About Rural Wisdom

About Rural Wisdom

Rural Wisdom is a space for older people in rural Scotland and Wales.  It is a community development and shared learning project that helps people learn from and support each other within and between communities.  We explore the impact of activities led by older people living in rural areas. Our mission is to help improve the lives of older people in rural communities by listening to them and helping to ensure their needs are met.

Where it all began…

Rural Wisdom has had impact across the UK thanks to funding secured from the National Lottery Community Fund’s Accelerating Ideas Programme. Since then, we have led a range of projects in rural communities across Scotland and Wales to offer a space for older people. In 2017, Maureen McGinn, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland said of the project;

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.”

Since Rural Wisdom began we have seen positive changes on the issues we set out to tackle and on additional ones that have emerged.


Cartoon style mind map of hills and text

What we have achieved so far…

  • Listening to over 3,200 older people in rural areas and embracing their ideas, big and small.
  • Helping new community groups get started and existing ones keep going. The activities of these groups are now benefitting thousands more people.
  • Delivering over £370,000 of funding for local activities in a range of rural communities.
  • Connecting communities with the people, groups and businesses with the resources that can improve life in their area.
  • Supporting other organisations to do more for people in rural spaces by showing them what is possible.
  • Contributing to plans at the Welsh Assembly Government, Scottish Government, Scottish Parliament, UK Government and House of Lords for long-lasting national impact.
  • Bringing people together in a network of connected communities across rural Scotland, Wales, and the rest of the UK.

Cartoon style mind map of trees and text

What’s next…

At Rural Wisdom we will continue to…

  • Listen to older people and empower them to lead change in their rural communities.
  • Improve the lives of older people in rural areas by helping them access the services and support they want and need.
  • Encourage and celebrate the contributions of older people within their rural communities.
  • Ensure older people can continue to live in thriving age-friendly rural communities.

In all of our projects we’re tackling issues that older people identify as priorities in their rural areas for the benefit of the entire community. We’re developing community-led activities that include and support older people and create age-friendly communities. We’re also encouraging and celebrating the experience that older people have and the contributions they can make to their communities for the benefit of everyone. Rural Wisdom is a project that was specifically designed to evolve and grow and it continues to do so.  

Group photo