Today, Monday 30th October 2023, Belfast Charitable Society marked the end of The Barbour Fund with a special event held in Clifton House. The celebration event brought together members of the Barbour family; Board and staff of Belfast Charitable Society; and representatives of those organisations who, over the last nine years of the Fund, have received grants to carry out projects and activities in north Belfast and Lisburn. The Hilden Society and the Belfast Charitable Society came together to create ‘The Barbour Fund’ in March 2014. Both organisations shared a long and successful history of caring for older people and working [...]
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No one thought a year on that the impact of the cost-of-living crisis would be worse on families across Northern Ireland (NI), particularly north Belfast. Already one of the most deprived areas in NI, continued pressures on finances has made the situation dire, as families struggle to provide the basics. David Watters, Chair of the Belfast Charitable Society, commented “Last year, for the first time, the Belfast Charitable Society agreed to fund school meals in post primary schools across Northern Ireland to help alleviate some of the financial pressures on families most in need. We hoped that this year the need [...]
Belfast Charitable Society, founded in 1752 is Northern Ireland’s oldest charity. Between 1752 and the 1880s, this involved building and managing Belfast’s first poorhouse and hospital, delivering many of the municipal services for the town and providing funds to support its poor. From 1880s to 2018, our focus moved to caring for older people given they were the most vulnerable and, in recent years, we have gone back to wider philanthropic roots: supporting activity that tackles grassroots poverty and delivers innovative solutions to help those who tackle such disadvantage. Based in the old Poor House, now Clifton House Heritage Centre, Belfast [...]
North Belfast grammar school St Malachy’s College has officially launched its new Creative Digital Technology Hub (CDTH) with funding from the Belfast Charitable Society and The James Kane Foundation. Around 50 guests attended the launch in February including principals and students from neighbouring schools, representatives from our funders, Belfast City Council, local authorities. The Creative Digital Technology Hub was then officially opened by Sir Ronnie Weatherup, President of Belfast Charitable Society. He said: “Belfast Charitable Society has been supportive of the Digital Creative Hub from its inception. It’s fantastic to see it open and being so well used by local schools. We saw [...]
For a second year, the Mary Ann McCracken Foundation and Belfast Charitable Society will support a bursary programme for twelve post primary schools in North Belfast. Along with funding partners The James Kane Foundation and Hunter Smyth Fund, each school within the North Belfast Area Learning Community will receive up to £2,000 to support pupils (16+ year-olds) who face financial barriers which may prevent them from continuing to AS / A-Level, further or higher education, employment or apprenticeship. The schools receiving the bursaries will have the flexibility to use the funds in a number of ways to support those pupils who [...]
Belfast Charitable Society continuing to support new communities There is no doubt that the cost-of-living crisis is affecting a huge number of individuals and families this winter. However for marginalised groups, including asylum seekers and refugees, this crisis is often overlooked. The challenges they face are just as tough, as many have arrived in the UK with just the clothes on their backs, ill equipped for the cold winter months ahead. Many of these individuals will be provided with temporary accommodation and food, however little to no allowances are made to provide material items like winter coats or shoes. David Watters, [...]
Benn Dinner 2022 George Benn, who was born on New Year’s Day 1801, was a renowned local philanthropist, historian and benefactor of Belfast Charitable Society. In his lifetime he opened three hospitals in the town, the Benn Skin Hospital, the Benn Ears Nose and Throat hospital and the Samaritans Hospital. Not long before he died George also oversaw the change of use from the Poor House to an Old People’s Home when the last child left in 1882. His legacy continues at Clifton House, as ninety percent of the building is still used for the care of the elderly, and the [...]
Christmas Gift Bundle This year we are offering a Christmas Gift Bundle of our new book 'The First Great Charity of this Town' (normally £24.99) and one year's 'Friends of' membership package (normally £30) for just £50 (postage and packaging inc to UK only). Friends of the Belfast Charitable Society, Mary Ann McCracken Foundation or Clifton House Centre receive 20% off all our events, including tours and lectures, archive services and merchandise AND priority booking for all public events. Also by buying this Christmas Gift Bundle, you are supporting the ongoing philanthropic work of the oldest charity in Ireland. To purchase [...]
New Northern Ireland wide school funding will be a ‘lifeline’ for families The number of people living in poverty across Northern Ireland is rising dramatically as the costs of basic essentials like food and fuel skyrocket. Many are struggling to feed and clothe their families and are at a financial breaking point. David Watters, Chair of the Belfast Charitable Society commented “There is no doubt that the cost-of-living crisis will mean more and more children will be growing up in poverty in Northern Ireland. The evidence of this is already being seen in schools, as increasingly children are arriving hungry and [...]
Today, Wednesday 9th November, Belfast Charitable Society celebrated being ‘the first great charity of this town’, with the launch of a new book charting its history in developing Belfast. Professor Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland, was in attendance giving invited guests an opportunity to hear her speak of the important role the Society played in ‘her North Belfast’. Edited by Professor Olwen Purdue of Queen's University Belfast, and published by Irish Academic Press, this new collection of essays explores the social history of Belfast from the foundation of Belfast Charitable Society in 1752 through to the point at which Belfast [...]