Rural Wisdom

Rural Wisdom is the project that listens to the voices of older people and empowers them to lead change in rural communities across the UK.

Rural Wisdom is a space for older people in rural Scotland and Wales.  It began as a project to find out how rural commutes included and supported people as they got older, with 5 years funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.  From early 2022 it continues to be a way to raise awareness and share learning and practical examples around ways rural communities work for everyone, including older people.

Rural Wisdom, Older people shaping rural communities. Owl logo, in English and Welsh

What we're doing

We’ve worked in 5 local communities in Scotland and our partner has worked in 4 communities in Wales.  We’ve developed resources and are running workshops on issues that affect people in many locations.

During 2022 there will be more workshops that are open to everyone, and more learning and joint work between communities.

There is more about the project and all the resources at

The impact it's having so far

Our achievements by January 2022 – the end of the main project – included:

  • Involving over 8,000 people in local communities
  • People feeling they have a stronger voice and are influencing changes that benefit them and other people
  • Helping new community groups get started and existing ones keep going
  • Activities that benefit older people and activities for the whole community
  • 20,000 people benefitting from the services and activities communites developed
  • People having more social connections, better wellbeing and feeling more confident
  • Bringing in £390,000 in grants for local communities and helping local groups secure another £740,000
  • Raising issues such as fuel poverty and ways to get better community transport that affect older people in many parts of the UK
  • Contributing to policy making in Scotland and Wales to ensure long-lasting national impact
  • Bringing people together in an informal network of connected communities – people plan to keep working together over the next few years



evaluation report cover

Rural Wisdom Scotland evaluation 2021

View resource

Older People and Co-production – NDTi Review

View resource

Delivering Presentations and Training

View resource

Rural Wisdom in Highland Perthshire summary note

View resource

Rural Wisdom Report Eaglesham

View resource

Rural Wisdom Report Angus

View resource

Older People in Rural Communities – Note for Local Areas

View resource