Today as part of Philanthropy Fortnight we are looking at individual giving. From the earliest days of Belfast Charitable Society, we have relied on the generosity of others, either through donations or membership subscriptions. One of the key figures in the more recent history of the Charitable Society was C.T. ‘Toby’ Hurst. Toby was invited to join the the Belfast Charitable Society Board back in in 1988. Toby had previously been appointed Chair of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners in October 1982.

As Convener of the Appeals Committee he worked alongside Lady Quigley, to raise the money for a purpose built care home through their ‘Home from Home’ Appeal. He helped to secure donations from the business community (Guinness, Northern Bank, Irish News and Newsletter) and individuals including Lord O’Neill. Toby personally pledged £50,000 to the appeal.

Toby was well known in the motorcycling scene. According to Road Racing Ireland: ”Toby was an unsung hero… He never sought the limelight, in fact riders found it difficult to get him to agree that his name should appear on their machinery.”

Sadly, Toby passed away in January 2000 and never saw Clifton Care Home completed. He bequeathed an additional £50,000 to the Belfast Charitable Society .

Clifton Care Home named a suite in honour of the man who had worked tirelessly to raise the money to fund the new building.


(Image courtesy of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners)