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Medical Care In Belfast


Dr A.G. Malcolm published a book in 1851 called “History of the General Hospital.”  It is amazing to see how the medical care in Belfast grew from such humble roots and with the determination and tenacity of a relatively small number of men and women.  The infirmary at the Poor House was the only medical relief in Belfast until The Dispensary opened in 1792.  The signatories of the Dispensary Notice included Valentine Jones, Waddell Cunningham and Robert Holmes, all of whom were members of the Belfast Charitable Society. The Dispensary had closed around 1795/6.  A meeting was held in 1798 to [...]

Medical Care In Belfast2016-02-11T15:33:07+00:00

World Cancer Day


On #worldcancerday we celebrate the Belfast Charitable Society’s significant donation and support for Northern Ireland Hospice. BCS made a £250,000 donation to NI Hospice’s new Education and Research Centre which is set to open this Spring. The donation will be invested into specific education and projects focussing on dementia and a Holistic Dementia Palliative Care programme over the next three years.

World Cancer Day2016-02-04T15:29:51+00:00

The New Burying Ground & Belfast Charitable Society Archive


On Friday 3rd March 1779 The New Burying Ground was formally announced to the public.  “The Public are now informed that the Burying Ground near the Poor House is now ready, and that Messers. Robert Stevenson, William Clark, and John Caldwell are appointed to agree with such persons who wish to take lots.”[1] It was primarily set up as a means to raise funds for the Charitable Society by providing a steady income.  Initially all plots had to be purchased but by April 1799 the committee agreed to set some of the ground aside “for interring such poor persons as may [...]

The New Burying Ground & Belfast Charitable Society Archive2016-02-03T12:56:03+00:00

The Role of the Orderly


The Orderly was a member of the Belfast Charitable Society and the committee which ran Belfast Poor House.  They were appointed each week as an unpaid Superintendent to check and report back on every element of the house.  They attended the infirmary, the house, the school and kitchen and made the decisions on the everyday running of the Poor House.  They would give permission for people to leave the house and would also be the person who would adjudicate on whether a person was allowed additional allowances for work they had completed.  The Orderly took great pride in his work, and [...]

The Role of the Orderly2016-02-02T14:04:59+00:00

Mental Health Care & The Poor House


This is an extract from the presentation given to the Royal College of Psychiatrists on 27th January 2016: It was not envisaged in 1774 that the Poor House would take people with severe mental health problems, however because of a lack of any viable alternative they felt it necessary to provide some level of care.  In January 1802 it was ordered that “2 rooms in this house be appropriated for the reception of such deranged persons as belong to & have resided 2 years, in this Town.”  Pressure was constantly applied to the Poor House to take more and more cases.  [...]

Mental Health Care & The Poor House2016-01-28T14:44:33+00:00

Australia Day At The Belfast Charitable Society


While completing some research work on the Belfast Charitable Society and the Poor House I came across a document in PRONI which referenced a young boy, William Daly having been sent to the Poor House in 1825 as his mother Sarah Cramshee [sic] was sent for transportation. I haven’t been able to find much out about William, however I have been more successful in tracking down what happened to his mother. Sarah Cramsie was born in 1799 and appears to have had two sons. She was sentenced in 1825 for robbery in the street and was taken to Cork. She was [...]

Australia Day At The Belfast Charitable Society2016-01-26T11:23:35+00:00

New Chief Executive for Belfast Charitable Society


Paula Reynolds has been appointed as the new Chief Executive for Belfast Charitable Society, one of Ireland’s oldest charitable institutions. Paula was previously Director of Business Development for Sector Matters, which is Northern Ireland’s first social enterprise to offer business support services to the voluntary and community sector and SMEs. Alongside management and business development responsibilities Paula also delivered area and organisational planning support in the form of Strategic, Operational and Sustainability plans for groups across Northern Ireland. Before heading up Sector Matters, Paula held the position of Director of Member Services at the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) [...]

New Chief Executive for Belfast Charitable Society2015-09-09T15:55:53+00:00

Belfast Charitable Society announces Three-Year Partnership with NI Hospice


Northern Ireland’s oldest charitable foundation, Belfast Charitable Society has announced a three-year partnership to support the development of hospice care for the people of Belfast, pledging £250,000 to support the work of NI Hospice. Based at Clifton House, the Belfast Charitable Society has long played an historic role in the development of Belfast and the welfare of its people, whilst NI Hospice has played a leading role in developing palliative care services for the people of Belfast. The partnership launched this week with a capital grant of £100,000 towards the building of the new state-of-the-art 18-bed adult hospice in North Belfast. [...]

Belfast Charitable Society announces Three-Year Partnership with NI Hospice2015-05-19T17:26:20+00:00
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