cabling has grown over the years, it now requires new premises to accommodate further growth and expansion.
The new premises will be located at site G at Aberdeen Science and Energy Park, Bridge of Don, and will include more than 8,000 sq ft of space for research and development and engineering, as well as 76 car parking spacing.
Construction on site will begin at the end of this month, with completion expected in early 2009.
Doug Garden, a partner at Knight Frank in Aberdeen said: "This is an exciting opportunity to project manage the design and development of the new facility for Hydro Group"
"This Aberdeen-based company, which celebrated 25 years in business last year, is expanding rapidly and these new, spacious premises will allow it to realise its aspirations for further growth"
Aberdeen Science and Energy Park houses companies engaged in research, design and development across a range of technologies, including life science and energy.