Rural Wisdom Scotland evaluation 2021

Download the Rural Wisdom Scotland evaluation 2021

You can read and download the Rural Wisdom Scotland evaluation 2021 here.

Find all the Rural Wisdom resources on NDTi’s website.

What Rural Wisdom’s about

Rural Wisdom is about improving the lives of older people living in rural communities by listening and helping people develop activities and initiatives. Rural Wisdom is a five-year project working in rural communities in Scotland and Wales with funding secured from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2017.

What Rural Wisdom’s been doing and learning

We’ve evaluated the impact of Rural Wisdom’s work in Scotland during 2021, the last year of the project. It explores the outcomes across 4 areas, based on what people in communities are saying is important:

  • Communities are busy, welcoming places for older people with the infrastructure and community-based services to support people in a way that works for them
  • Older people have a voice and lead change and influence policies to support older people to continue to live in rural communities
  • Learning is embedded locally and is shared across the UK to help foster communities that value, include, and support older people
  • Older people are valued part of the Covid recovery, supports and reconnection

So the evaluation looks at these outcomes, and shares unexpected outcomes from the Rural Wisdom communities. It also includes snippets of conversations with people involved.

“The community is knitting together nicely; everyone wants to join in more and there are things to talk about now and also to do without travelling miles. Rural Wisdom Worker. “I’m so happy that my ideas have made other people happy and have bought the community back. People are offering to help now, and everyone wants to join in more and are thinking of what they can do.” Rural Wisdom Worker

We conducted the evaluation by:

  • reviewing Rural Wisdom materials and resources such as website, blogs, biteable animations and newsletters
  • conversations with rural wisdom workers and people living in rural wisdom communities and partner organisations
  • observing and participating in Rural Wisdom workers meetings, and reflection and review sessions
  • observing and participating in digital starter conversations and activities

Learning in the pandemic

The evaluation and learning reflects the context of 2021, the second year of the Covid19 global pandemic. Communities have been busy responding, and older people have been playing a crucial role in identifying and delivering community supports, activities and services for everyone.

“Covid highlighted the need to work together.” Burghead Resident. “We have been talking about kindness and compassion in communities and thinking about what makes a good place for everyone. Its clear to us that strong communities have a place for everyone and especially young people.” Rural Wisdom worker

It has meant working differently, using digital platforms with more confidence, to make friendships and seek ideas. Online events have also given older people living in remote communities the opportunity  to participate more easily. Without the time and travel costs, they’ve accessed local and national networks and forums. One example is taking part in Scottish Rural Parliament sessions – without spending two days travelling there and back! 

Find out more by reading the 2021 Rural Wisdom Scotland evaluation.