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About the project

Many older people in the UK live in rural communities.

There are places where people are developing cities that work well for older people.

Rural Wisdom is a project to develop rural communities that are older-people-friendly.

The project is led by Outside the Box, Volunteering Matters Cymru and the National Development Team for Inclusion.

It is funded by Big Lottery Fund

What we are doing

Rural Wisdom is a community development and shared learning project that explores the impact of community-based activities that are led by older people living in rural areas.

  • We’re tackling the issues that older people identify as priorities for their communities and makes opportunities for older people to shape their community to make it work well for them and for other people who live there.
  • We’re developing community-led activities that include and support older people and activities that make local communities work well for people as they get older.
  • We’re building on and encouraging the strengths and experience that older people bring, and encourages other people to value and support this.
  • We’re exploring ways to identify and show the impact of these activities and the contribution to bigger changes.
Where we are working

The Rural Wisdom project is based in locations in Scotland and Wales, but has been designed to benefit people across the UK.

We will share what we learn both with all the other people and places taking part in this project and with others who are interested in these issues and innovative approaches.

The project also enables people living and working in rural areas to learn from and apply learning from related developments that will be taking place across the UK over the next 5 years.

Currently in Scotland, we are working in:

  • Aberfeldy and the surrounding areas
  • North Angus Glens
  • Eaglesham

Our partners in Wales are working in:

  • Leeswood, Flintshire
  • Milford Haven
How can you help?

We’re keen to hear about existing activities led by older people in rural areas and case examples that show the impact this makes. Read more about what we’re looking for and how to share your stories with us.

Tell us what you think would make a difference in your rural area – would could change to make life easier for people as they get older?

Find out more

Visit the Rural Wisdom website

Sign up to the Rural Wisdom newsletter

Like the Rural Wisdom Facebook page

Get in touch:

We’d love to hear from you  – see below for contacts for our Rural Wisdom staff in different areas of Scotland.

If you have a general inquiry about the Rural Wisdom project, please contact Ruth: / 0141 4190451

Wisdom in Practice

Wisdom in Practice was a previous project developed by Outside the Box to encourage and support the development of services led by older people.

It aimed to build on the skills, knowledge and confidence of older people to enable older people to start or develop services and worked with older people across Scotland to make a difference to the opportunities and services they can use.

Over the course of the project, we developed a range of resources including Hints & Tips to help older people create successful new groups, encourage participation and keep everyone included.

See our Wisdom in Practice page for more about the project and to download these resources.

  • Aug 23 2017

    Rural Wisdom Get-together

    Location: Galashiels

    The second of our series of get-together across Scotland which are for anyone who is interested in our Rural Wisdom work to come together, to share thoughts, to hear from others and to build the network around the country.

  • Aug 1 2017

    Learn the basics of simple video and audio storytelling

    Location: Angus

    Video can bring your charity’s stories and events to life. Join our practical half-day workshop to learn the basics of simple video and audio storytelling.

  • Jul 14 2017

    Pop up Strawberry Tea Café

    Location: Aberdeenshire

    Outside the Box is supporting the Wellbeing Network latest Pop Up Conversation Café & Strawberry Tea. You can take part in a low level walk or just enjoy a cuppa and a blether. All Welcome!

Rural Wisdom Staff (Scotland)

Anne Connor 
Chief Executive (Outside the Box)
Anne oversees the running of Rural Wisdom in Scotland

Jill Davies
Rural Wisdom Development Worker
Jill is working with communities in Aberfeldy and the surrounding areas

Shona Laidlaw
Rural Wisdom Development Worker
Shona is working with communities in the North Angus Glens

Nicky Bolland
Rural Wisdom Development Worker
Nicky is supporting the Rural Wisdom work in North Angus and the areas around Aberfeldy

Kate Robertson
Community Development Advisor (Outside the Box)
Kate is working with communities in Eaglesham and supporting the Rural Wisdom network nationally

Ruth Cape
Project Worker (Outside the Box)
Ruth manages the Rural Wisdom communications and is supporting the national network and the work in Eaglesham

Ciara Maguire
Project Worker (Outside the Box)
Ciara is supporting the work in and around Aberfeldy and the North Angus Glens

Partners and Funders

Project Blogs

Certified Living Wage

Outside the Box is a certified living wage employer