The Care Zone project was established as a result of a Future Search workshop that was led by the then Health Minister Mrs Michelle O’Neill, ‘Building Hope: Working Together to Prevent Suicide’, where twelve common ground themes were agreed at the workshop as the best actions to be taken forward to improve mental health and well-being and reduce suicide.

The poorer quality of life is also reflected in general health statistics. A higher proportion of people in the area report poor or very poor health, compared to the Belfast North Assembly Area or Belfast as a whole. Male life expectancy in the Care Zone project area is 74.8 years, which is 3.6 years lower than the Northern Ireland average2. The standardised preventable death rate amongst the Care Zone population is more than 70% above the Northern Ireland average3. All major illnesses are more prevalent amongst the Care Zone population compared with Belfast and Northern Ireland as a whole, including cancer, respiratory and circulatory diseases. 

Find out more about our journey by clicking on the booklets below

The Care Zone Areas

Care Zone is currently broke up into 5 areas:

  • Ardoyne
  • Ballysillan
  • Chichester
  • Cliftonville
  • Waterworks

The Care Zone Areas

Care Zone is currently broke up into 5 areas:

  • Ardoyne
  • Ballysillan
  • Chichester
  • Cliftonville
  • Waterworks

The total population of the area covered by the Care Zone is just above 18,000 persons. The proportion of children aged under 16 is comparatively high in the area, while the proportion of people aged 65 and over is lower than in Belfast as a whole. The area is characterised by significant levels of deprivation, particularly in relation to income, employment and health. Like many other communities that are impacted by deprivation, this community in north Belfast is characterised by high rates of suicide and poor mental health across the population. In 2016, 43 out of 297 Northern Ireland deaths by suicide occurred in north Belfast, representing a suicide rate that is twice as high compared to any other Parliamentary Constituency in Northern Ireland.

Bringing change to the area

“The Care Zone initiative followed a challenging time in my youth work career, having been impacted by the loss of life of a young person through suicide, I began to lose hope in the role of community work in this local area. Both personally and professionally I was rejuvenated by the Care Zone process. Working in partnership with likeminded people and experiencing the amazing impact of a truly community led methodology, where local people’s voices matter most of all, has restored a personal sense of hope and in turn has motivated me to restore hope in the community.”
Sean Devlin
Yeha Project

The Care Zone for me, is a proper grass roots, local community, level way of bringing positive change to an area that has been through many struggles.”

Sean Devlin

YEHA Charity

“There was a fabulous Fun Day held in the Marrowbone park on the Oldpark Road, with several stalls handing out important information about various resources and groups available to those who require them. There were also complimentary therapies on offer. Many families had a great day out and enjoyed the refreshments on offer. It was lovely to see so many young families out meeting and greeting one another. The community could do with something like this every year”.
Local Resident

How far we have come