Yearly Archives: 2019


North Belfast Early Intervention Family Support programme


For over 265 years, Belfast Charitable Society has supported people through difficult times. From admission to the Poor House, its outdoor relief scheme or in more recent years through Clifton Residential and Clifton Care Home.  As part of the charity’s ongoing philanthropic work it has recently provided funding towards an Early Intervention Family Support Programme which receives referrals directly from the North Belfast Family Support Hubs. The Family Support Hubs consists of a network of statutory, community and voluntary organisations that provide early intervention services, or work with families who need support. Belfast Charitable Society’s contribution funds two part-time home visitor [...]

North Belfast Early Intervention Family Support programme2019-12-24T10:48:53+00:00

The Benn Christmas Dinner: George Benn & his legacy at Clifton House


In 1882 George Benn, the generous philanthropist, historian and benefactor of Belfast Charitable Society (BCS) died, leaving the sum of £1,000 to the Charitable Society to set up the Benn Charity. This sum of money was to be used principally to provide a dinner or other entertainment for the residents of the Old Peoples Home at Christmas and Easter each year. George was very close with his brother Edward who predeceased him, and he requested that BCS used any interest from the fund was used to maintain his brother's burial place in Clifton Street Cemetery. George's final request was that any [...]

The Benn Christmas Dinner: George Benn & his legacy at Clifton House2019-12-18T09:27:18+00:00

Children in the Poor House 1775-1882


When people think of the Belfast Poor House, one of the first things that comes to mind is the children who came through our doors. The month of November was a significant month for the children in the care of the Belfast Charitable Society. In November 1775, the first child arrived at the Poor House and in November 1882, the last child left. The Poor House became known as the Belfast Charitable Institution and primarily became a nursing home and hospital for older people. The care for older people is still the main function of the house today, alongside the heritage [...]

Children in the Poor House 1775-18822019-11-30T10:19:18+00:00

Belfast Charitable Society & Social Enterprise Day 2019


A social enterprise is like any other business in that it works to deliver goods and services to make a profit. The difference is that they are driven by their social and environmental purposes and any profit made is reinvested towards achieving these purposes. Today, the government defines social enterprises as “businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.” The term social enterprise was first coined in 1953 and has been widely used since the [...]

Belfast Charitable Society & Social Enterprise Day 20192019-11-21T15:11:09+00:00

Treasured and Historic Places: Great Place North Belfast & the National Lottery


Today we celebrate how The National Lottery have supported Treasured and Historic Places for the past 25 years. To mark this occasion, as the lead member of the Great Place North Belfast project, we would like to share with you what a difference this support has made to our North Belfast Heritage Cluster. This Cluster is comprised of 15 voluntary organisations with responsibility for historic assets that stretch across 1 mile from the city centre. We aim to use our collective assets to catalyse regeneration in some of the most deprived wards in Northern Ireland. Next month we will be half [...]

Treasured and Historic Places: Great Place North Belfast & the National Lottery2019-11-13T16:33:51+00:00

Support throughout the years: Clifton House and the National Lottery at 25


As part of the National Lottery’s 25th birthday celebrations, we wanted to share how Clifton House has benefited from funding throughout the years. Following the Belfast Charitable Society’s ‘Home from Home’ appeal, which raised money for a purpose built Care Home at Carlisle Circus, Clifton House was refurbished to enhance the accommodation for older people in the original building. As part of this redevelopment, funding from the National Lottery enabled the restoration of the historic heart of the Poor House to create a new interpretative centre. This centre was opened by the Marquess of Donegall, a descendant of the original benefactor [...]

Support throughout the years: Clifton House and the National Lottery at 252019-11-12T11:18:12+00:00

#DidYouKnow: The Poor House Vegetable Garden


Did you know that the Poor House had it's own vegetable garden and farm? Belfast Charitable Society made the most of the land they owned around the Poor House to make it as self sufficient as possible. The vegetable garden was used to provide the essentials to feed our residents. However, it was common that a surplus was produced. Sometimes this would be sold for profit, but on 26th October 1811 the orderly suggested that the poor be allowed and extra portion of broth in the week rather than to selling the surplus at the market “where the profit made on them [...]

#DidYouKnow: The Poor House Vegetable Garden2019-10-26T12:45:33+00:00

On this day 1847: Body of an unknown male infant male buried in Clifton Street Cemetery


On this day, 7th October, 1847 the body of an unknown child, found dead in the vicinity of Donegall Pass, was buried in Clifton Street Cemetery, following an inquest into the death. The 'Weekly Vindicator' reported on the proceedings in explicit detail: It appeared from the evidence, that two little boys had been going across the fields, when they discovered the body lying in the ditch without the slightest bit of covering on it. Dr. Aickin, who examined the body, stated, that it had been in such and advanced state of decomposition, that it was uttlerly impossible for him to say whether [...]

On this day 1847: Body of an unknown male infant male buried in Clifton Street Cemetery2019-10-07T08:31:30+00:00

On this day 1768: Constructing a Poor House


By the 1st October 1768 work was well and truly underway to source the materials required to begin construction of the Poor House which had been envisioned at the first meeting of Belfast Charitable 16 years previously. Offers came from various philanthropists, but on this day 1768 the Belfast Charitable Society wrote a letter to Mr Kennedy of Cultra, thanking him for granting them free liberty to quarry stone and sand from his estate. The quarries referred to in the letter can still be viewed at the Ulster Folk Museum at Cultra today.

On this day 1768: Constructing a Poor House2019-10-01T12:13:12+00:00

Death, Tragedy & Betrayal: Halloween at Clifton Street Cemetery


This Halloween Week Clifton House will be hosting a special Halloween tour of Clifton Street Cemetery. Opened in 1797 as the 'New Burying Ground' there are many tales to be told here. Death, Tragedy & Betrayal focuses on the 'darker side' of the graveyard's history- from the infamous body snatchers which plagued the cemetery in its opening decades and the drastic actions taken to curb this lucrative trade, to the burial of murder victims, a runaway slave and mass burials during the Irish Potato Famine. Death, Tragedy & Betrayal: The Darker Side of Clifton Street Cemetery runs from 28th-31st October, starting at [...]

Death, Tragedy & Betrayal: Halloween at Clifton Street Cemetery2019-10-01T09:13:09+00:00
Go to Top