Welcome To The Belfast Charitable Society

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. The Society was founded by a group of leading businessmen in the city to build a Poor House and Infirmary for the most vulnerable citizens of Belfast. The Society is now led by a Board of Members.

Who Is The Belfast Charitable Society

Our Mission: To promote, protect and enhance the philanthropic heritage of the Society through the direct intervention and collaborative working for the benefit of the community

Our Vision & Values: To be the recognised leader in the provision of progressive, relevant and philanthropic charity throughout Belfast and beyond. The Belfast Charitable Society is committed to being:
– Inclusive
– True to its past
– Progressive and flexible
– Proactive in addressing disadvantaged
– Open, transparent and accountable
– Honest and reliable
– A provider of quality services

Our Strategic Aims

Aim One: To lead and influence how philanthropy is delivered and developed in Belfast and beyond.

Aim Two: To preserve and promote both the built heritage and history of the Society.

Aim Three: To develop a creative and sustainable robust organisation focussed on the disadvantaged and poverty.

Meet the Board

David Watters
David WattersChairperson
David was a founding partner of McClure Watters which was formed in 1989 and under David’s leadership the firm grew into one of the largest accounting and advisory firms in Northern Ireland. David is a highly regarded business professional who has sat on the boards of many local companies and charities for a period extending over nearly thirty years. As a consequence, David has a wide range of commercial and governance experience obtained through participation at an executive and advisory level in a great number of sectors. He was a Trustee of the Northern Ireland based The Spirit of 2012 Trust. David was also a non-executive director of the Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Agency.
Una MaCauley
Una MaCauleyHonorary Secretary
Una recently retired from Co Director of Older Peoples Service at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. She has many years experience in the provision and management of services for vulnerable client groups as well as managing a large multidisciplinary workforce. Una also a Trustee on the Board’s of Extra Care and Age NI.
Una was familiar with the work of the Belfast Charitable Society when she was employed by the Belfast Trust and considered it to be one of the leading local organisations providing care for older people . She decided to join the board of the Belfast Charitable Society given its long association with the care of the elderly and the Society’s unique historical heritage in the city.
Alan Moneypenny
Alan MoneypennyBoard Member
Alan is currently the Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee of the Belfast Charitable Society. He has worked for many years in both the public and private sector including positions on the Board of the Odyssey Trust, Irish Football Association, Coleraine’s Riverside Theatre and Vice Chair of Sports NI. He is currently on the Board of Groundworks and is Chair of the Ulster Community Investment Trust.
Colin Graham
Colin GrahamBoard Member
Colin is a documentary Film maker, the Chair of Digital Art Studios Belfast and a Main Board Director of GRAHAM Holdings Ltd.
Colin became involved with the Belfast Charitable Society to help the Society protect its philanthropic heritage and to ensure it remained relevant in today’s difficult social and economic environment. He also wanted to help and encourage a new era of philanthropic generosity.
Nick HarknessBoard Member
Bill Osborne
Bill OsborneHonorary Treasurer
Bill is a Director of VSB Foundation and Chairperson of the Building Change Trust. The VSB Foundation is small charitable body primarily supporting volunteering, citizen engagement and community development. Bill joined the Society on the recommendation of another member and with his valuable background in the Community and Voluntary sector he was then asked to join the Board.

According to Bill social innovation and enterprise are seen as new concepts but the history of the Belfast Charitable Society illustrates otherwise. He sees the development of the water system for Belfast by the Society in 19th century as innovative and entrepreneurial. Bill intends to continue to develop social enterprise and philanthropy within the Belfast Charitable Society.

Diane Graham
Diane GrahamBoard Member
Diane is the Matron and Chief Executive with operational responsibility at the Ulster Independent Hospital. She got involved with the Charitable Society because of her expertise in the provision of care for the elderly. Her experience and skills in healthcare was considered extremely beneficial to the Charitable Society.

Diane wishes to continue with the altruistic values and spirit of helping which have motivated the Belfast Charitable Society since 1774 when the Poor house and hospital opened to provide care for the disadvantaged.

Norma Sinte
Norma SinteBoard Member
Norma recently retired from Queen’s University Belfast where she was Director of Development and Alumni Relations. She joined Queen’s in 2000 as Head of Corporate and Major Gifts Fundraising and was appointed to the post of Director in 2008. During her time there she led two major fundraising campaigns, raising over £160m from philanthropic sources for priority projects.

A graduate of Queen’s, she has many years experience in sales and marketing management in the private sector both in the UK and Europe and in arts marketing and fundraising. In her role at Queen’s she also managed two senior voluntary Boards: the Queen’s Foundation and the Friends of Queen’s USA. Norma wants to help the Society retain its innovative and entrepreneurial outlook and build on its philanthropic heritage.

Matt Higgins
Matt HigginsBoard Member
Matt Higgins is a founding principal of HHD solicitors. Matt’s work in Criminal Law, Judicial Review and protecting his clients’ human rights has gained him a reputation as a tenacious and purposeful advocate.   His reputation has led him to be instructed by the N.I. Human Rights Commission, Belfast Solicitors Association and Rights Watch UK.


He is active within the wider legal arena including being appointed chairman of the Belfast Solicitors Association 2008/2009, Treasurer of N.I. Criminal Bar Association and is a lead member of the Law Society of Northern Ireland’s Criminal Rules Negotiating Team.


Outside the Law Matt is fully engaged within the local community in Belfast. Matt is a Director of the Metropolitan Arts Centre in Belfast, Chair of The Friends of St Malachy’s, committee member North Belfast Harriers and committee member of Jog Belfast.

Meet the Team

Paula Reynolds
Paula ReynoldsChief Executive
Lucy Fraser
Lucy FraserFacilities and Events Officer
Alisha Watters
Alisha WattersGrants Development Officer
Aaron McIntyre
Aaron McIntyreArchive and Heritage Development Officer