Welcome to Rural Wisdom.

Many older people in the UK live in rural communities. Rural Wisdom is working to make rural communities work well for people as we get older and for other people who live there.

The project began in 2017. Since then we have been busy working with communities in Scotland and Wales to support community action led by older people. In 2019 we are spreading into new areas.

These are some of the things that have happened.

  • Over 3,200 people are involved in Rural Wisdom.
  • We’ve helped new groups get started and existing ones keep going. The activities and groups that are happening in the local areas are benefitting thousands more people.
  • We’ve brought in an additional £370,000 for local activities in the first areas, plus a lot of help-in-kind resources from people, groups and businesses.
  • We’ve given older people in rural areas another way to have a voice. We’ve contributed to plans at the Welsh Assembly Government, Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, UK Government and House of Lords, as well as to local plans. 
  • We’re raising the experiences and the contributions of older people in rural areas on transport, housing, reducing social isolation, access to care and support, working to keep shops and local services, and developing the rural economy.
  • We are part of networks that bring together people in rural areas in Scotland, Wales and across the rest of the UK.
  • Other organisations are beginning to do more for people in rural areas now they hear how people want the services and see how it can be done.

Throughout the Rural Wisdom project, its important that we hear, gather & share stories of what’s happening & what’s working well across the country.

Please get in touch if there’s something you know of which you think should be showcased and shared. Below are a few hints for the kind of examples we are looking for:

  • something starting from the experiences and views of older people
  • something which shows the impacts for people living in a rural community 
  • something which is focused on older people, or is intergenerational / involves the whole community
  • something which has been developed and managed by older people
  • something which people in other areas might learn from

Keep up with what's happening on our local area pages, via our blog and by signing up to the Rural Wisdom newsletter.

Get in touch:


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The Rural Wisdom project will ensure that older people in both Scotland and Wales will have their voices heard about things which matter most to them.

It is a great example of how National Lottery funding can make a real difference to people’s lives and specifically the lives of older people living in rural communities.

I am sure that it will bring many benefits to those involved, including boosting confidence and skills and empowering older people to participate in and shape activities within their local areas.”

Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn

4 weeks ago

Rural Wisdom

A look back at Happiness Habits ...

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1 month ago

Rural Wisdom

Easter Bonnets and songs was the recent theme for the Brechin Community Singing Group.

The group held an Easter Egg raffle while enjoying yummy Easter cakes donated by the members followed by a competition for the best Easter Bonnet and a good sing song as usual.

Not only does the group sing uplifting songs and enjoy fun and friendship but they also learn the meaning of songs or terms such as ‘lorelei’ contained in the song “Beautiful Dreamer” a German Folk Song. The Lorelei rock is associated with the legend of a beautiful maiden who threw herself into the River Rhine in despair over a faithless lover and who was then transformed into a mermaid who lured fishermen to their death.

This did not put a dampener on the Easter festivities however and the group are meeting up from Thursday 25th April at 1pm, following a short Easter break.

New members to the group are always very welcome. If you would like to find out more or join, please contact Shona Laidlaw, Rural Wisdom Development Worker on: 07855 210113 or shona@otbds.org for more details.

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