The Belfast Charitable Society at Clifton House, in North Belfast, hosted a small gathering to mark the another year of giving to a number of local charities, health and educational institutions across Greater Belfast, from the Barbour Fund, on Wednesday 23 May 2018.
Projects supported by the fund included: two bursaries to study a foundation degree in Science in Health and Social Care through the Belfast Metropolitan College and the delivery of the Winter Volunteers project, a partnership between CLARE and the West Belfast Partnership, which impacted over 100 older, who were highlighted as potentially vulnerable in the winter months.
Three care homes in the greater Lisburn area also received grants to host additional activities and outings for residents to tackle isolation among the older population.
The Barbour Fund also provided the Ashton Trust with the opportunity to provide accredited training for some 20 people to gain recognised qualifications in the security industry, as well as funding additional vocational courses and IT support for the Belfast Hospital School, which supports young people during a very vulnerable time in their lives.
Paula Reynolds, Chief Executive, of the Belfast Charitable Society commented, “It is very apt that during Philanthropy Fortnight that we recognise hundreds of years of philanthropic works delivered by this historic organisation.
“The Barbour Fund was set up to help the people that need it most and it has enabled many local people to strive to do amazing things. Seeing all those people who have benefitted from the fund come together and hear their stories of accomplishment and how it has helped in their day to day lives over the last two years, makes for a very special event and offers a sincere reminder of why we do what we do.”
Speaking in receipt of the funding, Kathy Boyle Acting Principal of the Belfast Hospital School “Thank you so much to the Barbour Fund for helping us to provide opportunities for our children who would otherwise miss out due to not being able to attend a mainstream school. You improve the lives of our children every day.”
The Barbour Fund was developed in recognition of the shared history of Belfast’s first charitable organisation, the Belfast Charitable Society and the Hilden District Nursing Society. Both societies have a long and successful history of caring for older people, working to improve the lives of those who are less fortunate and, in some instances, providing and facilitating education and training for that purpose.
The Barbour Family and the Belfast Charitable Society continue their dedicated work in tackling inequality, creating employment and helping those in need. This long history of philanthropic endeavours was commemorated with the publication of Industrial Philanthropists: The Barbour Family & the Belfast Charitable Society.
Representatives from the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum, who assisted with the production of the booklet, were presented with copies for the museum’s library.