Donegall Pass: Towards a sustainable community: Chapter 5, Health and Wellbeing

Karen Galway, Dermot O'Reilly

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Key Points

International research has long since established a gradient between health and socio-economic status and it is now clear that the social and physical context in which people live can have a negative influence on health.

Recent research has established an adverse effect on the health of people who remained in an area that had become more deprived over time

The mechanisms thought to influence health in declining communities include stress, loss of self-esteem, stigma, powerlessness, a lack of hope and fatalism.

These mechanisms are related to the concept of social capital, a resource produced when people co-operate for mutual benefit

Residents’ key concerns relating to the decline in the community are housing shortages which are perceived to be contributing to the breakdown of the family-based community, along with traffic; pollution; non-resident parking problems; a lack of youth facilities; and the influx of ethnic minorities who are less inclined to become involved with the community

In the Donegall Pass a dual process of outward migration and business development has resulted in a decline in social capital within the community which was particularly evident amongst the younger generations

People living in deprived areas, such as the Donegall Pass, that are adjacent to affluent areas, such as the new apartment developments surrounding the area, can often feel relatively more deprived due to such direct comparisons. Although relative deprivation was evident, peer comparisons with the Donegal Road/Sandy Row community were more commonly expressed

The area can be described as a ‘food desert’ as no affordable fresh grocery supplies are available within walking distance

Residents expressed mixed opinions about the future of the Donegall Pass including a common sense of resignation towards the decline in the core community

Many residents recognise the need for people to work together and gain empowerment in order to work with the authorities (i.e., the Housing Executive and the Council) towards progressive re-development that is in keeping with the aims of the community members, however, equally many were impervious towards these suggestions feeling that previous efforts had gone unrewarded.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBelfast
PublisherQueen's University Belfast
Commissioning bodySpecial Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation
Publication statusUnpublished - Jun 2008


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